Disclaimer: This post does not in any way, shape, or form, represent the school or my classmates’ view or position, and it is solely the writer’s perspective.
In order to give this post some context, we’d have to go back to circa 2012-2013, when things were well and dandy. We were all looking forward to May/June 2015, because that’s when we were all going to graduate, and there would be the much awaited convocation, many of us would finally be able to say “yesssss we did it!!!!”, the first cohort would have graduated and brought pride to their families and teachers and everyone who worked so hard to make this school a top-notch educational ground. We’d be wearing the striking orange-blue robes and receiving our medical diplomas that stated the affiliation with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We’d party like we never did before, we’d congratulate each other, we’d laugh and cry at the same time. It’d be a glorious, memorable day in PUGSOM’s history, and it’d be awesome.
Alas, when May/June 2015 came, all that did not happen. There was no convocation, no party, no flowers or garlands. All there was, was angst, ambiguity, agony (and maybe acrimony). We probably did laugh and cry at the same time, but for different reasons. Who would’ve thought that the affiliation would come apart so quickly, so soon? Who would’ve thought that it doesn’t just end there, and there’s more mess to follow?! Sure, one could say that this is just another bump, things will be okay and we will get the accreditation in time. We all hope that’s true, but until that happens we can’t quite be at peace, can we.
These are hard times, and we’re still not out of the tunnel yet. There are nights when I lie awake thinking about this, wondering what went wrong and why certain things happened the way it did. Unfortunately since the new leadership took over, we were never really told the complete story. At least that’s how it felt. There’s a cultural element here which I can understand to a certain extent. The general sentiment is: well it is what it is, so quit asking why it happened and just focus on how to move on. We as a nation tend to be optimistic and look at things on the bright side. Yet, while it is mostly a good thing, sometimes it can be unhealthy (and I think we’re closer to the unhealthy spectrum of gratefulness). We were always told to appreciate what we’ve got, don’t be bitter, don’t ask why we can’t have more, or why things aren’t better. But here’s the thing. Yes of course we should be grateful. By all means, appreciate everything you have and give your thanks, but what’s wrong with reflecting on what went wrong and how we can be better?! Why is it such a bad thing? Why can’t we be courageous enough to admit that we may have screwed up and then find a way to improve? Since when is it a taboo to talk about mistakes?
Because we weren’t told what exactly happened, we were left wondering. Was it something we didn’t do enough? Was it really the insufficient weeks and the lack of certain rotations that weren’t included? Were we seen as unprepared for the housemanship? Did the school fight hard enough to try to convince them our curriculum is a great one? Did they put up a fight at all, or did they concede too soon? Have they fought tooth and nail but to no avail? Or was there some other factors that played into it, factors we’re not privy to? There’s a huge void here, and the lack of communication makes us feel left out. This dead space between us students and the school weighs down on us. The thing about dead space is, it’s never a good thing, be it in physiology or in communication. It allows distrust to grow, it gives room for speculations.
I realize, at this juncture, that I’d never get the answers I sought. That’s fine. I’m letting it go. This post has been sitting around for a long time, I wasn’t sure posting it for public’s eye is a good idea. But then again, I’m not fabricating anything, these are just my thoughts, nothing more. More importantly, this is written for myself, and for my fellow classmates, to keep on fighting. There are still a few more hurdles before the finishing line, and we will get there. As Dr. Ray puts it, we’re being put in the crucibles, and all these obstacles are nothing but the heat that would prove our true mettle, and we shall come out more refined and purified. All in good time. 🙂
Some pics to share below. One of our classmates, Nezar, couldn’t make it to the photoshoot, and he’s deeply missed. We took these ‘pre-graduation’ photos knowing that our graduation will not be anytime soon, but that these will keep us going until the real thing. Would also like to take a moment to thank all of those who’ve taught us and cared deeply about us. Sending love to everyone.
“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.” – anon.