Friday, June 25, 2004

Before I begin...


Right then. On to more important things. :D

Guilty As Charged

It's my 2nd rest day this week, and... I haven't studied at all today, aaargh!

Okay, the "aargh!" is for the benefit of one of my seniors, who's always asking whether I'm revising, revising, revising. I, on the other hand, am feeling a little under the weather at the moment. Hormones, the usual cycle of ups and downs, the bloody haze -- who knows? After spending the entire morning slacking off -- is vacuuming the whole apartment considered that? -- I rented yet another stack of VCDs, and spent the last 90 minutes enjoying "School Of Rock", which stars Jack Black ( Shallow Hal ) impersonating a substitute teacher who gets some stuffy prep elementary schoolers to form a rock band. It sounds ludicrous, but the reviews weren't wrong, and I really liked it. Black is cool, but the kids are awesome! ( Rock-speak, I apologize :)) I dare you to tell me you're not blown away by the blonde drummer and the brunette lead guitarist.

Other discs in my bag include: Anger Management, Girl With The Pearl Earring, Bruce Almighty, Down With Love, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Woohoo!

The Apprentice

Did you catch the pilot last night? Wow, Mark Burnett ( producer of the Survivor series ) has outdone himself! Never mind Donald Trump, with his faux toupee ( looks like a dead animal ) and his two partners ( dull and not the best judges of character ). The stars are the contestants themselves, and nothing is ever what you expect it to be. What I find most interesting is how this programme shows that good grades doesn't necessarily guarantee success -- an axiom Singaporeans need to get into their fat heads, by the way. Here, Harvard grads and MD/MBA holders go neck and neck with high school diploma owners and college dropouts, and surprise surprise, the first to go is David -- a doctor with an MBA, no less.

I already know who won, but he didn't shine in the first episode, so I'm watching him closely in future installments. Get a load of the brunette ( sorry, I'm not good with names ) who whined during her very first assignment, then left the group to use their "capital" to buy herself some lunch. If she lasts longer than she deserves to, then sex indeed does sell.

I've worked with quite a few doctors these past 5 years, and I can tell you very confidently that being on the Dean's List doesn't automatically make you an excellent doctor. It just means you did well in your exams. It doesn't ensure that you'll be an intuitive clinician, or that you'll be well-received by your patients. More importantly, it has nothing to do with working life, which will test you to the very extremes of your capabilities, and where friendships are sacrificed in order to get ahead of the pack.

Many of my best house officers were average medical students, and a number of Dean's List regulars caused me great disappointment and frustration. It's the same with my peers and seniors. A few great surgeons flunked a few subjects in med school, while some Gold Medallists fail to earn their colleagues' respect for various non-academic reasons.

Ultimately, The Apprentice isn't "just another reality TV show". It's an accurate depiction of life as we know it. And speaking from the perspective of an underdog -- ie. someone who was average throughout school, but didn't do so bad after graduating :) -- I'll always root for the ones with the least education and the most street smarts.

Time to go take a walk in the park. Literally. Yeah. :P

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