Had an opportunity to talk to a few students intending to do medicine in a private university offering twinning program to do medicine overseas.
I asked them, do you know what medicine is about? Do you know that a doctor’s life is not as rosy as many non medical people think? Do you know that it takes years of training to become a competent doctor and in the British system, to become a specialist takes many more years of hard work after the basic medical degree.
A few of them looked puzzled when I asked them these questions. When I asked them what made them think of taking up medicine, one of them gave the reply about doctors’ earnings. Finally, a smiling one confided that if they go overseas to study medicine, it would be their passports to stay behind whichever country they go to, since in most of the Western countries (Australia included even though it is down South), there is a shortage of doctors.
I suspect this is the main reason why suddenly so many people are taking the medical courses, and Malaysia has so now more medical schools than Australia, with UTAR also joining in this year to offer MBBS degree.
These young people, for whatever reasons, want to leave their home country and settle down overseas.
In the past, Malaysians have always emigrated. Many Malaysians studied overseas, and some remained in those countries where they studied, but many did return.
For the past few years, there is a new trend that lesser and lesser of those who study overseas are coming home; and many of those who returned are mainly those who could not find employment overseas. For those who studied medicine, not many have returned. I have stated that none of my eldest 2 children classmates have returned home, and as far as I understand, none of their senior class returned home too.
Malaysia has lost the shine, so much i can say. with the economy stagnant, inflation overtaking increasing in earning, polution and traffic jam getting worse, Malaysia is less liveable now than a decade or 2 before.
How do we expect these young and bright people, who could have helped re building the country, to come home when they can have much much better prospect of life and a better lifestyle overseas?
The only consolation is the food perhaps. We have one of the most varied food and it is still relatively cheap to eat out.