Last night’s show/What’s next with school

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Thanks to all who showed up last night for the live broadcast! Dr.A. would have to confirm this for sure, but I think that the chatroom peaked to its highest number so far for the show…that’s awesome! For those that didn’t get to tune in, the archive is #18 and is available at Dr.A.’s BTR site (until the next show, this episode starts playing automatically from a widget on the right, but you can always download the .mp3 file to listen offline as well).

I listened to most of the show already, and I’m slightly embarrassed of the times that it seems that I’m ignoring Dr.A’s quick questions. As was brought up in the chat room after the show, Dr.A was using a new headset, and apparently the mic volume wasn’t turned up enough. (This can be heard in the difference between our respective volumes on the archive.) However, when I was talking in real-time on the call, I swear I couldn’t hear most of the attempts when Dr. A. would make a quick 1-second question. On the archive, one can hear it objectively (ie, not talking at the time), and it sounds like I’m bulldozing over what he was saying. I promise that wasn’t the case. :/ I hope Dr. A. understands.

The universal advice I’ve received before, during, and after regarding my situation is, to be polite, “Do whatever it takes to get things fixed.” I agree, and I never intended to do otherwise. It’s also why I never complained online until the other day even though I’ve been going through this for 6 weeks now. I don’t want to get into specifics, but there is a very real chance that this will not be resolved to my benefit, and I have to start down the road of a “Plan B,” even though I can’t say for sure what that is yet.

Even though absolutely nothing has changed with school, I already feel SO much better having put all of this out there. The consequences/implications/etc. have been shouldered in private for too long and have gotten me absolutely nowhere. Things can’t get worse with school–they simply could say that all of this online shenanigans “prevented” them from giving me their Holy Dispensation, but that’s yet another abusive tactic because one can never know if that were true. The intended effect is drive a student into despair over “what could have been;” in my case, I simply go on the alternative course I’m already pursuing. The default answers have never changed from “no,” and “no.”

I’m not above groveling, but how can I grovel to a person that refuses to meet with me, that tells a “superior” at the hospital that I’ll be seen, then 10 minutes later tell me (through the inept secretary) that there’s no point in seeing me? I’ve never been able to break through this, so what do I do, kneel in supplication from the hallway and hope they see me on the way to a bathroom break? Video myself begging and send a YouTube clip to their email address? If this turns out to be about “Well, we’re offended that you didn’t do XYZ in person,” then their hypocrisy is one for the record books.

I have to work, and time spent sitting in a hallway on the off-chance said dictator may/may not be coming to the office that afternoon, combined with may/may not be willing to see me is time I’m not billing, money I’m not making to support my family in the absence of loans to fall back on. Every dollar in my bank account is because I worked for it this semester. Talk about responsibility–what respect is there for that? They seem to think I’m at their complete convenience (and sport), and as a lowly student, that’s true–to a point. They know I’m working, they know I have a family to support, they just “forget” (or don’t care) that it’s not all about me. If they’re going to be insulted because I make a phone call to check if they’ll be in before I waste hours (read: earned money) going to and from, waiting, etc. and make that a daily habit, they can do something “creatively promiscuous” with their expectations.

UAG may be trying to teach me a lesson, beat me down, whatever, but to what end? I’m playing for keeps, and here’s why:

I don’t have the luxury of wasting time. I am willing to sacrifice whatever of myself, but there’s a limit to what I’m willing to put them through. This isn’t about principle vs. pride. Steeped in old Mexican medical school traditions at the core (primarily dealing with 18-year-olds), UAG feels it’s their job to “teach” me humility, maturity and responsibility with their tactics.

Those two above teach me more about those in one day than any amount of passive-agressive bullshit by administration. The two above is where my faith, my hope, and my pride lie, not my school. If I’m going to sacrifice any part of myself further, it’s for them, not for the whims of UAG. My school is a replaceable commodity; they are not. If this constitutes my “bad attitude,” then so be it. Regardless of my financial debt, I will always remain far richer than UAG could ever be.

  • By Doctor Anonymous, December 14, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

    I thought it was a great interview. I apologize on my end for the low sound (and my new headset). Maybe I’ll have to go back to Skype and risk getting kicked off of Skype during the show. Ah, show details….

    Very well written post. Great picture. You have a beautiful family. I’m glad that you feel a little better, even though the school situation is still bleak.

    The beauty of the blogosphere is that you’re not alone. We’re all here for you, even just to type a supportive comment. Definitely keep all of us updated on things. Peace!

  • By Susana, December 14, 2007 @ 5:28 pm

    I’ve read quite a few of your posts and it seems like you are always complaining about UAG. You make it seem like the university is out to get you for some unknown reason. I don’t understand why you feel you should receive special traeatment because you work, have debt, a family, etc.

    Wake up, there are thousands of students who have problems and don’t expect their school to hold their hand and guide them. I think these are all excuses beacuse you just don’t have what it takes to do the work and graduate. You couldn’t do it in the US and thought that med school in Mexico would be easy. Surprise! Its not easy. Furthermore, there’s thousands of Mexican students wanting to be accepted into med school and you are just taking up space whining. If you can’t even deal with going to school, how do you expect to deal with real life?

  • By Sean, December 14, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

    It was a great interview! Thank you for sharing your difficult story.

    Sean

  • By Awesome Mom, December 14, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

    I am pulling for you. I hope that you are able to find the path that is right for your family and you.

  • By Abel Pharmboy, December 14, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

    Enrico, do not put put off by Susana’s comments. You are indeed “making it” academically at UAG, you are just in a terrible administrative predicament.

    I am encouraged by the community that has rallied around you and I hope you take some comfort in that. But as my little girl sat on my lap, saw the photo above and asked about your girls, we looked at your photos and she wanted to send you an e-mail to tell you it would all be okay.

    You are very blessed, my friend, to have such a beautiful and loving family. I only hope that your med school dream is realized once you work things out with UAG.

  • By Vijay, December 14, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

    Very eloquent, especially the last paragraph.
    And a very beautiful family.
    I’m saddened by the bleakness of your situation. Don’t give up the dream.
    Forget what ‘Susana’ above said. I don’t think anyone who read your last post (about UAG) or listened to the show got the idea that you were expecting special treatment.

  • By enrico, December 14, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

    Abel: Thanks again for your comments. What you shared about your daughter was most touching.

    Dr. A., Sean, Vijay, AMom, etc. Thanks! :) Other than a couple of potential meetings, the way this plays out is no longer in my hands. There is a strange liberation one reaches when one honestly, truly has exhausted all that can be done. Rather than stress about what I can’t change, I’m simply going to enjoy my weekend. That’s the plan, anyway…

    Susana: Thank you for giving me even more hope! (When trolls come by, that means the message is reaching beyond one’s “safe zone” of friends, associates, etc. It’s a sign that the word is “out,” so to speak.) Your statements are so ridiculous that it shows you haven’t read (or understood) anything, as you said. Six weeks ago, a comment like this would have been logically deconstructed with surgical precision. Today, by contrast, my attitude is that I’ve wasted too much time just typing this…lucky you.

  • By Fat Doctor, December 14, 2007 @ 11:49 pm

    Oh, my friend. I feel such pain in your post.

    First of all, I’m glad that you find peace and HOPE in your family – your gorgeous wife and daughter and future children are, well, your future. They mean so much more than any career or lack of it, and if you all were to live in a pup tent they would still love you. Well, maybe a 3-person pup tent. The singles are way to small. :)

    Secondly, we could all tell that Dr. A was having mic problems – no worries. Don’t listen to the post again. Just read all of these comments telling you how brave you are. I think I speak for many that while your strong personality may have offended the school bureaucrats, that same strong personality has won you friends you’ve never met in real life and will ultimately make you successful in what you are meant to do, be it medicine or whatever.

    Thirdly, and lastly, I was serious that you have a lovely radio voice. If this thing with school doesn’t work out, might you consider a career in broadcasting?

    As for Susana, I don’t think she warrants anymore attention.

  • By Bongi, December 15, 2007 @ 2:23 am

    strongs to you. do what is needed.

  • By Dr. Val, December 17, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

    Enrico, Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa might have an interesting perspective or some insider advice for you. See this link: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/357/6/529/DC1 Let me know if you’d like me to make the introduction. He’s a consultant at Revolution Health. :)

  • By Celeste, December 19, 2007 @ 9:42 am

    Stay strong, Enrico. Here’s hoping this problem can still be resolved in your favor.

    Your family is lovely. I’m so glad you have each other. Thanks for sharing the pic. I can’t wait to get home to my little daughter tonight; she’s growing up so fast and this picture reminds me of her toddler days with a pang. Enjoy what you have; you are truly blessed no matter what decision the school makes.

  • By Tiny Shrink, December 20, 2007 @ 9:24 am

    Enrico,

    I haven’t commented on this yet because I didn’t know what to say. I’ve been reading your posts about troubles with your med school and it sounds awful. I know there’s crazy admin stuff at my own (US) med school, and nutty committees that decide your whole life, but I doubt they could pull this kind of crap here and get away with it. I’m not sure what your plan B is, either, but I hope it involves eventually finishing your MD, because I think you’d be a great doctor. I’m proud that you put your family first–I think too many medical personnel don’t, and we all suffer because of it. I’m not sure what the outcome will be, but I’m sure this will all work out in the long run, whether with UAG or somewhere else that works with you. Best of luck!

    -TS

  • By Deb, December 20, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

    Such beautiful girls you have!!!

    I agree, my hubby and daughter teach me more than anything in this world.

  • By Prudence, December 20, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

    Don’t mind Susan. Maybe she wasn’t able to read your other posts about your problem.

    Problems with administrative staff are always there; they just change faces. I don’t think I even have to say it’s just tough luck, because it really is a problem. I also had problems with my medical school before, because the personnel can be so unprofessional and at the first encounter of it, I really was shocked. Shocked that even in medical school, there are those kind of people who’ll go on powertripping. I guess some are right in saying that there are you cannot given powers to certain people because they tend to abuse it. But they are there. All we can do is to hold out as long as we can.

    Good for you that you’ve already let it out. I don’t see you as whining. People have right to complain when injustices are already done to them.

    Good luck to you and just continue doing what you think is right for you and your family.

    By the way, you have a cute little daughter :-)

  • By Y.S., December 28, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

    Hello Enrico,

    I’m new to your blog and this is my first comment here. I listened to the entire interview a moment ago. I can feel your pain. I can relate to every word you said regarding the School B*** S***. I study abroad also. I pay much more than native students ( NO we are not taking anybodies place!!! … they have rules and they know what they are doing!!! + our tuitions are much higher + taxes + + + $$$$ )

    Administration employees still treat us like S***. They are such retarded ignorants. They know nothing about ethics, morals, communication, negotiation. All they know is $$$ but they still treat us as S***. What you said was SO TRUE, “when you do something new, no one from the staff wants to take responsibility for his action”, and the people that can make an action are either too far to reach or just don’t give a S***.!!!!

    Man this topic makes me so mad. This is not how Med. Schools and Universities should be. We are not babies. We do not deserve being treated like this.

    I can go on and on. In fact, I can dedicate a whole blog for this kind of stuff + I have many friends whom can share their own stories …

    I’m sorry for this hot post … but you put your finger on th wound. I pray for the day when I don’t need to take up with them anymore.

    I want to quote a part I loved from your post: “Those two above teach me more about those in one day than any amount of passive- aggressive bullshit by administration. The two above is where my faith, my hope, and my pride lie, not my school. If I’m going to sacrifice any part of myself further, it’s for them, not for the whims of UAG. My school is a replaceable commodity; they are not. If this constitutes my “bad attitude,” then so be it. Regardless of my financial debt, I will always remain far richer than UAG could ever be.” …. That is true LOVE.

    “Regardless of my financial debt, I will always remain far richer than UAG could ever be” …. Indeed, you will always be.

    Stay strong … Keep faith … your family needs you.

    Note: why don’t you monetize your blog? If it doesn’t help much it wont hurt.

    Happy Holidays :)
    Y.S.

  • By Y.S., January 21, 2008 @ 5:11 am

    So are you going to stick with medicine? or you’re considering something else?

Other Links to this Post

  1. Mexico Medical Student » The Goodbye, Part 1: Leaving Mexico — February 3, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

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