Thursday, 6 October 2011

Years ago...

....after I graduated from high school and preparing to get into medical school, I came across two autobiographies (you can tell by now that I enjoy reading them). They appeared to have come my way at the right time. Call it an 'act of Providence' if you will. After graduation, I spent hours on the internet trying to recollect their names, etc. However I can still remember the important bits and hopefully one of you would be kind enough to provide their names.

Here is what I remember:

A blind Korean lady went to Japan to study medicine. I believe that it happened during a period just after the Japanese Imperial rule of Korea. I really do not recall how she got blind. She made a pact with God not to marry or something as I do remember that she fell in love with a Japanese whom she could not marry due to the vow which she made. Not sure whether it was her fellow classmate. One thing however that stood out in the story was how she recounted her experience in the Physiology Laboratory---trying to skin a frog! Remember she is blind! Through many obstacles, she eventually became a doctor and returned to Korea to help her people. And never married.

Another biography which I read was on a South Indian lady who was inflicted with leprosy and had a limb (I think it was her leg) amputated. She studied medicine at what is now called the Christian Medical College at Vellore. Her accounts were quite colourful and insightful particularly about how some Indians during her time (in the 1960's or so) treated other people. She too succeeded in becoming a medical doctor and I do remember that she went to Australia. I cannot remember exactly what for...most possibly for getting a new limb and some rehabilitation. I read those books in 1992 and do forgive me for my lapses in memory!!

Their stories provided some motivation for me during a lot of challenging times that I experienced in medical school (and afterwards). You see, I strongly believe in the concept of mentorship. If I had a mentor then, I wouldn't have made a lot of painful fumbles. I accept that experience may be the best teacher but a lot of deaf people may not have the opportunity to have such an exposure to make a fumble!

I will be back hopefully!


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