I have a medical background. So some people might expect that I see patients on a daily basis, wearing a stethoscope as a necklace, or give consultations on the phone. I am none of the above. I may be, one day, hopefully, but certainly not now. I am currently sitting on two chairs at once which I would further explain in two sections.
Basically scientists are a bunch of people who are curious and serious about their curiosity. They are the ones who are willing to spend the rest of their life to answer their questions. Proving something or finding something by experiments or surveys or analyses. The results might answer some of world’s problems but they might as well become the foundation of further researches, or simply general knowledge. “For the sake of science itself” is my friend’s favorite answer when someone asks him what his aims in his researches are. He works on sex determination genes in chicken, by the way.
I jumped into this field for I need to do a research for my master’s thesis. Then here I am, among the scientists, working in the lab with pipets, DNAs, reagens, and advanced machines. Covered up by eye glasses, lab coat, and hand gloves, I learn to pipet correctly and keep clean in everything I do.
Scientists have meticulous conclusions and tend not to generalize or simplify. Their work is specific and focused. Scientists are also patient people, more like marathon runners rather than sprinters. Their pathways are long and often times windy. Experts in social science might say that scientists think linearly but for sure they use systematic approaches and believe only in facts and evidence and set aside opinions.
Now I enjoy reading journals and any publications about updates in science, especially biomedical science. It is always fun to know what other people in the world are doing with the advancement of technology and knowledge. Reading those journals keeps me expecting a brighter future be it a cure for AIDS or convenience in living this life.
Counselling is a part of psychology. It deals with good communication, empathy, and human relationship. Counsellors are people with empathy and good communication skills. I get to sit with these guys learning how to deliver a bad news to a family, how to understand what the family needs and feels and make them feel helped. Those sort of things are feasible to do in daily life simply by listening to a friend who has problems and make him/her feel better after talking to us. Informative counseling is also important as these counselors are the ones who have the responsibility to convey any findings or information regarding the conditions. Not only empathy is needed but also knowledge of a particular field is crucial to master in order to give the correct information.
Now I tend stuck up my nose for having seen patients and listened to their complaints, but it is possible that physicians in general don’t have the counseling skill, they just consult, not counsel.
Those two are basically what I do now in this beautiful continent in southern part of the earth. I keep questioning myself about my interest for my future, is it a scientist, or a counselor, or both? But then there is a third option. It is being a physician. Or well, you can be the three of them; doing researches, counseling people, and treating patients.
The third option has always been there but for a few months lately it was obscured by the overwhelming activities I have in this institution. I was reminded about an option of seeing patients by an accidental event of coming across a doctor from very own Indonesia and getting to talk to him. He is a pediatrician who undertakes fellowship in gastroenterology here. I looked forward to talking to him again about my doubts of future or about my thirst on medicine lately.
Whenever people ask me what I want to do in the future I still have no clue. I hope they don’t ask me until I have the answer.
Note: counsellor is a British spelling, since I am in Oz, you know..