Surgeon for a Day

In high school I toyed about going to medicine and becoming a surgeon. I took biology and one of the things we did was dissecting a fetal pig to learn about the organs. It was probably the coolest biology experiment ever! In high school that is. Some kids in my class were a bit squeamish about the prospect of cutting an animal, as for me, I was curious, I wonder what that would be…

And so the day came. We were each given a metal pan, a set of gloves, scalpel, and a worksheet. Our biology teacher, mr R. came round giving us a fetal pig. One on each pan. Now these pigs weren’t killed for the purpose of this experiment, they were stillborn pigs that got preserved for science. At least that’s what mr R said. He gave us some instruction, namely be careful when cutting the pig open, don’t press too hard or we’ll cut into the organ too; the pig is just babies, their skin are very thin. Another one, well this is more like a warning, the scalpel are sharp so no hurting oneself or the person next to us. Which of course prompts the boys to pretend poke their neighbour with the said scalpel.

Taking a deep breath, I turn the pig onto its back and start cutting. Very slowly… Somehow I manage to cut it open without harming the organs inside. Yay! Extra points! Then we push back the skin to take a better look at the organs and my… It was so neatly organised inside, it was simply amazing. It is just like a puzzle where everything has a place and it all fits together; the heart, the lungs, the intestine, the ribs. I was just amazed by it all.

That’s when I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to be a surgeon? You get to cut people up, fix whatever is wrong inside then patch them back up again. Yes it would be but before one gets to be a surgeon, one has to be a doctor first, and in order to do that one needs to learn more science, not just Biology and this is when this dream rapidly evaporated.

At the end of 9th grade, we can choose the subjects we want to study for our IGCSE. Initially I took combined science as I thought it was important to know all three and yet I don’t want to take them individually as I want to learn other things too. However, not enough kids took that subject so we had to take one science subject or drop 2 subjects to take all three. I happen to like my other subjects so first I took Physics. First class, the teacher (I forgot whom now) give us a rubber band, told us to take out a ruler and eraser then go figure out some Physics formula. Huh?

All I can think about was there’s no way I’d take Chemistry since I barely pass it. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to do the equations. All those letters and numbers… And that leaves me with… Biology! So for the remainder of high school, Biology it is then. No more flirting with Chemistry and or Physics.

So yeah, I once held a scalpel and dissect a formerly living being. For a brief moment I get a glimpse of what surgeons do for a living and though how cool would that be.. Then class is over, I landed back on the flatlands and promptly go back to my regular non-science classes 😀

*yes, I realised you can take extra classes should one wish to study medicine but no, I stayed firmly in the Social Science realm for my further education 😉 *

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