Medical students take to social media to vent about nature of industry

#นักศึกษาแพทย์เลว (Bad Medical Student) trended on Thai Twitter on Monday as Thai medical students take to social media to share on their thoughts and experiences of working in the medical industry in Thailand.

The hashtag, which has now attracted over 86k Tweets, came after Dr Manoch Chokchamsai, Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Chiang Mai university, posted a message on his Facebook page saying: “Let’s hear some noise from the Bad Medical Students. Talk about the things the [medical] faculty wouldn’t want to hear.”

The message, which was posted on Sunday, garnered over 670 comments and 3.4k shared on Facebook alone, and is now the top trending topic on Twitter on Monday. 

Medical students, residents and interns are now flocking to social media, exposing the toxic work culture embedded deep within the Thai medical industry, ranging from sexual harassment, inappropriate workload, authoritarianism, verbal and emotional abuse, senority, beauty privileges, and gender discrimination.

“Some professors treat med students with double standards,” one Twitter user reveals. “The management was the same, but I was verbally abused and looked down upon because I am not a man… yep.”

“I was screamed at by a medical staff right in the middle of the ward and told to go jump off a building and kill myself,” another Twitter user wrote. “I didn’t, because I didn’t want to die and just didn’t want to see their face.”

“We should not be romanticizing working beyond human powers as sacrifice, such as being on call for 24 hours and working for another right. This practice is probably held at every hospital, because I have witnessed it everywhere.”

Thailand’s competitive and austere medical education industry has long been talked about, but never truly addressed. News reports over the years have exposed the abusive practices behind closed doors as well as suicides from the medical students, interns, and residents.

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