Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Internship: no knowledge, skills and discipline

I note that the younger generation doing their 2nd year Junior College and who applies for a veterinary internship has no knowledge, skills and discipline. The applicants are mainly ladies. Many of them have straight As and can get into any undergraduate studies they choose.

However, these Singaporean academic stars don't have hands-on experience nor interests in animal welfare and medicine. Straight As without passion in veterinary medicine. An unwillingness to work diligently and put in the hours.

I am thinking of terminating sponsorship of internship for Junior College students as my staff feels that they are a burden and they are. My assistant Mr Saw actually dislike them according to one of my feedback as they hinder his work. He has to teach them how to take temperature etc and why should he do that? I don't know what Dr Vanessa Lin and Dr Jason Teo think of them.

Many of these young interns and even veterinary undergraduates don't have simple social skills. They come for interviews silently. They don't know simple courtesies which will gain them brownie points, like greeting "Good morning, Dr Sing, Good afternoon Dr Vanessa or Good evening Dr Teo." Some fathers or mothers drive them to the Surgery and wait for them for the interview! They give me the impression that they can't be independent and are tied to the apron's strings.

Does the top school principals NOT impart such skills to their bright students? It is not that I am desperate to be greeted. Not being punctual, disappearing without letting me know. These are what some past interns do.

Therefore, I am thinking of terminating this program for such young people as they have been brought up in abundance and know no hardship. They don't want to work hard and seem to think that the world should suit their lifestyle and way of working late in the day (being night owls). Turning up late for work is a common trait too.

There are 3rd party injury liabilities too. What if the intern gets bitten or scratched by the dog and cat respectively? The parents will sue me to bankruptcy.

For the above reasons, it is wise for me not to accept interns unless they are highly passionate about veterinary medicine, rather than thinking of using the program to pad their resume.

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