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Durham Chronicle Volume XLIV, Issue 11

Durham Chronicle Volume XLIV, Issue 11


6 April 10 - 16, 2018 The Chronicle Opinion Increase residency spots for doctors Claudia Latino The following piece is the opinion of the Durham College journalism student whose name and picture accompanies this column. It is unreasonable for medical graduates to spend their time, energy, and money on medical school just to find out they don’t get matched to a residency – the last step to become a practicing doctor. According to the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, Students are paying at least $13,000 a year the number of unmatched Canadian medical graduates has increased from 46 in 2016, to 68 in 2017. By 2021, the expected number of unmatched grads will increase to 140. This increase in unmatched CMGs is unacceptable and ruins the reputation of Canadian medicine for three reasons: costs, health, and time. The cost of medical school is extremely high. Students are paying at least $13 thousand dollars a year for tuition alone. Ontario’s medical schools are the most expensive with students paying at least $22 thousand dollars a year, according to Statistics Canada. This price tag is too high, especially for those graduates who don’t get matched. It is wasted money and, unfortunately, students still have to pay it all back. Along with paying back the three or four years of tuition, CMGs face the devastating feeling that all their time spent studying has lead them to nothing. Robert Chu, a medical school graduate from McMaster University, didn’t get accepted into a residency two years in a row. He took his own life in 2016. This should be alarming and needs to be taken seriously. Medical students spend their time working hard. Everything is geared towards the final step: residency. According to medical school grad Josh Liu from UofT, the course load in medical school is overwhelming for most students. This is when stress comes in, resulting in anxiety and depression. All of this time on medical school can lead to a potential unmatched resident. The provincial government needs to do something to increase the number of spots available for medical graduates. Support programs or even an added fifth year in medical school could help future doctors make their dreams come true of getting matched to a residency. Every medical school graduate needs to be rewarded for their hard work and determination. Buddhism is sorely needed in our scientific world Tiago de Olivera The following piece is the opinion of the Durham College journalism student whose name and picture accompanies this column. Eastern and Western philosophy have been preaching the benefits of mindfulness, the focus on moment-to-moment living, for thousands of years. Just a few weeks ago, Durham College got to experience that philosophy firsthand with a workshop lead by resident teacher and Buddhist nun Gen Kelsang Suma. Suma gave students in attendance a lesson in mindfulness from the Buddhist perspective, emphasizing the importance of quiet reflection on personal change in contrast to the endless distractions of modern living. The lessons weren’t mired in a fog of fortune cookie wisdom and vague mysticism. Rather, the Buddhist perspective lends itself well to scientific thought on the brain and body, and is needed in the hustle and bustle of daily living. Buddhism isn’t just an alternate world view; it is a religious philosophy entirely compatible with science and our modern way of life. Furthermore, we need it. Buddhism often contains doctrine that appears scientific in nature. For example, dhamma vicaya, which is sometimes translated into ‘analysis of qualities’ or ‘searching the truth’ is the empirical investigation of the natural order. This concept is the second step in the ‘Seven Factors of Awakening’ or enlightenment Buddhists use to eliminate ignorance and gain a greater understanding of the world. This system is incredibly similar in purpose and practice to the scientific method. The scientific method is a procedure where a collection of observations are tested and refined to develop ‘theories’ as to the nature of our existence. For example, gravity was observed to occur as a force pulling an object back to Earth, it was tested and refined to be mathematically correct and then used in application with all other relevant sciences. Despite the term, ‘theory’ does not imply there is scientific doubt surrounding a concept. Scientific theories are established in substantial peer reviewed work and testing before becoming accepted into the scientific community. In this fashion, Buddhism and the scientific method contain doctrine that call for an objective explanation and understanding of the mechanisms of the natural world. Part of the reason Buddhism is so open to scientific reasoning is because the Sutras, or Buddhist scripture, are not held up to be the undisputable word of God, but instead serves as a spiritual guideline for the faith.Suma’s lesson on mindfulness at DC was focused on what she called, “The ability to hold to experience.” The meditation seminar wasn’t about a new and exciting way to power nap, it was about the ability to be ‘present,’ and experiencing the time you are currently living in to its greatest potential. Simply spacing out and focusing on breathing doesn’t reflect proper mindfulness, and is a poor way to meditate. Suma emphasized not to let the mind wander and get stuck in a narrative of self-pity and doubt. The purpose of mindfulness is to direct your thoughts and energy towards a singular goal, such as achieving inner happiness. “Come back to the sensation of the present,” Suma said. In the secular world, mindfulness takes root in the Western practices of psychology, specifically, positive psychology. Positive psychology is the study of what makes life worth living, or how to define meaning. In 2016, a team of researchers under the Positive Mindfulness Program successfully combined the tenants of Buddhist mindfulness with positive psychology in a controlled trial with 168 participants to “enhancing well-being and other positive variables in adult, non-clinical populations.” The trial showed a positive impact on the subjects, and the study was conducted using online tools. This demonstrates that the Eastern practice of mindfulness can be used in junction not only with accepted Western science but potentially with our smartphones and other technology to promote more holistic living. Our lives are becoming increasingly interwoven with technology, we don’t often take time for introspection or reflecting on positive emotions and the present when we’re constantly rushing from one thing to the next. In order to maintain strong mental health in our virtual insanity, we need to take the time required to stop, breathe, and become fully involved in the ‘present.’ Parents need to teach their children about sexual violence Tracy Wright The following piece is the opinion of the Durham College journalism student whose name and picture accompanies this column. The recent #metoo movement has created a response from men called #howiwillchange. Benjamin Law, an Australian author and journalist, introduced the hashtag in October of last year with the tweet shown below. This hashtag is relevant not just to men but parents also. Parents need actionable steps that they will follow to address sexual violence when talking with their children. It’s a messy conversation to have. However, the first step is explaining what sexual violence is to your child. Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s consent. Teaching children about sexual violence does not only apply to boys. But girls too. The objective is to make children feel comfortable enough to speak up when they see something wrong. Another reason to explain sexual violence is to make sure they understand the consequences if they were to take advantage of someone. Next, we must teach respect. This means respect all, regardless of race and gender. It is also important for children to know that sexual violence can also be viewed as someone bullying you. In recent months, so many hashtags have circulated talking about the importance of understanding sexual violence. We are quick to jump on the bandwagon of #metoo and #timesup, but are parents doing their due diligence? Sure, we might say don’t hit girls but do we tell boys if girls hit you, don’t hit back? Do we say just walk away? We should be teaching our boys from a young age to respect women. No, means no. Respect what is being said. If someone is drunk, put them in a cab and send them home. They are in no shape to make a rational decision. Don’t touch anyone ever without their consent, not even a hug or a pat on the back. It could be viewed the wrong way. This begs the question, are we creating a sterile society where touching anyone, anytime can be viewed as inappropriate? Do we need now to tell our kids to keep their hands to themselves, walk with their head down and avoid eye contact? Is this the world we are creating for our children’s future? It does not have to be instead we could just be honest. Tell our children to treat everyone the way they would like to be treated. Respect everyone and don’t cave to peer pressure. Parents will be setting a standard for their children and for future generations. We all need to respect boundaries and personal space. Tweet from Benjamin Law on the #HowIWillChange movement

Opinion April 10 - 16, 2018 The Chronicle 7 Year in Review A look back at the best editorial cartoons of the 2017-2018 school year by the Chronicle journalism students. Illustrated by: Cassidy McMullen Illustrated by: Cassidy McMullen Illustrated by: Cassidy McMullen Illustrated by: Austin Andru Illustrated by: Cassidy McMullen Illustrated by: Cassidy McMullen

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