Volume 94, Issue 46

Tuesday, November 21, 2000


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Docs are po'folk, just do the math

Re: The sliding scale of debt, Nov. 17.

To the Editor:

I am writing about the assertion made in last week's editorial about income contingent student loan repayment, that medical students will "easily and quickly" pay off their student loan debt because of their high incomes upon graduation.

That statement is ignorant and untrue.

Graduates of medical school do not receive high incomes when they graduate. In order to obtain a medical license, medical school graduates must first complete a residency training program to qualify them as a family doctor or other specialist. These residency programs last a minimum of two years and take as long as seven years, with most graduates spending at least four years in residency training. Depending on what province you're in, residents' salaries start between $29,000 and $39,000.

Do the math. Trying to repay an anticipated average graduation debt of $83,000 on a salary in the mid-$30,000 range is definitely not something that can be done "easily and quickly."

Michael Curry
Medicine III
Vice-President External,
UWO Hippocratic Council

Eager guy should speak for himself

Re: Man eagerly accepts smoking challenge, Nov. 16.

To the Editor:

The attitude expressed by Mr. Fortey in his letter to The Gazette is typical of juvenile liberal "if it feels good – do it" thinking. He claims people smoke because "we're all dumb and we like things that don't make sense in the long run."

Well, speak for yourself.

He is correct when he says, "Nicotine addiction does mean something to some people." Addiction is a serious illness which kills many people. My own grandfather continued to smoke after losing a quarter of his lung at age 57. Somehow, he staggered on to age 74, only to die of throat cancer. Yes, I'm sure at that point he knew it was bad but the need for the drug outweighed concern for his own life. I really shouldn't bring up my grandfather's situation because one example does not make a case. However, the damage done to people and society by smoking is so well known by all of us that it can longer be debated.

As for smoking being "cool," well once again Mr. Fortey should speak for himself. Some of us are of a mature mind to resist the so-called "pressures" of what other people think is cool and can make our own decisions.

It would be a different story if smokers' actions were confined to only affecting their own lives. Then I really wouldn't care. What I and most nonsmokers do resent, is the fact that we too have to deal with your addiction.

As a computer science student, my lab is situated in Middlesex College. Everyday I am assaulted by second-hand smoke coming from the grad club. I do not appreciate the fact that every doorway on this entire campus is littered with cigarette butts everywhere.

As a final point, I must say again that smokers affect more than just themselves. At a time when there is a great public debate about the future of our health care system, all responsible people should speak out against smoking. Too many children and other people are affected by first and second-hand smoke.

We as a society should take a strong stand to promote healthy living and condemn smoking for the true evil illness that it is. Show me a smoker who deep down really doesn't want to quit and I'll show you a person suffering from a deep addiction.

John Schermann
MSc. Computer Science

C'est la guerre, mon ami

Re: Better than engineers? Nov. 14.

To the Editor:



I enjoyed reading that letter the other day ('Better than engineers?'). It's the everlasting rivalry between faculties. Sometimes it gets feeble and pathetic, but some of the world's greatest accomplishments came from war.

I think the comment about engineers not being as good-looking as arts students is true. Not because we are necessarily genetically uglier than art people, we just don't care.

We just don't waste the time and drama of worrying about whether we look good or not! I think the people who wage wars on others' shortcomings are just acting on their own insecurities. Someone who looks at an engineer's ability to 'see through' complex problems and comprehension abilities may feel insecure by comparison and attack on the first thing they find.

Likewise, a typical engineer will watch an art student's ability to express themselves and enjoyment in social atmospheres and also feel insecure and also attack them. It's like comparing apples and oranges, we both have our own way of being. But, if you pick some way of comparing people and took the best from both categories, they would be equal.

Everyone's idea of success is different. It comes down to happiness – if you enjoy what you're doing with your life, then you're successful.

So do what you want to do, be happy and succeed in your efforts. Stop judging people by the decisions they make and think of the choices you have to make.

Neil Curry
Engineering IV

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