Apartheid Burmese or Myanmar Medical Professors

Myanmar Medical field, under-graduate and post-graduate arena must not meant to be_

  • a cage for zoo animals to look at each other with contempt and disdain
  • nor it is a boxing ring for David and Goliath to spar without any rules,
  • or a place of vengeance or Apartheid to suppress the Kalas or Muslims
  • and polish the balls of people in power or cronies
  • or for corrupted wolves disguised in sheep skin.

I had personally experienced or suffered a lot from many of those bigot Professors during my undergraduate training, especially in the almost all the final exams and few later, as a doctor just because I am a Muslim and had no cables nor connections.

Medical arenas in every country should in fact be a thrashing ground for the nation’s best medical harvest where the grain is separated from the chaff, for it has been said that the weeds and wheat shall grow alongside until the harvest and the chips fall one way or the other.

Not only should the relevant authorities, Director General of Medical Education, Rectors, Head of Departments, Professors, Consultants and Lecturers should be ashamed of themselves but every one else in the Government who is in a state of denial that_

  • not only the standard of the medical training programme was compromised
  • but its reputation would be tarnished

                                           if they continue to practice Nepotism, Cronyism, Corruption and Racial and Religious Discrimination or Apartheid.

I need to record that_

  1. Rector Professor U Tun Thin,
  2. Physician Professor Daw Myint Myint Aye ,
  3. Anatomist Prof U Khin Maung Sein,
  4. Surgeon Prof U Khin Maung Gyi

were the best of my teachers/lecturers/bosses I had met.

  1. Dr U Kyaw Myint (now working as the Health Minister),
  2. Dr Maung Maung Wint (later married to the President San Yu’s daughter) and
  3. Daw Ma Ma Gyi were also some of my favourite lecturers.

During our time almost 100% of the Housemen/House Surgeon and MOs or Assistant Surgeons had lost interest in further studies and were seen reading the cartoons, love stories or other fictions and translated books only but not the Medical Books even in the wards. At last I had also give up and used to read “Speak Malay” books even on ward rounds to learn Malay language 

I was disgusted when the DGME (U Tin Oo) who was a Paediatrician told that they could not allow a Muslim Kala a place even for a local post-graduate training.

Dr Daw Myint Myint Khin, Surgeon Dr Bo Ni, Rector Anatomist U Ba Than (father-in-law of General Ne Win),  Paediatric DGME U Tin Oo, Physician R. Ba Pe, Anatomist Dr Pe Thaung etc were notorious for their BIGOT APARTHEID ANTI-MUSLIM or hatred of Kalas.

In Anatomy, I had done very well, top of our class in Class Work or Item-exams which were held every two weeks as viva, I got Grade 5 (A) in all except two times where I got Grade 4. In all the Completion tests held after each part teaching e.g. Upper/lower limbs, Head & Neck, CNS, Thorax, abdomen and for the Histology, Embryology, General Anatomy etc I got the best marks in our class. In the Final exam, I got Grade 5 in Paper 1 &2. And also got good marks in practical examinations. But in viva, Dr Prof. M.M. Nyo failed me. Later the news leaked out about his unfair markings_ he stayed in his friend Anatomy Demonstrator Dr Pe Thaung’s house.  He was said to have asked his friend Dr Pe Thaung whether to give Grade 5. Dr Pe Thaung advised him with a remark, “Don’t give that Kala distinction.” So he thought I was bad student and failed me. At the moderation, the board reinstated me with Grade 5 without giving distinction.

I got the sweetest revenge when his son assaulted the teacher and expelled from the school and was banned from enlisting in all the schools in Mandalay.

They came to see me and requested with an almost crying face to plead with my mother-in-law, famous Head Mistress.  We all did not know about them as that case was happened in another school in the other township. I told my mother-in-law about the whole story and appealed on their behalf to accept in her school.

At first, my mother-in-law was angry when she heard about them. However, I persuaded her that if she refused, it is finished in one time. It may be a sweetest revenge if we do good on them and help them without even mentioning back their bad deeds. I am so happy with that revenge that would make them feel guilty till their death. She even needed to plead with the township and division education authorities because Pe Thaung’s son was notorious. She had to take personally the responsibility and guarantee. She kept the boy in the hand of strict teacher’s classes and took care of him till he passed all the exams in High school.

Actually my favourite Professor / Physician / Rector / Politician / MP / Chinese mixed blooded Burmese, U Tun Thin keep on telling me since I was in his ward as a Houseman doctor, to go abroad as there was no future in Burma for me and he was sure that I could pass the MRCP Part 1 exam with the first attempt.

When I argue that I have not enough practical experience, he told me that not only he knew me as a bright student but also he had seen how I had answered very well at the final MBBS exam including the very tough questions of the notorious Colonel Professor Tin Ohn at the viva interview.

I still remember my answer when that Colonel was surprised because I could answer all his questions, changing the topics every time when he knew that I know the subject. He even query me which monographs I read to be able to answer his questions, my answers shocked him, “Davidson” the prescribed textbook. When he could not believe, I told him that I had read the latest edition of this book from preface to the last page, including small prints and sub-notes below up to ten times as the revision. I even suggested him to read that prescribed textbook as that was the best medical book I had read and the answers to all his questions.

And for the record, my initial aim was a Physician, as I always look up to our smart and clever Professor Daw M M Khin but later sadly found out that she was an anti-Muslim and was personally jealous of most of the bright Medical Students. I decided not to try for the training as a Physician because of the hatred and fear of her anti-Muslim stunt.

I even ignored her and tried to pretend as if I had never seen her when I met her in KL at the Myanmar First Secretary’s condominium during their Christmas party. Later when I got the news that she was asking about me and was puzzled why I could not recognized her, I went to see her and since then, my wife and I try to help her out with all we can.

At the first visit, on the way to her house,  we understood why she treated most of the Medical Students and Doctors with animosity, anger and jealousy without giving good lectures to distribute her precious knowledge. But she was good, polite and talk nicely to selective students who were relatives of other Professors, MI Chief General Tin Oo (people called 1 and a half as he was more powerful than No 2 in Ne Win’s cabinet) and Chinese mixed blooded people.

She was the one who refused to give distinction to me in Physiology also. Physiology exams were tough with objective questions with multiple responses. If without knowing just ticked, if right got one mark, if refused to answer or no response, zero but wrong answer would give minus one mark. So out of about 100 students in our class, about FIVE STUDENTS only would get more than 60 marks, which is Grade 3 or pass mark. Those five persons are also not permanent. Always rotating amongst about 15-20 top students. Any way there are usually about 10 students who get more than 50 marks. I always stood first with marks ranging between 70-90%. My average marks in the two years of Physiology exams was 79.9 and I was the only one who got more than 60 average pass marks in the class for that period. My final exam marks in written and practical was also very good and I was the only person called for the distinction. But I start to realize the anti-Muslim attitude of the medical authorities since then.

Even in the Luyechun Interview, she asked me which 1st. MBBS subject was the most important subject in Medical Field. When I answered, “Chemistry”, she scolded me and told that Physics was the most important subject. My one word knocked her out, “all the Medicines are related to Chemistry and if do not know Chemistry, how can a Med Student able to understand Biochemistry and Physiology.” She was not satisfied but I won the heart of the Head of examination board who was our Chemistry Professor. Now I am sure that I was right and Daw Myint Myint Khin was TOTALLY WRONG. In most of the Medical Universities around the world, entrance requirement is based on A level. In Chemistry, a student should at least get B to be accepted. For other subjects, including PHYSICS, even C is good enough if you could pay or fulfill other requirements.

In the Medicine final, I had done well in theory written papers. I got the Rheumatic Heart disease with pregnancy. I had already prepared that particular condition in advance for the O&G. Even Dr Daw MM Gyi MSc later got MRCP and became Cardiologist who was working/assisting was so impressed that she went and tell others that I, KKG got the distinction. She was later called and scolded by Head of Department Daw MM Khin. In the short case I got the paraplegic patient. I had read well and prepared thoroughly. My favourite lecturer Daw Myint Myint Aye was the best teacher I had met. She not only taught very thoroughly in theories but practically also. No one could find fault if we follow her clinical methods. And newly minted fresh MRCPs, Dr Kyaw Myint (now the Health Minister), Dr Maung Maung Wint (President’s son-in-law) and newly graduated MScs Daw Ma Ma Gyi and Daw Than Yin Mar had polished us with latest knowledge, facts and methods. So R. Ba Pe could not find fault at my clinical methods and could not question me that I could not answer. When D MMGyi told him I was the distinction candidate he just changed the patient. Then I know that he cannot fail me and is not willing to give me Grade 5.

I do not want to go away from Mandalay, so I chose the surgical carrier. I will write about these in other chapters.

At last, I could not stand the discrimination anymore to remain twisting and turning in a Burma’s small goldfish jar anyway. I thought and hope that there is an ocean out of Burma, bigger than Myanmar’s coconut shell dome or the dried footprint of a bullock.

I decided to resign from the place where the moon continues to shine in the hollow of the bamboo only.

A frog will jump out of the hot water but will remain till its doom if its heat is gradually turned on.

I decided to jump out of the cooking pot and took the risk of falling into the fire. Actually, I had suffered from the fire of Baptism and is now happy that at least I could safe my children and their descendants from the hell-fire of endless Racial Discriminations back home. Although I realized and accepted that there is discriminations everywhere, which we could not avoid totally but now there is more space to manoeuvre our struggle for their unlimited progress. At least I had successfully taken down the glass ceiling above their heads which will limit their progress.

Tags: , , , , ,

13 Responses to “Apartheid Burmese or Myanmar Medical Professors”

  1. Atta Kyaw Says:

    It is very touching, Saya. I feel that it was far more serious than apartheid–these people were guilty of acts of great atrocity. Though I am not a Muslim, I fully agree with your statements as I have many Muslim friends who have suffered the similar blatant discrimination.

    If you may allow me, sir, I would like to ask you to kindly re-write or translate this whole thing in/into Burmese so that the current generation, whose level of English is disappointingly low, will be able to grasp the long-standing atrocious and discriminatory practices prevailing in our society.

  2. drkokogyi Says:

    TQ very much saya Atta Kyaw. I will try but sometimes feels to just forget, forgive and live in peace.
    Afterall, anyway I need to thank my teachers.
    You see, deep inside my heart, I love, respect and thank my teachers. I just wrote at the time with emotions.
    Because of discriminations only I manage to come out, I still miss all my friends most of them are Buddhists. And still love our country (Myanmar)
    TQ very much for the understanding

  3. Dr. Than Tun Sein Says:

    I never realized that our Myanmar Sayars were such bigots. Some of them you mentioned were my Sayars and I worshipped them. Now I am having doubts. There were a lot of Muslim Doctors serving the country well. Religion should not be an obstacle especially in the noble profession of medicine

    • drkokogyi Says:

      TQ very much for understanding. I am writing these for the younger generation. For me, after 36 yrs’ practicing in Medical field I am at the retiring age of 60++ yrs.

  4. phyo mg mg win Says:

    Thanks for to read this article Sayar Ko Ko Gyi

    • drkokogyi Says:

      My pleasure, friend. I am the eldest brother of Cardiac Surgeon Dr KMH, who was my student when I was a demonstrator in Anatomy and Surgery.

  5. Rebuttal to the Racist Bama Buddhist attacking my fellow Muslim doctor cum Human Rights Activist | Dr. Abdul Rahman Zafrudin @ Ko Ko Gyi Says:

    […] Apartheid Burmese or Myanmar Medical Professors […]

  6. Myanmar Must Nurture Its People as Assets, Not Treat Them as ‘Threats’ | Dr. Abdul Rahman Zafrudin @ Ko Ko Gyi Says:

    […] Apartheid Burmese or Myanmar Medical Professors […]

  7. Dr Ko Ko Gyi Says:

    Same thing happened even for Masters in Surgery Final exam…
    Privileged candidates even got DISTINCTION if could not answer the simple question e.g. Phimosis.

    Another privileged candidate passed the MSc examination although he could not demonstrate how to check the ascites i.e. SHIFTING DULLNESS.

    I still remember the Professor and Head of Department shouting at me when I rightly answered her question during her ward rounds.

    I was only a 3rd. MBBS student when she her question was asked to Part 2 block students, Part 2, Part 1 students. After all the students she asked our class with the mocking face and words. She shouted to me although my answer was right BUT she said that I fail to answer in proper sequence. She even shameless wished to demoralize me with the remarks that I WOULD FAIL IN THE EXAMINATIONS because I had even read the FOOTNOTES the book and answered.

    But when the son of the another Professor given the wrong answer in the round. she shamelessly touch his back, given the correct answer and told him to answer properly and proclaimed him as a distinction candidate.

    Kyaw San

    က်ဳပ္တို႔လူမ်ိဳးက နည္းပညာထက္ ေငြကိုပဲမက္တယ္။

    ႏိုင္ငံတကာက နည္းပညာအကူညီေပးမယ္ဆိုတာမ်ိဳးကိုသိပ္ၿပီး

    နည္းပညာဆိုတာႀကီးကို ဘာမွန္းလည္းတကယ္မသိဘူး။
    ဥပမာ-ေတာင္သူတစ္ေယာက္က စိုက္နည္း၊ပ်ိဳးနည္း၊သိုေလွာင္
    နည္းေတြထက္ စိုက္စရိတ္ေခ်းေငြမ်ိဳးစုံပဲသိခ်င္၊ရခ်င္တယ္။

    ဆိုသူေတြကလည္း ဘယ္ေခတ္ကာလကမွဒီလိုအရာေတြအေပၚ

    ပိုဆိုးတာကစီမံမႈအလြဲေတြကို မျပင္ၾကေသးတာပဲ။
    အေမရိကန္မွာဆရာလုပ္ခ်င္ရင္ PRAXIS စာေမးပြဲေျဖ။လိုင္စင္
    ယူလို႔ရတယ္။က်ဳပ္တို႔ green card က ဒိထက္ခက္တယ္။
    ႏိုင္ငံတကာတကၠသိုလ္တက္ခ်င္ရင္ IGCSE, SAT စာေမးပြဲ

    က်ဳပ္တို႔တကၠသိုလ္ဝင္တန္းက ေျဖခ်င္တိုင္း
    ဆရာဝန္လိုင္စင္(ဆ.မ)ယူမဲ့လူေမးတဲ့ေမးခြန္းက ပါရဂူဘြဲ႕ရၿပီး
    ေမး။။ဒို႔ၿမိဳ႕မွာ အႀကီးဆုံးဘယ္သူလဲကြ။
    ေမး။။ ႏွမ္းတစ္တင္းဆီဘယ္ေလာက္ထြက္လဲ။
    ေျဖ။။ဒါကေတာ့ ေအာင္ရင္ေအာင္သလိုထြက္တာေပါ့။

    ညေစာင့္ကို က်န္းမာေရးေကာင္းလား၊ကိုယ္ခံပညာတတ္သလား။

    မတိုင္ခင္က ေတြ႕ႏွင့္ခဲ့ၾကၿပီးလို႔ပါ။ဒီလိုနဲ႔မြဲ႕ခဲ့ၾကရတာေပါ့…

    • Dr Ko Ko Gyi Says:

      ကျုပ်တို့လူမျိုးက နည်းပညာထက် ငွေကိုပဲမက်တယ်။

      နိုင်ငံတကာက နည်းပညာအကူညီပေးမယ်ဆိုတာမျိုးကိုသိပ်ပြီး

      နည်းပညာဆိုတာကြီးကို ဘာမှန်းလည်းတကယ်မသိဘူး။
      ဥပမာ-တောင်သူတစ်ယောက်က စိုက်နည်း၊ပျိုးနည်း၊သိုလှောင်
      နည်းတွေထက် စိုက်စရိတ်ချေးငွေမျိုးစုံပဲသိချင်၊ရချင်တယ်။

      ဆိုသူတွေကလည်း ဘယ်ခေတ်ကာလကမှဒီလိုအရာတွေအပေါ်

      ပိုဆိုးတာကစီမံမှုအလွဲတွေကို မပြင်ကြသေးတာပဲ။
      အမေရိကန်မှာဆရာလုပ်ချင်ရင် PRAXIS စာမေးပွဲဖြေ။လိုင်စင်
      ယူလို့ရတယ်။ကျုပ်တို့ green card က ဒိထက်ခက်တယ်။
      နိုင်ငံတကာတက္ကသိုလ်တက်ချင်ရင် IGCSE, SAT စာမေးပွဲ

      ကျုပ်တို့တက္ကသိုလ်ဝင်တန်းက ဖြေချင်တိုင်း
      ဆရာဝန်လိုင်စင်(ဆ.မ)ယူမဲ့လူမေးတဲ့မေးခွန်းက ပါရဂူဘွဲ့ရပြီး
      မေး။။ဒို့မြို့မှာ အကြီးဆုံးဘယ်သူလဲကွ။
      မေး။။ နှမ်းတစ်တင်းဆီဘယ်လောက်ထွက်လဲ။
      ဖြေ။။ဒါကတော့ အောင်ရင်အောင်သလိုထွက်တာပေါ့။

      ညစောင့်ကို ကျန်းမာရေးကောင်းလား၊ကိုယ်ခံပညာတတ်သလား။

      မတိုင်ခင်က တွေ့နှင့်ခဲ့ကြပြီးလို့ပါ။ဒီလိုနဲ့မွဲ့ခဲ့ကြရတာပေါ့…

  8. Dr Ko Ko Gyi Says:

    Sayar U Han Saw was kind enough to persuade my to follow the ward rounds of Bo Ni who was the Surgical Professor and Head of the Department. As he was the examiner who rejected and failed me in my first and fourth attempts in Surgical Masters election examinations and favoured the cronies I hate him. The last straw was when he refused to write the supporting testimony for my application to a Malaysian University. I decided to continue to do my duty as a Demonstrator by teaching the Medical Students and and to perform my emergency on-call duties esp. on admission days. I just sit in the AS room, purposely opened the door so that all the doctors and staff could see me. Just read the “Speak Malay” book. Sayar U Han Saw requested me to just follow the rounds from the back and do what I like. Yes, I listened his advice, followed Bo Ni’s rounds but continue to read Malay speaking book, while standing at the back of Doctors and Students.

  9. Dr Ko Ko Gyi Says:

    My usual breakfast is alone as my family used to go out for work earlier. But today morning, my wife and youngest son had a rare family breakfast together.
    I got a shocking news from my wife while I was talking about my exam experience with the racist hostile Professors.
    My wife suddenly revealed a secret about late Physician Professor Dr Daw Myint Myint Khin’s advice to her old friend late former Registrar of MASU, U Thein, brother of U Than, my father-in-law. She advice him to think again before accepting me (Dr Ko Ko Gyi) as he even used to embarrass the teachers (lecturers) with difficult and tricky questions. This was a greatest LIE I ever heard as, for a Medical Student like me, I was always scared of ALL my teachers, lecturers, professors and especially her. Used to stand or sit hiding behind others as I was scared to be questioned.
    Why she lied shamelessly and blatantly?
    May be not only because of my race and religion. I remembered the words of my schoolmate, classmate, colleague and fellow Luyechun Outstanding Student. ” Daw Myint Myint Khin was jealous about our group who got selected as Luyechuns and entered Medical Course but her son MZ failed to achieve all these.”

  10. Dr Ko Ko Gyi Says:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: