I was back in the Temple City for some work at the College. Madurai... A city built around a temple, with each concentric square having a North, East, South and West @#$%& Road. The place hardly befits the suffix city, it would be better off referred to as a town though it continues to be called a city because the nearest 'real cities' are a few hundred kilometers away!!
I had gone to Madurai to work on a minor research project for an upcoming conference, which explains my absence on Blogger. I met my Medicine Professor( A gem of a man, who never ceases to amaze all around him), fine tuned my idea and prepared the basics of the study. All was going well with my study on 'Birth Weight of Infants born to HIV+ mothers', the control was done, the necessary clearance obtained from the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Professor...
My free run hit a Road Block when I had to meet an Assistant Professor of the O&G Department (lets say Dr.C) who was in charge of child births to HIV+ mothers. She was unaware of the conference so after getting all the details from me, she asked me to return the next day with a different pro forma. The next day after the data was collected she took all the proformas and registers home for reasons she didn't bother to explain. On Saturday afternoon last week, with just a week to go for the deadline for abstract submission she informed me that the O&G Professor had decided to present a paper on the same topic and so I had to quit!!! When I told her that it was the O&G Professor had earlier permitted me to start the work, she rudely told me it was 'none of my business'
Shocked and dejected I informed me my Medicine Professor about the new development, declension rather. He assured me that he would try to reclaim my work for me after the weekend. On Tuesday when we were able to meet the O&G Professor, we learnt that she was totally unaware of the paper and Saturday's events. Confused we approached Dr.C, the woman who was probably twice my age couldn't even face me. She yielded to the Medicine Professor questioning that she had decided to present a paper on that topic!!! Repeated requests by the Medicine Professor to let me at least be a second author (for my work) fell on deaf ears.
'Kaput' went my hopes, but my anger flared up at my own helplessness. She was going to present a paper at a conference that I had told her about and on a study I had worked on for several days... and nights... I cursed myself for my naivety for trusting her with the data, But has the human race degenerated to a state where we can't trust our own teachers?
With a steely resolve not to be bogged down by the actions of a selfish woman I completed another work before the deadline. On the bright side, my Medicine Professor helped me spawn off two more papers from the data I still had and most importantly I learnt a valuable lesson on TRUST!
When I emptied my cup of woes to a few of my friends, I learnt of a few instances where teachers have misused the work of students and have claimed the work of others as their own. I don't know if this is a situation only in my college or the medical fraternity alone but Beware!
Some people learn from the mistakes of others, Others try to learn things the hard way through personal experience enduring much hardship and pain along the way. I learnt it the hard way... hope you don't too...