If quoting a film gets them kicked out of uni, it’s no wonder medics aren’t fun

A Leicester medic channelled Liam Neeson and paid a heavy price


For most of us, the threat of being kicked off our course and barred from uni altogether is vague at best, lurking near enough to ensure we finish above 40 per cent but not coming anywhere close enough to give us nightmares.

If you’re a medic though, the rules are completely different. Ravindu Thilakawardhana found this out to his cost when he was kicked off the medicine course at Leicester because he’d posted a quote from the Liam Neeson travelogue/shoot-em-up Taken on Facebook. If you’ve ever looked at a medic you know and wondered “why aren’t they more fun?”, now you have your answer.

Ravindu made the post in response to another student posting revealing pictures of his friend on Facebook. He retaliated by posting a photo of the Taken star captioned with the threat “I will look for you, I will find you. And I will kill you” adding “I don’t want to see you on a night out in Leicester, or in the UK”.

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There’s no room for joking around if you want to be a doctor

The medical department initially reprimanded the student for his behaviour, but in April 2014, he was officially kicked off his course and deemed “unfit to practice medicine”.

In deciding that Ravindu’s Facebook post showed a genuine desire to turn his back on the Hippocratic Oath and engage in some casual slaughter, the University of Leicester have only opened themselves up to ridicule. Even if you’re not a fan of Neeson’s third-act career-reinvention as a brooding action hero, you’ll have heard of the line Ravindu quoted. It’s practically a meme by now. Obviously the university staff who decided Ravindu quoting this line made him unfit to practice medicine don’t Netflix ‘n’ chill very often.

Of course there are very good reasons why, ordinarily, we can’t have doctors threatening to run around killing people (though it’s unclear how they’d find the time in between the insane shifts they have to work). It’s very hard to believe Ravindu would ever have been one of those doctors though. He’s much more likely to have grown up into a diligent, intelligent doctor whose only crime was making his friends suffer through below-par movie nights.

Now, unfortunately, we’ll never know: Ravindu is left with all the debt and inconvenience of having gone through over three years of uni without any possibility of getting the job he’s probably dreamed about for years. It’s no wonder medical students at every university are so easily mocked for being too cautious or work-focused: the risks are just too high. The only people they can realistically trust to act like a dick around are other medics: mutually assured destruction.

Imagine having every drunk photo, Whatsapp in-joke and cinema ticket stub held up to scrutiny by a board of out-of-touch academics so they can decide if the job you’ve dreamed about having since you were younger – a job which will allow you to heal the sick, mend the broken and improve the lives of everyone around you – is really the right one for you. Nobody should have their dreams extinguished over something as small as this.