Monday, April 15, 2013

An Alternate Life Dreamt

There is this sense of deja vu where I imagine a whole life completely different from what I have now if I was living in a place where it was what my country could have been.

The asian colleagues I met here made me feel like we perhaps could have much easily been friends working together. It was a familiarity and comraderie that I seemed to miss. Perhaps, it was a place that will allow me to be myself, instead of multiple versions of myself.

But I should be glad of what I have now, coz at least I'm happy where I am and the future looks bright.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Hi my beautiful people (well at least those who are still reading)!

Well who can blame you? My last post was around 4 months ago! Gosh how fast life pasts when you have a full time job with proper responsibility (yes patients do get into serious consequences if you forget something important!) and a desperate need for proper R&R when you are finally off from work!

Anyway, here's an update. I'm no more an intern, I am actually a proper resident now! ^v^

The last year has been a really interesting yet challenging year. It has been an exponential curve in terms of learning and clinical experience (although it seems everyday I still learn something new and the amount of things I don't know thrills/frightens me sometimes!)

But yeah, it has been good to observe and self reflect on my growth as a doctor in the past year. If I compare myself to the start of last year - I have definitely grown in leaps and bounds. And will continue to grow with each day.

I will be glad of the advice someone gave me when I just started work. It is very easy as a junior doctor to sometimes forget to think on your own and just follow bosses' orders and do paperwork. But he told me: Although we still have to do scut work, we can always think on our own what is our differential diagnosis, management plan and how it compares to the seniors'. And that is how you learn. And let me tell you, even though it's called scut work, let me tell you, my dear patients, be nice to the junior doctors (well the good ones anyway) coz they are the ones who actually know the small details and actually organizes most things for you..

Anyway, rambles aside, I still haven't really decided what I would like to specialize in. I seemed torn between ED and a medical speciality like respiratory. Problem is I like most things!

Oh well. I definitely will take this year to continue to learn and grow. I'm glad I managed to swap my 2 terms this year and overall it looks like a fulfilling challenging year.

Till the next post - god knows when! - please take care, everyone and live life! :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

One of my pet peeves? Distant acquaintances who only talk to you when they need you for a favour. I mean, how obvious can you get?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Not Anymore

A few weeks ago, someone asked me how I felt about my job - I told them there are good times, there are bad times - but on the overall, I love my job.

Today was one of those bad times. Healthcare workers here get verbally abused a lot, and the worse thing is, we shouldn't stand for it. But the really worst part? We do.

From talking with my colleagues, there seems to be a lack of respect for doctors nowadays. Actually, scratch that, I don't even feel like I need to be respected for my job, but can you please treat me like how you would treat a normal fellow human being? All these sort of verbal abuse wouldn't be tolerated anywhere else, I'm sad that it's rampant in healthcare settings. Not only from patients but also from fellow healthcare staff too...

The change in me from being a newly minted doctor to more than halfway through my internship is what I would definitely call life changing. There seems to be a general consensus from my peers is that internship hardens you - it makes you more experienced of course, but it also makes you tougher. It's sad but you do become more cynical compared to that shiny bright eyed you that just graduated and is eager to please. You start not taking any more shit from people, coz why should you?

I think I'd finally reached a point where I don't care anymore - if you start verbally abusing me, I'm not gonna take your shit anymore - I will tell you (still politely) that that is unacceptable behaviour and walk away if necessary. This is just my job, I'm not your slave. I'm going to stand up for myself. I tell you, this job can make the nicest person become the most stony hearted b*tch. True story, many people have told me so. And you know what else? Swearing a lot more.

I need to remind myself why I chose medicine - for the patients who care about us and are grateful for the care they receive. I wish we have more patients like that. Patients who cared as much about us as we care for them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Love My Job

Four whole months of spontaneous hiatus. Did you miss me?

I won't make excuses; I have just been either busy working or busy living life. Time sure flies, especially when you are working, can't believe I'm now almost halfway into my internship year. It's been great so far - sure, there are ups and downs in every job, but the ups far outweighs the downs I believe. I love my job, I love my patients (well there are some I could do without, to be honest!).

The Ups: I see and learn lots of different things everyday. I am exhilarated when I think I have solved the mystery of a pt's illness! I meet lots of different and interesting people everyday (patients and colleagues). It's fun when I see how far I have come in just 6 months, I am able to better summarize and refer patients in most situations, getting to the point is important. I am able to make (small) decisions by myself, occasionally creeping towards the bigger ones (but don't worry I will check with the boss after!). It's a great feeling, getting this confidence, to be more comfortable in these doctor shoes that I am wearing.

The Downs: Ahh.. these are the aspects you will never realise till you start working. There can be a lot of stressful, frustrating, nail-biting situations where everyone demands a piece of you - at this very moment. Sometimes, it seems as no one cares whether you are capable of ninjitsu and cloning yourself into five people to finish their jobs at the same time. Sometimes people don't seem to understand, we need to prioritize, it's not we don't want to see your pt now, it's just that there are sicker pts to sort out first, especially if we are already aware that yes, there is a list of non-urgent jobs left for me to do and yes, I did say I will get to them later, so can you please stop calling me about them since you only just called me 15 mins ago?

Enough of ranting, despite all that, yes I still love my job. The money doesn't hurt either. :P

Monday, February 13, 2012

Just Human

One month into being a doctor, all I can say is - it's not easy.

I suppose the fact that I'm only writing about this now shows how busy I am. One month had just passed in a flash and now the reality that I'm a doctor had sunk in. There are a lot of things that makes being a doctor far different from being a medical student. 

You are expected to answer your pager (which you feel like smashing into a million pieces after the cool first time it rings), you are expected to know every detail of your patient's life (from the fact whether they opened their bowels yesterday or do they have 2 dogs and one of them is a poodle), you are expected to know the dosage/brand name of every drug on earth, you are expected to write notes while balancing the obs/med/fluid balance chart while keeping the patient propped up while the consultant has a quick listen to their chest, you are expected to keep an eye on your patients' bloods and have them ready at hand if the consultant wants to know every minuscule detail, you can't avoid that mean patient that verbally abuses you, you are expected to handle all the nurses' questions, you are expected to do all the ward work plus discharge summaries and the best part is: you are expected to perform all of this efficiently on an empty stomach, a full bladder and a mind that is going crazy inside.

That probably sums up my life in a neat little paragraph now. I love my job, I really do, I'm not complaining.

But sometimes things get hard - I love my patients, I do my best, but sometimes it's hard when you get patients who scold you even though you mean your best. I try not to take it personally, but sometimes it's hard.

So sometimes when you wonder why the doctor hasn't come to see you yet, or had forgotten a little thing - please be patient with them - we do our best but we are still just human.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In Comparison

Although there might be a lot of things that seemed frustrating and even annoying sometimes, I remind myself these are the things that are necessary to make the good things seem even better.

How will we appreciate the ups without the downs?

And the best way to approach these things is by thinking reflectively, in the big scheme of things, these worries will look minuscule in comparison. I know I'm a worrier by nature, but I would like to strive to become better as I grow old up.

I always tell myself: what's the meaning of life if you can't stop to smell the roses along the way and enjoy life in all its beauty?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sense (& Sensibility)

I have been giving this topic some thought as I had the pleasure of indulging myself in quiet observation of how people went about their daily matters.

It still amazes how different people are and can be even when faced with the same situation. The interaction or clash of personalities is interesting. I hope not to be thought of arrogant but somehow as I grow up, there are things that were not evident to me before that become crystal clear now.

I'm amazed at how people that I used to think sensible can now be biased in their comments, before being set straight by another. People who I thought were superficial, immature and even vulgar as growing up, unfortunately have regressed even further. I am upset that not only the latter has not progressed, the former has even regressed.

Why are some people so unjust, so unfair and so prejudiced? Is this all the product of genetics, environment or both? I believe it to be a combination of factors (as everything always is) but I pity the people who are shallow in character because they were brought up in an environment that encouraged criticism and verbal cruelty towards another human being. Just because that human being is dependent on you for work, that does not mean you can take away even their pride as a fellow human being. Would you like to be treated that way if your very circumstances were reversed?

Confucius once said: "Do not what onto others what you would not want others to do to you." It sounds like a simple statement but it is harder than ever. Whenever you are tempted to do something that disadvantages others, think again - would you like that to happen to you in their shoes? If you believe in karma and reincarnation, then do fear the repercussions of your actions, those shoes might be reversed in another life; however, as a human, even without those beliefs, you should always try to do right by yourself and others.

Of course, I'm only human and I know I have faults too. But at least I reflect on my faults and try to be better the next time. These people - they are sunk in their ignorance and continue on without any regard for others - without any change forward. 

It is sad but it appears that common sense is not common at all.