Sunday, January 27, 2008


NEW UPDATE: The petition is finally up! You can sign it here. Please do join the fight!

You can go to for more information. They have put up related blogposts, timelines of bus crashes and what are their current plans to continue the fight etc up there.

It's time we do something about this!! People shouldn't need to put their lives in the hands of strangers (aka bus drivers) just because they had to take the bus to go home. Let's hope that someone, anyone will help to enforce that change!

Don't let Nian Ning, Mohd Zailani and Poon Eng die in vain.

Put this link on forums, bulletins, emails… whatever. Just put it out there!


UPDATE: Chung Lern and Nian Ning’s families would like all families and friends of the victims, dead or alive, in the Slim River Bus Crash to come forward and join them in taking action against the bus company. Stand up to seek justice for these three innocent individuals, who were all so young and full of life.

If you have a blog, please call out to ANYONE who knows someone who survived or did not survive the crash to come forward to join the Lee family.

Make a huge difference, make a huge fuss.

For now, you may contact Lee Chung Lern at or preferably on his handphone at 012-6670368.

To know more about the real incident, please go to this link.


It's ironically funny how such a simple word consisting of 5 letters can evoke such a range of emotions in people.

Everybody knows they're going to die, but nobody believes it.

~Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie

Isn't it so true? Nobody really wholeheartedly believes it, especially the young.

We young people somehow have this notion that we are invincible, and being the optimistic people we are, it seemed as though we can live forever! The world is full of endless possibilities and no one can stop us!

Well, that sort of optimism comes crashing down when gradually, we face the harsh realities of the ugly world outside our brightly painted bubble.

Death is one of them.

grim reaper - harbringer of death

I admit, I'm still young. I'm lucky that Death hasn't really touched me that much with his dark wings. But slowly and surely, I can feel his presence creeping in.

The first death that came was when I was 12 years old. It was my grandfather. He passed away due to colorectal cancer, the night I was waiting to sit for my 2nd paper of UPSR. It was also a day before my birthday.

I don't remember much. Just the ringing of the phone while we were sitting down for dinner. The tears that fell over the plate of rice. Now I still wonder how did I managed to pull thru the rest of the exam.

The second death came last year. It was my beloved tuition teacher, Mr Chin. Who was more like a mentor to the young me. It may not sound much but his death really affected me. You can read more here. Everytime I think about it, I still feel like crying...

The last time I went back Penang during last year xmas hols, I heard of the third death. It was a close neighbour. I didn't even know his name, haven't seen him in years. I only called him "uncle". He passed away due to heart failure caused by valvular incompetency. Happened suddenly while playing badminton. That must had been a big blow to his family. *sigh*

Now? I had my taste of the fourth death. Nianz and I were college frenz. She passed away on friday due to a fatal bus accident on the way to KL. You can read more abt it here. The news came to me in the form of a blog post yesterday. I was in denial at first, even now sometimes when I think abt it, I still can't believe it.

She had so much ahead of her. Her future looked so promising. She was so young, pretty, intelligent and a doctor-to-be. Too much to be lost just like that... tragically.

We were never really close. The only clear memory I have of her (sry my memory is getting worse) was us walking to the college carpark on this hot afternoon. I commented on how tall she was and why was she still wearing heels. And that at this rate, I would never measure up (yes it's a pun)! She was laughing and smiling. I remembered her looking so lively. I guess I'll never get to see that smile again.

Somehow this death scares me more than the others. It taught me about the fragility and unpredictability of life.

what is the business of death exactly?

It's true they say, life is short, you never know when it is gonna end. Gotta appreciate it when you are still alive.

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

~Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie

Her death affected many more people around her that she could have imagined. At least, her death wasn't totally meaningless. It taught many people that time is running short and it is important to live life to the fullest.

That is what I'm gonna do from now on. And I hope you will too.

Last but not least, rest in peace, my friend. You will always be remembered.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Gombak Posting - Not What It Seems

Yesterday marks my 3rd and last day in gombak hospital.

And I gotta say this, whoever who ever said that gombak hospital is boring were wrong! We had a really great time there! Don't forget the many interesting cases we were so lucky to see there.

In case you didn't know, gombak hospital is an orang asli hospital (it's for the aborigines of the land) so everything is free for them there. And it also means that there is an enormous language barrier when we were taking history from them! o.O

Our only common language is malay. My spoken malay wasn't so hot to begin with, add in with the fact that their malay wasn't so great too. Many many questions were met with "tak tau" or just shakes of head.

And they don't keep track of time. at all.

I'm serious. Ask them how old they are, when they were admitted, how long everytime the pain lasted etc will just get incredulous looks from them. *pulls hair*

Anyway, abt the interesting cases. On the first day, my group was considered lucky to clerk this pediatric case of a 17 day old baby with an imperforate anus, hole in the heart and most of all, Down's Syndrome.

Isn't it so pitiful? A baby having so many problems. *sigh* I'm not sure even if the mother knows abt the other problems, she seemed pretty preoccupied with the imperforate anus only. She never mentioned the rest, we only got to know them thru reading the case notes.

Not so luckily, I was the first one asked to present my case in front of the entire group (imagine standing in front of 30 of your peers who are sitting down). However, that wasn't the thing that put me off. Try being asked to greet your peers "good morning" 5 or 6 times before I could even start. That definitely was enough to put me into a jittery mode about my presentation.

Okay fine I was stupid enough to start without greeting (but I really didn't think of that!) and didn't present my case according to the format we were taught. But I'd never clerk a pediatric case before... and lemme tell you know, it ain't easy. So yeah, cut me some slack.

I was asked to stop in the middle of my case presentation. Apparently, it was too bad to continue. ='( *shamed face*

Defeated, I returned to my seat, looking at the floor. I didn't want to see the pitying faces. [but I'd prefer pitying over smilling faces, thank you very much] I felt my entire self-esteem was on the floor, destroyed, stomped - out of shape.

Don't you tell me: if it were you, you would just deal with it as though nothing bad has happened. Just smile and get on with it.

You were not the one who had to be the first to go out, so that others can learn from your mistakes. You were not the one standing alone in the firing range, being "humiliated". You were not the one being forced to go back in the middle of the case presentation.

Most of all, you are not me. So we don't see things the same way anyway. so hey, let me deal with it in my own way okay. All I needed was a smile, maybe some comforting words. that's all...

I will admit here, that wasn't exactly the most pleasant thing to ever happen to anyone. period. But after some thinking back, I guess I needed that "scolding" to put me back into the frame of mind.

That when I chose this field, I knew it was not gonna be easy.

CSUs and PBLs recently has been quite smooth sailing (as in no harsh scoldings) because I have been doing my work. Preparing beforehand. Something I never did during sem 2 CSUs and got a lot of flack from that. After that, I vowed to try my best to read up before going to CSU. And the preparation paid off, nowadays don't really get much scolding for not knowing the basics.

But I guess that has made me rather quiescent lately. The fact that I'll still get a lot of harsh reprimands, like it or not, when I'm a housemen, medical officer etc somehow slipped to the back of my mind. But now I remember.

I guess, the overall of result of all this melodrama was that at least it managed to make me feel like studying for the benefit of my future patients. Fire up that spirit, girl! so guess it did more good than bad after all, huh? =)

oops I seemed to have digressed from the rest of the cases that we'd encountered. I'll just list them down here, for convenience's sake.

  • Right sided heart failure caused by pulmonary hypertension = Cor pulmonale. Presented with swollen legs.
  • A man with laryngeal TB.
  • A boy who came in for post-chemotherapy care. He had a tumour of the brain. so pitiful..
  • A man with end-stage-renal disease (ESRD).

See? Interesting cases, aren't they? I only managed to clerk the first one. The rest were clerked by my friends.

The cases that come here were quite serious to begin with. In my opinion, the orang asli are quite far behind, they are not enjoying the benefits of modernization. Many of them live in wooden or bamboo houses without water or eletrical supply! The government really should help them out more.. Education is the key here.

Okla, on the overall, I think I really learnt a lot from this hospital posting. History taking is a very essential part of diagnosing a patient! I also enjoyed myself tremendously too! Gombak posting is not boring at all! ^v^

We went to many nice places to eat! hehe... I *hearts* Ampang Yong Tau Fu!! :>

PPS: Will be having some form of hols now. My GP posting is after CNY break. But will be staying in kl for 1 more week instead of rotting at home haha..

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Of Anime And Rotations

Oh I know I know *waves hand* I have been neglecting my poor blog for the past week! Out of a laziness to blog and I just had better things to do. bleh.

Most of my free time this week was spent on finishing my addiction to this anime called NANA. yeah I'm kinda out-dated right, it was so popular eons ago... And they have even made it into a movie!

looking cool

Anyway, the anime is really very superlicious nice! It definitely pulled on my heart strings! (yalah lacrimal glands working overtime ade T_T)

So for those who haven't watched it yet, pls pls do give it a try! Can be found at the anime index at crunchyroll.

It's about a story of 2 very different girls called Nana meeting coincidentally, becoming friends and their trials and tribulations while they struggle with love, ambitions and friendship. omg so touching ya know!! I finished season 1 consisting of 47 episodes in less than a week leh! Madness for me lol.

introducing the characters

Hmm when is the anime for season 2 coming out? Anyone knows?? I know they say that they wanna wait till the manga gets well ahead only they'll animate it - to avoid fillers. (yes I've been doing some homework) But it was quite a long time ago so when is it coming out? *wails*

Okay, you must try ah, after I specifically recommend! >.<


Since I've been lazy with my blog this week, I shall just give a brief update on how uneventful the 1st week of rotations was.

Monday: Community medicine. Can't help but admit that the lectures were pretty boring. After the so much more interesting literature selctive, com med which discusses similar issues to a certain extent seemed drone and dull. Can be summarized by snore snore snore.

Tuesday: Presentation for com med. It was really a hard task for me to help beautify and add more content to our powerpoint presentation. Cause my group's topic was about code of professional conduct and the laws associated with it!! So boring, right?

I never could understand the language of laws.. isnt it kinda like beating around the bush? Guess that is to prevent loopholes, but still... *raises eyebrows* Anway, luckily I did managed to make it more interesting by adding pictures/comics and arranging it in a simple manner so... yeap! *phiew*

Wednesday: Lab sessions plus clinical case studies = ultimate stress! Couldn't remember much with this leaky brain of mine. Gotta plug up the holes soon!! lol. Seemed to have totally forgotten my endo, repro and renal leh.. as usual. -_-

Thursday: CSU. Breast examination plus endo short history taking. Breast examination (on models of coz!) was quite interesting. Learnt a lot. But the plastic models were kinda hard to palpate tho. Ppl tend to apply too much pressure to keep the fingers from slipping off haha. Endo short history taking was okay, altho some cases hard to reach the diagnosis. But not too bad for this leaky brain.

Friday: Behavourial Sciences. We got to learn on how to break bad news to a patient. Which I must say, is one of the hardest things a doctor has gotta do. Everyone got a turn in our group and I must say, it wasn't that easy.

Normal 5 stages of reactions to bad news: Denial, Anger, Sadness, Negotiation, Acceptance.

I got this old lady as my SP and boy, she was good! I could almost believe that she was a real patient! I had to tell her that due to infection of her 2 toes (she had uncontrolled diabetes), there was nothing left to do but amputate them. Naturally, they added in a lot of social scenarios to make it harder for the patient to accept - like lack of financial support, has school going children etc.

My SP was in a lot of denial at first, didn't really go thru anger stage but was pretty sad about it. Later, she negotiated on other ways to go about it. In the end, I managed to get her to half accept it and ask her to go back and think abt it then come back the next day with her husband.

talk about being descriptive!

Guess I did okay for a first timer. *sigh of relief* But then I believe we can only learn theoretically with SPs but we only really learn when it comes to breaking real bad news. Let's hope I can do a good job then!

Well, that's all folks. What an uneventful week, isn't it? Next week I'm going Gombak hospital for 3 days. Can see the natives apparently! *eyes big big*

So yeah probably will neglect my poor blog again. Unless something cool crops up that I feel I must blog about it lah hehe. Okay ciaoz for now! ^v^

medical students probably can relate to this lol

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Distant Moon (For Dummies)

Alright, time to show off what my group did for our literature presentation. yay!

Each group was randomly given a text that we'd discussed in class and were supposed to interpret then present it in any creative form. (song, video, mime, play etc) Really, anything goes.

And my group got one of the hardest poems I've ever seen in my life. The first time I read it, I couldn't make head or tail of it!

If you don't believe or want to gain some background knowledge first, pls do read the poem here. Recommended to read first so that it would be easier to understand the video!

Since the poem was so difficult, in the end, we decided to do a video to make life easier for ppl, hence the video's title. yes I finally got to put my photoshop skills to use :P And we presented our video in the form of a talk show so that it wouldn't be that boring.

Okay enough rambling - enjoy the video!

Group 6 proudly presents The Distant Moon (for dummies)

[group 6: Ee Pian as doctor, Han Chung as patient, Valene, Hui Ying and moi!]

(some parts were edited out to make it fit on youtube so it's not so smooth as the original one *sigh*)

btw I'm the one offering the cookie!

This was my first time partaking in making a video, and I must say, editing is very important and definitely a tedious job! I must say, it gets gross rewatching your own video umpteen times.

Anyway, for those who didn't realise, we wanted to show that there is an inner voice in everyone, and that doctors and patients are not excluded.

What you see on the outside might not be the total truth. Humans are made up of many layers, as you peel off each one, sometimes you will discover something totally different beneath.

So do not judge others when you do not understand the entire picture.

Okay, hope that you guys enjoyed the video! Any comments puh-lease? teehee >.<

Me and Nick had written a poem each from the doctor's and patient's perspective respectively. The poems can be viewed at my
other poetic blog. Check it out!

PPS: And won't any of you guys comment on my grp's video?? =/ pwetty please? *eyes big big*

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Children Answer The Darnest Things

Filler post but it's funny, no fear. I got this from an email and some of these children's science exam's answers are hilarious! Enjoy~

Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

Q: How can you delay milk turning sour? (brilliant, love this!)
A: Keep it in the cow.

Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature hates a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.

Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A: He says good-bye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.

Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
A: Premature death.

Q: How are the main parts of the body categorized? (e.g. abdomen)
A: The body is consisted into three parts -- the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain; the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels A, E, I, O, and U.

Q: What is the fibula?
A: A small lie.

Q: What does "varicose" mean?
A: Nearby.

Q: Give the meaning of the term "Caesarian Section."
A: The Caesarian Section is a district in Rome .

Q: What does the word "benign" mean?
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

LOL!! The children's answers are so cute and innocent!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Resolutions For The New Year

Resolutions. resolutions. resolutions!

I know most people say there's no use listing them down as they will never work out. But hey this year I'm gonna be idealistic and don't procastinate on this list (and this post is already delayed by one week btw) so in the end, even if they didn't work out totally, at least I know that I had tried. =)

So no more dilly-dallying. Here goes:

  1. Try to procastinate less. Things should be done when there's time, not at the last minute. [I think I'm becoming better at this]

  2. Study harder for sem5's system courses and of coz, eos5! Must do well and get that elusive A!! [somehow related to #1]

  3. Try to lose the weight that I put on when I entered med school - not telling you how much till I succeed! hehe. Must be due to the rich food and the sedentary lifestyle!

  4. Try to exercise more often. At least once a week. [doing great on this - went gym twice last week and swimming once! gambate! yes it's related to #3 too]

  5. Try to adopt healthier eating habits. More veggies, fruits and less carbs, meat. Less frequency of supper as I always go straightaway to sleep after supper. [slightly related to #3 but I do check what I eat normally]

  6. Try to be more forgiving and not mind petty things. Frustration over stupid small things never did any good, did it?

  7. Must try not to make harsh (but sometimes truthful woh) remarks that I'll regret later. Be kinder!

  8. Spend more time on the important things in life - my loved ones. (this lesson rings true after doing my literature selective)

  9. Last but not least, make this year a happy year. It might be ordinary, but it will be a year full of happiness. =)

this list might be updated as I see fit in the near future.

Okay, let's usher in the new year with some resolutions related humour. The pic below show what sort of resolutions a pet might make, lol.

the cat is so smart while the dog is quite primitive haha!

Alright, let's end this post by wishing everyone a happy new year! ^v^

Friday, January 04, 2008

Caring Comes From Within

I know that my resolutions post is supposed to be up first (oops still procastinating on it!) but I wanted to write this down when the emotions are still going strong so this post will really ring true.

Well, I just got back from my 3rd week of literature selective where we had this forum with some invited speakers. The text that we discussed was "Tuesdays with Morrie". I'm sure some of you avid readers out there had heard of this famous book. But I'm not here to talk about how great the book is. I'm here to talk about what I'd learnt so far from this literature selective.

I know and saw what most people's reactions abt doing literature as a selective were.

"Har? What has got that to do with medicine? Very time wasting hor?"

Admittedly, literature was not my first choice when I numbered my choices on that piece of paper. But since I was randomly selected to be in this selective, I just tot I'll see how it goes and what I can learn from it.

And learnt a lot I did. Never once did I regretted taking up literature as my selective choice. [well it was my second choice]

I learnt how varied people's opinions on the same matter can be. And how we should try to reach a compromise if possible.

I learn how to speak in front of an audience. This selective has been rather helpful in easing my anxiety when speaking in front of a crowd. I feel more confident speaking in front of others now.

I learnt how doctors should really act when dealing with death of patients. (of coz, easier said than done!)

I learnt about doctors' emotional detachment when dealing with bad news of any sort. And how a balance between being humane and still protecting oneself from feeling too much should be reached.

After doing this selective, suddenly the huge responsibility of being a doctor really slaps me in the face. I might not have any experience in any of the hardships of a doctor just yet, but just anticipating such events in the future really scares me.

I'm afraid that my will might break. My resolve to not be emotionally involved might not be strong enough. Can I really make decisions in the best interest of the patient and not let my personal beliefs intervene? Can I be the sort of doctor that society looks up to?

Those questions cannot be answered now but I'm sure the answers will come to me in the future.

Before this, the question that people always love to ask medical students is: "why do you want to be a doctor?" didn't have a constructive answer from me.

I would just say "it just happened".

I still do not have a concrete answer but at least now, I'm sure I'm doing something that I know I want to do. I'm heading in the right direction. To where I cannot say, but it just feels right.

Cliche as it may be but maybe it is my calling?

For now, all I can do is amass as much knowledge as possible (and that includes non-medical knowledge too!), learn about life and people so that I would be able to face any hardships or obstacles that might come my way with my best effort to do good.

Socrates defined what are the goals of medical care which I think is rather appropriate till today. Doctors are supposed to:

Provide cure sometimes. Relieve often. Comfort always.

Food for thought, ain't it?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Looking Back On 2007

A New Year signifies a new beginning. Right?

Well, some things can't exactly be wiped off just like that but hey, if there's any time to start anew with a fresh optimistic attitude - why not now?

Since I was too lazy to write down a list of resolutions for 2007, I have none to refer too. Well at least that means I've 100% fulfilled my resolutions of nil. lol.

Anyway, 2007 was a year of changes for me.

(click on the links if you wanna know more)

In the first half of 2007, the effect of the first and second failure in med school was still haunting me. I was depressed and pessimistic. I went all soggy like a cardboard box that has been left out in the rain.

And till now I can't believe that I let such a little thing get me down and affect my entire outlook on life. Looking back, I feel like laughing at how stupid I was. One little failure doesn't mean anything! As long as you pull yourself back together, tackle the problem effectively, it goes away by itself.

What good is mopping around about it? It doesn't help at all.

Remember? Everything that goes up must go down again. We can't always be at the peak of success. It rolls down again someday. But no fear, if you work hard, you can slowly make your way back.

Anyhow, I got my wake up call around april in the form of an abrupt relatively harsh reprimand from a well-meaning fren. (and thank god for that! I dunno how long I wanted to be under that perpetual dark cloud)

Naturally I was upset at first and wrestling with inner demons is never an easy task but luckily I was able to see the sensibility of her arguements and finally, the sun dawned on my horizon and I came to my senses.

So all is good now. =)

In the later part of 2007, I learnt the happiness of working hard a tad more consistently and the happiness that comes when you get the results you justly deserved.

In 2007, I sat for my second very stressful major exam (aka EOS3) in med school and passed! So glad and thankful was I that day - that I finally understood the phrase "she shed tears of joy".

In 2007, I made a bunch of really good frenz in uni. They were there thru my ups and downs. They made me laugh. They comforted me when I was sad. I finally felt that I belonged.

In the early part of 2007, I finally got together with the bf. I learnt to compromise and forgive. It has been a happy blissful year, but try not to forget the unhappy tearful parts as those are the parts that make one look at oneself in a whole new light and make one a stronger person too.

In 2007, I was also exposed to the ugliness of human nature. I don't want to say more abt that but just wanna put it down as one of the turning points last year. (hmm feels weird to say last year huh?)

I guess thru all the ups and downs that I experienced last year (describing life as a roller coaster cudn't be more apt) I'd managed to survive it all, and maybe became a little bit stronger.

I think I shall put this looking-back post as a separate post. It's quite emo-ish already hehe. The celebratory and resolutions aspect shall be dealt with in another post alrighty.

Before I end the first post of the year, let me wish all my readers a Happy New Year and Welcome 2008!

I hope it will be another great year full of changes! ^v^