Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Want To Remember

Am currently nearing the end of my elective, with only another 2 days to go. I have been 'fortunate' to see a lot of interesting signs here - it is especially exciting when it matches what you have been reading in books - almost like meeting an old friend you once knew.

But I keep reminding myself, all these signs (usually) come at an expense to patients. I think it's important as healthcare workers to at least once in a while slip into your patients' shoes, reminding oneself that what might be routine and mundane to you is actually scary and a wholly new experience to your patient. 

When you start thinking of your patient as a real person instead of a disease waiting to be treated, then perhaps, you would be a little kinder at that difficult patient who seemed hell bent on making your life a living hell. Stop back and think, why is the patient acting this way? Is there some misunderstanding? Is there something bothering the patient? Or is there something you can help the patient with? Perhaps you might find your answer lies within those questions.

In med school, we are often taught to be 'professional', so as to provide the best (unemotional) care for our patients. It is a very real thing to get burnout from all the painful horrible things you see happening to people by being overly empathetic. But medicine is not only a science, it's also an art. And if you ask me, it's the latter that's hard to imitate. It has to come from the heart.

When does being 'professional' means being less human? I think it's still important to engage emotionally with your patient, coz with a good doctor that really cares for them, it is said patients feel almost half-healed after the encounter. However, as with all things, empathy should be doled out in moderation as well. A healthy work-life balance is essential to keep the enthusiasm for life going.

Two and a half years back, I remember what I wrote in the little box provided for each person in our batch magazine. I want to remember the reason I'm doing medicine even many years down the line. Now two and a half years later, I'm glad to say that I still remember.

Let's hope I would be able to sustain these thoughts for a long time more.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm Still Here :P

Hi guys! Don't worry, I'm still alive! This must have been the longest I haven't blog in a stretch, especially when there are no exams looming around.

Anyway, I am currently in my 3rd week of electives in Singapore, I'd just finished 2 weeks of Emergency Medicine, which was really an eye-opening experience. Today I just started in General Medicine which has a more set schedule compared to the former. But I do like it when I can control my own time :P

If there's any recurrent theme to my elective experience so far, is the massive amount of knowledge I still don't know. le sigh. Don't even need to mention about retaining the knowledge previously learnt. >.<

I need to study... but I feel so lazy. This will be the last of awesome proper holidays. Singapore is great, I feel it's like a representation of what Malaysia could be. 'Could' is the all important keyword here. It shows that it has potential but lack the ability. Do you think it will change in the not-so-near future? One can only hope.

Anyway, I think I'm digressing here. One of the reasons I haven't blogged in sucha long time is that I have been busy (what else is new?) meeting up with friends. It's certainly nice to see old friends. Maybe it's because I have a life for once too. :P Oh and a lot of time spent travelling around as well. Been trying to figure out the public transport system of Singapore.

That's about it. Is this considered a dry update? Perhaps. But I have not been getting enough beauty sleep. *grumble mumble* :P

And yeah, I hope 2011 will prove to be an awesome year! My last year of med school. Gotta make it count. :D