How, How?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where to?

Just went for an ethics course over the weekend and they were asking us to fill up a survey form when i was once again stumped by the almighty question:"Given a choice, would you still choose medicine as a career?"

I took like 5 mins to think through but circled 'yes' in the end and that's because i was pressed for time. Actually i still don't know my true answer.

My past 2 years in hospital was kind of fun but demanding. Demanding because i was going here and there every 3 months, so for both admin and knowledge purposes, there's always a need to adapt and learn. It was fun as i did not feel any great stress to do well/impress at those postings since i was a 'by-passer' anyway. I was so looking forward to end up at the polyclinic ultimately during those 2 years.

So here i am, having spent 2 months + at OPS and guess what? Disgruntled sentiments settled in still. Many of us feel like it's a production line while seeing acute cases: at least 60 patients on a good day and up to 100 on a real bad day. You're basically aiming to clear the crowd while reducing the probability of yourself missing something and stepping on a land mine. Despite how some guidelines say subsidised government services are meant for those who really cannot afford private healthcare, we still see demanding, well to do patients who choose to come to the OPS, pay subsidised rates but yet want to see 'world class healthcare'. I'm sure every patient should deserve the best the doctor could give during the consult, but why expect a short waiting time or 'good medicine that private GPs always give' when they choose to crowd with others at OPS?? And when clinics close queue earlier as doctors cannot cope with the load? Complaints flood to forums when the whole idea of closing queue early and reducing patient load is to ensure patient's safety..

I've been to several inter clinic training sessions and could feel the angst among my colleagues, we can only hope the steps to bring the clinics to a fully appt based system will work out in the end..

I'm wondering if I'm a fickle person. Initially wanted to work in ED then found shift work too disruptive and ED work somewhat too stressful, went to ortho, found that i can't operate confidently, to OPS and feel that 80-90% of the time, i'm dishing out MCs/referring patients.
Did i choose OPS as it is something i could go on long term with less stress each day?
I'm still getting pre shift blues before ED shifts but the cases i've seen in ED really made me feel that my time spent there as a doctor is much more worthwhile..

I'm really fickle i guess.
Hmm, what if i spend my days just poring through financial reports and click the mouse button to invest??

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Red packet

A red packet, like a gift, is valued by not how much it costs but by who and when it's given.

Everyone knows that i'm sure, but today's incident made sure i don't forget it.

i didn't even think of opening it when i got itcos i know even if there is 1 cent or even nothing in it, it's still priceless.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Long time no blog..
Quite many things went by, but somehow too lazy to blog them..
Anyway, was psychoed/coerced/dragged by dear... Er not so bad but anyway...
Was persuaded by her to go for Kitaro's concert although i've only recognised 1 of his songs: Matsuri...

Although it was a weekday event that got me quite sleepy the next day, it was well worth it.
I enjoy watching musicians that do music because of their love for it..
Kitaro certainly looked like he did.
He was like a wizard concocting a mix of tunes while his supporting musicians created the background.
He seems haphazard, natural and almost experimentative with his synthesizer.
Gives me a feeling that he is playing with his 'feel'... almost like 'hmm this should go well with the tune now.. ' and magically the sound came together to produce his great brand of music.

But he appeared real old under the spotlight, thought that he may just turn blue while blowing the flute or lie down in fatigue after hitting the drums.. but he managed to pull everything off well :) He also really impressed me by his humility when he speaks.

Anyway, real glad that he played Matsuri twice.. some of the other tunes were great too but not that spectacular. (Maybe i hadn't heard them before) And during the 2nd time he played Matsuri, he actually joined the ranks of the backup drummers and hit the drums with them... Could see their smiling faces when he did that.. Making it truly a 'festival'

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ho Gai Siao

Attempted to fry something a while ago on a metallic ordinary looking but apparently very expensive German brand frying pan (Vxx brand) and ended up staining the pan big time cos the food will just stick to it the moment it hits the pan's surface.. Had to put real lots of oil to prevent the stick and needless to say, everytime you try to flip the foodstuff, you'll risk 'dismembering' it cos some parts will stick to the pan..
That's not all though, the washing was a real pain, cos the stains are so hard... i mean unremovable.

So having had enough of this sticky issue, Dear and me went in search of the infamous non stick pans..
Surprised to see NTUC hypermart selling Tefal in their store. (Thought Tefal very atas and expensive) and it cost about $30 per pan.
Really glad we bought it.. this brand really 'bo hao siao', really really non stick. With almost a non existent amount of oil, i can literally slide an omellete off the pan without using my spatula.
So if you're facing the same problems as us, feel free to try Tefal :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Was at a teaching today and the topic of abortion was brought up.. The question goes: maid came for routine work permit renewal and was noted to be urine pregnancy test positive. Will you refer her for abortion if she request for it?
Well, most of us agree that she has the right to be referred.

However, 1 colleague said "For me, I'll definitely not refer.. Because of my religion.."

So it sparked a refute:"The maid is a human and should have the freedom to choose, so i feel the decision shouldn't be affected by the doctor's religion."
I always thought conscious objectors to abortion will just not perform it, they could refer to somebody else if patient requests..

But anyway, my focus was his answer..
He said he didn't want it because his religion doesn't support/allow it. I guess if his answer was:"I don't support abortion because it's killing a life to me", I might see him in another light.

Religions are a good guide for the way we live, it makes us better persons, it gives us support whenever we need it as we'll always believe there's someone up there looking out for us when we're down.
Most religions offer a desired end point when we follow the teachings: Nirvana in Buddhism, being a sage in Taoism etc. We however haven't seen someone reach the endpoint in recent years...

I wonder if it could be that we're now working backwards instead of understanding the essence in the religions/teachings We'll follow rules/commandments like not killing, not eating a particular food, not doing certain acts.. Most of the time, we do it because 'the religion says so'. Even if we manage to understand the rationale, are we able to internalise it?
That's why when he said:"My religion doesn't allow it" It seems he's following the teaching, probably not understanding it and more likely not internalising it. But who am i to judge?

I feel that the founder of the particular religion/teaching worked it out the reverse direction. i.e. there's a principle he has already understood in the beginning and has internalised it (The Tao/The way to enlightenment) and henceforth, he acts in ways in accordance to the basic principle. Over years, in a bid to get people to understand (Lao Zi said so: he can't describe this thing called Tao), these ways become like rules/methods that may lead to the ultimate destination. Maybe that's why so little people are successful in attaining the target? Cos now everyone will be working backwards

Well, i'm not a religious person, somehow just interested in them.. Will most probably be someone who can't see the light :)

Seeing the light?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Noob Kia

Started playing DOTA some time ago.. I was wondering how people were so attracted to the game (that was quite some years ago) and now am beginning to understand why..
It's just like a team sport.. gather 10 people and it's 5v5. Team work is needed to score goals (pawn heads in this instance)
The sensation of owning the game is undescribable and gives you great stress relieve when you are able to take it out on creeps and enemy heroes.
Inevitably, the beginning is difficult.. You dunno where the dangers are, you dunno which heroes are more dangerous and you often get ambush and pawned.. Then you'll be feeding the opposition with hoardes of gold and your team mate will curse you and shout "you noob la!!" or "stop feeding la you noob!!"

Alas, some time spent on playing will yield some experience and you know which hero you are more comfortable with and which one is more 'gay' i.e. able to stun the enemy and hit them while they are stuck in the position..

I sort of thought of the time when i started playing soccer in university with my classmates. I love soccer since primary school but was never good at it... But i still loved it... So because some one asked if i wanted to play, i agreed, thinking that it was like my secondary school days when everyone played for fun..
Little did i know that they used to be schoolteam players and you guessed it.. I was the noob kia again.
Kicking grounders when i should clear the ball far.. Missing tackles.. Rounded by strikers.. Ballooning the ball right in front of the goal line..

Fortunately, despite the screamings i got from the team mates, everyone was a friend after the games, they will tell me how to play better, that they dun mind me playing with them still..
Must say that without their patience and teachings.. I honestly wouldn't improve in the game.. will still be a kampong street soccer kid :)

Somehow, this leads me to think of job satisfaction..
I guess there are many things that makes a job satisfying.. My first thought is pay, but even if one is paid 10k and gets scolded at everyday, doesn't get any recognition etc.. is the job still satisfying?
Recently was in a ward with a consultant who gets agitated easily.. even a nurse knocking on the door to the MO room will get him into a fit (if he's doing some teaching). So naturally when there's one or two points about a patient you're not sure about, he'll show some agitation. So even though the ward has like less than 10 patients, and there's little to do, there wasn't satisfaction at the end of the day. You're just living in constant fear...

I'm now in a busier ward, but the consultants are nicer.. They appreciate what you know and what you do, instead of irking at what you don't know and what you didn't do..
So even if you're busy the whole day, ending the day later and having short lunches.. you'll still feel that the day has gone well and feel real satisfied at the end of it..
Can understand why dear's so lack of motivation to work with her BIG BOSS :P

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Long time liao...

So long no entry.. Even forgot how to log in..
Wonder if i'll ever be locked out of my own account in future when i cannot retrieve password or something...

Anyway, just came back from a trip to Cairns, dived in the Great Barrier Reef.. Name is Great, and probably the reason it is called Great Barrier is because the reef forms like a barrier over the north-eastern coast of Australia. The diving though... is not that Great, spend half the money to go to Southeast Asian sites like Sipadan and you may get to see almost the same or better stuff.

It was a liveaboard trip (5 days, 4 nights) and fortunately we managed to get some motion sickness pills before boarding. The ride was ROUGH. We went off all the way to Osprey reef from Cairns (Osprey is way up north on the map). Crossing the inner reefs to the outer ones will mean a real wild ride over the ocean waves and we were rocking left to right, up and down on our cabin bunks and we could hear the DVD player in the cabin sliding back and forth with the waves as well. Not our idea of some good rest before a hectic day of diving...

I always thought diving was like cycling.. You'll never forget how to do it.. Unfortunately, i somehow forgot that taking out your regulator underwater will mean water will get into your mouth...
I was a little sick (motion sickness) on the first dive and was about to puke. So i happily removed my regulator and attempted to puke but nothing came out and fortunately the nausea went down with the 'vomiting action'. So naturally after the attempt, i had to breathe. Happily i opened my mouth and inhaled and in went salty, cold, ocean water..
Had to cough several times under water, underwent a period of panic of not being able to breathe and needing to ascend.. then underwent a period of wondering if i would drown.. Somehow remembered that diving got oxygen tank and regulator one, so quickly replaced my regulator and purge whatever water is in the regulator before sucking in precious air.
Can't imagine doing an emergency ascend just 15mins into the first dive.
Water was also chilly though the gauges showed that it was 24 degrees, it felt like 16 everytime i dived in.. Was shivering in every single dive. Think next time must be more prepared with dry suits inside or something..

Well, reef life was abundant and it would have impressed us if we hadn't been to Sipadan.
Here, we had to dive like more than 10 times before seeing a single turtle and a ray. I almost couldn't believe my eyes and ears when a fellow diver jumped with joy after seeing 1 turtle... Maciam they are rare like manta rays..
But highlights of the dive were the potato cod feed and the shark feeds. They managed to organise some bait into the water and attract the more unique fishes to feast on them right infront of us.
However, besides these highlights.. have to admit that it is not that kind of MUST GO places to dive. Sites in our neighbouring countries would probably offer the same if not better sights.

Well at least it was a real good break from work and civilisation (100 miles from land, no other boats in sight... only water water everywhere)

Map of the Great Barrier Reef. Osprey reef was way up north on the map.

Interestingly, reefs occasionally 'pop' out right in the middle of the ocean like this..

Our dive group. From all over the world: China, Europe, US, Africa..
Spoke to some of them and they agree that GBR was probably not the best place they've dived in.

Potato cod feed.. These cods are huge compared to other fish.

Shark feed: In the initial moments, it was really a frenzy, the chain which hung the bin full of bait and tuna heads was shaking like crazy with all the feeding frenzy from the sharks and other fishes joining in the fun.