Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Day off! Just finished mopping the whole house, feeling tired...

But I'll perk up later when "Monk" comes on -- 9pm Channel 18 ( Starworld ). If you've been sitting on your butt instead of tuning in, then for goodness' sake, switch it on! I promise you won't regret it. :)

Helping to spread the word: Changi General Hospital's A&E Department is having an open-house this Saturday from 2 - 3:30 pm, and on Sunday from 4:15 - 5:45pm. All doctors are welcome. If you want to meet me, I'll be on afternoon shift on Saturday ( 4 -12 ). Won't be around for the Sunday session 'cos I start at 9pm. Be sure to bring a gift. ( Just kidding :P )

Also, I hear Singhealth is meeting up with junior doctors soon to form a "focus group" addressing important issues, i.e. finding ways to stop the exodus of MOs to the western cluster. I actually volunteered to be a part of this group, but I'm not the pushy sort. Just want to sit in and listen a bit, offer some views, and pass on messages from fellow MOs. So if you've got a point to raise, email me at ojj75@yahoo.com.

So the next MOPEX exercise is already beginning. I'm gonna ask for KKH A&E next. I'm really out of touch with babies and little kids, and REFUSE to do another ward posting, with all the ward rounds, endless clinics and night calls. I'm happy in the ER, so I'd just like to stay there for the rest of my life, if that's ok. :)

We've got medical students with us again. Don't see that much enthusiasm in their eyes -- unlike my own when I did a rotation in NUH's ER way back in 4th year. Maybe it's because they join us in their 3rd year nowadays, and don't have sufficient background in things like orthopaedics and anaesthesia / intubation. I'm trying to whet their appetites by making everything sound super-fascinating: "Look! A Colles' fracture! ( flip open my Apley ortho handbook with all the cool pictures ) See? The criteria include blah blah blah. ( point them out on the X-ray ) Then you reduce it like this, etc." OR "Check out this ECG! ( proceed to give short tutorial on ECG reading techniques )" OR "Do you know how to differentiate between fresh and stale melaena?" ( hey, I only found out about this crucial detail when I became an MO, mind you! ).

Right now, we're letting them learn how to set plugs, insert urinary catheters, assist in resuscitations and practise suturing. All vital tasks that will prepare them for housemanship. Speaking from personal experience, I learnt all these procedures during the ER rotation, and would definitely have suffered terribly as a house officer if I hadn't already done them before as a med student. I don't think any other posting allows you to be so hands-on, so make good use of it!
And if I somehow manage to persuade one of them to consider specializing in emergency medicine down the road, I'd be really pleased. :)

SGH Gastroenterology has a new head of department. Prof. Ng Han Seong has become Chairman of Medicine, and succeeding him is none other than the sole female of the group, Prof. Chow Wan Cheng. I worked in gastro for 6 months in 2000 during my first-ever MO rotation, and despite all the warnings from other colleagues, telling me it's really tough and stressful, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I learnt so much from my seniors, from proper management of patients to cultivating of good work habits. I would entrust them with the lives of my closest relatives and friends, and have no qualms about consulting them myself if the need ever arose. Prof. Chow is among the best physicians I know, but also leads a very rich life outside medicine! Never one to take shortcuts, I still remember a 6-hour ward round we once did on a particularly busy morning, stopping for 5 minutes in the middle of it all while I did the fastest abdominal tap in my career so far! My warmest congratulations on her recent promotion!

Last but not least, Clay Aiken's new release, The Way, has blasted up the charts on Singapore radio, woohoo! It debuted at #1 on Power 98's Top 10 countdown last night, shocking everyone but also sending us into the stratosphere. :D :D :D The Way is one of my favs on Clay's album, and will be released with Solitaire as a separate CD single very soon. Solitaire! The Neil Sedaka classic that Clay sang on American Idol but which was excluded from the Measure of a Man record will now be heard in its full glory very soon!

Time for dinner. "Se7en" is on Channel 5 tonight. Think I'll catch it again, for Kevin Spacey. ( Brad Pitt? He can't even compare! :) )

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