Wednesday, August 20, 2008


It's been a while since I've had such a bad headache. Then there's the persistent nausea. And I'm on call.

2 doses of paracetamol haven't made much difference.

But I've got a good team on night shift and the crowds are still staying away, so yay Hungry Ghost Month! :)

I guess it's a sure sign that I desperately need a holiday. Seems once a year isn't quite enough anymore.

Less than 3 weeks to go, but feels like an eternity.


One of our MOs did something absolutely awful a few days ago. I can't go into specifics, but it was serious.
Luckily, the final outcome was decent. However, this MO's attitude leaves much to be desired.

No sense of urgency. No apology. No remorse.

Maybe s/he needs a few slaps around the head so what s/he did will actually sink in.
Some people get off easy. The potential for an actual mortality was high, but it didn't occur, so the MO escaped.

Then there're those of us who don't commit such unforgiveable mistakes, but get whacked with complaints about miniscule things like not getting a bedpan or feeding a patient fast enough. I have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, so relatives of patients whom I didn't even manage see it fit to vent their personal frustrations on me.

But I've gotten used to it over the years. I'm not here to seek your approval. I'm just here to treat patients.

I reserve most of my TLC for those who are elderly, neglected, destitute, and/or suffering from depression. Many sob uncontrollably, clutching my arm as they relate their sad stories, often begging for an early death.

They are also part of a dying breed of patients who still respect and appreciate the doctors and nurses who care for them. Their thanks are effusive, even if I merely took blood samples and arranged admission.
Unfortunately, they're not the sort to fill out feedback forms so you'll get a star on your resume.

But like I said, I stopped caring about this a long time ago.

Good thing my department seniors don't rely on such tools during appraisal. Hypocrisy and laziness are easily detected down here, and word travels fast.


At the risk of being accused of political incorrectness, I'm wondering if the YYLSOM's decision to allow >50% females in the yearly cohort is a wise decision.

I don't have hard statistics, but I doubt this move is really helping the government sector's manpower shortage.

Based on personal observation, many female doctors opt to go part-time, leave for private practice in some form or other, or quit entirely, once they start having children.

I'm not finding fault with their decisions -- I think it's admirable to make such sacrifices -- but it also depletes an already skeletal workforce.

Perhaps some courageous individual(s) will do a survey on this and publish the results?


A recent discussion in the papers about toilet hygiene in Singapore has, in my opinion, an obvious explanation, though it isn't mentioned in the reports.

Our society's unhealthy dependence on foreign maids is beginning to manifest itself in various ways.

Rude, undisciplined children run amok as parents act oblivious or coddle them out of some misplaced sense of guilt. Maids aren't allowed to rein their charges in, and besides, why would any child choose to listen to the hired help? ( We don't live in Comic Book Land, where some billionaire named Bruce Wayne treats his butler like a father figure. )

Littering has become intolerable -- a trend I also attribute to the maid culture. If people don't pick up after themselves at home, why the hell would they do so outside?
It's the same thing with public toilets. That plus this inexplicable Singaporean trait of peeing on the floor even when a toilet bowl in working order is readily available.

And what's with this reluctance to flush? Even at my workplace, I encountered a woman ( hospital staff, mind you ) who couldn't even be bothered to pull the flush lever after defecating. I got a rude shock when I walked into the cubicle after she emerged. I would've told her off if she hadn't left so quickly.

When I was in primary school ( Nan Hua, to be exact ), our principal rostered each class for toilet-scrubbing duty. I didn't enjoy it, but it definitely made you think twice about messing up the place. It's a lesson I remember well, and since I do my own toilet-washing at home, keeping a loo clean has become second nature for me.

Just my personal opinion here, but I don't think it's a coincidence that countries where most families don't enjoy the privilege of having domestic maids also happen to have some of the cleanest lavatories. One good example is Japan, where members of the public are known to whip out their own tissue paper to wipe the sinks. Try getting Singaporeans to do that. They'll probably just laugh or punch you in the face.

I'm only 33 years old, but sad to say, I miss the good ol' days when Singapore had kampungs and people were still pretty decent.

End of rant.


On a lighter note, did anyone notice a new link under the Humour heading?

This site is not for the prudish. I personally find it hilarious, vulgar sex talk and all ( most of it is posted by readers in the comments section ).

There's a priceless picture of Jason Mraz which I will leave you to find on your own. I don't really know what to make of it, but Hilton's many gay fans do.

Haha. :)


Last but not least, a short mention about the Beijing Olympics.

I've been working most evenings and taking early afternoon naps before shifts, so I regret to report that I've missed most of the action so far.

This includes Michael Phelps' 8 gold medal wins. I only watched him swim once, at the heats for some individual event. He came in second for that one.

But I am indeed awed by his record-breaking haul. I read a short interview in People magazine, and his determination can be quite intimidating. However, his hard work has paid off beautifully. He has an extremely bright future ahead. Look out for tonnes of endorsement deals!

As for our table-tennis team's silver medal, I'm happy that Singaporeans are happy, but the fact that the entire group originates from China has got to strike a few as ironic. It just doesn't feel the same somehow.

One thing I AM thankful for - being off ( by pure coincidence ) during the opening and closing ceremonies. The former was nothing short of awe-inspiring, and I can only imagine what wonders are in store for the latter.

Till next time...

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