Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Epilogue - New Year Resolutions That Will Make Me Happier ( and which I probably won't keep :))

Nag my junior doctors less.

You're right, I should stop caring so much. About poorly taken history, dodgy medication orders, the inability to interpret basic test results, and abominable ( lack of ) documentation. Most of the time, nagging doesn't work. It only gives me a dry mouth, lengthens each review by a few minutes, and the entire cycle repeats itself the next day because most of it doesn't sink in.

Besides, for all I know, even Talley O'Connor also gave up long ago and the textbook's Cardiovascular System now just says, "Who the hell cares?" ( or maybe every chapter says that lol ). Because Talley O'Connor wants to live long and prosper too, you know.

Ignore ugly Singaporeans.

They'll only get uglier. Locals these days like to fight over the smallest things, especially Hello Kitty dolls from McDonald's. At the hospital, they kick up a fuss over "long" waiting times ( 30 minutes to see the doctor, 2 hours for a bed, 4 hours for a specialist consult - the last one's not our fault okay? Who knows why XX doctor isn't answering his phone, or running clinic when an emergency activation occurs? ).

Anyway, where was I again? Ah yes, ugly Singaporeans should be left to their own devices. Don't bother to tell them off or your photo will end up on STOMP. If you're driving, at least make sure your car is bigger and faster than your opponent's if you're still keen on putting up a fight. But watch out for speed cameras and traffic police perched on overhead bridges - no point getting fined for being a righteous dude / dudette!

As for my pesky upstairs neighbours who think dragging furniture and bouncing balls at 7am and midnight is great fun, I have 2 words for them: ear plugs. :)

Be a social butterfly.

Conforming can be a good thing. Like Dexter Morgan - my favourite fictional serial killer - acting like "the rest of the gang" is superb camouflage. You blend in with the crowd, become quite popular, and no-one suspects you when dismembered body parts are found in a barrel in your backyard.

"It can't be Dexter Morgan - he's such a swell guy! Someone must've GIVEN him those body parts. You know, for RESEARCH!"

Note to self: instead of clearing queues during shifts, set aside an hour or two to chat up my juniors and peers. Ask about their holidays, their kids, their collections of rare pebbles / board games / laser discs. Develop a system of engagement: make constant eye contact, smile, nod every 5 seconds, and pay attention to every 3rd sentence so you can respond with a vague yet convincing comment.

Group activities are also good options. Paying for everyone is guaranteed to draw excellent attendance. :)

Win a Service With A Heart award.

Because that's the ONLY thing every doctor wants. That gold-lettered name tag! Out of the hundreds of thousands of patients I've seen throughout my career, I can't believe I haven't received enough rave reviews to help me secure this once. Instead, patients prefer to mail me thank-you cards or write me via Google mail or Facebook, like bloody stalkers. Next time, I'm putting a stack of forms in my pocket and handing them out personally. Some grovelling might help as well.

Watch less TV.

I sometimes wonder if it's reaching addictive proportions, but do you actually expect me to do anything productive after a shift kills half my brain cells? TV helps my cerebral tissues regenerate - scientifically proven... somewhere... - so asking me to stop is the equivalent of turning me into a blathering moron. Which is NOT what you want on the clinical floor of a busy ER.

But think of all the other fun stuff I'm missing out on! Enjoying Nature ( stepping on dog poo that someone didn't pick up, getting caught in a storm that came out of NOWHERE, or being hit by a crazy cyclist ), hanging out with friends ( see "Be a social butterfly" ) or heck, maybe even doing some research once and for all.

Err, I'll think about it.

That said, if you took any of this seriously, I hope your New Year resolution will be to develop a better sense of humour. :D

Happy 2014, dear readers!

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