Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coming to an end...

Currently I'm finishing off my surgery rotation by being on-call. Guess I got the short straw for tonight. Thankfully I don't have to be at work tomorrow at my new place in paediatrics.

So what have I learnt from my past three months in surgery? Let's start off with the good stuff. The nurses have been very nice to me. Most of the nurses at my previous hospital were very nice to me with only a few bad apples. I'm not saying who or which ward but after I got the hang of things they were very nice to me. The nurses at D5 at the main hospital were very nice to me. You would think that being in a high-tempo situation like an admission ward would make them hormonal cows but the head of ward plus all their nurses were very good to myself and the other intern. They were so nice I treated them to my chocolate brownies!

I'm glad that I got to see many subdivisions such as colorectal, vascular, general, endocrine & breast surgery. I got to admit such varied cases such as cholangitis, acute retention of urinary and appendicitis in the admissions ward. Even though many people don't like to work in admissions since there is no continuing care and the turnover rate is quite high, with few patients lasting twenty four hours before being changed to another subdivision ward, at least I get to see a variety of cases instead of just seeing colorectal patients or neurosurgical patients.

With that said, I won't be doing surgery as my specialty. I don't see myself working those long hours and standing doing surgery all day long. The most surgery I probably will do in the future will be in orthopaedics or during family medicine. Also I'm just not compatible with the surgeon personality. Surgeons are usually headstrong and overconfident which borders on arrogance. Also it is mostly a male-predominant, jock environment with little room for emotions. Most of the surgeons I have met are nice but there are others who could use a little tact and consideration when talking to people.

I don't think I will be doing radiology either. I have ruined my chances already and I think my reputation will spread to other hospitals as well. Also I do want to have more patient contact and I don't think I will get that with radiology.

I'm not trying to offend people by saying I don't like this specialty or I don't like that specialty. It's just a personal opinion. I know a lot of people who want to go into surgery or radiology, but it is not for me. I know a lot of people don't like psychiatry but I really like it.

Well I got three months of screaming kids to handle... wish me luck (lots of it).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Expressing one's own opinion


The views expressed on this blog are the opinion of solely the writer and does not represent the views of anybody else. What is written in this blog is not meant to offend anybody and if this is the case, the author of this blog apologizes in advance.


I feel I had to write the above disclaimer after an incident with one of my blog entries. It was a nasty surprise when I got back from my holiday in Kuala Lumpur. I knew it would be tough getting back to work after a holiday, especially since the other intern in my ward was taking his scheduled leave, but I wasn't prepared for what was in store.

I'm not going to blog much about my trip to Kuala Lumpur. All I did was see some sights and shopping. That was the intention of the holiday and it was fulfilled. I didn't take many photos either since I'm that kind of tourist. Most of the time was spent in shopping malls remarking how Hong Kong is so expensive, especially with the same foreign food like Waitrose's orange marmalade or fennel. Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok are still way ahead of Hong Kong in being termed 'a world-class city'.

When I got back to work, I was asked to see the head of our department. I didn't know what it was about but I knew it was something bad. Every time you see the headmaster is not for a good incident. Maybe a patient complained about my attitude or I did something wrong in the management of a patient.

Eventually I got to meet the head of department. It was regarding a complaint. Yet it was not from whom I thought it was. One person who I don't know and who's identity was not revealed to me complained about my blog entry 'A match made in hell'. They commented the blog entry was sexual discrimination against female radiologists.

Let me just re-iterate what I said to my head of department and to the public relations officer (who I spoke to today). The views expressed in my blog are a personal private opinion and do not represent the views of other interns, surgeons or anybody else for that matter. Even if I don't like a particular person or if I work for a friend, I will give 100% in my work and will maintain a professional relationship with my colleagues whom I work with. The comments in the blog are suppose to be sarcastic in nature - I truly don't think female radiologists' ovaries have been affected by radiation. That is just the way I write and who I am in real life - ask the people who know me best. I'm not sorry for expressing my views of what I think of female radiologists through the brief interaction I have when booking urgent investigations. I am sorry for offending anybody with my blog - this is not my intentions.

I do have some opinions of this incident (which are the opinions of this writer and not meant to offend anybody):

1. I am disappointed that one of my 'friends' passed this along to other people without confronting/facing me about the comments I made.
2. I am disappointed by the person who made the complaint for not confronting/facing me about the comments I made.
3. I am disappointed with the accusation of 'sexual discrimination'. Obviously the person who read the comment about female radiologists neglected to read the paragraph before regarding my view of male surgeons. I don't have any male surgeons making any complaints.

Please if you do have comments on my blog, please don't hesitate in contacting me. But please state who you are. I honestly find it cowardly if you don't reveal yourself.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A match made in hell...

Having been back at the main hospital for nearly three weeks, I have observed many things. From all the paperwork to cover your own arse medicine, it's been an eye opener.

One thing that hasn't surprised me is how stereotypical doctors' personalities can be. Take for example the typical male surgeon. This is a person who usually is condescending, heartless and emotionless. "Constructive criticism" and "tact" are not in their vocabulary. I have met many male residents in surgery who just look down on your and scold you for not doing something write. They can put it a bit more tactfully but I don't think that is in their nature. These are the jocks you had in high school or secondary school, who's self confidence borders on arrogance.

Another typical stereotype is the female radiologist. I have to book urgent CT & ultrasound scans all the time. Most of the male radiologists are constructive and considerate at rejecting my requests. Yet when I get a rejection from a female radiologist it's like going to the Antarctic - cold & frightening. What does radiology do to women to make them not smile? Does all that radiation fry their ovaries into secreting abnormal hormones which make them into cold cucumbers? Or does all that power of rejecting men (& women) goes to their head?

Either way I now know I'm not going into surgery and radiology.