Friday, November 28, 2008

Intern nervous breakdown - Episode 2

I thought I could get through my internship without having a nervous breakdown but it was too good to be true. The previous nervous breakdown was caused by my inability to take blood from an elderly patient. This time the cause was the grief I got from the medical officer on-call.

I would like to state most of the medical officers in my current hospital are very nice. They don't scold me much if I do things wrong and when it is possible try to teach me when I do go wrong. Yet there is always one bad apple which spoils the crop. This person has a Jekyll and Hyde personality about him/her. Sometimes this person is OK but all of a sudden can turn on you. This medical officer always bitches about everything I do when I admit a patient. If it is not a poor management order, it is my clinical skills. If it is not my clinical skills, then it is my attitude.

I don't mind being told off and I do admit I'm not totally enthusiastic about paediatrics. Yet there is way of telling people instead of screaming and pointing at the management order, saying "This is not good enough!" There is a tactful and considerate way of telling interns what they have done wrong and maybe they will learn if you don't scream at them so much.

Why is it so many senior doctors forget what it is like to be a medical student or an intern? Have they risen to such lofty heights in their white towers? I never have been in favour of the Gordon Ramsay method of teaching people, that is to scream at them and humiliate them. I always been in favour of making them feel part of the team. If a junior team member does something wrong, tell them off but make sure they learn what they did wrong.

I often wonder if I will continue in this job. I'm seriously thinking about not joining any training after my internship has finished.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination."

Note: I don't have many things to write about daily life right now. Work right now is pretty mundane and with my fellow intern on holiday for the next week, I predicting it will be more mundane and hectic. Nothing is going on with my love life because I don't have a love life. I'm still whinging about having no sex or girlfriend (in that order). I've been meaning to write about the topic of homosexuality for a long time, so here goes...

I have always been irked by how Christians interpret and use this quote from the Bible in daily life. This is the leading problem I have, not with my faith or Christianity, but with other Christians. There are some people who say we should believe everything in the Bible but tend to ignore other more atrocious or ridiculous parts, for example the acceptability of selling your daughter into slavery and not being able to eat pork and seafood. And wasn't the whole point of Jesus dying was that even if we sinned (for example having gay sex) we would still go to Heaven? And that quote says nothing about lesbian sex

I will agree with Christians there should be no same-sex marriages. Marriage is a religious concept. However there should be equal rights for same-sex couples as there are for opposite-sex couples, so civil unions should be allowed. I'm glad there are some countries such as United Kingdom and the Netherlands who endorse but I'm disappointed with the failure of Proposition 8 in California. I'm in favour of same-sex couples being allowed to adopt children or being allowed access to in-vitro fertilisation. Maybe they will be better parents than those fathers who leave their kid behind or the mother who tends to have sex with anything straight and those heroin.

And why does it matter which way somebody's sexual compass points? As long as you're not doing anything to hurt other people and isn't morally wrong, I don't care what you are doing in your private life. I should state I'm not gay but I'm into bisexual women.

I'm actually very surprised at how many famous people are homosexual. I came across the Pink List by the Independent, a list of the top 100 most influential homosexual people in UK. Reading down the list, it does make for interesting read. I had my suspicions about Russell T Davies, the man behind "Queer Folk" and the recent revival of "Doctor Who", but it is very difficult to confirm unless somebody actually says in an interview "I'm homosexual" which they shouldn't do since it is nothing to do with the general public. I'm also glad there hasn't been such a reaction by the British public, especially parents, towards having a homosexual behind a family classic such as "Doctor Who" or that there have been many homosexual elements in the new "Doctor Who" such as same-sex kisses or homosexual actors (e.g. John Barrowman, Mark Gatiss, etc.)

Some people you obviously know are homosexual, such as Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Elton John, Alan Carr, Graham Norton and Stephen Fry. I'm a surprised about Sandi Toksvig, who I listen to religiously on "The News Quiz" being a lesbian. I also like to see homosexuals not being stereotypical - Matt Lucas of "Little Britain" fame is an avid Arsenal supporter. Yet sport and male homosexuality is still one barrier to be overcome. Just look what happened to Justin Fashanu and John Amaechi when they came out of the closet - one took his whole life and one caused Tim Hardaway to say "I hate gay people." You don't hear about prominent male athletes being homosexual. Some keep it secret all their lives or only come out after their playing career is over. Obviously the view from sportsmen is as neanderthal as from Christian society.

Obviously we need to educate people more about homosexuality. I don't mind you don't like gay or lesbian people but don't let this affect your daily life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Ambitious but rubbish"

I miss top quality TV. Here in Hong Kong the local channels and programs are not my cup of tea. There is this constant stream of TV soaps which bore me to death. It is usually the same formula with the same bad jokes and undramatic storylines.

I'm more partial to the UK comedy panel show, such as "Have I Got News For You", "Mock the Week", "QI" and "Never Mind the Buzzcocks". I don't really like sitcoms, especially the ones from USA where they have to insert audience laughter into the program. If a joke is funny, people will automatically laugh. We do not need to have cues to when and when not to laugh.

That is not to say I don't like USA shows. I know sometimes I come across as condescending towards the way of life in USA but I do like some aspects about America. I do like "The Daily Show", "Frasier" and "The West Wing". I do like cheerleaders, not just for their beauty but their ability to dance well and hold careers at the same time. I'll write about that in another blog entry. Since Barack Obama has been elected presidenta of USA, I think more people (like me) will be a little bit warmer towards the USA.

With that said I do enjoy the return of "Top Gear" on the screens. I can't wait for the programme to turn up on local screens. I will have to wait for a year before ATV World does it. I also cringe at the subtitles they put up on the screen. Most of you know I cannot read Chinese and it wouldn't matter to me but the person who does the subtitles must be the most stupidest, laziest person ever and I tell you why. Even though most of the subtitles are in Chinese, the name of the cars are in English. Yet they can't even get those names right. I think I saw the name "Camaro" spelt differently six times in the same programme. Even if you can spell it right, you can at least check the spelling on the internet or something.

My mother has commented the Chinese subtitles are not that good either. Sometimes the subtitles are a literal translation of what is being said. If I said "spanking the monkey", they will literally write "spanking the monkey" in Chinese in the subtitles instead of "masturbating".

Now I know why people download programs from the internet - the quality of their local TV must be appalling to resort to this measure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Three men walk into a pub..."

Over the past few years I have been drifting away from movies and more into comedy. I remember watching "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" when I was kid in England and loved the mix of American, Canadian and British humour on offer. Whilst at boarding school I remember watching the repeat of "Have I Got News For You" and loved the show for the wit and political satire.

My love for comedy was rekindled thanks to Youtube. I find old episodes of "Have I Got News For You" online and it is great to watch classic episodes such as the Angus Deayton scandal or recently the Brian Blessed episode. Through Youtube I have also gotten to like "QI" and "Mock the Week", which are probably my two favourite shows.

I am partial to British humour, for its wit and sarcasm, the cynicism and the political satire. That is not to say I don't like American humour. The USA are best at stand-up comedy (which I love) and sitcoms (which are not my cup of tea). Everybody in school loved "Frasier" for its wit and there is no better political satire on TV right now than "The Daily Show", with Jon Stewart being the best at his job.

So why am I writing all this? Last Friday I went to my first comedy gig. I like to say it was unusual place to hold a comedy gig - a curry house - but the Punchline Comedy Club have been doing this gig for years. They have comedians I have seen or heard of, such as Paul Sinha (who shows that doctors can be funny) and Mark Watson. This time around I only really heard of one of the comedians - Andy Parsons from "Mock the Week". I like his kind of humour; it is more along the lines of wit. He was very funny on the night but a lot of the jokes I have heard before as I download all the episodes of "Mock the Week" and watch them again and again and again.

That is not to say the other two comedians - Mark Walker and Russell Kane - weren't bad. They were bloody hilarious. I haven't laughed that hard for ages. In fact I laughed so hard, I was coughing too much at the end and the lady in front of me was probably scared I had tuberculosis.

As an obsessive compulsive, I tend to categorize comedians into what kind of comedy they do. Obvious categories include the impressionists, which include Darrell Hammond from "Saturday Night Live", Jon Culshaw from "Dead Ringers", Rory Bremner from "Bremner, Bird and Fortune" and Hugh Dennis from "The Now Show" and "Mock the Week". There are comedians who use bad taste and political incorrectness as their main weapons, such as Jimmy Carr from "8 Out of 10 Cats" and Frankie Boyle from "Mock the Week". Comedians such as Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel, Ian Hislop and Jon Stewart use political satire in their work. Sean Lock, Russell Howard and Johnny Vegas are the ones who think of ridiculous ideas and just make them funny. So there is fun for everybody.

Next time I will probably like to see a comedy gig where I do not know the comedians, so I don't have any preconceptions.

I also have advice for anybody wishing to attend a comedy gig. I thought this piece of knowledge would be obvious but apparently, after attending the comedy gig last week, it is not. If you don't want to be picked on or you have an obvious trait which can be picked on such as having a manic laugh, being old or being American, don't sit in the front where the comedian can see you.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Sir Winston Churchill was right about democracy. Not many people actually go out of their way to listen to all the policies of the candidates running in an election and on voting day make an informed decision on which candidate they are choosing. Most of the voting population have made up their minds months beforehand, or even years as they are most likely to stick to the party they have been voting all their lives. I'm probably guilty of the latter fact. I would vote for Liberal Democrats in UK or Democratic Party in Hong Kong. In all fairness these political parties are on my wavelength. We need better human rights for minorities, such as homosexuals, ethnic minorities and the poor. We need to tax the rich more to help the poor. We need to do more for the environment.

I say this on the weekend before the US presidential election, which will have repercussions on the world and not just on USA. Yet there are 10% of the US population who think Barack Obama is either a Muslim, an Arab or a terrorist and they think all of those kind of people are the same thing. I often think democracy was designed by stupid people for clever people and communism was designed by clever people for stupid people. Democracy is a simple idea of one person - one vote where you need clever people to make informed decision to elect who is the leader. Communism needs stupid people to believe the state is important and ensure all decisions are made by the leaders.

I want Barack Obama to win the presidential election. Yet I cannot show favourtism, especially to an election I cannot vote in. I just want people to read all the facts and on Tuesday tick the right box based on what they have processed and not leave their decision based on the charisma of the politicians concerned or believing the media/advertisements all the time.