Public reflection

An encounter in paediatrics endocrinology clinic

“Take the seat, you are the doctor today.” The consultant directed me to her armchair. I nodded and took the seat with great trepidation. I tried hard to not let the anxiety show on my face. Before I could brace myself for the interview, the boy was already trotting into the room followed closely by his parents. The consultant made a quick introduction to the parents, quickly explaining that I am a student doctor and I am part of the medical team that was going to assess their son’s medical condition. My mind started to race through what I read...

Written by Li Lianjie Anthony on 6 September 2017

Public reflection

Make no assumptions! Even when patients are younger than you.

It was a quiet afternoon at Dr G’s paediatric endocrine clinic. After running through the referral letter of D with Dr G, we invited D into the clinic. As with all Dr G’s clinics, I was introduced as the student doctor and I was asked to take a complete history from D. D is a 16 year old young Chinese boy who looks tanned, lean and well built. Otherwise, he seems well thrived for his age. He has a neat and tidy appearance.“Hi D, How can I help you today?”, I opened the interview with an open question.“I had gynaecomastia.”,...

Written by Li Lianjie Anthony on 19 October 2017

Public reflection

First commit

I've been wanting to resume blogging for a while. There are many good reasons to doing so. I recently read one of neil Lawrence's posts, which said that the point of blogging is to answer many queries at once. (He is a pioneer in gaussian processes, which models probability distributions over functions). I suppose mortals like us blog to.... Pauses to think......... (hurray I feel a reflection coming!) In any case, I think a convenient platform like this would greatly reduce the barriers to sharing. :) 

Written by Suzyahyah on 20 October 2017

Public reflection

"You must be very worried..."

It was 7.30am in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology ward. A cold Friday morning. The rain continued to pour outside as I looked out from the hospital windows. Bracing myself to approach a patient, I checked my equipment. Notebook check. Pen check. Stethoscope check. Logbook check. Checking my white coat one last time, I made some feeble attempts to straighten it out. After a couple of tries, I gave up attempting to remove the creases hoping that my patient would ignore the shabbiness of my attire. Having done that, I swung into the ward and approached the first bed. It was...

Written by Li Lianjie Anthony on 6 September 2017

Public reflection

Helping a patient is more than treating their disease - my first encounter regarding the importance of the impact socioeconomics have on patients

I was walking along the corridors of Ward 56 of KKH (a paediatrics hospital), peering into the different cubicles for a patient that I could practise my clerking history skills. It was Friday evening, and most parents did not have time to talk to a medical student; they were busy packing up, glad that their child was being discharged before the weekend.Hanna caught my eye, sitting on an elderly woman’s lap, smiling through big round eyes. I quickly made my way over and introduced myself to the lady in Malay as she could not speak English. A young man, who...

Written by Albert Teo on 22 October 2017

Public reflection

Changing for the better - what is needed?

There are times when I am in my family medicine clinic, that I am at awe at how Dr. Tan does his work. Dr. Tan is my family clinic mentor, and his experience is evident in the way he handles his patients; may it be for examination, explanations or advise. I have attended his clinic four times now, and it is here that I appreciate the true importance of family medicine, and how the difference of ground work medicine is compared to the tertiary setting. Thus, I absorbed Dr. Tan’s every last word, hoping to assimilate his practical advice and...

Written by Albert Teo on 22 October 2017

Public reflection

Growing up medicine - not everything is peachy

There are moments in medicine where you feel confident and enjoy what you are doing – scrubbing in to the operating theatre, clerking new patients, talking to family members. But sometimes all it takes is just one bad experience to bring it all crashing down. Some of my HOs tell me of patient encounters where they had to deal with difficult family members who were rude, others tell me of the problems they face with their own colleagues. I took it in as advise for my future. Though medicine is indeed a noble profession, it’s nevertheless still a profession in...

Written by Albert Teo on 22 October 2017

Public reflection

More than just a wheelchair

On the first day of my Internal Medicine posting – I was extremely excited to see, learn and help – I was ready to change the world.So on my first morning round, I started early and took as detailed a history as I could. I was waiting to impress the consultant with my thorough history-taking across a list of medical, social, family, sexual and financial issues. After I took the patient’s history, per protocol, I approached the house officer (HO), then the two of us went to the medical officer, then three of us to the registrar, and finally me and...

Written by Deepali Bang on 23 October 2017

Public reflection

Sandwiched between compassion and duty

The room was full of the patient’s family members, young and old. Some were in tears; others knelt by his bedside in prayer. Buddhist music filled the room, overriding muttered conversation. His wife wept silently by the bedside, stroking his hair which nested over his sunken temples. The ECG machine continuously belted out a strip, each peak representing his heart rate, each peak increasingly later than the one before.I tore off the latest strip and showed it to the Staff Nurse. She told me, “In this case… there’s nothing much we can do… usually they pass away in a few...

Written by Tan Chin Yee on 23 October 2017

Public reflection

Would I do the same?

A lot of the details have been omitted or changed to the best of my ability to protect the doctor whose clinic I saw this in.  It was my first day in clinic, I was just trying to figure out the ropes of not just LIC but also outpatient care. Here I was, seeing vastly different patients than I had seen the week before, understanding a completely different kind of care. Not the one where you treat acute strokes and then let the physiotherapist, occupational therapist, and rehab deal with the rest. Here one was going through the grit of...

Written by Aadya Deshpande on 24 October 2017