Wednesday, 11 March 2015


Too little conscientiousness. That's what happening at our workplaces nowadays. Add in the assumptions. Now that's the best recipe to kill off any respect.

When I received the invitation letter as a speaker today, not only was my marital status changed but a new surname (which also implied that my religion was changed too) was given to me. I really salute the effort put into creating a whole new identity. Maybe I should just let this imaginary speaker do all the hard work.

People's reaction? Some started laughing, some got angry. I can understand that because such an absurd thing can happen. Maybe if there wasn't that much fear or religious polarisation going on, I would have been amused. Yet I felt insulted and feared that rumours will start.

It isn't hard to be conscientious. My full name isn't a secret. All it takes is a little extra effort.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Missing Fish and Chips

My cravings for fish and chips didn't just come out of the blue. It was triggered by seeing a photo of fish and chips while surfing Facebook.

I was in luck that I'd arranged to meet Pei Lian for lunch today. There's no fish and chip in Kulim but luckily there's Manhattan Fish Market at Sunway Carnival Mall. So, I get to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

 Fish and Chips at Manhattan Fish Market, Sunway Carnival Mall

So satisfied! It's been too long since I'd ordered fish and chips. Somehow didn't get any cravings previously. Plus it's so difficult to get good fish and chips. Nothing beats the original fish and chips from the UK.

Scanning through my memories, there are a few places where I really remembered eating my fish and chips.


Having my dose of fish and chips at Conwy Castle. Best peas that I've tasted.

It was that good that I even brought my parents there for round 2

 One of the best moments in Llandudno - having fish and chips by the promenade

 Isle of Sky:
 Fish and chips during one of the road trips north

Black Country Living Museum
Fish and Chips at Hobbs and Sons Fish & Chips shop within the museum. Look at the size of that fish!

Apologies if anyone feels hungry after reading this post. Malaysian fish and chips can never beat UK. Anyone up for trip to the UK just to have fish and chips?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Blog revived after so long

Procrastination somehow led to the urge to start blogging again, like how I used to procrastinate from revision and ended up composing blog posts. I wonder if anyone even read blogs nowadays. Hahaha. Working life is so much different as compared to student days. Free time is a luxury no longer a right.

Work has been getting busier and busier. Gone were the days where I had time to give teaching to my staff and spend more time talking to patients. The number of patients has doubled if not tripled as compared to last year. Maybe this can serve as a very sensitive indicator to the economic situation - the more the number of patients, the worse the country's economy is performing. 

Points to support this include:
1. Lower spending power leads to switching from private GPs and hospitals to government as nothing beats RM1 per visit to the doctor plus supply of medication. This is true as so many patients bring medications that they've been getting from private and asking if they can get them from my clinic. Sadly, most of them are listed under specialist prescription only or not even available.
2. Economy slowing down means more jobs will be cut leading to higher stress levels and less care for health and subsequently falling ill to acute or chronic illnesses in the long run. More requests for medical certificates, application for welfare, SOCSO, insurance claims, younger patients with non-communicable diseases, etc. I'm not sure how the productivity of existing employees will be affected if suddenly there is a need to work harder to cover the jobs of employees who has been fired. One can argue that factories can increase automation but can they afford to upgrade that quickly?

Speaking about medical certificates, I feel that reward should be given for employees who has been able to take good care of their health and well being with less than 5 days of sick leave taken in a year. This will encourage more awareness of one's health and discourage people from seeking MC from the poor doctor. Why do I say poor doctor? No one empathises with the doctor if any patient hurls threats, verbal abuse and sometimes physical abuse when being denied of an MC. Sometimes I hoped that there will be a clear guideline issued by any authority be it the Malaysian Medical Council or the Ministry of Health on the issuance of MC so that we can protect ourselves. I've seen so many actors and actresses even as young as teenagers who deserves the Oscars for amount of effort put into getting and MC. Other who are not as talented revert to threats. Sometimes as the only female doctor in the consultation room, I fear for my own safety. I try to overcome this problem by requesting for an assistant but due to shortage of staff, it is a luxury to have an assistant/chaperone/safety measure at all times. Maybe it is my fault for not being more firm on this decision. Nowadays, due to the pressure of seeing so many patients in such little time, minimising the risk to oneself, giving up, whatever you call it, I've decided to just close one eye or even both eyes and just issue that MC. It doesn't help when patients' complaints are being held in so high regard nowadays and opinion of the attending doctor over-ridden easily.

Does anyone feel irritated by frequent news on excessive doctors? It is so different on the ground level. Patients visiting government health care are increasing rapidly and yet the number of posts for doctors remain the same and revision of these posts do not occur frequent enough. The visitors to my clinic a year back never had to worry about finding a seat to wait. Nowadays, the number of standing patients are quickly outnumbering the number of seats available. Short term measure - increase the number of seats. Mid term measure, increase floor area to fit more chairs. Long term measure - increase the number of doctors and health care support staff. Sorry for being so sarcastic.

I always tried my best to provide sufficient counselling so that my patient understand their disease and take appropriate measures to manage it properly. In the long term, this will reduce their number of visit and of course complications. However, I am reaching the point of giving up as patients come barging into the consultation room too frequent to complain that they've waited too long. I don't want to adopt the 'Touch n Go' approach but seems like there's not much of a choice. I look forward to the day when primary care can adopt the appointment based system.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Most awaited drama episode of the year - 5th of May 2013

There's clearly momentum building up to the elections as evident by the number of flags not only increasing in amount but size and height at every corner.

Malaysian news is also getting more and more ridiculous with bombings and scandals. I'm still wondering who made the statement that our crime rates are down. Hmmmm.

Hooray for Kedah having holiday on the 5th of May for the working citizens to work. I'll be happily making my way home after work on Thursday.

Let us all do our duty and excise our rights this elections. Go home and see your parents lah.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Stress - the root of most if not all illness

It feels like I'm seeing more and more stressed up patients nowadays coming in with non-specific complains like lethargy, body aches, trouble sleeping etc. Some even manifests as central chest pain or gastric pains.

When I asked the golden question, 'Are you having too much stress?' some even started crying. Given the 5 to 10 minutes slot that I have for each patients, the crying will surely take up more than 90% of the time I have. With more than 6 patients waiting and the current one crying, I guess my stress level at that point is much higher than my own patient.

So, maintain a healthy mind, go out and do some exercise, adopt a new hobby, throw some darts to the photo of the person you dislike, shout your lungs out at the beach, or maybe....get a voodoo doll.


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Leaving my comfort zone

It's been such a long time since I last updated my blog. There's been massive changes in terms of my career.

After completing housemanship, I was posted to Kedah as a new Medical Officer. One major flaw in our system is that they never tell you in advance where exactly that you're posted to. So, no preparations could be made before starting work. On top of that, you can't claim expenses spent even if you went to your new working place earlier. They expect you to travel on the day that you're reporting and then start hunting for accommodation and even your work place.

On the day that I was suppose to report, I had to travel all the way up to Alor Setar, which was Kedah's capital to report to the state health office. Then, I was told that I was posted to Kulim, which I had passed 1.5 hours ago whilst on the way to Alor Setar. Don't you think that it's a waste of resources? When I finally reached Kulim district health office, I found out that I was posted to a health clinic half an hour away from town. So, here I am, a general practitioner in a small village half an hour away from the hospital.

Starting off as an MO was stressful for me initially. There was the responsibility that you had to carry on your shoulders, being the second boss at this clinic, and most importantly, being the gatekeeper of healthcare. Somehow I missed the times being a house officer when you're not held responsible for mistakes that were made and there'll always be seniors above you to guide you. Currently, if I'd missed something, the patient's health and even life can be at stake.

Actually, treating patients wasn't my biggest headache. The biggest obstacle here is actually handling issues with the staff. Initially, my senior MO was always with me so everything was referred to her. Then, there're times when I was the only MO there. This was when all hell runs loose.

Requests come to you when you're most busy, trying to catch you off guard. There were also unreasonable requests which had to be refused but at the same time, I had to worry about ruining my relationship with my colleagues because I decided to put my foot down. I guess my dental friends who have started out earlier as bosses know this very well. Maybe I can gain from some of your experiences in dealing with these situations.

So far, I'm making ado with the limited drugs and equipment that I have in my small clinic. At least there's tarred road connecting us to the main hospital and it's only half an hour away. Xrays and antenatal scans have to be done at another nearby clinic and blood tests besides FBC have to be sent off to be processed at the hospital. Now I'm still puzzled as to why do we even have an emergency section at the clinic. I can't even diagnose or manage anything here! And there's always this trouble of medical pushing to surgical and surgical pushing the case back to medical. In the end, the patient was deposited at casualty and they can decide which team to take over later. Haih.......

Oh well, back to intensive revision of clinical examination. Maybe I can train myself to diagnose aortic dissection without the need of a CT.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

The first step

I'm still wondering if it was the right thing to do. Sometimes things won't progress if I start thinking too much.

The first step is always the hardest. Looking at that calm lake, thinking if I should dip my foot into it to test water. What if there's piranhas swimming underneath where I couldn't see? Most of the time, I would just walk past that lake thinking that it would be wiser not to take that risk. However, there was always this huge curiosity which sometimes is enough to kill me while I tried to pry my eyes away from the waters.

In the end, I was surprised at the amount of time it took for me to decide. I ended up not just dipping my foot to test waters then slowly proceed with caution, but jumped straight in with a splash. No more walking away, it's time to swim till I reach the next shore. Hopefully I don't drown in the process.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Outings and Eating

 Meeting up with friends after such a long time was not only exciting but brings so much happiness. Time flies and without realising, it has been a year since I last met PP and more than a year since I last met Y3 in person. I would like to say that despite all the stress of working life, non of us showed any signs of aging. Muahahahaha.

 Today was Air Asia's 19th AGM which I attended. Most of the shareholders and proxies there were waiting for the door gift this year, which was a free air ticket for any short haul flights. Yay! Now I can start planning my next holiday destination.

It was inspiring to listen to Tony Fernandes' speech and all of us could see how proud he was of Air Asia. Hopefully his business will expand successfully into Indonesia and my share price will go up. Sad to say that our home country has given the most obstacles to talented Malaysians. No one can blame the brain drain except for ourselves.

We had lunch at the famous Siaw Kah Restaurant in Kajang. They're famous for the spicy pepper soup which had succulent pieces of pork in it. Highly recommended but beware of the amount of pepper and ginger in it. The wood ear pork dish was ordinary for me. I loved that the restaurant provided chopped garlic and soya sauce for dip. I practically finished the whole container of garlic.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll have more time to blog in the next rotation, which will be anaesthesia. Surgery rotation was not only mentally taxing but physically challenging too. I think I've lost a few years of life completing that rotation. 3 more days of holiday to go! Why won't the time just stop.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

How to work smart

It's frustrating that the more you do, the higher chances of mistakes occurring and more people gets angry at you for making those mistakes and you'll end up at the losing end.

Then you see other people doing the least and even cutting corners but still get away with it. No wonder it's always 20% of the people doing 80% of the work.

A word of advice. Work smart. Take up as little responsibility as possible. Do the least that's required. Take your time and enjoy life. What's the use of being so hardworking?

Monday, 2 April 2012

March Market Chat '12

 Being in KL has its advantages. On a fine Saturday morning, I followed my parents to the Market Chat organised by Kenanga. It was all the way at Subang Jaya and the three of us too the train there as my parents, being 'old' enough, they get to travel for free for 6 months. Hahahaha. The event was held at Empire hotel, which was a 10 minutes walk from the Subang Jaya KTM station.

We were served hot coffee or tea during the 4 hours talk on the outlook for the 2nd quarter of the year and two companies advertised their share. I was starving by the time it was 12.30pm. Usually only a light brunch of stir fried noodles or nasi goreng was served but this time, we were invited to Kitchen Art, their restaurant to have buffet lunch! Anything that can make Malaysians the happiest is free quality food.
I started my course with squid salad, fresh tomatoes and pasta salad. It was shortly followed with prawn salad but I finished them too fast before I could take a photo of it.

 Main course was a mixture of roti Jala, meatballs, Hong Kong style roasted duck and Satay.

Being busybodies, we later found out that the buffet costs RM 55++ for each person. The trip was worth it. However, not all events have such luxury. I guess the sponsors this time around were really generous.

If anyone is interested in attending Market Chats to get the latest insights for the Malaysia market, click on the icon below and you'll be directed to the program for the year. I just realised that it's held in all parts of Malaysia. So, what are you waiting for?