Archive for June, 2009

“…I was just on the cusp of having one of those bone cleansing cries a woman should treat herself to at least once during a lunar cycle.”

~ Julia Romano in My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult

Well said. I guess some of us females really need an outlet to release the stress and PMS we go through every month. Perhaps the stress and frustration leaks out together with the tears. And yes, I guess you guys can blame it on the hormones. But then again, not everything is due to PMS, ok? Sometimes, it may actually be your fault.

Anyway, am having a bad week at work. Will probably need a few rounds of bone cleansing cries this lunar cycle..


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So frustrated. Reason? A series of collected grievances by the same person. Being at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Just feel like strangling someone or something. Sometimes, everything just feels so unfair. But what’s new about that? Shit happens, all the time.

Guess I better head off to sleep. Will need all the rest I can get and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

C’est la vie.

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Being idle

This afternoon, I saw a very annoying scene. I was busy running around seeing pre-op patients and having tons of work to do, when I saw four, yes FOUR housemen at the nursing station totally idle. They were simply jobless, with nothing to do. And to make matters worse, that was what they were chit-chatting about; having nothing to do.

The irony is there will be plenty of such scenes to come in the near future as there continue to be too many housemen and shortage of medical officers. I heard that there will be yet another bunch of new housemen coming in end of this month, so I guess there will be even more idle days for them…

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When I was much younger, i.e. secondary school days, I could finish a novel in 1 1/2 hours or 2 hours max. Sweet Valley High, Famous Five, Hardy Boys, are just some of the many series I used to read. Then I moved on to more grown up authors, such as John Grisham, Michael Crichton etc. Ranging from 300-500 page per book, reading used to be such a leisurely thing.

Until now. Medical school spoilt my reading habits and skills. Not to mention working life.

I’ve been trying to read this book I bought in Australia 2 years ago entitled Misconceptions by Terry McGee. A wonderful and gripping storyline about medical malpractice  and a messed up family and social life; except the fact that I’ve been reading it for the past say, 2 weeks, and have yet to finish the 462 pages in that book. Not to mention the 3 weeks I took to finish reading Playing for Pizza by John Grisham.

My attention span has currently been reduced to 5 minutes per session. I have to keep re-reading the same lines each time I restart, because I can barely remember where I last stopped. Sometimes, I even forget the first half of the story by the time I reach the middle of the book.

A comment by my colleague sort of enlightened me recently. Actually it was an observation from her friend as she was more into non-fiction and spiritual books so when her friend lent her a novel, she took forever to read it, and never even finished it. According to her friend, you’re not supposed to read every single word in the novel. Just skim past the storyline, stop and read in detail the interesting parts, and skim through the rest. Simple.

That got me thinking. Perhaps when I was younger, I was happily “skimming” through the books I read, but after med school where every word matters and all that crap, I can no longer read a novel as a leisurely thing, and because I am trying to read every single word in the novel and process it like a studying material, it has made reading so so slow for me, and also taken the joy out of cramming in a novel just before bedtime.

Anyway, I am trying to regain my skills of light reading, and hopefully, I’ll be able to get back in form or at least something near it in the near future. Haha.

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What happens when people are continually leaving and no one new is coming? Yes, you said it. A negative balance and a reducing workforce. Since the workload is somewhat the same, if not more at some days, we are left with having to work a lot harder than previously, and thus leading being burnt out and perpetual exhaustion. In fact, I’m beginning to think that we’re working harder than the housemen (HOs), coz they are having more and more people and no one is leaving.

Maybe I should simplify the confusing paragraph above to enlighten those who are not in the medical field currenlty. Since housemanship has been extended to a 2 year long program since Jan 2008 onwards, from now until Jan 2010, there will be no HOs graduating to MOs. What this means is, the number of HOs will continue to increase, as there will always be new ones joining, while the rest can’t leave and be MOs until after they’ve complete their 2 years. On our side, MOs are leaving to the districts, to join the Master’s program, to become specialists, while no new MOs are being produced til Jan 2010. So it’s only obvious that there will be and currently is an acute shortage of MOs nationwide.

I think in Cindy’s department there is only 2 MOs running on EoD calls. As for my department, we no longer have our afternoon shift work and on-call relief system, which is fine for small and non-busy hospitals, but definitely torture for busy places like our shitholes. It has come to the stage that she takes more than a day to reply my SMS, and when she apologizes for the late reply, I realised that I did not even realise that she did not reply. Yes, we are that tired and exhausted.

Anyway, I don’t see a solution to this problem in the near future, at least not until Jan 2010, but I really don’t think I can last very long working like this.

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