Mar 24, 2009

Yeah, Fail Me

My assignment for a (censored) class this week:




  • Interesting read on Reader's Digest this month: 41 Secrets Your Doctor Would Never Share (Until Now).
  • It needs no mention that a large portion of a physician's job prescription involves listening. Listening – a passive process where the people who pay us reveal information in his / her likeliness, and we were paid to process the information and come up with a diagnosis.
  • And so says our teachers: modern doctors should not only incorporate the listening ability in their doctor-patient interaction, but also the observation and caring attitude.
  • Before we delve further into how we can improve our observation skills, let's talk about my life:
  1. If somebody do a study on how healthy I am and my risk factors for diseases, I dare not look at the results myself.
  2. I practically live a life of complete saturation. I have no time for exercise, no quality time with family or friends, and certainly severely reduced time for sleep.
  3. As a medical student, I am expected to know what's wrong with the patient before he or she even complete narrating his / her chief complaints. If I don't, at least I should pretend to. My upbringing in medical school said so.
  4. To acquire that ability, I have to study very hard, they say. With a revolutionary timetable this year, they encourage us to self-study and perform group discussions with our classmates.
  5. To prepare for that, I studied much more than regular, because I am an honest person – I do not want to discuss something I do not know about.
  6. I have a collection of more than 15 books, including those from the library, to help me cope with all the barrages of information and knowledge.
  7. I am feeling feverish now, with a terrible sore throat and mouth ulcer since the previous weekend. Even though it seems to be getting worse I cannot take the night off, because our final discussion session is tomorrow and I have yet to complete many of my tasks, including this report.
  8. I am poor at time management? Maybe. But I am good in my studies, at least for the time being.
  9. I have so little time I cannot remember when is the last time I take a good look at myself in the mirror – I don't know if any grey hair had sprouted out, or if my unusually thick eyebrows had become messy again.
  10. So how will I find time to observe other patients when they come and complain in front of me?
  11. I have very little quality time left in my life – I've given up my hobbies, quit attending Friday night parties, withhold myself from a relationship, and even skip unnecessary social functions – all to boost my study time to the maximum – to become what my teacher says – a doctor.
  12. When there's so little quality of life in me. Am I fit to improve quality of life in my patients?
  13. I know it would all turn out fine if I just take the day off, spend the day with someone I like (if there's still any), tuck into bed early and get a fresh start tomorrow.
  14. But I can't. I have this report, and 3 more learning issues to read. I have a radiology exam tomorrow, a proposal to complete this weekend, and another exam next week.
  15. And please, I'm not bad at time management.
  16. The long and the short of it is, face it, my life is in complete disarray. The fan sitting beside me should be stowed away since last November; the books stacked up on my table is taller than me sitting; the photographs, pieces of papers, receipts, bookmarks from the Louvre, a medical dictionary, my choir scores are all laying in a typhoon-blown pattern beneath.
  17. Am I qualified to sort out my patient's life? Given that my life is a complete mess itself?
  18. No, I'm not taking any drugs to cope, at least for the time being.
  • So how should we improve observation skills clinically? I suggest improving our quality of life and the way we're trained.
  • Medical school now focuses on, still, only the academic and knowledge part. You either fit in or you get out. You have to become a physician, capable of working 48 hours without sleep, multitasking all the while and planning strategies against viruses, bacteria, cancers and your colleagues.
  • We have no other options but to become less trusting, more suspicious, and colder towards each other. We start to believe there's a motive behind everything.
  • And so I'm sorry for the coldness towards our patients. It's just something we're taught in school.
  • We race with every single minute, so that the extra minutes we accumulate everyday could go to more sleep, a little hobby and maybe maintaining a relationship.
  • And so I'm sorry for all the rushing and interrupting you when you're starting your 15-year complains. We must do this, or else we might end up sick and die earlier than you.


peng said...

tell u one thing
there is a dinner on 20/6 on CLHS hall held by Chung Ling Ex-Student Intervarsity Council( CLESIC)
during that day , we have chance to meet all our previous friends , just like a big gathering
sound great right
During that time , i think most of the students are having their final break ,me too
so most probably all will come ,
really miss form sixth life very much :)
Zi Ming, he is going to wear uniform haha , i persuade him to wear, i just kidding with him lah ( don't tell him that i told u , he will kill me )
we discuss through the facebook , this info is spread from Chun Seong's facebook , u see facebook so useful ^.^
oklah tat's all
add oil in ur study ya ,all the best :p