A Doc's Life is a underground Medical Blog about some poor Singapore doctors. They are sibei sian and very buay song. Best practices not observed!
(Warning: Grammar is non existent in this blog. Those obsessively compulsive about good English please go no further and book an appointment to see your psychiatrist in Singapore.)

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Seems like the Pokemon Go craze is gone as quickly as it came. Dr Og was for a while playing quite a bit and life seemed to have some meaning again. But after a while become a bit sian also hor... everyday catch Rattatas and Pidgeys. What so fun about catching rats and pigeons. In real life catch rats can earn more money than being a doctor. Pigeons last time young catch using the box and a stick method liao.

When Pokemon Go was at the peak of its popularity, people were cheonging around like crazy to catch Snorlax, Lapras, etc. Few times Snorlax appeared near Dr Og's clinic and caused jam in the roads. Heng, Dr Og did not get trapped.

But a patient I was seeing stopped the consult halfway to cheong for the Snorlax. He then proudly told me he managed to catch it when he came back.

"Doc, my friend halfway at work all stop their work and go catch. I bet you don't dare ar. Hahaha...", he said.

This somehow lead me to a distant memory.


The Registrar hung up his handphone and returned to the ward round. I was a medical officer and those were the days when consultants only came by two to three times a week. Most times they would hear that "everything is ok" and they disappeared as quickly as they appeared (in all fairness, when they are needed they will miraculously appear like fairy god mothers). The Registrar lead the ward rounds on most days and made all the calls.

The round that day went on uneventfully with the usual careful history taking and physical examinations. When it was time for the traditional after round kopi break, the Registrar told me, "Bro, I need to take urgent leave. Daughter just had a fit."

With the round done and patients taken care of, he ran off.


The patient is right. I don't dare to leave my clinic halfway to go catch pokemons. It is not because Dr Og is too proud to do so. Trust me, I ran and squeezed and cursed and screamed when I caught my Lapras and when my Lickintung ran away. 

But... if my Registrar did not just run off on hearing that his daughter just had a fit for the first time and left us junior doctors in the lurch and if he continued to complete the round calmly and carefully despite the anxiety that must be going through him, I don't think I would dare leave my clinic or my patients unless life and death.

Pokemons? No, I wouldn't dare.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Gender Bias Part I

The Radiologist held up the request form and his hand was shaking. He was reading the form as he would a X-ray, against the light of the ceiling. I made a mental note that radiology was a discipline I would never consider, given that the radiologists I've met so far, half a year into my Housemanship, were nothing short of coo coo.

"You can go and tell your consultant there is no way I will do this!!! This is ridiculous!!! There is no urgency!!!!" He bellowed.

I wasn't particularly flustered given that this sort of treatment was a day in day out affair to me by now. It was just that I could not stand his stale cigarette smelling breath in my face. I uttered some apology and had wanted to leave. After all, I've done my part. The consultant wanted me to kamikaze and I had kamikazed (君要臣死 臣不得不死). The Radiologist had a rejection rate of almost a 100% for urgent requests and there was a 100% risk of getting at least an angry stare of disapproval if not the more common hairdryer treatment of being yelled at.

Unfortunately, he was not done with me yet.

"And it is not COOP LOOP, you....... It's COPE LOOP!!!!! You think chicken coop?!!! You......"

Ummm, the dark dingy radiology department did somewhat remind me of a chicken coop.... Freudian slip, my bad.

He took out a marker, drew several lines across "coop" and then wrote the word "cope" across the whole of the A4 sized request form. As he handed the form back to me, he hesitated for a while. Realizing that the nurses might misconstrue that he had agreed to the procedure since his distinct handwriting (and his distinct stale cigarette smell) was spluttered across the request, he tore the form into two before giving it back to me.

As I was to exit the radio department, my pager unsurprisingly rang and I had to make a call back to the ward. A female house officer strolled in and waved a big hello to the Radiologist. His deep frown turned into a crooked smile and they started chatting. I wouldn't say that his hands was all over her, but they were close enough. She then took out a request form in a by-the-way manner and he happily signed it without even so much as to glance on it (his eyes were on [the wrong parts of] her).

I waited for the female HO outside. She was a good friend.

"Wanna go quickly grab some dinner before going on-call?" I asked her and she nodded.

"Wah you damn power. You know, I'm still a 100% reject rate!"

"Next time wear a skirt la!" She said.

Moral of the story: unless you are wearing a skirt, don't expect your busy fellow male HO to wait for you for dinner.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fresh Off The Boat

Wah! Today the news NUS student got punished for making freshmen orientation look like lup sup bar! Actually what did they do huh? The picture on the ST website shows the freshmen dancing line dance niah. The article also mention the Arts Faculty got student kennah kar chng bua gu you (butter backside) for simulating rape during orientation? Wah really karma lor. Some say these the ginnahs kennah punished very buay kum wan since these were traditions pass down by seniors. Wah lau, you NUS elitistest (I invent this word one elitist plus -est), senior tell you to jump then you jump meh?

Dr Og is genuinely quite disturbed since I have a daughter. Also nowadays boys all very weak. If son kennah groped (by other boys) during orientation also will get traumatised. But lets leave the future aside, Dr Og's daughter still small, and reminisce about the past......

Long long time ago, Dr Og was also an undergrad freshman. Sadly, my orientation was also traumatising but no where near so happening as the Arts Fac people leh.

When you join the medicine orientation, first and foremost is disappointment. Somehow, most of the chio girls fail medicine interview and all go dentistry. Left maybe one or two not bad ones. To begin with already not so many girls coz that era got quota for female medicine undergrad. By orientation time, the few pretty girls (actually only two) already chope liao. There was a medicamp where I suppose is orientation for orientation and those girls got hitched liao. Dr Og of course din attend, wah lau, army not enough camping ar????). And so begins a merry go round of inbreeding.

What did we do in the medicine orientation as freshman? There was no hanky panky. There was no simulated games of any kind. There was no lewd cheers. Boy, was it traumatisingly boring! Actually, we were making some float (the Chingay float kind of float) for Rag and Flag. Build some imaginary boat which is mounted on a motor vehicle is already very boh liao, but to have to build some Disney themed float is as regressive as it gets. I thought we go Uni to become adults? At least do some Sci Fi or Horror, Vampire vs  Alien design la (last time no Zombies yet, now I sure suggest Zombie apocalypse float).

So Dr Og decided just stay under radar and quiet quiet follow instructions. I quietly stick colour papers (and pray silently for all the unnecessarily dead trees) on the float but then suddenly, this self appointed as leader skinny girl come and scold me.

"Why you tear the paper never use scissors to cut??!!!" She screamed at me.

Hello aunty, the judges sit how far away look at your float? You think they can see the paper is cut or torn meh?

The girl buay song went to complain to a senior year two medic who was some mad socks president. He came over and attempted to ask me to use the scissors. I picked up the scissors, put it in his hands and told him, own time own target, carry on. Senior tell me to cut then I cut meh? I flip my motorola clam shell phone open, call my buddy Ah Bui, "Bro meet you Arts canteen eat beef kway teow!" There sure more happening!

NB: The point of the story? If you blind blind choose to follow tradition and do what your seniors did, then don't kpkb when you kar chng tiok bua gu you!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Sweet Sweet Smell of Frangipani... Remembering SMM Ulu Pandan

The Seventh Month has been over for a month liao and today is Mid Autumn Festival, so Dr Og wishes everyone happy happy eat mooncakes and carry lanterns hor. Touch wood but if you thinking of stuffing yourself silly with mooncake, please learn the Heimlich maneuver first ok? 

But today, my topic is closer to if you suay suay choke and die, then the festive colourful lanterns. May not be auspicious but now what century liao, tiok boh.

Those of us who are old enough would have had the privilege of having trained in Ulu Pandan Camp which was were the School of Military Medicine was for a long time. Recently army released this video about SMM which prompted me to write this post (and help them promote their video la):

What they never tell you is that SMM is a super haunted place. (But I guess they did allude to it at the opening scene. The two chaps are probably ghosts being able to just appear and disappear...) I have briefly touched on this in my previous posts but since this video rekindled those memories, I feel it is timely to share in greater details.

During my time in SMM, many strange things happened. It was not long into the posting that we were told that one of the the prowling check point had to be brought down from the top level at level four to the ground floor as things like chairs and tablets were flying around ala Poltergeist in the classroom on that floor. The phenomenon was witnessed by so many that the senior officers did not protest when the request was made to move the checkpoint down. 

We were also told that the SMM grounds were where there was a massacre and many were executed and buried during WWII, making it super dirty. It was said that many bodies were excavated when they build the swimming pool which was never really ever used. 

Before long, strange things started happening in our platoon. We heard sounds of soldier marching ...Left Right Left Right Left... in the middle of the night. A platoonmate swore that a locked door of a basement bunker was shaking violently as if something was banging on it and trying to get out from the inside. Some other mates saw an old man squatting by the road side in the middle of the night, praying and sticking incense in the ground but no such man existed when we asked around. The atmosphere was getting pretty spooky even though we continued with our training like nothing happened.

We did find out later that the "soldier marching" was just one of our platoonmates sleep talking. The bugger too stress and still practicing his marching in sleep and the problem was fixed after one blanket party. The rest of it, we see no evil hear no evil, pretend nothing wrong.

What Dr Og personally experienced happened one late night when me and another platoonmate were on prowling duty. We were walking towards the back of the camp to the  pre-war pump room (those who worked or been to SMM will know the pump room) where the check point was. 

On reaching the pump room, there was a sudden strong whiff of sweet flower smell which I had never experienced before. I looked at my platoonmate and he looked at me. Without another word, both of us just started running as fast as we could until we reached the guard house. When I asked him why he ran, he said, "Dunno man, just felt suddenly super scared!" Exactly how I felt, gripped with fear. We didn't really talked about it after that as we were not too proud of ourselves. 

Only much later did I find out from my mother, after telling her the story on some random occasions, the significance of the sweet sweet smell of Frangipani. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Attack of the Aedes Mosquitoes

Just like that, Singapore becomes a Zika hub. The si lang Aedes mozzies one up us; even before we can hoot dengue, they hoot us with Zika.

Actually Dr Og (and possibly all other doctors) have been wondering why it took so long for Zika to reach our shores. After all, Aedes the mosquito IS endemic in Singapore and it IS more local than most homo sapiens in Singapore. And mebbe hor, the Zika virus is also more local and Singaporean than we think. Dr Og not anyhow say one; I have evidences Zika virus may be local.

1. Zika tries to be elitist.
Like all kiasu Singaporean, Zika cluster also must cluster around high class place like Elite Terrace wor!

2. JB custom will kar cheow (disturb)
You know we go JB, always kennah custom issues. Long wait.. oops thats our side problem...  Anyway, now JB custom officers will make life difficult for Zika virus like they do for Singaporeans.

3. Zika in Southeast Asia since long time liao
You can read this paper yourself.  It is more likely than not that there has been Zika outbreaks in Singapore for long long time liao. But since its self limiting and of little harm, like the other one thousand and one viruses, people and doctors just bochap.

But now with the scare in Brazil, Zika become famous and since Singapore epidemiological surveillance is so tekong, we are picking up loads of cases. Dr Og do agree that vector control is very important, even more so now than ever. Last time, we fight the Aedes only prevent Dengue. Now if we whack Aedes, we one stone two birds ar! So more worth it...

The mozzie wipeout however is not very the sucessful leh (obviously doesn't work since dengue and Zika is on the rise), It is always hard to get people to do the right things. Like in Hospital, ask lokuns to wash hands is harder than anything. Touch cadavers, various body secretions, do PR, don't wash hands also can eat lunch.

So Dr Og think we need new campaigns to kill the Aedes. I suggest recruiting the Hougang Horde to help. They are those people who swarmed the road in Hougang Ave 10, like zombies, just to catch a Snorlax for Pokemon Go. These people sibei wu eng, don't mind risking limb and life to catch things and damn thick skin don't even leave when scolded by residents and horned by cars (thick skin prevents mosquitoes bites mah).

But if everyone can contribute, will be even better right. Now the mozzie wipe out got five steps...

Just add step 6 lor. Step 6- if see mosquito, KILL with bare hands

Don't be lazy and soft la Singaporeans, see one mosquito, kill one and if we all just kill one per week, with our rapidly growing population, soon Aedes extinct liao!