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, 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!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Whoa Gold Medal!

08:45hrs - Came early to the clinic, patient is early too! Woohoo

09:00hrs - Seeing second patient.

09:10hrs - Done with second patient. Tried loading OKTO on PC. Cannot! Simi update to latest web browser???????

09:12hrs - Heng can watch on handphone! Just starting...

09:14hrs - Lun lun lun.... Ai yar liao

Some milliseconds before 09:15hrs - GOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whatsapp whatsapp whatsapp

09:16hrs - Wipe off tears. Compose self. "Next patient!"

Congratulations Joseph Schooling! You have done us proud! 

Friday, August 12, 2016

The High Cost of Living (Actually Staying Healthy)?

Recently, a patient got dulan (henceforth DL) when his doctor billed her for two illnesses at the same setting instead of one consult. The case of the angry patient caught the attention of a reporter who seems perpetually DL with doctors. She then managed to get MOH and many doctors DL when she wrote that:

"The Ministry of Health (MOH) said there is nothing wrong with the way Dr Wee charges." 

MOH wrote back that they never say "nothing wrong" so don't anyhow say hor. Wait, MOH didn't really say that. They said this. SO PLEASE DON"T DL ME CAN?

Moral of the story? Singapore everyone also DL?

This issue of rising medical cost is of course a real issue. Dr Og and family also get sick and sometimes going to see real doctors can be sibei heart pain, so I can liao kai when you see a doctor you want to get the most out of it. Come for flu, also better get stomach checked coz like abit pain pain liddat. Wait, better also check the heart, coz later see bill confirm heart pain.

But from the other perspective, life also not easy for doctors la. In public hospital when your department lose money, your CEO start looking at the HOD eyes big big. In public still can hide here, siam there. After all is ah gong footing the bill.

In private, its your own problemo liao. Who call you hiao, want to go to the dark side tio boh? Got one day, a private specialist complain to me. He say someone complain he overcharge and never follow the price guidelines provided by SMA. Wah, the guidelines are so ancient Dr Og also almost forget liao (actually Dr Og never received the guidelines coz I always default membership payment for SMA until they DL me hahahaha).

But hor, if you do a simple google search, some jokers still putting up the price guideline online! Even as recent as June 2016. See this and this! For your info, the price guideline was found to be contravening competition law. Its all too cheem for Dr Og to explain so please read yourself la.

So what does this all mean? It means that since 2007 after they withdrew this price guideline, it has not been updated. Should doctors follow a 2007 price guide? I don't know about you but the bak chor mee I always eat was at most $3.50 in 2007. Last month, the owner just raised the price to $6.00. I don't blame him given how inflation has been in Singapore.

As for my private specialist friend, it turns out that the price he charged was within the range of the price guideline. The complainant obviously didn't bother to do his homework properly. When the specialist found out he told me, "wah, I'm charging 2007 rates ar?"

He so DL he decided to raise his charges.