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.)

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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

National Day Parade 2016

Wah, time flies. SG50 came and go and we have celebrated yet another NDP., SG51 liao A new citizen recently asked me excitedly if I would be going to the national stadium to support the NDP. I can understand that having just obtained his red i/c, he was excited about NDP, but having watched the same routine every year for as far as I can remember, Dr Og was just not going to get all gaga about it.

The last time Dr Og actually went to a NDP was many many (many x many)  years ago. We were providing medical coverage and even simulated the worse case scenario of carrying an injured VVIP on a stretcher from the VVIP box down the stadium steps to the evacuation point. At the end of the day, the exercise proved to be futile as the NDP that year (like every year) was uneventful.

The only injuries incurred where likely the ones sustained by the poor medics who had to carry the 0.1 ton kilo medical officer (simulating the heaviest VVIP there possibly could be) on the stretcher. Trust me it was hard and dangerous work! I'm sure some of the medics can still feel the stretcher slipping out of their hands and the aches and pains sustained that day every year when they watch the NDP.

Yesterday's NDP took place at the new stadium and Dr Og heard that now stadium got to pay alot of money then can use. This is also same like hospitals, programs upgrade liao, patient gotta pay extra. Patients always complain, why need to pay more? Come on leh, you get new stadium, sibei solid new grass for the soccer pitch and stadium roof can open and shut like Transformer, of course pay more right? Same thing mah, new program, new admin staff (sorry always no chiobu one, if you need to know), protocols so complicated that reads like the inner circuitry of  a Transformer, so pay more lor... Even though the end results to end users still the same end of the day, the stadium seat still looks hard and uncomfortable like before...

Sadly, Dr Og missed most of the NDP yesterday and cannot give you a good review of it. I was celebrating NDP by wearing red and white, walking along the streets and throwing red and white pokeballs at virtual monsters. I'm sure Niantic like very pro Singapore gahmen and launch Pokemon Go over national day weekend for all to celebrate!

Also, actually Dr Og hasn't gotten over the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of falling over the stretcher from on top the stadium steps that faithful day!!!!!! Darn, those medics!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Jiak Kin Jio

When you are a Dr, people expect you to know everything!

Whether traditional medicine is good for them. 

Er, wait ar, Dr Og go call my mother first and ask.

Whether going to work will aggravate their BP... 

ok la, ok la take MC la.

Whether the medicine can take with supplements. 

Wah lau, why you don't ask the G@C salesman who sold you your protein shake whether can take medicine or not?

Whether your son's girlfriend is good for him. 

Ok, aunty I saw your family for a long time now but don't drag me into your family politics leh. Plus, must maintain patient confidentiality and cannot tell your son all the naughty things his girlfriend (whom happen to also see moi the friendly neighbourhood dr) done before right? But thumbs up for the good intuition!

But lately... and strangely... people have been asking me about bananas.

Patient: Lokun, I heard bananas can treat my condition!
Dr Og: Is it? You read from internet is it?
Patient: Wah, you lokun, you don't know ar... I thought lokun should know everything! But its possible right? Banana can cure me.
Dr Og: Er, the only case of banana I have encountered was when this guy thought it was funny to shaft a banana down the wrong end of his digestive tract, hahahha...
Patient looking disturbed. 
Dr Og: Ok, I digress but look here, I really don't know if banana is good for your condition. If you like, eat lor. But please also eat your meds ok?
Patient leaves looking disappointed.

The reality is that a doctor doesn't know everything. We only know what science can tell us. Most of the time the science tells us "maybe" or "it depends (on so many factors that there is no way you can understand what I am about to explain so lets not waste each other's time)". Anyway, before I forget, better take a note to check bloods for this patient next visit, in case he takes banana qds and end up with hyperkalemia!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Grand Wayang Round

Nowadays be senior Dr is sibei pai miah (bad life). Last time Consultant in Hospital is like rock star. Can ya ya walk in front during ward rounds and got a whole entourage behind you. Got medical students, got medical officers, nurses (and maybe seventh month got others following, but that one another story). Wah sibei shiok ar. You know the surgeon is sibei humsup if you see the entourage is mostly pretty medical students, pretty MO and pretty nurses. You know the Consultant is gay if you see the entourage is... hee hee hee...

Source: http://lackcolor.com/pic-806-Lots-of-doctors

Of course these days things have changed. Nowadays, there are many many female Consultants as well. To be fair (and avoid kennah feministic attacks), female doctors are just as good as any male doctors. Their pet peeve is kennah called Missy by the ah pek whose memory remains in the 动荡的时代, pre independence Singapore. Hello uncle, now is SG50 Liao, char bor are no longer all nurses la. And matah don't wear Bermudas anymore lor.

I digress.....

In those days when "Consultant is King", you can imagine the kind of power the Head of Department wielded. He is literally the Godfather, with people worshipping the ground he walks on. Godfather will of course have a bigger ego than his Consultants and his entourage will of course be even more solid! When Godfather does ward round, it is not just a ward round, but the Godfather Ward Round, GWR. And because cannot be so obvious in public service, we usually call it Grand Ward Round. But what so grand? The Godfather of course.

GWR is a very important event. In the old days, it can be make of break. It is the time when Consultants become minions and melt into the background as part of the entourage. It is the time you impress the Godfather with your short skirt (why do you think now so many female consultants har?). It is also the time you try to siam being asked questions and being publicly humiliated by the Man himself. Most importantly, it is time when the patients gets the same orders and treatment but will somehow miraculously do better because those same orders came from the mouth of the Man (or they get discharged or transferred to some lesser teams if they don't get better).

I always feel that the big entourage probably did something for the patients.

"Wah! Tua Lo Kun Lai Liao!" They probably thought. Think of how powerful and therapeutic that scene must be! A whole army of doctors and nurses lead by the most senior and most capable doctor coming to see you in the bed and actually poking his finger into that orifice that is causing you problems. Everything also ho sei liao ar!

So wayang or otherwise, once a while Dr Og reminisces about the old times when GWR was done the traditional way. Nowadays, mostly you see lonely consultants rounding. At times, you catch them crying at one corner, lamenting how they kennah whack as junior Drs and now their turn to whack, there is no one around. I think we should bring back the good ol' times as I'm sure patients benefited from megalomanic Consultants and HODs and Dr Og always think of patients first :)