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.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Houseman Survivor Guide: Why?

Houseman Survivor Guide (Monkey Edition)
I. Introduction
II. Hospital Hierarchy
III. A Typical Day
IV. Painkillers
V. Meet The F*ckers
VI. Kopi Politics
VII. Why?

On paper, housemanship or internship is suppose to be a time of learning. Technically, you still belong to the faculty of medicine rather than the hospital (clusters). In actual fact, housemanship is just an excuse to make new doctors do all the sai gang and still get paid peanuts (our national currency).

So it is no wonder that despite encouraging HOs to learn, asking too many questions is often frowned upon. After all the hospital is a very busy place and if you have so many "why this" "why that" who is going to do all the digital evacuations and take all the bloods?

Asking too many silly academic questions will also definitely not impress your seniors. You risk exposing their ignorance and in the process offending them!

HO: Hmmmm, why give medicine A in condition B and not medicine C+D?
MO: Emmmm, very cheem. I go find out, you finish all the changes yourself!

Of course the more lao jiao senior doctors have this strategy,

HO: Er, why give medicine A in condition B and not medicine C+D?
Consultant: What do you think?
HO: Er......
Consultant: You better go home and read up. Tell me the answer tomorrow!

They throw the question back in your face and quickly walk off, wiping the sweat off their forehead.

But yet, we often hear senior doctors telling us that "you can only learn by asking questions!" Alamak, ambivalence. So how? To ask or not to ask?

Dr Og gives you the simple Og's golden rules of asking questions during ward rounds.

1) If you have any clinical questions or doubts pertaining to patients and their treatment. Always ask. Look stupid also must ask.

2) If you have any academic questions or doubts, go read up yourself lah! Don't be lazy! Don't ask stupid questions and make yourself look stupid can?

3) Only ask academic questions if you already know the answers,
HO: I always wondered why medicine A is preferred over medicine B.
Prof: What do you think?
HO: I reckoned it is due to the fact that A has effect C?
Prof: Excellent!!! You are spot on!
(Brownie point ++++)

4) Of course there are those insightless HO who will always ask the most inappropriate question at the most inappropriate time. In front of the whole team,
HO: Prof that night I saw you swimming with the female HO from internal med. She is your daughter ar?
This type of HO I suggest go and specialise in pathology.


  1. aust med student bf12:44 AM

    hahaha!!! i like qns 4 best!

  2. It's worth looking stupid for asking questions. At least learn something. The stupidest always have the last laugh.

    Stupid is better than being an "arts faculty loser" like me, according to whomever created the poll here: http://www.singaporedoctor.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=472&sid=2734df5a31aa3db67da1ccdcf58a3e7c

    I'm not offended though. Just... hmmm... dunno what to say.

    Does that mean the poll creater thinks teachers, psychologists, political research analysts, social workers, etc... are losers?


  3. I apologize. Looks like the work of some immature disgruntled people.

  4. Anonymous8:04 AM

    oh! welcome back, the great author of this site! u muz be the best author of the year!

  5. future aussie med student8:06 AM

    mm first thing in the morning when i step into clinic must have my daily dose of Dr Bl Og. interesting entry...shall bear that in mind :)

  6. Anonymous2:58 PM

    hey doc! u r back! or frm wat i gathered lahz in tis entry. aniwae. do u mind elaboratin on e qn posted by angry doc on their blog regarding ur first kill? first kill in medical context. thanx!

  7. Anonymous7:38 PM

    sounds so true.

  8. 2bdoc9:58 PM

    first kill meaning the 1st time you killed a person by various ways.

    1. don't know what to do at the moment when the patient's BP and HR increase rapidly.

    2. do the right thing but still the patient too sick to be healed. sway case.

    3. give the wrong medicine. your friend who got into law school would be laughing on his way to the bank. :)

  9. hahahaha! the third method is always the prefered, scoring brownie points. but be prepared to experience the downside in the event that your consultant is very on the ball with the latest research...

    HO: Why is management plan A prefered over plan B?
    Consultant: What do you think?
    HO: Because of (insert suitable textbook-style clinical fact)?
    Consultant: Good, I see you know your facts very well, but didn't you read the latest paper published yesterday on how plan C is even better?
    HO: er...
    Consultant: OK, so please read it and give a presentation during the post-grand ward round meeting tomorrow!

  10. Anonymous12:42 AM

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAA now 2016 I am still laughing at your post