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, March 06, 2012


When we talk about bodies, as lokuns, we automatically think about the dead cold ones we send to the mortuary.

But these days, the buzz is really about what hospital administrators like to call "warm bodies".

Sorry la, Dr Og dunno what  warm bodies are... simi lai eh? Are warm bodies those not yet cold but will eventually turn rigor mortis? Or do warm bodies belong to hot girls who have somehow gain 10kg after marriage and child birth?

And how often has it been that we hear our bosses and senior management talk about getting warm bodies for the department. We need warm bodies here, warm bodies there, warm bodies no enough. A warm body is better than no body.

When I did a literature search (on Google of course), the following definition turned up:
just anyone who can be counted on to stay alive. : See if you can get a couple of warm bodies to stand at the door and hand out programs.(1)

When I look around the office, I see a horde of warm bodies prevented from decomposition by air-conditioning set at a ridiculously low temperature; set to be turned off by these very warm bodies after they have left work while the rest of us continue to slough and suffocate to death. They don't do any real work. Some may pretend to press on the keyboard, some may be blatantly watching youtube and most are just making nonsensical updates on their facebook status .

So gahmen say they will flush healthcare with hard cold cash and so all the hospitals die die gotta employ or deal with losing funding later on. But lemme tell you, warm bodies will do more harm than good (unless they belong to the hot girls before childbearing!):

1) They are space occupying lesions. Warm bodies take up space. Even if they have nothing to do, you gotta give them a place to sit, or at least stand right?

2) They will kill morale. Soon everyone, even the good guys, will want to be a warm body coz there is nothing to do and you can still draw pay.

3) Membership is for life. In healthcare no one ever gets fired. When u ever see anyone dismissed tio boh? Once inside, the warm bodies will stay there forever.

4) Warm bodies have NO insight. They think they are the best workers around. They believe that they should get an 'A' grade for deceptively looking busy and getting in the way of those who are doing real work.

5) Warm bodies cannot be trained. Its a fallacy that warm bodies can be trained to do work. If they can do work, you will realize it during the job interview or at least on the first day of work (and therefore they will not be labelled warm bodies).

So don't just hire for the sake of hiring. Especially in healthcare where its a matter of life and death. If they don't deserve to be a specialist, fail them during residency. If they don't perform up to standard, send them back where they came from. Don't let our healthcare system become diabetic; hyperglycaemic but you can't digest the sugar.

Wah got Reference Sia!
(1) http://dictionary.reference.com/idioms/warm+body


  1. Anonymous11:30 PM

    You didn't mention ..
    The extra work they create when you have to undo their cockups - if it's possible at all

    The 5 extra teams "blue lettered" in to help when the problem could usually have been handled by 1

    The extraneous scans the radiologist has to report
    The msw who has to source for extra funds for the poor patient who cannot afford the aforementioned scans.

    The extra admissions that everyone has so scramble to discharge the next day because the hospital is full.

    Hiring "extra" ppl is just a bad idea

  2. Wah, you kennah do so much extra work! take care!

  3. Anonymous5:30 PM

    I agree with both Dr Og and Anonymous...Btw, Dr Og, I have been kind of following your blog and I must say we are SO similar in terms of our sense of humour, our conscience, what we think and even the use of Singlish (The only diff is that I mainly use Singlish in conversations).;)