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:: Long Hours November 22, 2007

Posted by Minci 先生 in Ponderings.

The other day, we were asked about our concerns in becoming a house officer (HO). Not surprisingly, most of the responses encompassed the ‘fear of not being fully equipped in medical knowledge’, ‘working alone with no senior help’, ‘panicking’  and from an ethics point of view – ‘knowing how much we are allowed to say and to whom’. One answer however, raised an eyebrow. Well, lots of eyebrows – the student said, ‘long working hours’.

My jaw dropped when I heard that. UK HO’s work 48 hours per week and still this person nak bising.

Dr Who yang kacak

I went into this field knowing that;

  1. I have to learn to manage my time well for I know that eventhough I’m working, I still want to take care of my own happy little family the very best that I could.

  2. I must have the energy and enthusiasm – to keep going for the rest of the day.

  3. My ego will be bruised lots and lots and lots of time. I’d have to keep in mind not to take some things too personally.

  4. I get to see interesting things and learn new stuff every minute of the day. 🙂

As prepared and accepting as I may seem to be, I still think that doctors in Malaysia particularly, should not be treated as slaves. The top people (whoever you are) should look into matters that affect a doctors well being and try to improve it. Things like support system within the hospital environment, daily working hours, annual leaves, wages, resting facilities etc.

Doctors like any other human get tired. We burn out. We get demotivated. We are not superman/woman ya know. We need to pray, feel happy, eat and drink. We would like to have spouses/ date people who are non-medics! We need to know that people care about us too. It worries me to hear how there are newly graduated doctors quitting medicine  while doing their HO training eventhough they have been in med school for 5 years. Then there are cases of divorce, alcohol and drug abuse. Depressed. Schizophrenic. Suicide!! Yes, imagine going to work one day only to hear that one of your colleagues were found dead because of drug overdose. She couldn’t cope with the stress at work. 

The health minister once said that we “should put patients care before our own comfort. If not, don’t be a doctor.” I’d say, why not work towards having both, huh? We deserve a life too.

Giving off statements like that is like saying to people,”It’s okay if engineers die at the construction site, for if they don’t accept that risk, don’t become an engineer in the first place” or “Throw rubbish all over the streets and park, for it’s the cleaners job to do that. If they’re not prepared to do that, they shouldn’t be cleaners in the first place”. Demmit. Piang! 

EDITTED : About the current longer HO training, I personally don’t have a problem with that. Besides, the rotations on offer seems exciting and I truly need all the experience I can get. Wishful thinking would be to also have a bit of time to sleep. 😉 Can ah minister?



1. Puteri Nad =( - November 23, 2007

im afraid of being scolded by the nurses in front of the pts

2. cakapaje - November 23, 2007

Salam Minci,

I read you and understand some of the grouses mentioned – tu pun, you have yet to step into the Malaysian side of things! 🙂 Still until the policy makers come from people who have been on the ground, nothing much will change. Current policy makers make decision purely on academic point of views. Susahkan…

3. Minci - November 23, 2007

i’m afraid of almost everything. 😛

a ah.. 😦 nannes..

4. Que - November 23, 2007

nangis sgt dengan support yg doctor kat uk dapat. ade channel bagai kalo rasa tak puas hati etc

kat mesia kot yg every other day on call tu cam nak mati je, ive come across a case where a ho had a threatened abortion sbb keletihan….

masalah nye dgn pembuat2 dasar ni adalah diorang tak nak membuat perubahan…. mentaliti diorang sgt kuno …. alasannye diorang dulu boleh buat, kerja cam nak rak… kenapa doktor2 skarang tak boleh?????

ko ni nak kerja kat mana? apply tak foundation programe tu?

5. kaSyah - November 24, 2007

okeh, maybe im wrong.

this is from my own perspective kay.

doktor, long hours works = high wage + respect from community.

im not sure if this is true for malaysian doctors.

maybe i can say it fair la….but, I know how depressed u will be if u can’t have a little fun in ur life…

solution- hurmm …maybe u need looking 4 husband/wife that have a lot of free time + can fetch u to hospital, look after ur children and most importantly, he/she still make a money for a living.

@ hospital, doktor jaga patients

@home, husband/wife jaga doktor sorang ni.


ps- Que, whats that foundation programme tu, nak tau.

6. Minci - November 24, 2007

begitulah keadaannya. kalau nak compare mcm tuh sampai bila pun tkder perubahan. aku keje kat Msia. aku tk isi borang Foundation Programme tuh.

wahahaha.. manalah kau dpt idea songsang nih. sgt tk kaya OK as junior doc dan utk sampai ke ‘kaya’ tuh.. tak ramai yg berjaya. kalau aku kaya pun sbg HO, itu adalah kerana aku tiada masa senggang utk membelanjakan duit aku.. muahahaha :mrgreen:

respect? kerje lain pun boleh gain respect.. 🙂 doctors are at a higher risk to get sued though.. matilah kena tohmah..

one more thigng dear.. foundation programme tuh adalah nama lain utk HO programme kat UK.

7. tempe1543 - November 30, 2007

mmg itulah realiti keje sbg doc kat mesia…. kita cuma blh endure jer.. alhamdulillah aku dah bebas dan jd mo skrg, tp tanggungjwb jd byk sgt & everybody looks at u if some mistake occurs… tulah sbb aku masuk universiti line skrg… aman….

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