:: Long Hours November 22, 2007Posted 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.
I went into this field knowing that;
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.
I must have the energy and enthusiasm – to keep going for the rest of the day.
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.
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?