Friday, April 4, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
I used to look forward for things to end. Like in high school I look forward for SPM to end so I can study medicine. In pre-clinical medical school I wish for pre-clinicals to end so I can practice clinical medicine. In clinical medicine I wish to graduate fast so I can become a doctor. However, once I have started working I realize that my eagerness for things to end has slowly fade away. A big part of it has to do with the daily routine of rushing here and there and the next thing you know the day comes to an end. A smaller part of it has to do with the fear of growing old. Time flies really fast when you are working 'in the zone'.
Now I just wish for time to pass by slowly. I no longer look forward for things to end. Housemanship may be considered a tough period of a doctor's life but I don't wish to rush though it. I wish to live in the present, enjoying life as it happens to me. There is so much things to do when we're still young. If I keep a mindset of wanting everything to end: finish Housemanship to become Medical Officer fast. Finish 2 years of Medical Officership to go into Master's program fast. Finish Master's fast to become specialist fast. Do subspecialization fast. The list will never end and the next thing I know I will find myself sitting in a clinic with a distended tummy.
Recently I've learned that creative endeavours, like writing in this blog does not necessarily happen when you have tons of time. It happens during the short periods between busyness. When you know you are going to be busy, you will try to find the time in-betweens. Like here I am, 5 a.m. and writing. I am still struggling to find the time in-betweens to do non-medical stuff, but I am trying. Creative endeavours are important, but it is important to make it in-between your daily job before it can flourish as an independent endeavour. As far as motivational speakers ask you to just jump and follow your passion to fully focus on what you're truly passionate about, it may take some time.
I am talking about a job in general, not focusing on the medical career. This is partly due many Malays that I see quitting their daily job to open an online shop or painting or playing in a band and stuff. Then realise it couldn't sustain them financially, and went back to their former job. A daily job gives you the security of a sense of belonging, a medium to keep in touch with people, and of course the financial security for you to keep a focused mind while you are doing your creative work. So keep your job, do things in-between, and when you're art has flourished, when people start buying your stuff like banana fritters and you become confident it can sustain you financially, then you make the jump.
My mom would read this and worry if I would quit medicine and go painting someday. But nah, this is just a general advice for people who are considering to make the jump in career too soon. I am just finding time in-between my shift duty to write more. I admire Atul Gawande, a surgeon in the USA whom wrote 3 books in between his surgeries, which all I read with much respect towards his thoughts.
Friday, March 28, 2014
Sunday, February 16, 2014
My favourite paragraph from Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains. To be honest, I never expect to be working at the ‘HIV Central’ of Malaysia. I always thought that I will be posted to Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. But God has better plans for me. I could not even believe I am saying this, but after 10 month being away from clinical work, I am longing to start again. I enjoyed working at the WHO HQ in Geneva, global public health is still my passion and it will always be, but the field is so vast, and I feel that I need to carve out my own niche, and infectious diseases, the biggest threat to public health, is one of the things I am most interested in. If I look at the public health figures I look up to most, they are physicians first, leaders in public health later: Mahathir Mohammad, John Snow, Paul Farmer, Rudolf Virchow, to name a few. I truly believe that by diagnosing diseases of a person, it will shape your mind and way of thinking to diagnose diseases of society in unfathomable ways. In Rudolf Virchow's words, "Politics is nothing but medicine on a larger scale". So come tomorrow, "ID says treat. Love, ID".