I guess I had too much on my mind lately… You know, after graduating, you are to step into the working world, a new phase of life. And there are options, many options. It is about time to plan our future, to decide where we stand 10 years from now. What decisions we make today, decides tomorrow. And being a Libran, decisions are what I feared most. And therefore, I had put a lot of thoughts into this.
Let’s see, there are two sides of the coin, at this moment. One side offers better working conditions, more advanced technology, better working hours (having only 1-2 oncalls per week), and halved the housemanship period (one year only). More importantly, it promised better opportunities for postgraduate programs (postgraduate training after housemanship itself!), educational funds and sponsorships. As a bonus, you get better salary and higher increments. It is almost like a dream come true.
On the other side of the coin, you have the hectic working conditions, work politics, every-other-day-calls (EOD) pushing a straight 36hours call and then given the night off and expected to report back the next day for another 36 hours call. On top of that, the doubled housemanship period (2 years), sleepless nights, heavy workloads, and your superior pushing you beyond your limits. Opportunities for post-graduate programs, from what I gathered, was somewhat slim, especially if you plan to opt a surgical field. The competitions are great, too many demands, yet too little supply. And the salary? Oh boy, you would certainly be surprised if I were to show you our starting salary… and with only an increment on RM100 yearly… so, I don’t think anyone would want to opt to be a chronic MO, now to think of it…
Funny, despite all that and more, I turned down the offer to work in Singapore.
A friend of mine once said, there is no ending to this argument, this debate. Either way, they had their pros and cons. In the end, you just have to close your eyes, shut your mind, search deep within you and follow your heart.
So, there I am, back at the beginning. I came back to the big question, why am I here? Why did I take this path? Why did I study Medicine in the first place? Knowing that this is probably one of the most challenging professions on Earth! One that requires sacrifices, choices… yet here I am…
-To make a difference-
Why else take up medicine if not to one day treat you family, friends and loved ones?
After a year of consideration, and cracking my mind for the past whole month, I have decided… Yet, yesterday, Su Yin and my cousin asked me again, why did I rejected the offer to Singapore… and today, MK asked. In fact, everyday, people had been asking… and news on the papers has been disappointing… news like this(1) and this(2).... it sometimes clouds my mind… perhaps I needed reassurance that I had made the right choice.
So, I needed to blog about this.
I want to constantly remind myself why I chose this path. I needed to remind myself, constantly.
Something I strongly held on to. I have hopes that the Malaysian Health System can be improved. Hopes that there are still many doors opened for us, opportunities for us to specialize in our desired post-graduate field. Hopes that after 10 years, when I looked back, I would be glad I made this decision.
Sometimes, it strike my mind, that if I were to take the greener road, the comfortable path, I would probably be away for a solid 10 years. It’s like uprooting yourself, starting a fresh. And there is a fat chance that one may not come back to the country. My friends thought that I think too far ahead. And so, I was thinking, if all our good doctors were to leave our country, despite the lack-of-doctor-crisis, who else is there to treat our loved ones? The vicious cycle continues…
Perhaps, it was because I was trained locally, I felt that I owed it to the country, that I should serve our people… Did I sound almost too patriotic? Haha! Very unlike-shinyin, ei?
Besides, my Professor, Prof Shahrir, once said, 'Don't go, the Singaporeans are just using you...'. Perhaps, he was right. Singaporeans are smart people, they would not do a losing business.
In fact, during the interview with Dr Liam, the Singaporean Recruitment team, I popped out the question, 'Why employ us?', despite knowing very well the answer, perhaps i needed reassurance.
He answered, 'because we are building 2 new hospitals, and we do not have enough doctors to sustain the hospitals'.
'2 new hospitals?'
'Yup, we plan to make Singapore the one-stop Medical Centre'
'What about your local students?'
'We had opened new medical schools, but it would take another 5 years before they graduate and practice'.
So, the fact hits hard.
1. The Singaporeans wants to build new hospitals to earn money
2. They did not have enough resources
3. They needed us
Repeat: THEY NEEDED US
So really, to think about it, the decision is all up to us. Do you want to help them? and if you noticed close enough, we were needed merely to fill in the gap.
My dad had this interesting illustration for this... He said that our country nurtured us from young, right from the seeds, with patience, with love, and when we start bearing fruits, the Singapore government added some fertilizer, promised a better future, and start plucking us...
It would be nice though, if our country itself can provide us, that better future. I think most of the people who left the country, was doing it against their heart. They were disappointed, and perhaps lacked the sense of security... the reassurance...
So maybe today, I felt that I loved my country, I loved my people, I loved my family, I loved my friends, I loved them too much to leave… I loved the life here. The people. (and the food, of course!)
And I hope
Yes, I do
I hope that, I will be loved in returned.
Hope, faith and love can take a person very far indeed...
Like Robert Frost once said, I took the road less travelled by, and that had made all the difference!
p/s: i'll be leaving for my BTN and induction course tomorrow at Pontian, Johor & Port Dickson respectively... will keep you all updated whenever possible ^^