Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why treat houseman shabbily? - a reply to R.K.S.

I'll like to respond to a letter in The Star:

Why treat housemen shabbily?

THERE has been so much hype on the tough life a houseman faces.

As a parent of a final-year student, l totally agree how depressing it can be for young housemen just graduated after a gruelling five to six years of study – and not all are government sponsored – to be treated so shabbily that they would want to leave the service, no thanks to the system.

Even as final-year students, they are sent to hospitals and are kept on their toes for anything between 10 and 12 hours a day without a weekend off.

How do you expect them to study with the exams around the corner? Mind you, most students already decide to leave as soon as they graduate.

To make matters worse, the consultant comes in and verbally abuses those poor housemen who have been in the hospital for over 24 to 40 hours.

They are even called “stupid” and “donkey” in front of their patients!

It is really absurd to be made to work continuously in the most inhuman manner, depriving them of sleep and rest.

What irks me most is why aren’t housemen subjected to the same labour laws of the country as other civil servants – eight hours of work and overtime to be paid for on-call duty and a rest day in between calls?

Why is it so difficult for us to follow the foreign practice in which housemanship is for one year and subsequently, the houseman can decide whether he or she wants to continue or leave the service.

Come on, doctors need a life too!

Bidor, Perak.


Dear R.K.S,

Speaking from the point of view of a final year student, I think final year students are expected to performed almost like a doctor, perhaps the reason why they were sent to hospital for 10-12 hours each day. It gives them early exposure of what they will be facing during housemanship, therefore, they will not get a ‘cultural shock’ when they step into the working environment. I am not too sure about your son/daughter, but from where I was trained (UKM-University Kebangsaan Malaysia/National University of Malaysia) we were even expected to be oncalls. In my opinion, it is worth it, to attend these calls, when there are consultants to teach us during these calls. In fact, I enjoyed on-calls very much, as we get to see many cases at night, and we get to learn a lot more. Especially during O&G (obstetric & gynaecology) where we do Labour room calls...The thing is, medical school is very much different from high school, or other courses, perhaps. The knowledge and skills we need to obtain, are not merely from textbooks per se. Ward works, clinics, theaters, clerking patients, case presentations, are very important too. I guess many students would agree that they preferred their clinical years to pre-clinical years.

About verbal abuse, do bear in mind that not all consultants are like that. I have seen consultants who give compliments and encouragements to students and housemen. I believed that consultants/ MO should be more careful in their choice of vocabulary, especially when addressing other doctors as they are all colleagues. I had once had my share of embarrassment, when my friends and I were called ‘brainless’ during my medical school years, but I guess, we deserved that, as we just started our posting and had very little knowledge at that time, being third years. I was indeed motivated to work harder and prove myself. But that was being a student. However, I guess, for the doctors, and the house officers, surely, they deserved more respect.

The working hours, I must agree, is crazy. Sometimes, to think of it, would you want to be treated by a doctor who had back to back calls? a doctor who had not been sleeping well for the past 48 hours? That thought itself is scary I suppose. It comes back again, to our health system. The government trained many doctors yearly, sent many overseas, yet there were never enough housemen. It is about time they ask the question – WHY? A huge proportion of the people chose to do their housemanship overseas, get their post graduate degree and return to out country as specialist. Some perhaps, never return. Why you may ask? The answers are very obvious, other country offers more.

You know, when compared the salary of house officers in Malaysia to other countries in Asia, Malaysia ranked third from the bottom, following Indonesia and the Philippines. Housemen in Korea is earning 6 times more the salary than those in Malaysia.

Today, we even have patients complaining about doctors... sometimes, they forgot that, doctors are humans too! and yet, they really need encouragements from time to time, and they too need acknowledgements, appreciations... very much indeed... to boost them on, help them get by...

You know, if the conditions is not that bad… and the pay is more or less the same, and opportunities for a postgraduate program good, I am sure that many doctors will opt to stay in our country… thus more doctors, less workload, less stress, happier doctors, happier superiors,.. see the cycle? I hope the people up there will put some thoughts into it… and i hope that more and more doctor would opt to stay back and serve the rakyat... together, we can make a difference...

Yours sincerely,

shinyin WU

Monday, May 25, 2009

Shogun & Saisaki & Tengi Promotion!!

Good news: Shogun & Saisaki Promotion! 30-50% off!! yippie~~
Bad news: i'll be attending a camp for the next 3 weeks, and work after that.. haih... so, will not be enjoying this luxury... but, i don't want you all to miss out on this... so, here it is~~

Details in vkeong's blog

Monday to Friday: 50% Discount for Lunch
Monday to Thursday: 30% Discount for Dinner

Terms & Conditions
1) Valid from 5th May - 5th June 2009
2) Not valid for Public Hoilday
3) Promotion offer is subjected to change by Shogun Management without prior notice.

- Shogun Japanese Buffet Restaurant, 1 Utama Shopping Centre 03-7726 3770
- Shogun Japanese Buffet Restaurant, Sunway Pyramid 03-5622 1831 or 03-5622 1832
Restoran Saisaki Japanese Buffet (Jalan Pinang) 03-2166 3728 or 03-5622 1831


Tengi also got promotion:

Tenji Parents Day Promotion - Lunch & Supper Promotion RM39.90++

Lunch promotion only valid for weekdays.
Supper promotion valid on weekdays and weekends.
Promotion valid from 11/5/09 to 30/5/09
Promotion not valid with other promotion and discount vouchers.
Tenji reserves the right to change the promotion anytime without prior notice.

Tenji Japanese Buffet Restaurant
Lot L-01-01, Soho KL, Solaris Mont Kiara,
No.2 Jalan Solaris, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Reservations : 1700 80 1818

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Malaysia vs Singapore - a tough decision made...

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

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 ^^

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ipoh Roasted Duck!! Best in Malaysia!

Ah Bong brought us to The Best Roasted Duck in whole Ipoh, and perhaps whole Malaysia.... i don't think i'll ever enjoy roast duck in KL again... because, the roasted duck in this stall is seriously good wehhh... so good that i NEED to have a special post on it!

Sun Yeong Wai Roasted Duck Shop

the roasted ducks neatly aligned

so banyak famous people came here before...

even TVB artists....

the Chef had undergone training in Hong Kong, before opening this shop ^^

everyone happy with this place...

i am about to find out how good it is...

Their siew yok (Roasted Pork) is not nice, RM 15 for a plate of siew yok that le rather bland and not crispy...

haih.... should have oredered more duck...

oh yes, behold, Malaysia Best Roasted Duck

super delicious,
the skin crispy in the outside..
it breaks open with a 'pop'...
your teeth bite through the juicy fatty layer,
which melts in your mouth...
you saw into the tender smooth flesh,
the herbs aroma fills you in...
and suddenly a voice came shouting inside you:
(very very very very very nice to eat!!!!)

seriously, no exaggerations!

the delicious herb gravy, very sweet smelling, and taste very good...

wahhhh..... so nice roasted duck...

who can resist?

I'm heading North to Sungai Petani today~~~ yippie... plan to visit Ko Taratau, if possible... more posts to come...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cuti-cuti Malaysia : Day 2: Ipoh - city tour

Day 2: We went to the MOST original Old Town for coffee and egg tarts...


it was closed


why wor??? why close wor??? today is a Wednesday wor... is it suppose to be closed??

so, we had to settle for the coffee shop opposite Old Town

(yes, thier rival, haha!)

they came out on papers before wor...

don't play play....

This shop was amongst the first few who started breakfast sets...
then it became famous, and other shops followed...
i had set 5 : half bolied eggs on toast ^^
RM 1.40 (single egg/bread)
RM2.80 (double egg/bread)
i personally thought the coffee there that day was too sweet for my taste buds
RM 1.90

hot coffee RM 1.90
creamy, but too sweet for me though...

eggs on toast - delicious!


Ah Bong joined us later and recommended the white coffee in the shop next door: Sin Yoon Loong Coffee Shop

Wow! when i break abstinence, suddenly double dose of coffee pulak...
anyway, i thought the coffee there was thicker than the previous shop... not bad~

but i didn't had Old Town for comparison... :(

i personally like the gu jiong fun (pig intestines shape flour desserts) there...
the layer of flour was really nice and smooth...


After breakfast, we went for a city tour in Ipoh.... According to Lonely Planet and the Guidebook in Tourism Malaysia (Cuti-cuti Malaysia), there are a few MUST visit places in Ipoh...

And one of them was this old Ipoh Train Station~

nicely captured, isn't it? :)

KTM at the back~

the train station, although old, still functioning...

they had renovated at the back for the trains to stop :)

I found this cute Red Postbox there...
hmm.. reminds me of a song~~

and those days which i used to write letters....

haha, i wonder who still have penpals, with the internet and all now...

but i guess, sometimes, its kinda nice,

opening envelopes.. :)

Oh yes, we also found this unique old antique GrandFather Elevator at the train station...

according to the papers, we can hardly find this kinda old fashioned lift nowadays...

it's good that they still preserve and maintained it...

super classic weh, this lift!

this is me, pressing the button to go up...

there was interesting instructions on how to use it...

very cute & funny...

(please click on picture to enlarge and read words)

and YES, it really took A WHOLE MINUTE fot the door to close...


i think the elevator is suffering from parkinsons & arthritis,...

guess what? there is this super old fan in the lift!

yes, a fan!!

and they even had a switch to manually switch it on!
this old lift is classsic !

The lift leads to the Station Hotel , which made up part of the trainstation...

Now, during promotions, it only cost RM76 per night!

The interior and deco gives 'a very Bristish feel'... (quote Aland)

relaxing at Station Hotel @ the old Ipoh Railway Station

The view from the hotel~

@ the railway station.... seems like a nice place for tea...

Wisma Taiko

(meaning big brother in cantonese)

This is St Micheal Institution...
My friends, Lingesh, Degiva, William & Yew Lok were from this school ^^
Tak sangka their school so huge...

Royal Ipoh Club

Ipoh High Court


more @t Cherry Queen's Blog... read about temples & caves...

to be continue....

Cuti-cuti Malaysia : Day 1: Ipoh

We started our road trip to North today...

First Destination: IPOH!!!
When you hear of Ipoh, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is MAKAN!!!

Ipoh is famous for
1. Mei Shi (Good Food)
2. Mei Nu (Pretty ladies)

Introducing Yi Bao Mei Nu~:

picture from : My sweet housemates

Introducing Yi Bao Mei Shi~:
Restaurant Lou Wong Tauge Ayam KueTiaw

Introducing Ipoh's Nga Choy Kai (bean sprout chicken)
At Restaurant Lou Wong Tauge Ayam KueTiaw, Ipoh Old Town

Fish balls - this biasa aje...

The succulent bean sprout 'nga choy'...

when you bite into it, can feel the juice bursting out...

'choy yun kai' farm chicken....

the texture is more smooth the the ordinary chicken we usually eat.

even the breast and back part is not hard and taste jiucy and tender...


all my life, i had never had such smooth hor fun..
When you take a sip, the noodles smoothly flows into your mouth,
filling your taste buds with sweet chicken hor fun taste...
so good, so smooth, so silky sweet...

oh yes, this is the place where you can find the Yee Hup Ipoh Hiong Pang (biscuits)

Sun Seng Fatt Food Stall a.k.a Tang Kei

And here's the place ah Bong recommend us for supper...
Sun Seng Fatt Food Stall a.k.a Tang Kei
(meaning 'wait stall')

and man, seriously have to waaaaaiiiiittttt....




waited quite the while

but finally, the food come, worth it juga... quite tasty....

Tai Look Min Noodles

Apparently, the Tai Look Min in Ipoh is not very Tai Look...

about the diameter of the usual Wan Tan Mee

I liked this dish...

Unique Wah Tan Hor Noodles
black in color de...
the gravy is quite tasty

the chef happily taking his own sweet time to cook...
full of 'oi sam', the dish

Snow Flake Beer

Have you heard of the infamous Snow Flake Beer? The beer glasses will first be freezed. Then semi-frozen cold beer will be pour into those glasses. The foams will form, half solid... giving an ice-cream, snow-flake texture, as they melts in your mouth... certainly, a new experience for me... So, if you are interested, you can find it at Cafe Yuen Wah Restaurant, Ipoh Old Town.

The frozen glasses

The semi solid cold beer

The snow flake beer forming

Cherry Queen & i

The Ipoh people - KitJing & Bong

Cherry Queen & Aland

Kafe Yoon Wah

to be continue...

(more good food to come...)

Author's Note

Dear friends and readers, Thank you for dropping by and leaving comments/ shoutouts. More importantly, thank you for being there... please accept my apology that, lately, i may be busy with work and not have time to reply youir messages/comments, but rest assured, each and everyone is read, and highly appreciated :) have a nice day! ^^

of love

Today, i heard a story which was not a story of falling...
of living in the dark end of winter turmoil..
instead, it was a love story..
of a couple who did not live happily ever after...
but they live, loving each other..