Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Housemanship

Finally it had came to an end to my housemanship years. It wasn't so much of a pain for me, in fact I do quite enjoy my houseman time, but I'm just glad that we can now moves on from the houseman phase and it's wide scope of tasks to cover. The housemanship years are supposedly the most difficult and challenging life as a junior doctor in Malaysia. It is not an easy time, after all there is so much to learn, cope and adjust and sometimes you may meet bosses who are impatient and short tempered, it's like a time bomb working with them. And as a houseman especially, you can start forgetting about weekends and public holidays off as well. Be prepared to have more fine lines appearing, eye bags deepening, dark circle appearing and acne popping especially after your biological clock gets turn upside down from the night shifts. I had colleagues who actually got into depression and some who even go as far as quitting the profession because they just could not withstand the pressure from being a houseman.

It seems so surreal just like yesterday that I was a fresh medical graduate and can't wait to start my working life. I still remember vividly that faithful day when me and my batch mates who got sent to the same hospital were at the 'pengarah' office reading the doctor's oath and receiving our letter of appointment to starting our inaugural life as a houseman in our first department. Honestly, I was kinda disappointed when I initially found out that I was the only one who got posted to the orthopedic department when everyone else seems to have at least a friend starting their first posting together.

I can still recall the super blur me on my first day in the Orthopaedic department, not knowing anyone and not knowing exactly what to do or how I can help when everyone else seemed to be running crazily and busily around the ward.

Well, as a houseman, you can expect yourself to also play the role of the nurses, the cleaners, the runner, the clerk and the scapegoat, the jack of all trades who actually plays a really important role in tying all the ends together in the hospital. Because without one part or another, the total care for the patients can't be carried out. You are the one who had to make sure that the bosses (MOs and specialist) orders are carried out, the drip is running, medications given accordingly, patients referred on time, investigations traced, xrays reported, handling difficult patients and their temper and the list goes on. You are also usually the first to receive the blame should anything goes wrong, so much so that at times you can get one large round of scolding and be blame for something you did not do or wasn't your fault. But remember, in the hospital, you do not work alone. It's always a 'teamwork', so if something goes wrong, the whole team is responsible.

With the on call system scraped and the shift system for housemen introduced, I believe housemen are definitely having a much better quality of life now. Honestly, it is definitely still tiring to work, after all there is no doctor who is not tired from working, but perhaps not as overwork as before. At least there is no need for 36 hours non stop working. And seriously, we have more time to go on holiday, study, spend with family and friends, attend weddings etc that I felt really fortunate and blessed especially when our seniors often narrate about how horrifying their housemen days are and all their free time was spent sleeping at home during their housemen days as that's how overwork they are. The downside is, the shift system increases the tendency for a handful of irresponsible housemen who tend to pass over their unfinished jobs once their shift ended without bothering to finish up what they are suppose to do before leaving. And creates some people who always seems to be in a hurry to leave they have no time to pass over properly.

In these 2 years of housemanship, I had work with people who are lazy and people who are hardworking, people who are arrogant and people who are humble, people who are calculative and people who are willing to go the extra mile, people who are stubborn and people who are flexible; the list are endless but the conclusion is, it really doesn't matter where one graduates from but their individual attitude is the one that matters at the end of the day. I'm really thankful to had came across some really wonderful seniors, colleagues, MOs and specialists who had helped and encouraged me much along the way. They had certainly taught me more than I could imagine. And of course, having my ex uni mates around as colleagues makes my working life much more interesting and fun as having good friends to work with made things much easier and enjoyable as well.

It's still a long long way in medicine, finishing my houseman training is just the beginning to another bigger phase with more responsibilities. But yes, finally 2 years, 6 rotations later, I can smoothly bid goodbye to housemanship. It had been a pretty memorable journey and looking back, Im also thankful to those who had bombarded me with scoldings or sarcasm because without their criticism, I won't be more motivated to do much better. Well, before I move on to starting my MOship, it's definitely time to enjoy my holiday now first. :)

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I agree, it seems like just yesterday that you graduated. LOL

I'm glad that you accomplished another big phase in your life and I wish you the best with the next phase.