The Sky never was the Limit...with God

Ramblings and reflections of one growing in stature and wisdom and in his walk with God :)

6:53 PM

Where the heart is

Etched by Isaac

So now I've been back for almost four weeks. The flight was uneventful, thank God, and I took the few days before my elective posting to overcome jet lag. Definitely very happy to step foot on Malaysian soil and to meet family and friends once again. Oh, and did I mention the food? =D

As per my elective posting objectives, I have been observing and analysing the practice of medicine in the government hospital setting in Malaysia, which has many strengths and weaknesses. There is much room for improvement, but most of it boils down to the attitude and mentality of society at large, which is the toughest thing to change, and will definitely not happen overnight. To have any chance of changing anything at all here, one has to have a high rank, I believe. Tough times, tough times.

The three weeks in the internal medicine department were amazingly fun - pretty gruelling, but fun nonetheless. I certainly took every chance I could to take blood and set lines, and to accustom myself to the future working environment - it isn't pretty, but it's all good. Workload is heavy, and the hours are long; administrative tasks outnumber medical tasks, but there's much to be learnt. The words of a nurse will stay in my head for a while, "Saya sudah kerja sini lebih enam tahun tapi tak pernah nampak pelajar ambil darah,". I can't help but think, these are my future colleagues and seniors, omg. I shall cross that bridge when I come to it. At least I hear that IMU Seremban churns out commendable housemen - they shall be my benchmark although I'm sure they'll be better than me as they get a lot more exposure than I do over in the UK - this is the result of the very different systems. Monash Malaysia is also doing a good job. The other medical schools? I'm not qualified to comment, I guess.

I will fondly recall the chats with the friendly housemen and the other competent doctors with whom I worked in the internal medicine department. I owe Kean Yew a huge thank you for all the help. Interestingly, being mistaken for a doctor was common due to the ubiquitous white lab coats both housemen and medical students wear, and the fact that apparently it's uncommon for medical students posted there to take blood, or help out in other procedures. My thoughts are that fear of hurting patients now will not help me in the future, so it would be better to get over the fear, and just do it. Ironically, a couple of fifth-year medical students asked me if they could follow me to watch how I took a blood for culture, even after I explained that I had just finished my third year.

This elective thus far has reinforced my views about the local culture, and the fact that I like internal medicine although the workload is really heavy, compared to most other departments. Mental gymnastics, Tim once called it, and I agree - this is what makes it interesting to me. A lot more studying to be done however. =/ I am not up to mark, at least not by my own standards. Can't afford to procrastinate much longer. Also, I have to learn Mandarin at least, before I come back to work here. I get scolded every single day by some random Chinese patient or family member, for not speaking their mother tongue. Ah well.

Ever since coming home, I have learnt something about myself: I've become a lot more cynical/realistic/direct/critical over the past one year. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I'm not sure. However, with this, there comes a certain amount of restraint with regards to what I choose to say and not say. I guess some amount of maturity does come with experience and time. The Bible verse about thinking like a child comes to mind - I think I'm stuck somewhere in between thinking like a child and thinking like a full-fledged adult; being somewhat self-aware helps too. Next year, I'll probably look back at myself and think, "Yeah, I was childish back then," - this will repeat itself ad infinitum.

I shall tell the rest of my Malaysian time story through the photographs.

-- I happily sat on the Heathrow airport floor and munched on my Waitrose pie --

-- My first breakfast back home! --
-- I imported peaches over with me --
 -- Low Yat Plaza. Still the best place for digital goods. --

-- Had the chance to have sashimi of sorts with Jack Kee -- 
-- Found in church! --
-- Feels good to be back in Metro. --
-- Bak Zhang! --
 -- Inside Out with Sylvia. Much "lava you"s. Hahaha. =) --

-- Otak-otak at a church BBQ. Amazing stuff. Can't make it over in the UK. --
 -- We made it to Cape Rachado! --

-- Playing around with optical illusions. --

-- Mummy and I with the huge buns. Superbly delicious, must try when in PD. --
 -- Gordon having fun. --

-- Very blessed to be given the chance to have this buffet! Top notch food! -- 
 -- Lo Mai Kai! --

 -- Fresh thosai and vade and curries. --

 -- Extra salmon is always welcome. --

-- I got Gordon to play with my fisheye lens. --
-- Nasi Lemak. Oozing goodness. --
-- Managed to pull people together for a meet-up! --
-- Not mine, but I photographed it. Snowflake! Honestly, pricey. --
-- We finally found an optimal spot for the group picture. Hahahaha. --
-- Badminton is always good. --
-- Jasper and his blue hood. --
-- Nam Heong! Still pretty much as good as before, but pricier. --
-- I made it to Seremban to meet up with these people (and others for next time) --
-- Somewhat annual picture with Jack Kee at church =P --
 -- Uncle Chong's Curry Mee and White Coffee - still the best choice in Endah Parade. --

-- As taken by Nat. Fun times! --
-- Learning to spell again, sorry Tim, couldn't help it. =P --
Thus ends this post.
Next post will hopefully be before I fly back to the UK. Otherwise, it'll be from there. House is done, thank God. So much to thank God for. I need to learn to count my blessings more. 

note to self - i think my photography is improving. Keep it up :D

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