A doctor or a physician practises the profession of medicine, and are concerned with the restoration of human health through the diagnosis, research or thought process, followed by the treatment process where medication are dispensed to their patients. Today, we shall discover the life of Wong Yi, who is a doctor based in the National University Hospital of Singapore and a youth leader in Queenstown's network of community services.
Queenstown's Very Own Doctor!
At only 25 years old, Wong Yi had already finished four years of medical school and had completed his one year of internship. He is currently a Junior Specialist doctor, who is undergoing three years of basic training in various fields of specialisations such as Renal medicine, Respiratory medicine and Dermatology medicine. His working hours are 7.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays and from 7.30am to 12pm, either on Saturday or Sunday.
Arriving at 7.30am in the ward which he is in charge of, Wong Yi started his busy day by making his routine morning ward rounds. He has to monitor the condition of not only the existing patients, but also the new admissions who admitted either last night or this morning. He is in charge of ‘clerking’ the new arrivals in the hospital ward, which basically means taking down their individual history, examining them and also ordering various treatment methods.
Ward 43-Where Dr Wong Yi Works
When asked about his reason for becoming a doctor. "I had always liked the sciences especially biology and I really wanted to put my knowledge into practice. I didn’t really plan to become a doctor when I was young, but I guess I did well during my interview selection process and had the great opportunity to enter medical school. Over one year of practicing medicine, I really enjoy helping people and do not regret my decision to become a doctor!"
At about 9.30am, Wong Yi had to start his shift in the hospital clinic which is similar to a normal private General Practise clinic. He explained that his clinic shifts are only about thrice a week, either in the morning or afternoon. Whenever there is no clinic in the morning, he needs to stay in the wards and continue his duties such as ordering blood tests for the patients and also updating the respective families regarding the patients’ conditions.
In the clinic, Wong Yi handles more complex cases in the area where he currently specialises. Currently, he takes patients with joint problems such as arthritis and rheumatism. He explains that these areas of specialisations will rotate every month between Junior doctors.
Medicine Clinic at NUH
Wong Yi shared his most memorable experience as a doctor with us. There was a National Service personnel who admitted into hospital with fever and swollen Lymph Nodes. The NS guy was nonchalant about his condition but his mother was worried sick. Wong Yi ordered further tests for the soldier and scheduled an appointment one week later with him. However, concerned about the worried mother, Wong Yi displayed a high sense of empathy by calling her straight after the tests results are out, even before the scheduled appointment date in order to reassure her. The parents of the soldier later expressed gratitude towards Wong Yi's professionalism. 'She might be worried sick and probably could not sleep well at night. What I did was a basic gesture of what a doctor should do.'
After lunch at around 1pm, Wong Yi headed back to the hospital wards and made his rounds. He monitored vital signs of the patients, spoke with them and also ordered additional investigations for new diagnoses whenever he thinks it is necessary.
He explained that teaching and mentoring sessions also play a huge part in his job. Senior specialists will often hold teaching sessions where they impart medical knowledge in their area of expertise to Junior doctors like Wong Yi. Junior doctors will then be required to mentor new Interns in their careers. This constantly learning and mentoring process sharpens the various areas of professional expertise in our young Singaporean doctors, and also allows Singapore to retain its image as an important medical hub in the world.
Wong Yi takes pride and embraces challenges in his work as a doctor. He derives happiness in seeing his patients get well after their stay in the wards and being discharged healthy. He often meet difficult families being overly anxious over their kin's medical conditions. Wong Yi would then calm their anxiety by talking and explaining the situation to them, thus changing them from difficult to satisfied families.
On the other hand, Wong Yi is disappointed whenever families register their elderly folks into the hospital on medical grounds, with the actual intention of admitting them into a nursing home. As a medical doctor, his hands are pretty tied when it comes to social issues. That is why doctors work closely in a team, together with Medical Social Workers, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Dieticians and the list goes on. The team will discuss about difficult situations and will sieve out the best methods and implement them.
He works here!
At about 5pm, Wong Yi makes his 'Exit Round' where he updates the Senior doctors on existing patients at the end of his work day. This is an important process where information is passed directly to the next doctor in charge, to ensure the meticulous transfer of vital information regarding the patients.
Besides his hectic work schedule, Wong Yi looks forward to his wide range of leisure activities after work and during weekends. He enjoys tennis, volleyball and volunteer work during his free time. He is also a National Beach Volleyball referee where he is employed whenever he is needed for a game in Sentosa. In addition to all his activities, it is hard to believe that he is an avid DOTA (Defence Of The Ancients) player. It sounds unusual but computer games and doctors can actually go together!
Talking about his future plans, Wong Yi explained that he needs to finish his National Service of one and a half years as he had deferred for medical school. He would then come back to finish up his three years of specialist training, before settling for a permanent specialised area of medical expertise. 'Practicing medicine is getting increasingly challenging, coupled with the increasingly sophisticated technology for us to deal with. For aspiring doctors out there, if you enjoy helping people, constantly learning and facing challenges in a three-in-one package, being a doctor is a great career for you!'