Wednesday, March 23, 2016

15 years

The wife and I were talking last night, when our university days came up.
And I started off wanting to say that it wasn't that long ago that I was in university.
Until I actually stopped to count, and realized to my horror:
I have been a doctor for 15 years.

15 years ago, I had those letters M and D added to my professional/academic name. Be it a blessing or a curse, it's been with me since.

Holy cow- did the 15 years just whizzed by. After all, between that day (graduation) and now, I've done clinical teaching at IMU in Bukit Jalil, completed my residency in internal medicine at WFMC, followed by 3 years of fellowship in endocrinology, gotten married (twice- but to the same girl thankfully!)(in the USA and Malaysia, lah!), had 2 kids, and have been in practice for 8 years.

It's true what they say about time flying. But it's also interesting to note how I've changed professionally. Sadly enough. After all, ask any keen medical student, and they'll tell you they're going to change the world and help everyone. But somehow along the way, you get jaded, numbed and burnt out from the harsh realities of medicine in the USA: the complexities of health insurance and the skyrocketing cost of care and medications, the greed you sometimes see from industry, the bureaucracy, the lawyers and administrators. And yes, sometimes the patients too- when they argue and fight or are simply indifferent.

But, life goes on. We do what we can. Perhaps less of a spring in our steps, but we have after all taken that oath, and it's one I intend to keep. And the few guiding principles I try to live by:
  • The needs of the patient come first
  • Primum non nocere
I wonder where I'll be in the next 15 years?