Wednesday, January 19, 2005



Sailed at Pari last evening. Thought it was going to be a good night, as there weren't that many patients. Well, that was until 2050 (i was supposed to finish at 2100), when Anna the CA informed me that there were still 4 (?!?) patients sitting outside, and kindly asked me to "see faster".

Well, that really got to me. i suppose i wasn't very happy since:

1) i was hoping to get back early to eat dinner and catch CSI
2) i wasn't even aware that there were anymore patients, as clever Anna didn't put the patient cards in the window
3) She told me to "see faster", hence implying that i was slow and holding up the clinic.

Would actually have liked to speed up the consultations and get out on time, but as things would have it, the last few patients weren't exactly the simplest of the lot. One was a dehydrated 10 year old girl who i was afraid had pneumonia (turned out that she probably didn't, but i still had to ausculate her chest really carefully, for which her dad was very grateful), one was a middle-aged Tamil (only)-speaking lady who turned up again for persistent nausea and vomiting and insisted on an injection, which didn't just hold up the queue cos she had to undress to get it jabbed on her buttocks, but also because she was so FAT that her butt cheeks just swallowed up the entire length of the 23G, and the last significant one was a Malay boy with a rash for (get this...) 2 months over his chest and who didn't think better to seek medical treatment earlier. This Malay guy had EXTENSIVE Tinea Corporis, involving his abdomen, groin, upper thighs and buttocks. He was still well, so i decided to give him a 2 week course of oral ketoconazole (after taking some blood for LFTs of course). i instructed him and his uncle to return a week later (since i'll be on again) for me to review his condition. Interesting case indeed, but frustrating because of what happened later on.

Because of my THOROUGH consultation and prescribing last evening, i eventually finished the slot at 2150! Was supposed to get off at 2100 in fact. Well, as if that wasn't bad enough, Anna only paid me 140 for the whole session, which only meant there was $20 for the overtime bit, whereas i expected a full hour's pay at least. Tried reasoning with her, but she said that she had checked with Dr Judy, "my boss (sic)", and that was what she was told to give me.

i suppose, on hindsight, that i was cheesed off for 2 reasons. Firstly, the possibility that it WAS because i was slow in seeing patients that i ended so late last evening, where it may well have been avoided by skimping on the history taking and examination and blindly prescribing empirical treatment. Secondly, i was not compensated appropriately for the extra hour and effort that i put in. Well, i think, from an employer's point of view, it can only go one way, and not satisfy the other. If i (*note: the "i" here is supposed to be in bold... i somehow have lost my formatting functions) choose to be thorough, then i must pay the price of staying on late. And not be compensated for it. Aren't doctors supposed to work for free anyway? Bleagh.

Well, seems like all turned out ok in the end. Anna called me this morning, and said that she had discussed it with her boss, who agreed to pay me another 20 (she must have brought this matter up to Judy again today). Gosh, feel so cheap here, but i think it's a matter of principle, for how else can you encourage one to take pride and care in his work, if there's no acknowledgment of effort put in?



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