36 hours straight.

“By time, verily mankind is in a state of loss. Except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and exhort one another to truth, and exhort one another to patience.” (Al-Quran, Al Asr: 1-3)

 

There’s a difference between someone who works 36 hours straight, and someone who SINCERELY works 36 hours straight.

Alas, I cannot be certain which categories I belong in.

****

I have been scolded –  Mildly and ferociously; rightfully and unjustly.

It’s kind of hard to maintain sincerity when you are feeling down about yourself.

I have been on-call for most public holidays and every weekend.

It’s really hard to maintain sincerity when you find yourself missing your parents even though they are no longer a thousand miles away across the sea.

I have been in a constant state of internal turmoil of whether or not I should stay in the medical field.

It’s impossible to maintain sincerity when you are not entirely convinced that you know what you are doing.

 

I had dreams of being more than just a doctor. (notice the past tense, yet?)

Now, I am thankful if I could go through one day without feeling like I am the lowest scum on the face of the earth for not knowing something so basic.

Some MOs really give it to you, sometimes! They make you feel terrible…sometimes their scolding is justified; sometimes not. You want to give it back to them. But you recognize how it would make things even worse for you. So you keep your mouth shut, and you bleed inside.

 

For the first few days of being a houseman…I felt like quitting.

I still do, from time to time.

But now the pressure is off. I feel like quitting without feeling the pressure of feeling like quitting.

 

Does that make sense?

 

Once, I felt like quitting and was stressed out for feeling so.

Now, not anymore.

Now, I feel like quitting without feeling any remorse about it.

 

I told myself that “Yes, I do work under the MOs and under the specialists. But I don’t work FOR them. I work for the sake of Allah, for my patients, for myself. I don’t need the money. I don’t have any financial responsibilities. If things become too unbearable, I can quit any time I like and no one can stop me.”

Then, the pressure is off. I recognize that they don’t hold any real power over me. The pen is lifted and the ink has dried. What I am going through has been written down since time immemorial. All I have to do is walk through it. What happens in the future, who cares?

 

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are good times too. You make new friends. You learn new stuff. You meet interesting patients. You exchange funny jokes during meetings and audit. There are good times too.

 

There are good times too…but it was few and far in between.

 

I have to remind myself that I need to have that vital component of ‘sincerity’ if I were to make the most of my sleepless hours.

There’s a difference between someone who works 36 hours straight and someone who SINCERELY works 36 hours straight, remember?

Both of them will feel tired. Both of them are counting the lack of family time they have to put up with. Both of them are exhausted of feeling like crap.

But only one of them wins in the hereafter.

 

Nowadays, I don’t waste time feeling miserable. I leave my work pressure firmly at the hospital. When I am home, I make certain I actually talk with my parents about something other than medicine. I play with my mixed Siamese-Persian kitten. We are going to have another Persian cat brought home soon. And perhaps, another flat-faced one. I have four Hamsters too. I make it a point to have life outside the pressure of medicine. I am resolved to separate my working life from my social life. I try to lead as normal a life as possible.

 

I miss having usrah, actually. I haven’t had any since working. Terrible, huh?

 

I miss what used to be my normal life.

 

My advice to those who are contemplating to work in Malaysia:

1)Perform your istikharah prayer. The only thing that stops me from regretting the decision to come home is the remembrance that however miserable I feel now, this is the best for me, confirmed by my istikharah. That’s the only thing that makes me feel better when things get especially trying.

2)Don’t miss your prayers. No matter how busy you are, perform your prayers. Be close to God. That’s your only salvation. Don’t change your ibadah routine for medicine ; not worth it!

3)It’s inevitable that you will feel like crap. You will bring pressure and tension into the family everytime you find the time to be at home. Don’t do it! Don’t destroy yourself. Once you are at home, get over yourself. Start having hobbies and distraction. (like me, I start having pets, thought it’s more of a coincidence rather than a planned agenda.)

 

4)This is my personal view: Don’t think of having financial responsibilities (like buying a car or a house) until you are 90% certain you will get through housemanship without quitting. Like me, I wouldn’t think of buying a car until I am AT LEAST, a 4th poster already. (even then I would think twice)

But that’s just my personal inclination. I don’t like unnecessary commitments…especially financial ones. Once you have financial commitments, you are tied down to your job. It’s okay to be tied down to a job that you like. But if you don’t like your job and you feel like quiting every other day, there’s no sense in pressuring yourself further by buying a car. You should want to feel like you are able to walk away from that job anytime you like without any worries. Sometimes, that’s the only thing that makes you feel better; the knowing that you don’t need the job, after all.

 

Does that make sense? I feel better now because I know that I can walk away from being a doctor anytime I like, if God wills. That I don’t need this job to pay for anything. You need to feel a sense of ‘relative’ freedom in order to feel good about a bad situation. If you don’t yet get what I mean, you will get it once you start working.

 

***

Yes, I know. It’s been entirely too long since I last update my blog.

And I can’t promise when will I next sweep off the cobwebs and wipe the dust off around here.

Until next time, please take care of yourselves, dear readers. And pray for me to have fortitude and strength to go through another 22 months of housemanship.

12 thoughts on “36 hours straight.

  1. shep

    fifi! sounds like ur having a horrible time.. well i cant even begin to imagine how it’s like, tapi know that someday u will look back to your houseman days and smiled at the shitti-ness of it hehe

    satu ayat poyo untuk hang: what doesnt kill u will only make u stronger!

    anyway, if anyone can endure this type of kuku besi regime, you’d be one of those ppl,my dear. simply cos ur too stubborn to quit hehe

    Like

  2. ain

    kak afiza…finally, a new entry from you eh..
    thanks for reminding me to do ‘my job'( to study) with a more sincere heart. next week is my 1st long case assessment..and i have been studying more because of the exams rather than solely for Allah..sigh~~
    doakan kami kak afiza..and i pray Allah will ease your way..ameen..

    Like

  3. dayah

    heheh fifi aku dah fikir dah. aku ade 3 choices now. its either working here in OZ, going back to Malaysia or not going to be a doctor. hahaha.

    aku harap aku x nangis la bile balek msia nnt. All the best la. aku tau ko bole go through mende ni kacang peassss je..22mths ape la sgt nk dibandingkan 5 yrs kat newcastle uni ni.haha. anyway i miss u :-p

    Like

  4. Mr Huhu: Ko dah kerja ke? I hope you’ll feel a lot better about your job than I am feeling about mine.

    Shep: Thanks, babe. What doesn’t kill me, only cripples me. That’s nothing, right?😉

    Ain: Belajar betul2. Newcastle punya syllabus tak sesuai dgn expectation di Malaysia. Dalam masa seminggu saja, akak dah conduct more than ten deliveries. Baru dua hari kerja, dah kena jahit episiotomy. Baru empat hari kerja, dah kena buat ARM (artificical ruprure of membrane) which kalau kat Australia, hanya registrar/specialist yg boleh buat. So, kalau teori dah mantap, balik Malaysia nanti lagi senang laaa. Lepas sebulan kerja, dah kena manage kes miscarriage on your own…akak kena bawa keluar sendiri retained product of conception from the uterus. Padahal kat OZ dulu, nak buat per speculum examination pun x sampai 2 kali. Lain expectation di Malaysia ni…..so make sure theory mantap2 betul supaya mudah di kemudian hari.

    Dayah: not going to be a doctor? Mara x kisah ke weh? Kalau ada choice tu terbentang depan mata aku, lagi best…lagi aku tak stress. Lagi-lagi lah aku rasa aku boleh blah bila2 masa.

    Like

  5. izzah

    salam..
    i’m just a silent follower of ur blog for quite some time and currently studying in russia…
    do write more sis (which i think is difficult since u r busy for the time being) as ur blog is very informative for me,especially about ur working experiences..
    i really want to know what the MOs n specialists actually expect from us foreign medical graduates…i thought OZ medical grads will be treated kindly as those from UK/Ireland, unlike russian/ukranian grads who always got humiliation from senior doctors,but somehow this entry has shed some light that they really expect too much from foreign grads regardless of where they graduated from…
    so again,i really do hope u can write more n i actually enjoy ur writing especially ur experiences back in OZ…
    last but not least,all d best 4 ur housemanship, work n study sincerely (myself included) =]

    Like

  6. Allah tidak akan menjadikan ribut jika kapal itu tidak mampu bertahan dilambung ombak. Allah tidak akan membiarkan kapal itu karam jika anak2 kapal tidak tahu berenang.

    kerana itu Allah membenarkan pelayaran. kerana Dia tahu apa2 pun yang terjadi, kita bisa mengharunginya.

    u’re doing great kakfiza. satu je terlintas kat kepale saye. “kalau kakfiza yang bijak pun sebegini, saye? memang jahit sulam ikan lah kat pesakit2 kat malaysia tu. memang salah bagi antibiotik lah agaknyaaaaa~ i just hope that i dont ‘kill’ my patients.

    dengan teori yang sedikit ini. well, ive been deciding to do my HO in sabah. tapi… i think…. if there is a chance of working here, i might just stayyyyy. tapelah. dont want to bother much about future for it has not here yet. fikir siket2 sudah.

    ok kak fizaa. i pray for ur best :))

    may the strength be with you, every seconds

    Like

  7. oh btw,

    i wish to marry a doctor so that if i feel like i wanna quit medicine, its not a waste. because i have my husband .

    and of course bukak kedai kek next to his practice. bile2 rase nak keje dokte balek, boleh je menyebok kat clinic tersebut. yaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy!!!😀

    Like

  8. dayah

    hey fifi

    i think mara xkisah langsung pon ko nk keje ke..xnak keje ke…as long as u pay the debt. hahaha. tp aku rase utang ko xde la byk mane pon kan? uuuu…aku dah start risau dah nk keje kat mane. tp xpe2 kalau org lain bole buat apesal kite x bole buat ye x? blaja kat mane2 pon same. keje kat mane2 pon same..eh x same.. hahaha. anyway kalau free online la..bole gossip. anyway today is my last day of medicine..kire last day la sbb i alredy got the signature from dr pickles for my assessment….yeayyy~~ org ckp abes medicine abes 5th year. hahaha

    Like

  9. Izzah: Salam and welcome into my humble abode. Alhamdulillah if you think my blog is beneficial. Good luck in your studies. Come back and serve the country…jangan risaulah. Sesetengah hospital tak teruk sangat. Tapi tempat akak kerja ni memang hospital yang sangat sibuk. Kalau adik pilih kat GH Penang atau kat Perlis, mungkin boleh rileks….tapi x banyak dapat belajar. Ada pros and cons. Apa-apa pun, enjoy life as a student; mantapkan teori2 yang dok belajar tu. Nanti senang.

    Peoz: kedai kek yer? Tunggu laa…akak buka kedai buku kat sebbelah kedai kek peoz…and then minta buat locum sekali-skala dgn your husband. hehehe

    Dayah:
    Wah wah wah! You sound so bahagia laaa dayah. Congrats, babe! Weh, I miss you girls! Seriously.

    Like

  10. fazila

    working in malaysia is not as bad as you think…If you take it in the positive way, you will benifit…if u take it in negative way, you stressed out. I always been scolded during my housemenship but after that I still can talk, chit chat, shakehand & even been a close friend to my MOs & specialist in other posting…I always think that those who are scolding me are trying their best to prevent more harm that I initiate..They are my teachers…when you think that they are your teacher, you will thankful to them & no grunge keep in the bottom of your heart…You will be even more stress when you become a medical officer & later specialist if your this is your train of thought..please adik…be positive..

    Like

  11. other HO

    SALAM,
    FOR ALL ADIK ADIK YANG BELAJAR OVERSEA NI ….. PLEASE LA WORKING IN MALAYSIA IN NOT REALLY BAD AS U ALL IMAGINE. THIS IS ABOUT WHAT AFIZA FELT DEEP INSIDE HERSELF… DO U THINK THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH HER INSTEAD OF MALAYSIAN SYSTEM? ME MYSELF WENT OVER THIS PERIOD LAST 6 YEARS AGO AND I’M STILL ALIVE AND HAPPY AND GLAD THAT I HAVE BEEN TRAINED HERE RATHER THAN SOMEWHERE ELSE.
    TO AFIZA , DON’T BE NEGATIVE LIKE THAT….. WE MALAYSIAN… AND HAVE OUR OWN SYSTEM … WHETHER U LIKE OR DON’T U HAVE TO USE WITH IT.
    MY COUSIN WHOM IS A REGISTRAR IN DUBLIN ALSO ADMITTED THAT IN MALAYSIA IS CHALLENGING .ACCORDING TO HER DESPITE OF LACK OF DR AND EQUIPMENT , WE STILL ABLE TO MANAGE OUR LOAD OF PATIENT AND STRESS.. THAT’S WHY SHE ONLY TAHAN IN MALAYSIA FOR 2/12 BEFORE WENT BACK TO DUBLIN.
    AND TO ALL ADIK ADIK @OVERSEA…. PLEASE COME BACK AND SERVE TO YOUR SOCIETY AS OWE THEM SO MUCH…… WITHOUT THEM U DON’T HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO A DR.

    Like

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