Tuesday, May 17, 2011

teacher's day

i have to confess i don't have any recollection of a teacher's day celebration, such that yesterday passed by without much ado for me. but that does not take away the impact teachers had on my life.

i am still in contact with Pn Rahmah (primary 1 teacher), Mrs Thumboo (primary 2 & 6, read here) & Mrs Chan (biology, 5th & 6th form). but the one who convinced me on a career path was Mr GV Pillai (physics, 5th & 6th form). he was such a masterful teacher, appropriately so as he was the only one with a M.Sc in school, he made physics so simple that a whole bunch of us in class decided we want to be engineers.

so what happened?

that's when i met the other Teacher:

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  Mark 10: 17, 21

so, did i interpret this encounter correctly? did i sell off my engineering ambition to take an alternate path to public service? perhaps the circle will be complete only when i backtrack return to serve the poor.


house-tai said...

Can't you serve both the rich (full time job) and the poor (part time volunteer)?

wenn said...

public service is a great job.

Mei Teng said...

Good teachers are to be remembered and honoured.

doc said...


i have a contract for full-time work with the hospital & i don't think that will change. unless the govt decreed that doctors in private hosps must serve part-time in public service, which i personally look forward to, i will need to quit my job 1st.

doc said...


it is.

Yan said...

I do always feel that I am like the lepers (Luke 17:12-19) when it comes to teacher's day - besides my English teacher in my fourth and fifth form, I could not remember what to thank for each teacher who taught me before!

Yvonne Foong said...

Your blog header says, "Doc in private practice venting steam".

If you backtrack and go into public service, you will changing your header tagline to, "Doc in public service venting fire".

In my opinion, thinking that one is doing the country a service by working in public hospitals is a misconception. The country's public health will remain the way it is with or without you. At this stage, to truly serve the poor is to replace the top fellows of our health ministry, or maybe the Prime Minister.

I have many friends serving housemanship now. One fell sick and had to work even when her grandmother passed away. She works more than 12 hours a day. Not only is the workload heavy, the environment is harsh. Medical Officers bully senior housemen. Senior housemen bully Junior housemen. Junior Housemen bully the patient. The patient blames the nurse. And the nurse bullies the housemen back.

I heard Ipoh GH is one of the best managed. But even there is a culture of pecking order. But it's understandable. When people go to work in such an environment, even the nicest person will learn to become aggressive and all the clinical mistakes occur.

It has been this way for decades and getting worse day by day.

The system needs a revolution and it cannot happen when the rakyat want to preserve it the way it is, refuse to critize, insisting to safe face and just be thankful that we can still get cheap medical attention if we want it.

I don't think 'serving the poor' the Malaysian way is really what it is. Doctors, nurses, patients and other medical professionals should really demand for change. But right now, I don't see that they are willing, so the public healthcare system stays the way it is.

doc said...


i shared the same leper story just yesterday at prayer meeting. we had spent much time praying for, which is ok, but too little time giving thanks.

doc said...


yeah, you could say out of the frying pan & into fire, but i don't intend to start at houseman level although i would like to work with the junior doctors, whom since time immemorial have, for long periods, been left working unsupervised.

i know one person cannot change the whole system, but it would bring me much satisfaction & a sense of accomplishment, if some poor patients could receive specialist care at virtually no cost to them.

unfortunately, there are no long-term contracts for such posts in public hospitals at the moment.

doc said...

Mei Teng,

i guess that's what teachers' day is for, even though (& this is so cliche!) they should be appreciated all year through.

Yvonne Foong said...

What do you mean by 'contracts'? Is there something I don't know?

Speaking along this line, I have a houseman friend who is complaining that she will never get to specialize in oncology due to government red tapes. They only accept local graduates into their oncology program. So my friend is intending to specialise in paediatric, obtain the international qualification so that she can work anywhere in the world. If I remember correctly, this international qualification is not recognized in Malaysia pulak.

I always wondered why couldn't we have really good neurosurgeons in Malaysia, until I heard about all these red tapes from my friend.

I see what you mean about serving in public service now. I hope they will give you a good post as a teaching and research fellow. We have too many housemen and nobody to teach them.

doc said...


once you leave govt service & then return to it, you start at the bottom again. the other way is to get a contract post which is often short-termed & renewable, but allows you some seniority based on experience & qualifications.

if your houseman friend wants to work overseas, it's best to do an overseas post-grad degree.

Yvonne Foong said...

So this means if you get a contract post, you can work at the level of your experience, and you may cabut anytime. Good what.

doc said...


if i quit my private job now to go public, i would want a long term contract, eg. 5 years, because at my age, it's almost impossible to get back into private again.

i don't plan to cabut till i'm ready to retire.

Unicorn Girl said...

You are doing a wonderful job now - so what's there to complain ?

In my case , I despise my tuition teacher because that nut underestimated my capabilities .

doc said...