Saturday, January 19, 2013

Goodbye Cardiology HSBAS!


Well... as I am writing this... I would have guessed that today's actually the day when I'm finally saying goodbye to cardiology. It was supposed to be 2 days ago, on a Thursday, but because I was on call for cardiology as a medical officer on Friday, thus, this has to be postponed. Of course, there will still be a plenty lot more of cardiology on calls to come over the next couple of months before I get upgraded to doing clinical specialist calls for general internal medicine.

Zooming back for the past four years and five months -- that's been a rather long time for me unmoved in a single posting after having graduated from housemanship -- I have indeed learned a great deal of things out of assuming the role of being proactive... whenever I have the energy and the interest of course. It has been one long journey filled with the tight-knots and as well as the loose-ends if you know what I mean. I recalled being indicted to the cardiology posting as the 2nd cardiology medical officer back in August 2008 since the department's inception in late 2007. It was still indeed a relatively young department, one that is so junior, that when I first entered, everything was brand new and for our consultants - a field of untapped resources.

Being in the field of cardiology, as in any other fields, one has to be tasked to doing ward rounds in CRW and CCU as well as seeing patients lodged in the peripheral wards, in the cardiology clinics and taking in referrals from other departments. It was a lot of work as I recalled and yes, I was quite a nasty fellow back then due to what many would call and label it as having a stream of 'young blood'. But over time, out of all the mistakes, shame and embarrassment, I suppose, I went mellowed by then. Knowing out of the lesson of humility, that there are in fact quite a lot more things that I could never comprehend, I bowed to the very lesson of respect to others.

But that aside, cardiology has taught me a great deal of independence. I was given the freedom - much more enjoyed compared to any other field I suppose - to do my own work. This would include learning echocardiography, interpreting HOLTER reports, doing research and free papers as well as studying for my MRCP exams. And if you are into the deep interest of further knowledge, you may well participate in doing invasive procedures with bosses such as that of pacemaker implantations, pericardiocentesis, coronary angiography and angioplasty as well as transesophageal echocardiography and dobutamine stress echocardiography. It's fun nevertheless, to learn and adopt these skills even though they are not particularly required of you - especially that of the remaining three (lots of centers do expect their medical officers to do pacemaker implantations - especially those temporary ones and pericardiocentesis).

But I guess, the best part of it all, being in the field of cardiology, is earning the respect from our bosses. They entrust us with our own responsibilities and rarely do they countercheck about our whereabouts, treating us like adults. And for that, somewhat... you would feel guilty yourself out of the development of shame and embarrassment should you commit something that disrespects their trust for you. In fact, the department has churned out a great deal of responsible doctors and I for one know quite a few of them who are indeed hardworking, efficient and possesses the capability and the will to learn. Most have gone on to pursue and enhance their career while others are still working on their gazettement.

And as I take a final look at the department as a whole... I know that I am going to leave behind a great deal of memories. I learned to be independent here. I learned what it means to be entrusted with one own's responsibility here. I learned to be quick, fast paced, rapid and efficient here. I learned to do a great deal of procedures here and if I may brag - I have done up to about nearly 800-900 echocardiography since I first started out in the midst of 2011. I also learned how to interpret exercise stress test (countless of them) and as well as interpreting HOLTER reports. I also learned to sharpen my skills out of bedside experience with patients presenting with all sorts of cardiac complains. And it is in fact out of these non-purchasable experience, that comes from it, the wisdom to be able to guide the future juniors who join the department. But aside from these things... I actually won my sweetheart's attention and love in CRW too, for those who have no idea about that and that is in particular why as I look back over the years spent with the cardiology team, there impressed upon me the mixed feeling of being sad and happy at the same time.

Sad because I'm leaving behind a great amount of rich history of what I have previously treaded on. The footprints will never wear off - and in this case, one can note my countless amount of signatures on the patient's cards and as well as my handwriting. I evolved from writing in their folders to typing into the computer system and that took around 2 years of evolution to step in. Something somewhat reminds me of how long I have been there. LOL. But at the same time, I'm happy and glad to leave for greener pastures. For gazettement in the field of general internal medicine. To learn new things and to pick up more vital knowledge that will help me later on in my future career as I decide on my interest in subspecialty in the not so distant future.

Sigh... It's been an adventure... And I'd like to pen off by thanking all my great bosses for being great to me. For trusting me and for entrusting the great responsibility to me. For teaching me. For imparting your knowledge onto me. For guiding me. For reprimanding me firmly, yet with respect when I did something wrong when I was still a junior back then. But most of all, for respecting me... that was one virtue and value that I will honor forever. And for that, you win my respect without a doubt.

The list is too long to thank, but I will scribe as much as I can.

Special thanks to:-

Former boss - Dr Abdul Rahim bin Tahir, Dr Siti Khairani, Dr Stanley
Current boss - Dr Hasmannizar bin Abd Manap, Dr Billy, Dr Ch'ng ET, Dr Syukur
Former colleagues - Dr Shartiyah, Dr Din XJ, Dr Low DE, Dr Chong GY, Dr Fyzal
Current colleagues - Dr Shukri, Dr KY Kang, Dr Thiba, Dr Wan Faizal
Junior colleagues who have just joined us - Dr Atikah, Dr Nida
CRW, CCU, ICL and NICL staffs for treating me with great respect, I bow with great honor, humility and gratitude. My absence from these wards are merely temporary as I will be venturing there again during on calls.

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