Jul 23, 2019

Part One - The Long Journey

It has been almost a month since I received the transfer letter and started working at a new place. A month filled with multiple burnout drives back and forth, travelling to far and near places. The long travel, the reporting in, the hunt for a place to stay, and the settling in has kept me much occupied that I neglected to blog here. I've been meaning to write the whole experience of the transition between a floating MO to a regular MO post-transfer and now I got a bit of time to do just that.

I'm sure my batch's experience is different from the previous MOs because we are the first batch of contract HOs being offered a permanent posting as an MO. Everything is digital, too, with the offer letters and the transfer letter just needed to be printed. Once all the forms and letters are ready, I packed my essential belongings that can sustain me for a month, shoved them all into my tiny Viva car, bid my farewell and start driving.

I have to make multiple entries because there's so much to tell so here we go.

Part One: The Long Travel

When we first got transferred, we are supposed to come to the health state department (Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri) of the state that we got. I departed from home very early as I estimated it would took me 2 hours to reach there and it was. Upon arriving to the meeting hall, I was surprised to see there's a huge number of us (122 people!) got a transfer in this state and all I could think of was, uh oh.

Usually JKN people will receive around 20 people reporting in for transfer in a month. And there I was, among the sea of a hundred people and few colleagues who got the same state as I was, waiting for them to hand in the official transfer letter that tells us the district we are transferring to. A few of us managed to call the JKN beforehand to know which district they've got so no suspense there but to majority of us, we were all waiting anxiously for that damn letter.

In any KKM organization at state level, us doctors usually work either under Medical or Public Health. Those under Medical means they will work in hospitals. It can mean a district hospital, a tertiary one or above. If you got Medical, you will be told which department you got once you report in at the hospital. Public Health doctors are the front-liners who work in health clinics (klinik kesihatan). We were told that in view of a large number of us transferring at the same time, half of us will be transferred to klinik kesihatans and another half will be sent to the hospitals.

Priority for a hospital transfer was given to those who passed (parts) of professional papers like MRCP, MRCH, etc. and those who are contract-based MOs. The reason being is that for doctors who have passed first paper of MRCP, for instance, they will require more training at tertiary hospitals under a specialist guide. Meanwhile, those who are contract-based supposedly will also be sent to tertiary hospitals because they will need to be evaluated by a specialist before being offered a permanent post.

After I received the letter and learned of the far-away district I've been assigned, I straightaway left the JKN building and started driving away. Afterall, it would take another 2 hours roughly from JKN to the next reporting place. I've learnt later that some of us stayed behind at the JKN for "haggling" - they tried to swap placement among themselves on mutual agreement. Some would want someplace more south or more north, closer to the east or to west, for instance, depending on their preferences or personal circumstances. Some succeeded while some did not. There's no guarantee.

Imagine this was me driving not under lamp lights but under the basking sun

The journey further north was a bit quiet with a whip of whirlwind perturbing my mind. After all I was, at that moment in what I would call uncharted waters. I was wondering throughout the drive about what is it like working in klinik kesihatan in a less populated district. Would I be left frustrated, unable to cope with the limitation of a clinic setting? Would I be wondering aimlessly, go in and out of work without the crazy rush of emergency I normally had back when I was in ED? What about my future? My aim for a paper? What about settling down? Having a family? How must I proceed?

It was a totally different kind of journey with a different kind of feeling. When I first left the house in the wee hours of 4 am, I had an endgame. I had it all planned and prepped. I googled JKN days before departure, finding out the best route and how long the drive was, determining where to change clothes and gauging whether my packed bags are sufficient or not for the months ahead. I was confident. I was ready.

The second journey was not the same. I did not know where the place was. What's the people there like. I know for certain there are a number of KKs there and I don't know which one suits me the best, or whether I can choose which KK to serve in the first place. The more I traveled, the more alarmed I felt about the future that lies in front of me. The weather was not endearing, either. It was cruelly hot and dry. I felt my lips cracking and my shirt sticking to my body. I definitely did not smell pretty. But I drove on and on, until I reached my second destination of the day -  the district health office (Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah or PKD).

(to be continued in Part Two - Reporting In)


  1. Hi there, i'm happy to have found an active blogger blogging about hospital work as HO and MO for recent years, it's not easy to find one nowadays, probably everyone is busy of their work? I find joy and peace while reading your entries since you started HO, it gives me a good insight on how hospital work is like. I also find peace because I was once a HO's girlfriend of almost 4 years, we just broke up a couple months ago due to communication issue. I wanted to understand his work more so as to give appropriate support, but he seem to not wanting to know how his work as a HO is like probably because he didn't want me to know how stressful it could be, leaving a wider and wider gap in between us. Reading your blog entries feel like I could still be there for him from a distance away, even though he wouldn't turn back since I don't think he has time for relationship with his current busy schedule haha, but all I wanted for him is for him to be happy and stay strong in HO, just like how you have been through all the way to MO now. Please continue to blog about your life, and have a great journey as MO! :)

    1. I'm sorry for your break up. I know the feeling. Be strong and thank you for reading my blog!

  2. i got back my old hospital back. now that was a whole kind of drive. yup, I have also packed all my stuff. lol.

  3. Just found this blog. Very helpful tips to stay calm and informative about the latest contract system. Am still in waiting list for e-HO. Wish me luckπŸ˜…

    1. Good luck and all the best!! πŸ’ͺ🏼πŸ’ͺ🏼πŸ’ͺ🏼

  4. Anyone got placement at the jkn itself?