Dec 7, 2019

3 Years A Doctor

Two days ago was my third anniversary of being a doctor.

Even though it feels like it's been forever, it is just the beginning. Everyone says so, even if my heart tells me otherwise. After the hardship of doing housemanship, my placement to a chill klinik kesihatan has made me complacent. It's hard not to. This is the Respite. A safe haven. I think I deserve this break - heck, I'm lucky to even have this break. I'm literally one of the last people who got permanent placement before KKM axed that promise of job security and throw everyone under the bus.

It feels kinda surreal, to be honest. Too many close shaves I'd encountered, but miraculously I managed to hang on. I remembered being depressed when I was a houseman, but I've never seriously thought of giving up for good. For real. No matter how bleak I thought my life was heading, I never entertained the idea of quitting being a doctor.

Alas, this is no bravado. Nor do I feel the necessity to brag. But I think I was scarred badly enough when I was in medical school that nothing can faze me much after that. No bad day during housemanship could make me cry while driving alone late at night. Nothing can compare the hopelessness that I felt during my fifth year with any given day of me working as a doctor. It also doesn't mean that the hardship I endured during housemanship is a walk in the park either. I've talked plenty about it, though, so enough about that.

Three years of being a doctor. Three years of accumulating knowledge and experience. It's not much, and I fear it is not enough, but for what I am doing right now I think it is passable, albeit just barely. Most of what I learnt in Surgical and Orthopaedics rotation are fast leaving me, and what I learnt in O&G and Paeds are slowly coming back to me. Again, it's not much, but it helps me with what I'm doing right now.

I guess, at certain times, I still feel like a fraud. I used to feel this way all the time in the past, but now it only lingers from time to time. It never goes away completely, so sometimes when I'm in doubt I feel that what I am doing right now is wrong. That surely any other doctor is doing a much better job than me. This sense of insecurity, of being inferior, has long been instilled into me by products of mishap and misfortunes in the past. I can't changed what had happened long time ago, but what I am right now is an accumulation of scattered fragments of vulnerability that is hard to repair.

All I ask in life is a stable job with a stable family. I longed for a place I call my own home. I want to plant my root, make a family, and to raise it well. All of that requires me to focus my attention to more than my job. I want to be able to go home after work on time, looking after my kids (when I have one!) and spend time with my family. I want my weekends to be free at home, free to lounge around and doing house chores. It is my longest ever dream, perpetuated more firmly from my desire to escape from the all-work-no-life lifestyle while I was in housemanship.

But is that all I amount to? Does ambition mean nothing to me? Don't I wish to pursue further qualification, shouldering more responsibility, and be more than just a medical officer? Sure, my dream of having a stable family is a worthy one, noble even, but is it all it has to be? Should I strive for more than whatever it is I think I am having?

What more should I be doing? I am growing attached to the place of work I am in right now. It has medium workload, weekends off, supportive superiors and plenty of GP locum hours. This could be the place for me to plant my roots. To raise a family. Sure, it is a bit far from home (well, it's damn so far up north, to be honest), but this could be it. This. Could. Be. It.

But pursuing master may not be a bad idea. Even though it surely mean that I have to move around again, that I need to pour my brains out again studying more than ever, that I will have to work more, be responsible for more things, and that all may impact on my homely dream. Maybe the place after this will not be as nice as the one I am in. Maybe I will have less time at home. Maybe I will grow to hate being forced to work like this.

I think, for now, I will work as usual at my beloved klinik kesihatan to gain more experience. Next year I will enter the 30-year realm of adulthood. Another three years to go through before I'm even qualified to take the master program. But maybe, within that time frame I will have my answers whether to pursue specialty or not. For now, it's work and learn. Work and learn. May Allah ease.



  1. Same thought here, kalau x amik masters boleh tak? Jadi mo je la.
    Pastu buat locum, ok je kehidupan financially.

    Tapi kenapa lagi 3 years bru qualified untuk apply masters?

  2. At least..permanent has a choice isnt it.