The Not-So-Knowledgeable Houseman

10:02 AM

This is a RECREATION of a gastrointestinal tract (GIT) anatomy made by a Houseman. I don't want to repost the exact copy as I want to "jaga" the HOs feelings. 

Now, the original picture looked decent enough. There's the anus, the rectum, caecum, colon and the likes. But wait a minute. Something doesn't seem right. This is situs inversus. The GIT is the other way around. And it seems to miss out on the appendix and the Caecum isn't where it's supposed to be.

Some will say "Aiyya, small matter only. The HO will learn during the course of the HOship la."

But, come on la. This one, you're supposed to learn during MEDICAL SCHOOL. My GIT anatomy class was in the FIRST YEAR! You're supposed to be able to draw it with your eyes closed.

It wouldn't be fair to blame the current breed of medical graduates though. Back in my day when I was a HO (not so long ago), there were a few colleagues (fellow HO) who couldn't tell the difference between an appendix and a rectum. There was one particular guy whom I can never forget. His name was...ha, cannot tell la. Nanti fellow Taiping HO mates will know :P

It was his first day in orthopedic department. Mr G had a penchant for being a know it all specialist. He would churn out non-orthopedic questions out of the blue for housemen to answer. 

While discussing on the risk of NSAIDs abuse, Mr G ask the fella.

"Ha, you. Tell me where the stomach is."

Seems like a direct question. It should be somewhere in the epigatric region.
But to everyone's surprise, he answered by pointing to his WHOLE ABDOMEN. The whole 9 regions. Of course, Mr G asked again whether he was sure about his answer. 

And he was DAMN CONFIDENT that's where it is.

While it would be nice to end this story about how the HO managed to change his ways and improve himself to become an excellent doctor. That, is not the case. He turned out to be a troublesome person to work with. He would go missing in the middle of ward work. Taking emergency leave at his whim. And having other HO covering his oncalls almost every other day. To be frank, I hated working with him. I tried teaching him the ropes but he was stubborn as hell. 

He ended up getting extended in every single department.
Guess what, his ambition is to become a SURGEON. Well, I wished him all the best. People can still change for the better. I'm not sure what he's up to now though.

Anyways, what am I blabbering about?
Recently there was a report about a specialist acting violently with a HO. I DO NOT condone violence. Nor do I condone bullying. I had my fair share of being bullied and that should be put to a stop. 

However, HOs should learn to equip themselves well before entering the service. Of course specialists and MOs are supposed to be there to train and equip you with the necessary skills. But you BASIC MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE need to be strong la. Cannot la expect the doctors to teach you anatomy and physiology. You are expected to know it by heart once you graduate from medical school.


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  1. I had my share of these types of colleagues. One example.., had to cover him, because he was uncontactable while on call (we were using pagers then). The next day, he said he went boozing. But still he wasn't strangled ;)

    1. And it's because of fellas like that the waiting time and placement availability of HO's are so adversely affected , they should've been sacked.. :(

  2. I don't mean to make fun of anyone ...
    But second year nursing students from my college could draw much, much better than that.

    I agree that he shouldn't be made fun of or bullied because of that, no , no .. more like he shouldn't have been able to pass the medical exams in the first place..


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