Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Study leave

I will be taking a short break since my exam is just around the corner. There are lots of things that I haven't covered yet and hopefully, I will be able to get pass through this exam.

This exam is the major exam for medical students in University of Melbourne. This exam covers two semesters and we are expected to know LOTS of stuff since we will be real doctors soon. The mark from this exam will determine the hospital allocation for internship and contributes significant proportion of total mark in the entire medical course.

The paragraph above should explain why I'm pretty nervous now. This will not be easy and the number of posts in the last few weeks represents how stressful I am. I think this is the highest number of blog posts that I have wrote prior to exam period so far.

The details of my exam...

Wednesday, 25 June: 120 Multiple Choice Questions in 3 hours.
Friday, 27 June: OSCE.
Wednesday, 2 July: Long Case.

Both OSCE and long case are hurdle requirement. That's mean you will fail the entire exam if you fail in either one of those exams.

Good bye for now and I will be back once this exam is over :)

Download Day for Firefox 3.0

The official version has been released. Download now and get the latest version of firefox :)

Download Day

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Medical Abbreviations II

This are the list of common medical abbreviations that I've learned throughout this semester.

STEMI - ST elevation of myocardial infarction
NSTEMI - Non ST elevation of myocardial infarction
COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
HOCM - Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy

# NOF - Fracture neck of femur
ORIF - Open reduction and internal fixation
DDH - Developmental dysplasia of the hip
SUFE - Slipped upper femoral epiphysis
FOOSH - Fall on outstretched hand

RA - Rheumatoid Arthritis
OA - Osteoarthritis
AS - Ankylosing Spondylitis

BCC - Basal cell carcinoma
SCC - Squamous cell carcinoma
HSV - Herpes simplex virus
VZV - Varicella Zoster virus
PDT - Photo Dynamic Therapy
PUVA - Psoralen and ultraviolet A

NPDR - Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy
PDR - Proliferative diabetic retinopathy
HONK - Hyper osmolar non-ketotic
IRMA - Intra-retinal Microvascular Abnormalities

Vascular Surgery
ABI - ankle brachial index
AT - anterior tibial
DVT - Deep Vein Thrombosis
CVI - Chronic Venous Insufficiency
PT - posterior tibial
PA - peroneal artery
TOS - thoracic outlet syndrome
PTA - Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty

RAS - Renal Artery Stenosis
GN - Glomerulonephritis
MCGN - Minimal Change Glomerulonephritis
TBMN - Thin Basement Membrane Nephropathy
FSGS - Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis
RPGN - Rapidly Progressive Glomerulo Nephritis

BNO - Bladder Neck Obstruction
BPH - Benign Prostate Hyperplasia
TRUS - Trans-Rectal Ultrasound
PSA - Prostate Specific Antigen
DRE - Digital Rectal Examination

Related link: Medical Abbreviations in Semester 8.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Internet Addiction = Mental Disorders?

Found via Malaysian Medical Resources

In the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Jerald Block proposed that Web abuse be added to his field's bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Block cites research from South Korea, where he says, the affliction is considered a serious public health problem....

Read more
If this can be classified as a disorder, I believe that many people have already been infected by this disease and I can add several sub-classifications for this disorders. Under internet addiction, I should add addiction to Facebook, Myspace, Friendster and ?blog :)

Some of my friends are being strongly addicted to Facebook and it is certainly not a good thing to do when the exam is just around the corner.

How to tell whether you are an addict? Here are the questions that you should answer.
  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your time surfing the internet?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your internet surfing habit?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your internet addiction?
  4. Have you ever had to go online first thing in the morning (as an “eye opener”) ?
Modified from CAGE questionaire which is for alcohol addiction :)

p/s: you can try to modify this questions if you think you are addicted to caffeine too, which is relatively common especially among students.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Firefox 3.0

I have been using Firefox 3.0 Release Candidate 2 for few weeks now. I can proudly say that this version is faster, safer and snappier than Firefox 2.0. There are several big changes in the user interface and I think they are quite useful. They have also managed to fix the problem with memory leak. As a web designer, I am also happy to know that Firefox 3.0 has passed Acid 2 Test which test the internet browsers against the web standard.

Please note that some of the extensions are still not being updated to Firefox 3.0. Please check on your favourite extensions before you upgrade.

Last but not least, the complete version of Firefox 3.0 will be released this Tuesday, June 17th. Let us make this as a Guinness World Record for the most software downloads in 24 hours :). Currently, there are only 5888 people in Malaysia who have pledged to download Mozilla Firefox 3.0. Come on, we need more people to download this amazing software :)

Firefox Download Day 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I think at this time, all my groupmates already stressed out since the exam is less than 2 weeks. The situation gets worse when we couldn't answer the questions asked by the doctor. I try not to ask too many questions to my groupmates since this will certainly make them more stress.

Sometimes, when there are too many cortisol (stress hormone) being released into the blood, this may impair our thought process. We really need to cool down a bit and find ways to relax.

How to handle pre-exam stress?

...The first step in destressing involves gaining some perspective. Having been in the clinical setting for a few years now, I have been exposed to life and death situations that legitimately stress people out. Given those experiences, I now find it hard to believe that I ever stressed out over my medical school examinations to the extent that I did. In fact, I remember developing a different (and more healthy) attitude toward studying and exams after I started my clinical rotations, which made me realize just how insulating the pre-clinical years can be. So, if you are a first- or second-year medical student, shadowing a physician in the hospital might help put your exams in proper perspective.

Another way to gain perspective is to remember why you chose to attend medical school (hopefully, doing well on medical school examinations was not the reason). Studying really should be viewed as a means to a much larger goal than just passing a test. Exams should never be treated as ends in themselves. They are really just little check marks of approval on your way to becoming a physician -- nothing more.

read more.
I like the thought of gaining perspective over the exam. It is not the exam that will define a good doctor, but it will help you checking any significant gap in your medical knowledge. If you want to be a high achiever and score the maximum mark in exam, you have to work harder than everyone else but that doesn't necessarily mean you are a better doctor than everyone else.

For the time being, I will satisfied if I get good mark in this exam and able to get to the next semester. This is certainly different from achieving excellent mark, you should know that by the way ;)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

iPhone 2.0 for medical students and doctors

I think by now you should know that iPhone 2.0 has been announced to the world and it is coming to Australia. Today my Google Reader has been filled with news of iPhone 2.0 and I shall not talk a lot about this phone.

The only thing that I should talk is the applications that have been created for iPhone 2.0 and one of them are medical imagings and Netter's on iPhone. I think that is pretty cool and would be quite useful. Imagine during PBL discussion, you need to know certain part of anatomy and by having iPhone, it will help you.

There is also an application of displaying CT and PET scan on iPhone. That is certainly interesting and I wonder when we will be able to have X-ray or MRI on iPhone too. With this application, you no longer need to bring your own X-ray in large folder anymore. Just bring your iPhone and show it to the doctor :D.

Pictures taken from Apple and Gizmodo.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Are you human?

Interesting article.
Every web surfer, in the course of his or her browsing, has been forced to stop and perform this weird little task: look at a picture of some wavy, ghostly, distorted letters and type them into a box. Sometimes you flub it and have to retype the letters, but otherwise you don't think about it much. That string of letters has a name; it's called a CAPTCHA. And it's a test. By correctly transcribing it, you have proved to the computer that you are a human being.

read more
CAPTCHAS represents a race between programmers and spammers, with user in between. CAPTCHAS prevent spammers or hackers to create email account and indirectly reduce the number of spam we received in our email.

The most difficult CAPTCHAS I have seen so far is to choose letters that contains cats. Those letters are quite difficult since each letter has an animal on it and it is not easy to see whether it is a cat or something else since the picture of the animal is quite small. I have to try several times to get it right.

I wonder if CAPTCHAS is going to be more difficult in the future since spammers always able to find way to overcome CAPTCHAS.

Style Switcher

This entry is related to web-design. It may contain technical terms that might confuse you.

What is style switcher?
  • It is a technique where the web visitors are given several options to change the website accordingly. They may be able to change the colour, font size, theme or general layout of the website.
Is it useful?
  • One of the objectives of this technique is to be user-friendly to web visitors. Anyone will be able to change the website according to their own preference. Hence, everyone will be happy and no more angry web visitors.
  • It can be helpful to disabled people. For example, you can provide the options of changing font size or change the colour to more suitable colour range.
  • However, some people say by giving too many choices, it will spoil the visitors. Too many versions of the website may not be useful in the long-term. A web designer is supposed to be able to predict the best option for any web visitors.
  • Personally, I don't mind of implementing style switcher provided that it won't interfere with the content of this blog. Inappropriate usage of style switcher can cause significant increase in loading time of the website or the changes degrade the usefulness of the content.
Related links:


Idea untuk menulis kali ini tercetus setelah membaca tulisan 'Bercinta dengan basikal'. Untuk tulisan kali ini, akan cuba gunakan kata ganti diri pertama 'saya' :).

Pada tahun pertama berada di sini, basikal merupakan satu-satunya sumber untuk saya berulang-alik daripada rumah ke universiti. Dengan berbasikal, saya dapat menjimatkan wang biasiswa kerana harga tiket untuk pengangkutan awam di sini sangat mahal. Malah, harga tiket ini akan meningkat setiap tahun tetapi pengangkutan awam di sini sangat cekap dan tepat pada waktu. Alangkah baiknya jika pengangkutan awam di Malaysia dapat mencontohi pengangkutan awam di sini.

Berbasikal juga dapat menjimatkan masa perjalanan. Saya hanya mengambil masa lebih kurang 15 minit untuk ke universiti dengan basikal tetapi jika menggunakan tram, ia akan mengambil masa lebih daripada 20 minit kerana kesesakan lalu lintas. Di Melbourne, tram berkongsi jalan dengan kenderaan dan kebiasaanya pada waktu pagi, jalan raya akan sesak dengan kenderaan. Dan kalau saya bersemangat atau terlewat, saya hanya memerlukan kurang daripada 10 minit jika mengayuh basikal dengan laju :)

Satu lagi kelebihan yang diperolehi dengan menggunakan basikal ialah badan akan senantiasa cergas. Setelah memiliki sebuah kereta, saya jarang menggunakan basikal dan rasanya sekarang ini, tubuh badan tidak secergas seperti dahulu. Mungkin lepas ini, saya perlu lebih rajin bersenam atau berbasikal sekali-sekala.

Salah satu kenangan manis yang diperolehi ketika zaman menggunakan basikal ialah ekspedisi berbasikal ke Universiti Monash. Universiti Monash ini terletak lebih kurang 20 kilometer daripada rumah dan saya beserta beberapa rakan yang lain telah berjaya berbasikal ke sana. Ini merupakan satu pengalaman yang tidak dapat dilupakan.

Ekspedisi ini dilakukan pada musim sejuk dan pada hari itu, cuaca agak mendung dan hujan turun sepanjang perjalanan kami. Namun, bagi kami yang sudah boleh dikira cukup berpengalaman dalam bab basikal ini, hujan bukan merupakan suatu halangan yang besar. Kami sudah biasa berbasikal di dalam pelbagai jenis cuaca. Samada hujan, panas terik atau ribut petir, itu adalah perkara biasa.

Walaupun jarak perjalanan kami hanya 20 km, namun kami mengambil masa lebih daripada 3 jam kerana kami banyak singgah di pelbagai tempat :). Di samping itu, ada banyak bukit yang curam yang kami lalui untuk sampai ke destinasi yang dituju. Kebanyakan bukit itu pula adalah tinggi dan kebiasaanya kami berlumba sesama sendiri untuk sampai ke puncak bukit. Bayangkan kami mengayuh basikal dengan cukup laju semasa mendaki bukit dan tidak berasa letih atau sesak nafas ketika sampai di puncak bukit. Malah ketika sampai di Monash, kami tidak terasa terlalu letih. Mungkin ini kerana kami sudah berbiasa berulang-alik daripada universiti ke rumah di mana jumlah jarak perjalanan kami setiap hari adalah ~ 10 kilometer setiap hari.

Dalam perjalanan pulang dari Monash ke Melbourne, kami menggunakan jalan yang berbeza dan pada kali ini, kami tidak menempuhi banyak bukit yang curam. Kebanyakan tempat adalah landai dan dengan mengayuh basikal pada gear maksimum, kami berjaya sampai ke Melbourne dalam masa sejam setengah sahaja.

Setakat ini sahaja penulisan dalam Bahasa Malaysia kali ini. Selepas ini akan menulis dalam Bahasa Inggeris semula.

p/s: Agak janggal pula apabila menulis di dalam Bahasa Malaysia baku.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Blog List

This is a new addition to Blogger. Blog List is a new page element which is based on RSS feed and display when the link on your blog is last updated. More here.

I think it is better than an ordinary blogroll or link. I might add this page element whenever I change this blog layout to a new one.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Malaysia petrol price went up 74 cent

The new price of premium leaded petrol (ULG 97) is RM2.70 per litre beginning midnight tonight, it was announced a moment ago. The price for ULG 92 petrol per litre went up by 74 sen to RM2.62. Diesel will go up by RM1 per litre to RM2.58. The 78 sen hike or 40 per cent increase for the ULG 97 petrol is still below the anticipated RM4 per litre price projected earlier and among the cheapest in Asia. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at a news conference.

NST Online
The current petrol price in Australia is around AUD 1.60 and it fluctuates every day. The expensive fuel price already cause high inflation rate and price of everyday commodities has been increasing in the last few years.

I bet that the price of food and essential commodities in Malaysia will increase significantly. This will likely affect every Malaysians and I hope that the government has some sort of mechanism to reduce the impact of expected increase in the price of goods.

There are already protest by fishermen, truck drivers and farmers in Europe due to expensive fuel cost. High fuel cost is not sustainable for economy and would lead to lots of riot and chaos if this situation last for another few years.

As someone who is using a car, I really hope the petrol price will go down instead of going up. I wonder when this wish will come true...

Why are you checking my feet?

This was asked by the patient that I saw this morning. The patient was confused since the problem was the chest pain and not related to the feet at all.

This has happened many times before. The patient came with problems in one organ yet the doctor is checking other organ. It seems like the doctor does not know what is going on :)

I think the most peculiar thing that the doctor will check is your fingers and hand. The doctor will spend significant time looking at your hand and checking your fingers when the problem lies elsewhere.

To find out the cause of any disease, we need to look for certain clues from other place of your body and hand contains numerous clues. It is like completing a jigsaw puzzle. We try to find several clues by examining the patient and then, with the help of several blood test and imaging, we might be able to find out the cause of the problem.

Why am I checking the feet? Some heart problem can affect the blood flow going to the leg and may cause your ankle to be swollen :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Stuff you needs for final exams

I got this video when I clicked the link in one of my friends in Yahoo Messenger. Thanks for the link :). Following on that, I managed to find several related videos. They are interesting.


Today the university announced the timetable for my OSCE. OSCE stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination and it comprises few stations.

At each station, there are various things that you need to do. You may be required to interview a patient and find out the cause of his/her problem or to examine a patient and explain to the examiner what you have found. Or you could be expected to take blood.

There will be an examiner on each station and they will ask specific questions pertaining to the station. Sometimes, the questions could be difficult especially when you are too nervous. I hope that I am able to calm down.

All the stations carry the same mark and there is minimum mark for OSCE. If our mark is below the minimum mark, we will fail and need to repeat the entire OSCE again. This is a hurdle requirement. I need to get at least a pass mark in this exam.

This time, the university allocated the group according to the student ID number. There are 20 of us who are from the same college, Mara College Banting, in University of Melbourne and all of us have similar first 4 digits in our student number. There are 6 digits in student ID number. That means in the exam, if the student are arranged according to student number, we will be next to each other.

In this year OSCE, I think all persons in my group will be from Mara College Banting. It doesn't really matter since all of us will be anxious and nervous at that time.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ban funding on films portraying smoking

Victorian doctors want a ban on taxpayers' money being used to fund films or plays that portray smoking.

The Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says governments should not be helping to promote cigarettes.

Spokesman Dr Doug Travis says more than 19,000 Australians die each year from smoking related diseases.

He says governments should do all they can to discourage smoking.

Read more
I think I will support this idea. Films have significant impact towards culture and we need to do as much as we can to reduce the prevalence of smokers around the world. Many teenagers and adults idolize actors and actresses and perceive them as a role model.

Although it may seems to be too strict, but the long term effect of smoking need to be considered. It is the largest preventable risk factors for stroke, ischaemic heart disease , lung cancer and various other diseases.

If we can reduce the number of smokers, I believe that in the future, the cost of treating smoking-related disease will be significantly reduced.

Related link: Smoking tobacco is deadly...

Your online identity and Google

I read an interesting discussion at Pro Blogger. It was about searching your online identiy / real name on Google.

How important is your identity on the search engine?

Personally, I believe that it is quite important for your online identity or your real name to be on the first page in any search engine.

If you met someone new, the best way to know the person is to search online. The person who will be searching for your name could be your potential employer, clients or web visitors. If your website is not in the first page, you could be in trouble.

In my case, the potential people who will be looking for my name would be patients. Although I'm not yet a doctor, but this is something that I need to think seriously.

If I was a consultant and the patient could not find my name on Google, I would be losing lots of referrals. If a doctor has lots of negative remarks on the first few pages of Google, I don't think many patients will come to that doctor.

In fact, anything that I wrote on this blog will be scrutinised by anyone on the internet. This can have important effect in my future career.

At the moment, if I'm searching for my real name, the first website that come up on Google is my Facebook account and followed by my fotopage. This blog does not come up in the first page.

If I'm searching for hafiz238, this blog will be on the first page :)