Monday, August 07, 2017

The journey of housemanship

It has been quite long since I have posted anything in this blog.

I was surfing the net and accidentally came across a blog written by my junior colleague whom recently completed the housemanship. Whilst reading the blog, it reminds me about my own journey.

The period of housemanship or internship at Malaysia will usually take up about 2 years to be completed, provided that you do not have any extensions in any of the six compulsory postings.

Nowadays, the duration of waiting to get a place in the housemanship has been getting longer and longer. This is mainly due to limited places available in the training hospital. I foresee that this problem will not be resolved in the near future and it will get more complicated as more local and overseas medical students graduated for the next few years. I personally believed the main problem is attributed to mushrooming of the local medical schools with poor governance by the relevant ministry.

The period of housemanship has been quite challenging for me. The initial transition period has been initially quite daunting for me as I graduated from non-local medical school. For the first few weeks, I was trying very hard to learn and understand the medical abbreviations used in Malaysia. There were significant differences of abbreviation used in Malaysia in comparison to my previous medical school. Apart from that, I also need to comprehend the working attitude and culture which was significantly different from what I was previously taught.

I still remember that I have to go to the hospital very early in the morning in order to take the blood samples from the patient. At the same time, I need to review the patient and present my assessment to the superior. It was tough but it gets better with time and experience. 

We are also expected to learn all the essential survival skills during the housemanship in case we were to be send to small district hospital in the future.

With the passage of time, I have managed to overcome the initial hurdle. I met many friends along the journey in which few of them I met again in the future. The learning curve during the housemanship is very steep but in retrospect, that knowledge will be quite useful in the future. It helps you to understand the way things perceived in each specialty and assist you to make a good referral to the appropriate team.

I guess that by surviving the journey of housemanship, it helps you to build your own character and assist you in deciding your future pathway.

For those people who will be entering housemanship soon, I wish you all the best. 

When you are reaching the lowest point during the housemanship, remind yourself again and again the main reason of you choosing this career.  Turn your stumbling blocks as stepping stones. 

Dont ever give up as there are always light at the end of the darkest tunnel.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Preparation for MRCP

For my non-medical readers, MRCP stands for Membership of Royal College of Physician. In Malaysia, it represents post graduate examination for those doctors who would like to specialise in the internal medicine. After successfully passed the exam, then the doctor could pursue in other sub-specialty such cardiology, endocrinology, neurology etc.

There are three components of the exam: part 1, part 2A and part 2B (PACES). I have passed both part 1 and part 2A and currently sitting for part 2B (PACES). Both part 1 and part 2A have multiple choice questions examination papers whereas the part 2B have clinical examination stations.

For part 1, I find that by answering online questions have been quite helpful for my study. I subscribed to Pastest and able to finish the entire question bank. Apart from that, I have been reading Essential Revision Notes for MRCP by Philip A. Kalra as my main textbook.

For part 2A, apart from answering online questions and using Rapid Review of Clinical Medicine for MRCP Part 2 by Shanjay Sharma for my textbook, I find that it was quite useful to create study group to pass the exam. The book by Shanjay Sharma was quite outdated (the latest edition was published in 2006!) and need to cross-check with the latest guideline. However, the algorithms published in the book was quite outstanding and help me to familiarise with the topics.