Name: Yap Hong Wei
Institute/Country: Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan
Department posting: Acute and Critical Medicine, Cardiology, Neurology
The variety of patients that Japanese doctors see is different than Singapore, as their healthcare system is structured slightly differently. The university hospital was considered top tier and hence the cases seen here are more complex or severe. I think one of my biggest takeaways was the patient-doctor and doctor-doctor interactions in Japan. Everyone was treated with respect and as equals, and friendliness and kind words were exchanged even when everyone was tired and busy. They consciously remembered to first see everyone as fellow humans before their title, disposition or conditions.
Name: Elena Angela Hartawan
Institution/Country: Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Department posting: Rheumatology, Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery
Living alone in Korea for six weeks has definitely taught me the importance of being independent and resourceful, especially when I came with almost zero proficiency in Korean. From getting around the different hospitals on my own to taking the initiative to ask for help and guidance from my mentors, I've learnt to be self-sufficient and resilient, especially when problems with language and communications arose. In future, as an SAP/ PGY1, I hope to be able to face adversity with composure and humility, as I have done in Korea, and better myself with each challenge I face.
Name: Pirateb Paramasivam Meenakshi Sundaram
Oxford University and John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom
Department posting: General Medicine
I found being able to function as a junior doctor (or Singapore's House Officer equivalent) to be the most enjoyable aspect. I had numerous opportunities to speak to patients who were newly presented to the Emergency Department, and come up with a diagnosis and management plan before presenting it to the Registrar. This allowed me to not just refine my clinical knowledge, but learn how to be a functional member of the medical team as well. This experience would certainly be beneficial for me when I start SAP come February and go on to start work as a junior doctor next May. Overall, it was a very enriching experience at Oxford and my only regret is not being able to spend more time there.
Name: Muhammad Fadzil bin Kamarudin
Institute/Country: Chiang Mai University, Maharaj Chiangmai Nakhon Hospital, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Department posting: Emergency Medicine
In Chiang Mai, I saw how surgeons have to be au fait with prescribing chemotherapy for their cancer patients as they do not have enough oncologists, unlike the hospitals in Singapore where care is very sub-specialised. This has taught me that no matter how specialised a doctor you become in the future, the patients' overall well-being always comes first and you have to go the extra mile for them.