It's that all too common feeling I get when it seems like everybody else gets a weekend except you. Some people get jealous that I get 6 weeks of annual leave each year but we pay for it in lost weekends. And working nights. It's easy for non-medical people to take their cushy 9-5 jobs for granted. I happen to be working night shifts starting Saturday night to Tuesday night. Go me.

Anyhow I've just done my first week of O&G and it's by far the most disorganised and chaotic run I've had the displeasure of working in so far. I suppose it is a "senior house officer" role we're supposed to be doing and I guess I'm not used to working without the supervision of a more senior doctor present. I mean sure, there are people around, but they're just really hard to get hold of. Especially when it's your first week and you haven't done O&G in almost 2 years. It's been a bit rough. Fortunately it's not just me and the others are feeling similarly as well, and we help each other out, which is nice. Hopefully things will get better.

I've recently accepted a job offer in Auckland for which I'm due to start in November but have no idea which DHB I'll be working at and no idea what runs I'll be doing. Seems kind of unfair how we have to resign 3 months in advance yet the DHB's have no obligation to tell you anything about your new job. It's amusing how last year when I tried to apply for a job they were really pushing me to work for them whereas this year they're not even bothering to care if I had all my references in on time. I'm wondering if it's becoming an employer's job market again. How can I have any bargaining power about my runs if I've already resigned from my last job and can't go back? It's so bizarre. The things I do to get out of Hamilton.

Seems strange how I'm going to be leaving Waikato Hospital finally. After working there almost 2 years now the system is so familiar to me, the way things work and the people to talk to. It's going to take time to get used to a new system again. It's not like I wanted to be in Hamilton in the first place but the work wasn't too bad at all. I just wish there were more things to do and more people around to do things with. I've already arranged to go back to Auckland next weekend to catch up with a few people and have a break from Hamilton since if I stayed in Hamilton I'd probably just stay in my room, play games and sleep. Not much of a life at all. What's the point in having weekends off when there's nothing to do? May as well go back to work?!

Anyhow this is a somewhat random post on a random Saturday before my night shifts start. I haven't put much thought into this post but then again it's hard to say I put a lot of thought into this blog into the first place. I'm not even sure who reads this stuff, probably mostly bored facebook stalkers since that seems to be where most of the traffic comes from. If you're one of them, get off facebook and go do something useful with your life :P

It's the Weekend, but not for me!

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

2014 was an interesting year for me. Plenty of things happened, some of which I don't really want to share at the moment but with time will probably end up on here sooner or later. I guess in many respects 2014 was the first year I spent being fully independent. Paying my own rent, bills, insurance, living in another town in a place not owned by my parents. Of course, I've been away from Mum and Dad from the age of 17 so I suppose it wasn't a huge step up. So long as I have a steady job doing the above things isn't really much of a challenge so to speak. Some people would say that I was spoiled to have relied on my parents for so long but I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only asian who did that.

Aside from that, what else did I do in 2014? I went on two, 2-week overseas holidays to Japan and Australia! Now those are trips I will be sure to remember. Particularly Japan. Something about that country really left a lasting impression with me. Perhaps it was the efficiency, the whole way everything was done sensibly and practically (like trains always being on time, practical instructions always being given, etc.), or perhaps the way people dressed, the fashion, or maybe the work ethic, the city life, the shopping (where I can find stuff that actually fits me!). I don't know where it ends. So many things about that country amaze me. I definitely want to return there. Someday. Perhaps while I am still relatively young. But yeah, Japan is awesome. Australia? Well Gold Coast is a quick getaway for those who live close by. Good for young families, too. Melbourne is basically a bigger badder Auckland with trams. It was a nice change of scenery, though.

Career-wise, I managed to survive my first year of being a doctor and gained my general registration! Hooray, go me. Not much else to say here. I guess I've gotten more used to being a relatively efficient (if I say so myself) House Officer and seem to be getting myself home on time more often, and find ward calls and work in general less stressful than I did when I first started. Things sometimes do get better. Still haven't managed to LP anyone yet, though. Put in a few dozen cannula though and done some minor surgery, which is always fun. Can't say I'm getting many procedures on psych (besides ECG's, which don't count) but oh well.

I guess 2014 is probably the first year I've been taking exercise and fitness seriously as well. Since the beginning of the year, I'd signed up for 12 months of gym membership and managed to go about 2-3 times a week for about 75% of the year (not great, I know). Towards the Spring and Summer though I started ditching the gym to go for runs outside and since then I've been running 5-6km about twice a week. It's definitely a start, for me anyways. I don't think I'm much of a gym person though, the environment is just so artificial and I'm more or a cardio person anyways, and you can get most of your cardio from doing more stimulating things like sports and running. On top of my gym-ing and running I've been going to weekly badminton and squash sessions with friends which I really enjoyed, and definitely want to keep these going into 2015. Exercise in general is great on so many levels. It has so many benefits, it seems stupid not to do at least some every week. Fighting chronic diseases, depression, boosting your energy levels and improving sleep are only some of the many benefits exercise has to offer. You don't need to be a doctor to know the feeling a great workout has on your body. In saying that however, I think I overdid the squash in the last few weeks since I managed to tear my rotator cuff, forcing me to have some time off the court. There is such thing of too much of a good thing, so it seems.

So what do I want to get out of 2015? I guess I haven't been too bad at fulfilling my New Years' resolutions to date (probably since I've been setting the bar pretty low!), so I'm hoping 2015 will be another successful year. Previous resolutions include passing medical school, improving my communication skills and exercising more. I guess these are ongoing things which I need to continue improving regardless (ie. career and personal development). But what about 2015? Aside from just those things should there be something else I should be aiming for? I think there is, but I don't want to share it here just yet. Perhaps the timing is not right. There will be something I want to do in this year, that's for sure. If it's not that, then it'll have to be something else. I'll make the most of it regardless.

Well I hope everyone reading this has a fantastic 2015 too and makes the most of every opportunity it presents itself with. I'm not sure reading this self-absorbed post about my accomplishments is a great way to spend it but if you've made it this far I'm assuming you're finding at least a mild form of entertainment reading it so please continue to do so, if it pleases you. I'll finish this post with a few pictures I took while out in Waikete Valley yesterday with my family.

Happy New Year!!

2014 in Review

Posted on

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I somehow managed to get myself sunburned yesterday (an occurrence for which the details annoy me somewhat, but I won't go into the details here) which prompted me to do a little research into proper use of sunscreen and how to use it properly. It's funny how I managed to go for 2 weeks in the Gold Coast and Melbourne without sustaining a single sun burn but end up going back here and getting one the first time I step out of the house to do something remotely outdoorsy.

Anyhow here's what I found out (from multiple internet sources, some credible, some less so). Apparently the most common mistake people make when using sunscreen is simply not using enough. Multiple sources quote the figure of about a shot glass full (or 1oz/30ml) which is actually quite a lot. That would mean my 88ml bottle of Neutrogena would be finished in 3 applications! And assuming you're applying the stuff every 2 hours like they tell you to, one bottle is only going to get you 6 hours of constant sun exposure. I'm guessing that that figure is a whole body application, say if you were wearing togs. So if I was wearing a T-shirt and shorts, that would mean I would be using less. Still seems like quite a lot. The stuff gets all over your clothes, too. And doesn't wash off readily. Definitely the lesser of two evils, though.

The other consideration is which branding to choose. Now every brand is going to have its marketing ploys. About how their one is ULTRA broad spectrum, lasts for 99 hours, SPF OVER 9000!, etc. Of course they're all going to say that. Plus baloney comments such as "Dermatologist recommended" which means they probably gave away some free shares in their company to some dermatologist to put their name to one of their products. According to the limited studies I could find it seems that the cheap brands are actually better than the expensive ones, in terms of sun protection. I won't list any here, since you can easily look them up for yourself. But I guess there are other things to consider, like scent, texture and consistency, since some feel more disgusting than others to apply. That's actually a big factor in choosing a particular type for me personally so I'm going to shop around until I find something I actually like. I was using Neutrogena for a long time because I fell for their marketing but I know better now. That stuff went all over my T-shirts and sustained several stains on several of my nicer ones which make me deeply regret buying their products. I don't think I got burned while using it though, so at least that's something. Ruining my nice clothes is less than ideal, however.

Enough ranting from me for one night, I think. I'd better come up with something else to blog about for my next post in the mean time. Going to watch some anime and sleep, I think. I went for another run today (with sunblock, of course) which was refreshing although extremely hot. This New Zealand summer is pretty intense. Better go buy me a tube of cheap sunblock on the way home tomorrow.

Caution: Hot

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Monday, December 22, 2014



Whoah where did all the time go? I've obviously subconsciously made the decision that my life was too busy to bother updating this thing even once between now and March last year. I meant to write something yesterday when it was pouring down outside and I was indoors all day but instead ended up playing around with the formatting and got lazy again. Where to start? So much to say. I guess reading over my past few posts helped refresh my memory.

21 months ago I was a clueless little TI running around Rotorua Hospital pretending I knew stuff. Now? I'm still a clueless little TI, wearing a House Officer name tag, pretending I know stuff.

... ...

Okay, okay, perhaps I should give myself a little more credit. Jeff, you've been a doctor for over a year now, shouldn't you know a thing or two about what you're doing? Maybe. Maybe yes, maybe not. That much is debatable, and the jury is probably still out there. Maybe that's why it's taking so long for my general registration to come through! =.=;. Well that was a depressing thought...

On a more serious note, I seem to have managed to survive medical school as well as my first four 3-month rotations as a newly graduated doctor, and I don't think there has been a period of my life that has ever gone so quickly. Here's photographic proof that I survived medical school:

... Now there's about a 10 minute delay from the uploading of the above image and the typing of this text. Why? Because Google decided to crash on me and wouldn't re-load until I restarted my computer. Luckily the draft was saved but my train of thought was severely derailed. Now where was I? Ah, yes.

I suppose my first jobs as a junior doctor were fairly good rotations. General surgery, general medicine, respiratory and plastics. Surg was pretty traumatic to do as a first job though, particularly at the hospital and team I was working in. I remember getting home at 7pm and thinking it was a good day. Finishing at 8:30pm at night wasn't much fun, especially since you weren't compensated for overtime. It's really a case of the DHB using us as cheap labour by understaffing the wards. But I'm told it's worse in other countries (and it probably is) so I'll comment no further.

I definitely learned most of the little medical knowledge I do know in those 6 months of medicine and respiratory, since in surg I was too clueless and overworked to learn anything, and in plastics I just learned, well plastics. So that's something I guess. I recently volunteered to do an extra long day in the acute medical unit last Friday (cos that's how you spend you Friday nights when you're single *cough*, and yeah, for a variety of reasons, I no longer have a girlfriend) and I realised how much medicine I have yet to learn. Seems enough to get by on the psychiatry wards, though (which is where I currently am). I find it amusing when I make a medical assessment and the consultant and registrar actually go out of their way to make sure your plan gets done! Fortunately, I seem to be keeping the crazy people in a reasonable state of alive-ness so far.

I planned to make this post longer, but it's almost 8pm already and I need to eat! Stupid time. And google blogger wasting it. I actually went out for a run after work and got home a little later so that's why it's so late. If you stalk me on facebook you can see I did 5.4km today. Yay, go me! However there are cynics who say those running apps don't work properly and I'm overestimating my distance. Well, what else am I supposed to do, bring a tape measure with me running? Yeah, right. Here's a badly taken photo of me after one of my runs (apologies for the quality, I'm extremely self conscious of myself while taking selfies).

Now to find something to eat. Leftover food from the fridge? Sounds perfect.

One Year and Nine Months

Posted on

Monday, December 15, 2014




Guess what i'm having for dinner? #dinnerforone


Posted on

Saturday, March 23, 2013



Oh how time goes by so fast these days. Looking back at my last post, I think I was worried about passing my long case and making some comparisons between living in Rotorua and in Auckland (something that seems to be a common train of thought every time I come back here). Well the good news is that I passed my long case! YAY. Seems so long ago it may as well have been a dream. But its a good feeling even now, knowing that its out of the way for the year.

I've just come off doing a 4 week rotation in general surgery and a 1 week rotation in ED, which have been much less stressful in terms of assessments compared with gen med. I don't see myself being a surgeon but working under the surgical team was really fun. I know some of my classmates take the opportunity of the short 30min ward rounds in gen surg to go home early (a real perk especially now we're getting paid) - and I could have done the same if I wanted to, but there was so much happening in surgery that it would seem like a shame to waste the opportunities. There was always something to do after the mandatory ward round - minor surgery clinics, gen surg clinics, ED admissions, house officer jobs, theatre...I even had the opportunity to attend a rural GP skin flap course which was surprisingly fun. I've always been rubbish at suturing (before I couldn't even hold the instruments properly, lol) but now I feel I could close up after a minor op if the consultant walked out on me for whatever reason. Feels good to be a little bit useful. Holding the camera for laparoscopy is fun, too. I'm also sucking less at clerking patients and actually getting their proper meds on the drug chart these days.

ED was fun, too. Probably the most exciting thing was getting to watch some defibrillator action live for the first time. And doing bedside ultrasounds on patients with abscesses or acute abdomen. I guess it wasn't particularly exciting seeing triage 4 or 5 patients (most of the cases I saw alone) but it was still good to get that GP-like experience since that's the direction I'm likely to be heading in. Looking after the worried well probably isn't the most satisfying medicine, but hey, if it's all I can get I'm going to take it. Also realised my orthopaedic knowledge is severely lacking since at the moment I'm just like "X-ray all the things!" xD. Oh well, it's not like we TI's can prescribe or order tests anyway. The only thing I've prescribed so far is water, lol. Can't even give paracetamol without a countersign. So annoying. At least we're able to order ECG's since that's usually just verbal, and it provides quite a lot of information.

On another note, I recently got myself a brand new Samsung solid state drive (SSD) to install windows 8 on. Basically SSD's are a kind of hard drive that have no moving parts and run much faster read and write speeds compared to traditional hard drives. However they're accordingly more expensive and smaller in capacity so you have to be selective of what you choose to put on them. Typically, the operating system, resource-intensive programs and high specs games are good choices. Unfortunately I ran into quite a bit of trouble getting windows 8 on mine since there was an annoying intermittent freezing glitch which I could not find the reason for at all. This went on for a week before I found out that it was a crappy windows wireless network driver that was causing it (this took many, many re-installs, tests, updates and much misery in general to diagnose). I then went to uninstall the said driver and it kept re-installing itself without my permission ><". Windows likes to be annoying like that. Solution was to disable it then install the correct one. Problem was that I installed the wrong driver because I forgot I had my network card replaced for a faulty product, and the replacement wasn't the same as the original. So wrong driver = crash. With that said, let's just say I'm grateful to have my good ol' desktop back to heath. Sometimes I think computers can be almost as difficult to diagnose as people, though I'm no expert on either subject.

Got a week of ophthalmology between now and Easter weekend. I plan to read up on eyes this weekend so I can go into a rotation actually knowing something for a change. Then going up to Auckland hopefully on Friday to visit friends and pick up parents from the airport (they're out of the country at the moment). So a few things to look forward to. I really should keep this more updated.

Another Post

Posted on

Friday, March 22, 2013

I can't believe its been almost a whole month since my last post. Time goes so fast when life's busy (well, I could be busier, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this post). But I feel like I've been learning a ton on the wards these past few weeks. Getting quite a lot more used to clerking patients than I was in 4th year. Now that I look back I did such a sloppy job back then I probably wouldn't even consider it proper work. Even now I still take ages, and still forget things when I have to present things to my consultant. I don't think I've ever clerked more than 3 patients for admission in one day since they all seem to come in the afternoon and I don't want to stay til 10pm even though there are tons of patients waiting to be seen. I want to get faster and slicker at doing these basic things so that when I finally graduate I can actually feel confident about my skills. With the long case drawing nearer, I'm really needing as much practice as I can get.

I decided to take up running again now that I have access to the Redwoods and in need of gaining some fitness to make up for all the sitting around I do at home. It really is quite nice being able to visit the forest again. The air is fresh, the solitude is relaxing (yeah I know, I'm such a loner. But its probably the only time I can think clearly), and the atmosphere is peaceful. Apart from when there's those buses taking tourists by the truckload to take photos of each other standing next to trees. I need to hurry up and get fitter so I can run the more advanced trails so I don't run into so many tourists. Damn, those Asians!

In other news I did take a trip up to Auckland to visit little mikorikawa since it was a long weekend. It was nice to have a break from Rotorua and do a few city-like things again. Although I do say its probably overrated for me these days. There are pros and cons to both Auckland and Rotorua for me. For example I''m probably saving enough money on petrol and food to afford a trip to Auckland and back each weekend just by staying with my parents and driving to a hospital that's only 10 minutes away. I can get up at 7am and still have time to get ready in the morning before handover at 8am. None of these things would happen if I were placed at North Shore or Middlemore Hospital. Probably the next best hospital for me to work in terms of convenience would be Auckland, just because I live in the city. But Rotorua does have its cons as well. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll lose touch with people in Auckland. Not much to do after work here. Not many places to go out or visit. Parents pushing their agenda onto me when I'd rather be doing other things. I don't really mind where I end up to be honest. I will probably end up in Auckland simply because I feel more connected to the people there, although the experience I'm currently getting in the general medical setting here is really good. Decisions, decisions.

Getting paid to study has been good too. I've received one and a half payments so far and expecting more next week. Money never really has been my primary goal in life but having more of it certainly doesn't hurt. According to a recent article I read there is a definite positive correlation between increasing income and levels of happiness up to a certain point. Apparently due to decreasing levels of financial stress and greater fulfilment of one's goals. And I'm not surprised to hear this. People try to say money is evil and all but not if you've earned it honestly and use it well, in my opinion. Of course, I don't believe money in itself is a worthy aspiration in life but it is undeniably means to a lot of ends. I daresay my opinion would look falsely arrogant from the outside.

"You're doing med! Of course you're doing it for the money, right?"

Don't get me started on that one.

4 weeks down

Posted on

Saturday, February 2, 2013





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Hi, I'm Jeff! Welcome to my blog, where I share random thoughts and things about my life. Enjoy :)