My Life as a GP in Malaysia

PART 2 : 

Flashback #5

▪ 5. – When I got my first real asset, my ‘baby’… my car! AGP 2***…me to mom: “LOL What an irony! A GP? That’s the last thing I’ll be!”
-He showed me over time how narrow minded and immature I was. .and I will live to swallow my own words!
-I’m still ‘searching’… but for now, this seems to be my destiny. And my mindset has totally changed – as a more experienced and mature doctor & person.

***

child doctor

***
This beautifully summarizes my Part 1 of Flashback #5.

not the end

The main reason I resigned was to gain some GP experience & earn some extra money to sustain my ever-increasing expenses, before I flee. Yup….not forgetting the HO shift system issue (which made me realize how screwed up the entire system is, and that I saw no future for my Happiness). I could have asked for a transfer to a Health Clinic (Klinik Kesihatan), but that might take forever! And, there is no guarantee regarding my leave applications. Its always about kepentingan perkhidmatan.

Had I no intention of leaving the country, I bet you I wouldn’t have left the government service yet! With all its ‘flaws’, one thing that suits me well there is that things get done according to guidelines and ethics! 🙂

In the private world, I can’t say the same for all. I have met some GPs (whether or not they are FMS/FRACGP holders) who truly uphold the ethics *salute* instead of being merely businessmen. But the same can’t be said for all…

***

And so, 29th February 2012: I began my career as a GP in Klinik N in Selayang Baru. I rented a cozy little studio unit 5-10 minutes away from the clinic…and lived there happily ever after (yeah right, hehee….till the 31st July 2013) – I MISS my little nest! But I do not miss that clinic one bit!!!

Being the first doctor in my entire family, I always have no family members to ask advice from. I am glad I have friends to consult though. That’s why I didn’t end up being tied to any of the labs (Mushrooming around us, recruiting doctors like nobody’s business! The promised income seems lucrative, indeed). A temporary teaching job (perhaps in my alma mater) sounded appealing, but it’s the bond etc etc that has to be considered…sigh…so, being employed by a GP was the most logical step for me, for the 1 year plus, while preparing for and clearing my exams to be able to hop over.

I learnt that if you are going to be a permanent doctor working for someone, sometimes you have to kill your subconscious.

*

I didn’t even last a year at Klinik N. To be exact, 10 months later (this is my shortest permanent employment record – not so colourful, I know) I QUIT them! It was a blessing in disguise that the bossini kept delaying having me to sign a contract, with her 1001 bullshit excuses; but I used that to escape – hey! Pat on my back for giving a month’s notice though I was damn pissed off with them! I have my ethics and principles, and will stand tall by it, instead of selling my soul to the devil and stoop as low as them.

choices reflect

Sighhh….I will tell you why.

*


The reasons I quit Klinik N:
– The boss (guy who practices) & bossini (his wife who is a qualified doctor, but hailing from a neighbouring country, do not possess our APC & thus doesn’t practice. She only does managerial stuffs) initially appeared nice, supportive and understanding.
I was point blank honest from day 1 itself that I am just seeking a permanent job, for a temporary time frame. They promised me 18 days off/year, 10 paid public holidays, and an arrangement of 8-5pm, Mondays – Fridays, clocking in a total of 45 hours/week.: That was during the interview in January 2011.
– Little did I know they had problems with their then permanent doctor, and upon reconciling, they decided to make me a permanent after-hours’ doctor. 4-11pm daily, and 9am-2pm on Saturdays. I was short of 5 hours each week, and was promised I can do full days on alternate Saturdays, to make it up…only for 2 months I received my full salary!
– They started cheating me by making excuses about needing to keep their locum doctors pool, etc etc…and whenever they can’t get someone for the weekends, I have even done full weekends for them! WHY? To make up my hours!! I let myself be exploited. Told ya I can be toooooooooooo nice…SIGH, slowly learnt to say NO & to NOT sacrifice all my pre-plans with family / friends. Only God knows how many appointments I have cancelled because of the schedule.
– And then, there came a time when the morning permanent doctor absconded from work, citing Psychiatric problem. Receiving a call that same morning, I rushed to step in for the morning slot. Some days I did full days, on others when they had locums, I did the morning shift alone…and when the new permanent doctor broke her arm on my final week of working for them (I already was trying out locums in my daytime) they were offended that I refused to help out for morning slot (for me…it was “Go To Hell”! Now, you are being nice to me, and trying to change my mind & ask me to stay!)
– Holidays: I was lied too. Not only did they fail to keep the promise of my working hours, but I have been conned big time. When after months of working, and post-unpaid leave for about 3 months’ for my first course + exam trip, I asked to take paid leave around Deepavali time and for my Birthday end of last year. I was shocked to be told, since I didn’t sign a contract with them, I am not entitled for any! Grrr….no verbal agreements can be trusted upon. It was totally my fault. Bossini asked me to sign a 1 year contract at that point of time (2 months before I quit) but I was very wary…my trust in them was zero! I didn’t want to get into more mess with LIARS. As such, I politely declined. Even when I finally quit, I had to tell a white lie that I was going to start work in January 2013 overseas….just to not fight and destroy the ties, because I suspect I might need some letter proving my employment with them, someday in the future.
– After verbally approving my day off on my Birthday, where I have planned to visit my parents at grandma’s place & spend my day with relatives, merely 2 days prior to that, bossini was sugar-sweet to me, pleading that I cancel the leave and work, as boss had got a meeting, and they can’t find locum. I refused till the end, citing the reason SHE herself have allowed me to take the day off (a Friday + the weekend)…and bossini was upset with me. Boss was more sporting, wishing me a Happy Birthday after the weekend. After I returned from the weekend’s break, imagine she had the nerve to tell me that boss suffered alone that evening, had to cancel meeting, and as no locum, he had to see so many patients all on his own – and that it was my fault. I ‘burst’ that day! I practically told her off…in the mildest way possible
– Prior to that, Deepavali was another fiasco! The other permanent doctor and my bosses are Christians. I am Hindu. I had family holiday plans post Deepavali as mom was sentimental, and citing that this’ the year all 5 of us are together after so many years, and don’t know if I’ll be around after this blah blah…so, Cameron it was. 🙂
But not only was I denied leave, when previous years they closed the clinic for 2-3days, this year bossini wanted to open it the very next day. FINE. But why make me feel guilty to come to work then too? I was undecided…but finally decided family is more important (always is!) & I found locum for them and left…after all the backstabbing they did to me, this was very mild :p Payback time (the Devil in me reared its head and horns heheheeheee). They didn’t even allow me to holiday in peace. When I have promised to be back to work that Friday, they cancelled me because they found a locum…that’s what has been going on for a looooong time.
– Weekend slots : Although I was promised weekends to make up my hours, it was lies! When they couldn’t get locum, they pretend that they are allowing me to make up my time…but if at all they got a locum, they cancelled me at the last minute! Or till I got a rude shock upon checking the roster. The staffs claim bossini asked to find locum, when earlier bossini has promised me & written down my name for same slots. ^$^&%^@#%#@! At least if you informed me earlier, I could have carried on with my social activities, or found myself locums.

 

*

So those are my personal reasons. The more general reason, to sum up in 1 phrase : UNETHICAL PRACTICE.
– When I was new there, the little black book was used as a guidance. But over time, I didn’t like the fact that I was expected to follow it to a dot…and when I started seeing my patients repeatedly, I realized the nurses (untrained, Form 5 leaver so-called experienced seniors) had the power to add on medications – just to make up the minimal number of 5 medications !!! Without my permission, when I was the attending doctor! :@
– Antibiotic and Steroid abuse! I compromised by giving antibiotics for all URTI patients, as delayed prescription. But the steroid part, I was doing it over and over again, with a guilty conscience.
– Medical termination of Pregnancy. I know that although it is illegal in Malaysia, there are many doctors doing it…but I spelled it out to them that I am personally against it – I was asked to just perform ultrasound scan and let boss prescribe the pills. What I noticed over time is that, after I scan, staff will contact bossini and dispense the tablets. No proper counseling done. And the worse part is some of them come for it repeatedly, and I didn’t see any counseling being done. I used to lecture on contraception etc….sighhh….it made them rich, so why would they bother counseling!?? Close to RM500 for each set of the medications prescribed. BUT, I had sleepless nights, knowing I was part of the sin…blood money….that was one of the main reasons I LEFT. I wanted a clear conscience.

***

One of the doctors I used to locum for in KL (connection linked by a good friend of mine) was the first to suggest that I go freelance! I didn’t know there was such a thing as freelancing among doctors, and that the medical council approved in before that….

*

Alright folks, I’ve gotta stop here now. There’s going to be a Part 3 for Flashback #5 as I have got a long day ahead…of visiting, travelling (leaving KL for good…to my hometown), and with only 3 days left for my flight, a lot of loose ends to tie up.

Till Part 3….*tataaaaaa*

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5 Responses to My Life as a GP in Malaysia

  1. Pingback: Life of a Freelancing Malaysian GP | Mad Med Journey

  2. Azirawaty says:

    Hi . I am also a freelance dr. I understands every words u said. I experiwnced somwthing similar. How sad things like this still goin on in Malaysia.

  3. Faheem Fouzan says:

    Hi, its very interesting to read your blog. Thank you for sharing your experience with others.
    Btw, is freelancing is approved by MMC? If so, how to get approval for it?
    Another thing, did Klinik N give you job as partner or by just adding their clinic name on your APC?
    Sorry… so many questions… 😆

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