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  • Writer's pictureVincent Chuah

House Officer To Be - A Wake-Up Call! Are You Ready to Embrace the Challenges Ahead?


#this is a duplicate post from the blog Standing Alone


Have you ever pondered if you're prepared to face the demanding journey of being a house officer? The reality can be harsh, and working as a doctor is even tougher. Recent incidents have left me concerned about the new generation of house officers. Many struggle to adapt and cope with the stressful working environment.

Therefore, I'd like to offer a wake-up call to those about to embark on their housemanship:

  1. If you haven't worked before or haven't faced the challenges of the real world, consider getting a job and acquainting yourself with the working life. Don't spend an entire year idling away or relaxing at home or abroad.

  2. If you lack interest in the medical field or find no satisfaction in it, either mentally prepare yourself to endure the two years of housemanship training or contemplate alternative paths for your future.

  3. If you can't tolerate scolding from superiors, endure "tough training" from senior colleagues, withstand gossip, or find yourself forced to take on tasks that may seem beneath your role, it's crucial to mentally prepare yourself.

  4. If you expect appreciation for your efforts, remember that many things in the medical field are taken for granted. Being a doctor is no longer the proud job it once was. Wake up from the fantasy portrayed in dramas and TV shows.

Essentially, being a house officer is the lowest rank in a hospital, and this is the norm. Do not complain about it. Respect must be earned. House officers often find themselves performing tasks typically handled by PPKs, nurses, or cleaners. We've grown accustomed to it. Whether it's delivering emergency blood or rushing packed cells to the operating theater, house officers are the ones responsible. If a dressing becomes soaked and the nurses are busy, it falls upon us to change it. If a bed sheet is dirty and we care, we should help change it.


Every job comes with its own set of challenges, difficulties, and responsibilities. No single job is superior to another. Doctors deal with human beings and human life.

  • Drawing one EDTA tube of blood may require multiple attempts, leading to unhappy or angry expressions from patients.

  • Resuscitating a single patient in a state of desaturation is an immensely stressful task.

  • Coping with the grief and emotions of a patient's family after their passing is another aspect to consider.

  • Performing CPR for 30 minutes on a human body experiencing asystole is far different from what is portrayed in Korean dramas.

Respect should be given where it is due. Please do not compare our jobs with yours, especially for engineers who deal with robots or chemical assistants who work with test tubes. Videos on Facebook questioning whether doctors deserve critical allowance are disheartening.

I acknowledge that I wouldn't be able to work as an engineer or a chemical assistant. I respect your work, and I kindly ask for the same respect in return. If you don't support us, please refrain from being destructive. Fortunately, the critical allowance still remains, and I'm happy for everyone. (Old incidents that happened in Malaysia)


Lastly, if you find yourself burdened with stress or troubles, seek someone to vent to, whether it's a family member, a friend, or a senior colleague. Bottling up your emotions will only lead to disaster when it finally bursts. Remember, there is always hope at the end of the rainbow, and the best is yet to come. If you have any concerns or need assistance, feel free to reach out via email.


I will continue to write or repost old post from my blog in this newer website. Hope it helps those in need.


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