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  • Writer's pictureVincent Chuah

LIFE AS A HOUSEMAN IN HSIJB - ORTHOPEDIC POSTING

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

#This is an old post in 2017 from the blog Standing Alone

It is disheartening to hear about the viral news regarding sexual harassment by the HOD (Head of Department) in the Orthopedic department KL towards house officers. It is important that steps are being taken to investigate and address this issue. However, it is crucial to remember that not all orthopedic surgeons exhibit such behavior. It is unfair to generalize and assume that all orthopedic surgeons are "gatal-gatal" (inappropriate or harass individuals). The truth is that some individuals may engage in such behavior, but it does not represent the entire profession.


Entering the orthopedic posting, I was chosen to become the HO (House Officer) leader, which was a challenging and demanding responsibility. The posting came with difficulties, including

  1. long working hours

  2. heavy lifting (especially for female house officers)

  3. bedside delsoughing,

  4. pass-over case presentations.

To navigate through these challenges, it was important for you to be meticulous in managing patients, pay attention to details, and carry out your plans effectively. Not to forgot, orthopedic MOs were "not good/ tired" in managing patient's medical condition, in their eyes, bone and tissues were far more important. Hence, please keep yourself update how to correct K+ , Na+, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, high BP, arrthymia etc. Get help from your senior (hahaha, senior in orthopedic is god). Your job was to make sure patients optimized for operation!


Working long hours, especially during night shifts, could lead to fatigue, and it was important to ensure adequate rest and recovery. The demanding nature of the posting also involved presenting new admissions to specialists and medical officers, sometimes with a high volume of cases. The pressure to present well and manage the workload was significant, as failure to do so could result in explanation letters or disciplinary actions.


Despite the challenges, there were rewarding aspects of the orthopedic posting. It provided opportunities to perform various procedures such as toe amputations, calcaneal pin insertions, plaster of Paris (POP) applications, debridement, and external fixations. If you enjoy hands-on work, orthopedics can be fulfilling. The orthopedic surgeons you worked with were skilled and creative, offering valuable learning experiences. Toward the end of the posting, there was a final exam comprising best answer questions and a written component. Being open, learning from the pathway, and gaining knowledge were crucial for success in this posting.


There are many more memories and experiences in the orthopedic department that may not have been mentioned here. Each posting comes with its unique challenges and rewards.

Still, things may have changed. Be positive. Life is fantasy.


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