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Walking in Patients' Shoes

Patient-centred care

We (healthcare professionals) have all heard it before – patient-centred care. That phrase is used so extensively in the healthcare industry that it is nearly impossible for you to not have come across it. We either have heard it in healthcare administrators’ speeches, read it in hospitals’ annual reports, or seen it splashed generously on hospitals’ client charters. But what is patient-centred care? More importantly, do we practice it in our daily clinical encounters with our patients? What is Patient-Centred Care? There are so many definitions of patient-centred care out there. Try googling it and you’ll know what I mean.…

Can you please clarify this?

Throughout the years that I have been a patient, I have had many doctors and medical subspecialty teams looking after me. The most I had in a single hospital admission was 7 (subspecialties). Yup, that’s a lot. A lot of doctors to interact with and a lot of information and care plans to digest. It was so mind-boggling that I decided to write down in my journal the important clinical impressions that my doctors have made for me and the key treatment plans that they have prescribed, so as not to lose sight of things. Journaling those information really helped…

Being pleasant

Many moons ago, as I lie in the hospital bed feeling slightly sorry for myself (haha), I noticed there were doctors and nurses who were exceptionally pleasant while they go about their clinical duties. They never fail to smile even if it was a long and hard day at work. They tirelessly answer patients’ questions without a hint of agitation even if it was way past their working hours. I have been very lucky to have been able to watch them work as they are truly inspirational. You had me at hello… Jerry Maguire, 1996 As cheesy as this might…

Constructive Criticism

I am inclined to write this post after reading a recent article written by a respected Paediatrician in Malaysia, Dr Amar Singh, which alluded to the fact that the child health services in the nation are struggling due to lack of financial and human resources. I am not going to reiterate what he wrote (you can read it here), but I must say that I am intrigued by his opening statement in the article. “In Malaysia, there is a tendency to shoot the messenger that brings bad news, especially in government.” Dr Amar Singh Honestly, I cringed when I read…

Full disclosure

During the antenatal period of my last pregnancy, I developed multiple complex medical conditions on top of my long list of co-morbidities. As the pregnancy unfolds, it gradually became tougher. It became a very complicated and tumultuous pregnancy, riddled with uncertainties at the turn of every trimester. But, my doctors did a wonderful job at making sure I stay pregnant and reach term unscathed. And what they did were nothing short of inspirational. However, at the very end of the pregnancy, a turn of events occurred that nearly jeopardised all their hard work. I have to admit that it wasn’t…

Empathic listening

In late 2018, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition by a team of doctors from a renowned public hospital in Malaysia after just a single consultation. Up until that point, I have had symptoms for over 2 years, but was told by many doctors in the private sector that there was nothing wrong with me.

When a doctor becomes a patient

Let me introduce myself. My name is Aida Salam. I have been a doctor in Malaysia for over 10 years. I had spent my first 5 working years in Clinical Medicine and now serve as a Healthcare Administrator within the Ministry of Health. I have seen the workings of the Malaysian Healthcare System from the perspective of a doctor serving patients, as well as a doctor who helps ensure that the healthcare system/ services run effectively and efficiently. Recently, I became seriously ill and had been on the receiving end of the healthcare services, both public and private.

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