Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bedside Manners

This is an interesting article from the New York Times. The physician-teachers who taught me in medical school, & my seniors when I was a houseman ranged from the truly compassionate whom the patients loved, to the abrupt (& scary!). And as a practising physician, I saw the same range of different bedside manners in my colleagues.

Communication is one thing. But to be able to be compassionate especially when dealing with patients, I feel, is just as, if not more, important.

I wonder how NUS "teaches" bedside manners these days. I know that in my day, there were certainly no such modules; it was look & learn, which, as you can imagine, left a lot to be desired.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Amazing Technicolor Family

Reading this article about President Obama's multicolored extended family, it gives me hope that we are entering an age in the USA in which we celebrate diversity instead of propagate prejudice.

Even in Singapore which prides herself in her multiracial, multicultural society, on the surface, this harmony appears prevalent. However, dig deeper & you will see that age-old racism still exists, & xenophobia is quite rampant.

I sometimes read the Straits Times Forum page online, & notice that each time there is criticism about some aspect of Singapore, or when someone suggests improvements using examples from another country, the racists & xenophobes crawl out of the woodwork & start slinging mud at the writers for daring to say bad things about Singapore or that other countries can actually do things better. I find it annoying as hell that people can be so closed minded to everything foreign, ESPECIALLY in a country that supposedly prides itself in being so damned tolerant of the different cultures who live on this tiny island. Talk about hypocrisy.

Personal experience has also colored my vision (pun not intended) of the extent of prejudice & xenophobia in Singapore, with comments (not complimentery) made about my childrens' accent/nationality when they attended a local school in Singapore for a few years.

Together with recent events (both personal, as well as nationally) which, to me, shows that the Singapore government is losing/has lost its soul & compassion, I am not sure anymore that I can make Singapore my home again, nor do I think that it's a good place to raise a family. Oh sure, it's a great place to make money & lead a comfortable life. But apart from the material comforts, I believe that what's in our hearts & souls also needs nurturing....& I am not sure that Singapore has what it takes to do it. I hope that I am proved wrong...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Impressions from China - Fireworks!

It's fireworks galore tonight, right, left & center! 15 more minutes till midnight & it's the first day of the Chinese New Year (gong xi fa cai, everyone!). I put my hands on the window pane & I can feel the them vibrating as the sound waves from the crackling explosions hit the glass. I expect the cacophony to continue till past midnight as the villages that border our compound celebrate the coming of the new year.

We bought our own fireworks to light, which we did tonight out in the freezing cold. So much fun it was, lighting up & then running for cover, with fingers plugged into our ears to shield them from the explosive sounds! Growing up in Singapore, where fireworks were banned, I am now making up for all the deprivation with my sons! (Note: yes, we are careful!)

This is the view from our living room....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Smile :)

If this doesn't put a smile on your face, I don't know what will!!!

Funny Videos

Saturday, January 03, 2009


My heart goes out to the Travoltas on the death of their son, Jett.

I can't imagine anything more devastating than losing a child....