Long hours and lack of work-life balance prompt one doc to quit


  • Nation
  • Monday, 30 Mar 2015

PETALING JAYA: One doctor decided to opt out of her housemanship training after realising that it was not the life she wanted.

The 32-year-old woman, who only wished to be known as Dr MH, said she decided to stop her housemanship after 14 months of training because the long hours were stressful and there was no work-life balance.

“I was on-call every other day and I realised that even after becoming a medical officer or specialist, the schedule would still be heavy. I didn’t want that kind of lifestyle,” she said.

Dr MH, who is now a medical adviser for a pharmaceutical company, said as a houseman in a training hospital in the Klang Valley then, she worked from 7am to 5pm and would be on-call duty from 6pm to 7am the following morning before continuing with the normal working hours the next day.

“During on-call duty, there are usually patients to attend to. We get little sleep in between and have to wake up at 5am to take blood samples of patients before the senior doctors come in,” she said.

She said her late father was horrified when she resigned and even asked relatives to persuade her to change her mind.

She admitted that her father had wanted her to do medicine although she had wanted to do actuarial science.

“Money was not a factor for leaving the profession even though pharmaceutical companies pay better. I am more satisfied with the stable working hours,” she said.

Asked what advice she would give to students wanting to pursue medicine, she said they must have the passion and good grades because the course was intensive and the work demanding.

“They should not be influenced by their peers or their parents for choosing medicine,” she said.

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