Archive for August, 2007

Doctor Dress Codes – Please Off Ties!

In SGH, there is a circular reminding all medical students to be neatly attired at all times. The dress code for male students is shirt, dress pants, shoes and ties at all time.

Link: Doctors should abandon ties and avoid nose rings – Roger Dobson

Wearing ties is about striking a balance between patient confidence and infection control.

1. Patient confidence

Nair BR, Attia JR, Mears SR, Hitchcock KI. Evidence-based physicians’ dressing: a crossover trial. Ned J Aust 2002 Dec 2-17:177(11-12):681-2

The results of the above study indicated that formal trousers and shirt accounted for most of the patients’ confidence. Loss of a tie did have some negative effect in patients’ perception, however.

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Random Conversation – Ethics Case

Standing around in the MO room, A, B were talking.

A: Hey, have you finished your ethics case writeups yet? It’s due on the 1st.

B: Aw man, gotta finish it soon. It’s a complicated case.

A: What cases are you doing?

B: It’s a complicated case of MTPT (Mid-Term Pregnancy Termination). I wish I had picked an easier case. By the way, did you know that F did a 4000 word writeup on HIV testing without patient consent? 4000!

A: Huh? Is there even an ethical issue? It’s quite straightforward.
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Logical Fallacies, including “Why not try it?”

The following link is from Managing Decision- Priority- Mental Error. Their website states that they are a website
“dedicated to helping managers, administrators, court judges and other legal professionals, CEOs, business owners and all other professional decision-makers of all types avoid mental error in decision selection and fundamental prioritizing, with quotes by noted psychologists and authors – and links to their books.”

J. saw this clear, concise, useful guide to logical fallacies surfing this website: Beliefs and Fallacies. It’s worth a read to learn to identify and defend against these fallacies, or for the more unscrupulous, to use against the uninitiated.

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Review: Highlander Coffee Bar

“There Can Be Only One.”

During all his postings at SGH, J. had never known of the presence of Highlander Coffee, a small place directly opposite SGH. Pity. It’s a great place for coffee.

Over the course of two weeks, J. has sampled three drinks from the place: a double shot espresso ($1.90), a latte ($2.90) and a double-shot latte in a small cup ($2.90). The friends enjoyed flavoured lattes ($3.50) such as hazelnut, etc.

J. is happy! Having tasted the blandness of coffee from Spinelli’s in NUS, he’s finally tasted a latte from an outlet that he can really enjoy (the straight espresso was alright). Add to that some pretty good latte art (as compared to the artless bubbly foam dusted with chocolate from Spinelli’s), it’s not bad at all.

Comparatively, a medium latte from Spinelli’s in NUS costs $3.70 post-student-discount. This is value for money. A picture will be up shortly.

Highlander Coffee Pte. Ltd.
49 Kampong Bahru Road
Singapore 169362
Office Hours: 9am to 6.00pm (Mon – Fri)
Phone: +65 6226 1686 Fax: +65 6368 3049

Medfac Outing – Asia Pacific Breweries Trip 2007

Recently, there was the annual APB trip to the birthplace of Tiger Beer, world-acclaimed beer that’s won the Gold medal in the European Style Pilsener category of the 2004 World Beer Cup.

J. thought that it’d be his last chance to enjoy such a trip and made sure that after a tutorial that ended at 1850hrs at SGH (the chartered buses were supposed to leave NUS at 1800hrs), he took a cab down to APB which is located near the Tuas checkpoint in the west.

Before going any further about the event itself. Let’s rate the quality of Tiger Beer.

  • Draft at the APB pub – Awesome
  • Draft at any other bar – Alright
  • Can from supermarket – Almost average
  • Can in the army – Atrocious

Drafts usually taste better than cans, so that’s fairly expected. A can of Tiger Beer in the army comes marked with “For military use only. Not for resale.” So here’s what some of J.’s friends speculate – they take the crappiest batches of Tiger Beer and sell them on the cheap to the military. Army guys aren’t exactly beer connoisseurs.

Back to the event!
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Rag & Flag 2007 and Memories of 2003

The NUS Rag & Flag 2007 was held on 11 August 2007 at the Sports and Recreation Centre (SRC), Padang. It was the first time the event was held at the Padang as it had previously been held at the NUS SRC Track.

It’s J.’s final year in medical school, and he could not resist the urge the go support the medical faculty… or to reminisce with fellow year 5’s about their participation in Rag Day 2003. A couple of J.’s classmates have siblings in the first year of medical school, so they too went along for the ride.

This year, Rag 2007’s theme was Discover the Passion, Witness our Spirit. The Medicine Faculty came up with a story of a little girl who, unlike her peers who were happy with stuffed animals, wielded a model aeroplane and dreamt of flying. Alas, she was deemed a weirdo for her dreams and ostracised. However, like a true blue mad (med) person, she never gave up her dream of flying.

Two mystical fairies came out and called forth the king of the elves who then summoned his [tiny] army of elves who built a plane. Yet, just before the girl was to take flight, evil goblins appeared and hijacked the plane after taking potentially explosive fluids on board (no, not really). A great battle ensued, and as expected, the elves are victorious! To infinity and beyond!

It was a lot more impressive in real life than J. makes it sound, really. And J. (and co.) were even more impressed when they discovered that the whole dance item was choreographed by two… TWO M2s. Outstanding.

It’s a pity the performance failed to reach its maximum potential with a couple of errors on the day itself. And alas (again), the Faculty of Medicine failed to win the Best Presentation/Performance thingamajig this year. Instead, it was taken by Science (who had both a great float and a good dance performance).
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Why You Should Follow Recommended Dosages

… instead of self-modifying the dosages.

To illustrate, let’s use a very common over-the-counter medication called
(Generic: S$1.05 for 20 tablets, Panadol: S$4.00 for 30 tablets)
Its other chemical name is acetaminophen, and in North America the brand name is Tylenol. Each tablet contains 500mg of paracetamol.

The prescription for paracetamol usually goes like this:
PO Paracetamol 1000mg q4h PRN. (q6h is also common).
This translates to: two oral tablets of paracetamol at a go every 4 hours as per needed.

Other formulations of paracetamol include

  • Panadol Extra (S$4.80 for 20 caplets) – paracetamol 500mg caffeine 65mg
  • Panadol Menstrual – paracetamol 500mg pamabom 25mg
  • Panadol for Cold Relief – paracetamol 500mg pseudoephrine hydrochloride 30mg
  • Anarex – paracetamol 500mg orphenadrine citrate 35mg

The list goes on. What is common to all of them is paracetamol 500mg.

Now, recently J. had a friend say, “Ahhh, I have a headache. So bad, I had to take Panadol Extra.”
J.: “Oh, that’s terrible. Must get some more rest, yah. How many caplets did you take?”
Friend: “One, loh.”
J.: “No, no, no. For Panadol must take 2 tablets at a time for it to work. Takes about 30min to take effect.”
Friend: “But it’s Extra!”
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