Black Sheep HOs

Out-of-phase HOs is a term used to describe house officers who have not graduated from our fine local YLL SoM. They come from all over, Malaysia, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore (but studied overseas), Malaysia and some even from Malaysia.

Regardless, it has come to J.’s attention that out-of-phase HOs are gaining a reputation for being less than excellent. This is unfair. There are local HOs who aren’t good. And there are out-of-phase HOs who are fantastic.

One of J.’s favourite colleagues works fast, is responsible, and always has a kind word to say. He’s from KL. Another one can be counted on to cover one’s work. He’s from Penang. A lot of these guys are simply fantastic at their work. From clerking to topo-ing for invisible veins, some of them can do it all.

So why the shoddy reputation? Answer: black sheep.

There’s one in every department. General Medicine, Orthopedic Surgery, General Surgery, we’ve all heard the stories. They disappear for hours on end, take 2 hours to do a discharge summary, go home on the dot at 5pm leaving 3 blood cultures for the on-call to take, and generally increaes the workload rather than decrease it.

Do you report them? That seems to betray the unspoken loyalty between house officers. Do you bring them aside and earnestly tell them what they’re doing is wrong? That would likely generate a degree of awkwardness between you, and be useless if said person knows what he’s doing and doesn’t care.

What to do, what to do?

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