STOP mum-shaming


I am not one to get very defensive about my mothering choices but something recently struck a chord with me and I thought I would share. Watching the daily evening news, I was dutifully informed by the news reader that the Duchess of Cambridge had successfully raised her children without any exposure to electronic media and it was insinuated that, this was the best way for children to be raised. I understand that in this modern age, it is a mean feat to raise 2 kids under 4 without any electronic media exposure and that is what was probably the whole point of the news clip but somehow made me feel judged as a mother. When you work full-time in a 2-income home, have your child in childcare 4 days a week because a live-in nanny is not an option, you come home to juggle making dinner, bath time, doing laundry and everything that needs to be done to have some sense of peace and order in the home, sometimes giving the toddler something to distract them is the only way to get things done.

Having shared in reading more than 50books in his young life, my son is well acquainted with the pages of a book and he has a lot of toys and a few other things that could distract him but sometimes you use what you know will work. I am one to admit, the electronic tablet has been a lifesaver in my home and sometimes allows me to use the bathroom in peace without having a toddler banging on the door or sticking their fingers under the bathroom door.  I am also one to admit that there should be limits as to how long kids should be on electronic media and ideally the guidelines say there should be any electronic media use in kids under 2 but if that is the only way the kid can eat enough to sleep all night and not wake up hungry at 3am, then I think you can make a call as to what works for your family.

I will jump off the soapbox now… have a great day…



I have had time to reflect on the different curveballs medicine has given me in my career so far and one that sticks out for me is the day I quit! It was quite a surprise to me that things got that bad but more so that I had the guts as a junior doctor to call it quits and basically risk it all.
I was working in a small country town in Victoria as a surgical resident when this unfolded. Now surgery and many surgical rotations come with very long hours. It was completely normal to start work at 7am (having arrived earlier to organise everything for the morning ward rounds) and then work the whole day and occasionally be in charge of ward patients until 8-9pm to hand over to the doctor doing nightshift. Occasionally, when there was a really sick patient or you were in theater assisting in surgery, you might actually still be in the hospital until about midnight knowing you have to get home, shower, eat, sleep and try and get ready for the next day when you do it all over again. Everyone was in the same boat and you did what you could to keep sane during this time.
My co- junior doctor and I  had been doing the surgical rotation for a while when unfortunately our surgical registrar (the doctor immediately my superior) had to leave the hospital for personal reasons. It wasn’t long until we got a replacement registrar which was great although we had started to enjoy the added responsibility. Joy turned to horror when we realised that our new registrar was not really a team player as our old registrar had been. He would turn up late demanding that we do all our work and his, would only take phone call consults and not ever want to see a patient and he would spend all his days either in theatre or chilling in the staff room.  This went on for a few weeks and we all sucked it up, looking forward to the time we would change rotations.
I then drew the short straw and had to work a weekend cover shift with him which I figured could not get any worse than his mid week antics.
I started bright and early, ready for the 14hr shift and before long things were going pear-shaped. I had sick patients to attend on the ward and he was in theatre and not interested in seeing anyone I was calling for help about. I then made an executive decision and called the consultant (team leader)  to liase with him about the patients I was very concerned about. Word must have then filtered back to him in theatre that I had got help from the super boss and before long he was in my face, yelling and cursing me out for daring to ask for help when he clearly was not going to help.
As I stood there in shock and failing dismally to control my emotions, I thought “Fxk this Sx*t, I cannot be subjected to all this abuse for caring enough about my patients to ask for help” and decided to quit!! I packed my bags, told the surgical nurse unit manager that I was going home and that they should find someone to complete my shift. I called human resources manager and told them I had just quit. I walked home and spent the rest of the day in tears. I had never been humiliated, yelled at and cursed out for being chocolate skinned like that in my medical career and even though I believed I had done the right thing by walking away, I was not sure what to do next. It was the middle of a new term and getting a whole new job would be a nightmare.
The HR manager called back and between my sobs was able to understand the gravity of my decision. They spoke to all the witnesses of the yelling as well as the nurse unit manager who had been working in the ward that day. After feedback from all the nursing staff, who had apparently also written multiple complaints about the new surgical registrar, and feedback from the consultants and theatre staff, the surgical registrar was let go. I was informed of the managerial decision to let him go and asked if I could return to complete my contract.
Looking back, I am proud that I stood up against workplace abuse and even though was much junior in my training, was still able to make such a decision to protect myself. I regret that it took direct, humiliating verbal abuse to make that decision but sometimes you have to be pushed to take that leap.

Dear new mummy… reflection piece


I was looking at some pictures taken during my pregnancy and post-delivery of my son 2 and a bit years ago and thought about how much I had grown in that short amount of time. My thoughts, perspectives, and life goals have certainly changed a whole lot since then and having a baby certainly does sometimes throw a spanner in the works. I thought I would pen something I would have wanted to know in those early motherhood moments and share with women who are yet to go through that phase of life.

It will all be okay– I have worked doing obstetrics for a while and working in large specialist hospitals can really skew what you see about pregnancy. Dealing with medically complex pregnancies or being involved in deliveries where everything goes wrong can really be traumatic or make one lose perspective. When it was now my turn to have my own bundle or joy, I was always scared of what could be around the corner despite having no significant medical history or reason to be concerned. Now, things didn’t really go according to plan, if ever there is one, with the delivery but I have ended up with a smart, loving little boy and I couldn’t be happier. Reflecting on my whole pregnancy and delivery as well as all the patients I have cared for whilst going through the same phase of life, I can honestly say that relax and enjoy the journey. Most times than not, things work out okay. Our bodies are great devices that can have a few hearts, brains and limbs growing at the same time and still manage things relatively okay. So trust the body and what it can do…

Give everything time– You would think having been a medical practitioner in the field would equip me with a lot that other people don’t know but I think motherhood is mainly about allowing nature to take its course and following your instincts. This is true with even learning who this newborn person is, their likes and dislikes as they also learn who you are etc. Living in a fast-paced world, we are always looking for instant gratification and motherhood is, unfortunately, something that you grow into and this takes time. This also applies to getting back into pre-pregnancy clothes, developing some sort of routine and getting some form of sanity back after delivery. The other thing is to acknowledge is the impact having a baby can have on all your relationships but with time, you slowly DO get your groove back.

Enjoy every stage– corny as this sounds, this is very true. I remember during pregnancy, wishing that I had delivered already as I was tired of having to pee every few hours and when he finally did arrive, wishing he was able to do stuff like eating, walking, talking instead of just being a baby. Being in the moment can be a bit tricky when you are sleep deprived and covered in vomit but looking back, those stages were each treasure-worthy and sadly I must say I now occasionally miss the times when he was less mobile as I could get a lot done around the house without him following me everywhere. I now though, get to enjoy the language development and the cheeky personality that comes with it and I am definitely in love with this stage of his growth.

Take advice with a grain of salt and then do what works for you– when you are finally pregnant or have a newborn, people suddenly give you a lot of unsolicited advice about everything motherhood related from how to have the best birth experience, how to make them sleep all night, when and how to feed them etc. I remember doing the controlled crying technique to try and get little L to self-soothe and get himself to bed as was being recommended on my sleep help books. Not only did this make him even more cranky, it also DIDN’T work so we had to work out our own way for him to learn to self-soothe. So evaluate every advice you are given and do what works for you and your family.

You will love like you never had– I am one of those people who was very disappointed that I didn’t have that movie moment of love at first sight with little L. I was honestly probably stuck with “doctor hat” on instead of “mummy hat” when I got to see him for the first time and it took a while for me to realise that he was my own little man that I got to keep instead of the many babies I had delivered and gave back to their parents. As I grew into being a mother, and gradually became confident in my skills of safely growing a human, I have come to acknowledge how much I really love the little bugger despite the tantrums, snotty noses and having early morning human alarm clock. He has made me want to make the world better for him as well as make me want to be the best human example be could have.

In summary, motherhood has truly been an AMAZING  and rewarding life phase and I am looking forward to sharing this experience with my sister sometime in the near future…

Hoping some mothers can comment below and let me know what they have learned so far on their own journey…


*Picture sourced from Google

So… I cut my locks

So August 2016, I got the all clear with all my exams…. wooohooo! To celebrate the momentous occasion, I decided to do a big chop. It had been 9 years with my beautiful locks and no, I don’t call them dreadlocks because I never found them dreadful. So on a quiet winters day, I took final pictures with locks, walked into the bathroom and chopped them all off. I walked out to my husband and son and saw them do a take 2 after noticing that the hair was now a TWA (teeny- weeny afro). I collected all the hair and put it into the garbage, ensuring that under no circumstances would I be tempted to reconnect them to my scalp, yes, it can be done and know a few people who have attached ready made locks. I had to come to terms with the new hair pretty quick. I had no option of waking up in the morning and tying my hair into a ponytail and not thinking twice about how it looked.
I now had to learn the afro lingo and boy is there a lot of lingo. From- co wash, pre- poo, twist out, protective styling to mention a few. I had to try and schedule regular washes, get the right shampoos and conditioners for the hair, get a silk scarf to sleep with and a few other things. I had to relearn how to braid my own hair, something I had not had to do since my second year of medical school. I also, unfortunately, realised that my hair was still as kinky and coily as it had been prior to the locks and that putting a comb in it every morning was torture so quickly became familiar with more humane forms of management.
It has been almost a year and I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss my locks or the ease with which they were to manage at the end. I could style them and know that my hair was sorted for at least a month. I watched YouTube for hair style inspirations and was comfortably able to experiment with different styles or hair-colour without a care in the world as I felt my hair was robust enough to handle what I threw at it. I have had to learn everything from the beginning without an easily accessible chocolate specific hair salon to help with the task at hand. I felt that the TWA, which was essentially my lock roots, was very fragile and I had to “baby it” in those first few months but now it has got with the program. Speaking of salons, they all still seem to have ridiculous prices for everything to do with hair of the afro-texture. Well, I say ridiculous because prior to locks, I had been able to get my hair braided, plait etc for less than a tenth the price I was now seeing advertised.
I also realise that I have to do a little more with my looks to ensure that I don’t look like a boy. I am happily experimenting with bolder makeup and jewellery to accessorise the afro which my husband adores. Every new season throws a spanner in the works and I am still learning. I have developed techniques that for the most part have been working okay and I am currently appreciating my roots, excuse the pun. I am eagerly looking forward to what this hair journey has in store and I can’t honestly promise that I won’t ever lock my hair again. For now though I am loving the TWA.

Time saving tips that I use…

Time is VERY expensive in my opinion. The other unfortunate thing is that we are always buying time technically but then not using it to the max. I have heard in many situations, people saying that they really don’t have enough time for whatever it may be for example exercise, sleep, sex, or even preparing healthy meals. When you add pitta patter of little feet, it seems that you never really have time for anything at all including basic self-care in some instances.
I was listening to an audiobook recently called – I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam which basically talks about how to get maximal bang for your buck time-wise. It highlighted that there are actually about 168 hours per week and deducting work and sleep left ample time for a lot of things in life. It might however not seem like there is that much time “spare” when you are always feeling like you are running around like a headless chicken. I will share some tricks that have worked for me and hope you can share yours below so I can add to my mix.
1. Value your time- LITERALLY!!. Calculate how much you earn per hour in your income earning job and then see if you can pay someone to do some work to help you for a cheaper rate. For example, let us say you earn about $50 an hour roughly and you have a task to do that would normally take you about 3hrs to do ($150). If this is time that you enjoy doing said task then fine, do it yourself. But if it is a menial task, outsourcing it for $20/hour ( $60 hrs total) would actually save you money in the long term and allow you to spend your time doing things you love.
2. If it can be done in 2 mins- do it. This usually applies to tidying up the house eg cleaning the shower whilst you are in it, cleaning and scrubbing the loo after using it, clearing some toys off the floor, wipe the bathroom and kitchen bench tops etc. This then means there isn’t really a mountain of things to do all the time but just tasks that take a bit more than 2mins.
3. Learn to multitask- I try to always incorporate other things whilst doing my chores/errands. For example, I listen to audiobooks whilst doing my grocery shopping/washing dishes and doing the vacuuming. I also tend to call and catch up with my family during my commute to work (using a hands-free handset and not touching the phone whilst I drive of course) or whilst folding laundry etc.
4. Make a plan- a meal plan reduces time wasting at the store trying to figure out what is in the fridge, what needs to be bought and being distracted by sale items which you don’t need. A plan for work lunches and packing them ahead reduces stress associated with running late for lunch, queuing for meals etc.
time saving tips
5. In the same token as *4 – have a to do list. In the modern age, it is very common to set off trying to do one thing and then suddenly you find yourself doing other things instead. This is particularly worse if you are doing anything online. Having a to do list ensures that you still have a reference list to check off as tasks get completed which tends to give me a little boost to keep going. I tend to do this tip a lot and can find that I have a few lists on the go at any one time. It is thus important to delete lists as you go to ensure they are useful lists.
6. If you can delegate for free, why not- the main one here is paying routine stuff by direct debit. These include mortgage, credit card repayments, bills, car registration etc. This ensures you never have to pay any late fees associated with late bills. It also means tax time is easier as most transactions are available for review.
7. On the audiobook topic- listen to it at 1.5 speed. The brain eventually adjusts to the quicker version which then means you can read more books over a shorter time. WINNING!
8. Ask for help!! Mummys who work full time are usually guilty of feeling they have to be superwomen ie running a household, being the perfect wife, preparing freshly cooked meals, ironing and doing laundry in addition to everything in between. “If you don’t ask, the answer is NO” is a motto I live by so I am happy to ask for help knowing that I don’t lose anything by asking.
These are some tips I use to try and get more bang for my time. Are there some time-saving tips you use daily?
*images from Google


This is a controversial topic but one I thought I would entertain for a little while and pen here for everyone to read. I know there are many memes about “friends being for a season or reason” etc and I totally understand that. I also know that sometimes I have been guilty of calling people friends when actually they haven’t been friends in the true sense of the word.
Social media also plays a role in making relationships exist in our heads when they might actually not really exist in reality. I know I am guilty of having people on my Facebook page who I then get to know really well in terms of what they have been up to, whether they are married, have babies, where they go on holidays etc only to actually realise that the last time I actually communicated with said person was in primary school late last century. I have physically met some people on my Facebook and actually not been game to actually say hello to them because I don’t think they would know me and sometimes this can be because someone is a friends’ friend but because you see them so much, you feel like you already “know them” when in reality you two are strangers.
Experts say that you tend to have less than 10 or so true friends in a lifetime and most of the time these friendships are built in the early years of childhood and high-school. This is because this is a time you develop a sense of identity and try and define who you are as well as the people you want to associate with. There is another peak in friendship development when you go to college and identify with people who sync with your personality and then you might then have another friend from work as life goes on. So really by the time you are in your mid-thirties, you have already picked your friends and they are to last a lifetime.
The tricky thing with having to leave the country to attend college and subsequently living far from the mother ship is that the original childhood friendships face a big challenge with trying to remain alive especially if you have been away for too long. Sure, you can keep the emails and skype going but with time things suffer to some extent and then, unfortunately, you can find that you have friends but not really the friendships you had anticipated to have when you were growing up.  You don’t really know your “friends”, or their family and don’t have those deep-rooted ties that you had equated with deep friendship. Also, when you then go to visit the mother land, you come to the realisation that people have grown and moved on with their lives and sometimes there isn’t really space in their life for you as you had thought they had always been.
Most of the time you make do with the situation and move on as well but there are always tough circumstances which bring this issue to the forefront especially when you live overseas without much family support. Simple examples of these include
  • Who to write as next of kin on your children’s childcare or school card who would be happy to come and collect them should you not be able to
  • You find yourself in some financial strife and need someone, not only to lend you money but to understand and to listen to your dilemma as well as offer some unjudgemental advice
  • You have a new baby and you are not coping whether emotionally or otherwise and you need someone to genuinely open up to and ask for help
  • You have a death in the family and want someone who knows the family to lend a hand only to realise none of your “friends” truly know your family enough to lend a hand. (I personally think introductions of who your friends are to your family shouldn’t ideally happen at a funeral)
  • You have a great business idea and you need someone who will be objective and realistic to give you honest feedback which might be “dude, that business idea sucks and maybe you could change it like …”
I guess what I really have been thinking about is trying to be the friend that I would want to have for myself and also trying to really know my friends, their families and hoping that I enrich their lives as I hope they do mine.

Books I have fallen in love with…

When my exams finally finished and I was free to whatever I pleased with my time, I decided to set myself a challenge and try to read at least a book a month for 12 months. I installed an audiobook app and decided that I would try to make my regular 40minute commute fun by reading in the car. I have read a few books in that time that have significantly changed my perspective on life and these here are the ones I would recommend as great reads.

Year of Yes – How to dance it out, stand in the sun and be your own person (Shonda Rhimes). From the creator of Grays Anatomy, How to get away with Murder, Scandal etc, this book outlines what can happen by including one word in your vocabulary- YES!!!. Although I have not fully committed to a full year of saying yes and doing things that scare me, the few times I have told my husband I am doing a “week of yes” have been really great weeks of walking off the beaten path especially with my little family. I look forward to being able to do a month of yes and eventually a full year of YES knowing that my husband will end up making me do the most outrageous things.

#Girlboss (Sophia Amoruso)– This book outlines how someone can strike it rich not by being lucky but by finding a true love and persisting despite life’s setbacks. This book talks about networking, knowing your worth and most importantly believing in your dream and working your butt off to make this a reality. She is the one who set me on a path of trying to work very hard now to enable me to retire early and look into making income in my sleep- something I still try to work on every day.

When breath becomes air (Paul Kalanithi). This book is truly AMAZING. It talks about life, love, sacrifice, medicine, fatherhood, purpose and everything in the middle. It forces you to treasure the moments with your family which for me currently include a lot of 2-year-old tantrums and just be happy to be alive. Some peoples passing is truly a loss to humanity and this is an example of such a loss.

Don’t sweat the small stuff- and it’s all small stuff (Richard Carlson). We interact with people in all our days and with each interaction risk being drawn into people’s dilemmas and dramas. This book has helped me put such interactions into perspective- a common question I ask is “will this matter in 12 months?”. If the answer is no then I try and regulate my reaction which has been great when dealing with angry patients, poor drivers who clearly don’t follow road rules or dealing with everyday stressors. I will be the first to admit that sometimes I still stress the small stuff which shouldn’t matter in 12 months but having the ability to step back and evaluate such situations has been immensely helpful for all my relationships.


Small great things (Jodi Picoult)– working as a chocolate medical profession in a mostly non-chocolate society, this book struck a particular chord with me as I could essentially relate to what Ruth was going through during the whole book. It talks about racism, privilege, and things that are sometimes unspoken but truly implied. Sadly even though we are probably living in very different times, the running thread of race is not too unfamiliar, although not to the same extremes, and probably something we are often not keen to talk about openly


To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)– classic literature talking about race relationships of years gone by. This book to me was like watching Django, 12 years a slave etc which are just really highlights of the so called societal hierarchy of yester year and the bad hand one was dealt based on the colour of their skin. When movements like #blacklivesmatter are still necessary, and the current rates of incarcerations and shooting of un armed chocolate men in the USA, it scares me to think things may not be as different to years gone as we had hoped they would be now.

Adnan’s story (Rabia Chaudry)– I was one of the people who got addicted to the podcast SERIAL after everyone had already moved on to bigger and better things and following that ASTONISHING podcast, I was intrigued to hear what else could be added to what I thought was a complete story. This book, which is about the “justice” system of incarcerating chocolate people based on either the colour of their skin, their heritage or their faith, was still a great read about injustices and prejudices we live with daily.

Thanks for the feedback – the science and art of receiving feedback well (Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen)– We receive feedback in all aspects of life. From our toddler spitting out our lovingly prepared dinner, patients telling you what impact you have had in their lives, having an argument with your spouse, asking for a pay rise etc. Dealing with this feedback and truly understanding why feedback is important, how to understand it and how to give it are things that I feel are important in helping you can grow as a person. So I thought this book was really great in improving communication pathways and also improving my listening skills in my private and work life.
I have managed to read minimum 3 books a month since August last year woooohooooo and yes, some of them were mainly fiction or autobiographical or just interesting books that looked great on the library list etc but these top 8 are ones that I would advise people to seek out to read and gain some insight into a few things. I never thought I would look forward to doing the dishes, cleaning, laundry and all those chores I did whilst momentarily escaping into my audiobook but I find myself enjoying these somewhat as they come with the added benefit of finishing off a book. I am always on the lookout for more books to spice up my commute, chores or my lunch break, so let me know below, which books you would recommend I read next and I will try to add them to my wish list and hopefully read in the near future.

*Cover illustrations sourced from Google

The ultimate dream job…

DSC06074I know being a doctor is such a privilege and a career that I truly enjoy. I get to be with people on their best days and also when they are on their worst days. As a general practitioner, I get to meet people from all walks of life- babies, teenagers, new mums, recovering addicts, recent prison inmates and some “salt and pepper” haired patients too. Some days I even get to help some new lives enter the world which is one thing I still find amazing despite my many years of practice. I really do enjoy my work and always look forward to hopefully continuing to play a little but important role in the lives of my patients and their families.
However, I would be lying if I ever said that I have not caught myself thinking about other jobs that seem very enjoyable. I have listed some jobs that I would be happy to do someday in the future even if for a day.

Travel presenter– You get paid to travel to the best places on earth and report on the best experiences on earth. Now I don’t know how anyone could have a bad day at work when you are living it up to that level most days. I can imagine dancing in the rain, enjoying traffic jams and everything else in the middle knowing that I will have the best seats on any flight, the best room in any hotel and I will be spoilt rotten at every stop. Now the only catch is that most of our travel presenters in Australia are definitely not chocolate coloured like me and they all seem to have model sized bodies and if that is a requirement, oh well, at least medicine is more inclusive…

Masterchef judge – you have great home cooks basically fighting to cook their best foods for you. If this is not heaven then I truly don’t know what is. I mean there is always a risk that you get to eat delicious sounding but utterly disgusting meals and I would love to have that as the main side effect of a job. The other obvious risk of the job I suppose is that during filming, one does run the risk of turning into a Michelin man. Given the current judges though, I wouldn’t think this development would necessarily disqualify me from the job…

Movie critic– I mean how hard is it to stay awake for a whole movie and then write a report on whether you enjoyed it or not? So truthfully, the staying awake part of the agreement might be where I fail this job but imagine the choc tops that this job would result in and the resultant happiness that would occur from said choc tops alone. I love movies but nothing really beats a choc top so maybe the movie critique report should also have a report on the choc top which could also lend itself to being a choc top flavour advisor…

TV show analyst– I think there is a show on ABC Melbourne, mid-morning on Thursdays when a lady attends to talk about all things television. I used to listen to this show on my way to a late start in GP land and thought I could do it too. Most of the shows she talked about, I had already watched and could comment on. Sometimes I knew more about some shows on free to air television than she did- but then again, she probably has more than a million channels to watch all in the name of “work”. Another benefit I suppose if the job perks of having all the channel subscriptions paid for by the boss or at-least being able to tax deduct all the expenses associated with watching TV. The only sad thing with getting me to do this job would probably be that I will be like those people who reverse their sleep cycles, never have a shower and spend all day in a dark room watching television and not even talking to family and friends so unfortunately, I think this job would adversely affect the rest of my life.

Entertainment reporter – I understand that celebrities can be a tough bunch to tame and they can be very “precious” but I really think it’s a great job to do. Travelling to all these “important” places to attend award shows and check out who is wearing what by who and then having your 2 cents to comment on whatever is occurring seems pretty chill. Imagine the itinerary of the year set out already- OSCARS, ARIA, Logies, BET, MET Gala, Cannes not including the movie premieres, music concerts and everything in the middle – that would be truly amazing.

Switchboard operator– hear me out here… I have a vivid memory of hearing an announcement of a code blue (medical emergency) at one of the hospitals I was working at as a junior doctor. As I abandoned my lunch to hurry to where the code blue was called, I happened to run past the switchboard operator who had already turned back to reading the novel she was probably reading prior to pressing the buzzer to the marathon I had now joined. I did a take 2 and realised that basically in that instant she was probably the chess player whilst us the doctors and nursing staff where the pieces on her chess board. Whatever was happening at the location she had called help to, was something she had hadn’t really dwelt on and she had already moved on to her next task. Now I know that sometimes the lines could be going crazy especially with angry people spewing their bile about how long they were waiting to be answered but really, I still think it’s a cool job to do, even for a day.

The STOP/SLOW sign holder– now there is a job that seems a bit cruisy if I say so myself. I mean all you need is a great audiobook and then you are set. This is especially if you are on a quiet stretch of road where it is only once in a while a car needs your assistance to navigate the obstacles you are warning them against. I hear this job can actually pay a pretty penny to basically be the king of the road for a little while.

Hand and foot model– I think this one is pretty cruisey too. I mean all you really have to do is exfoliate and moisturise regularly and then taadaa you are set. You get to wear fancy jewellery and expensive shoes and the great thing is that you probably don’t even need to walk in the shoes, just make them look good and then show me the money. Now the great thing is that, even without having a 6 pack, you can still have small wrists and ankles which I have been informed are great attributes for the job.

Now, these are the few I think of and I am pretty sure there are some out there I haven’t even thought of. For now,  I will get back to being a doctor, mother, wife, sister, and aunt as well as an amateur tailor, children’s author, and everything that I also dabble in without much monetary remuneration. They sure help balance out the stress involved with medicine and although they don’t pay as much or don’t seem as extravagant as some of the jobs I have listed above, I sure do treasure them and the smiles they bring.

Things I wish patients knew…


So there are many things that patients probably want doctors to know about being patients. The good thing is that as doctors, we should ideally all have our own family physicians and therefore we should be patients at some point in our lives. This thus means all doctors have been patients at some point but unfortunately not all patients will be doctors. So I thought I would provide some insight into the world as a family physician and some things I thought would be great to know…

  1. Trust me when I say, there is usually a very good reason why doctors run late- emergencies come up, breaking bad news, counselling a suicidal patient, managing complicated medical issues which can be compounded by complex family dynamics, you get the drift. I promise I am not sitting and twiddling my fingers in the consulting room and just giving you a “therapeutic wait” so you can decide whether you still want to see me or not. I would also want to get home on time and for once not have my son be the last one for pick up at childcare but I am here, addressing your medical issues so please don’t be angry at me because I cannot call all those patients who incrementally got me to this stage of late and get them to apologise directly to you.
  2. In the same token as point 1, I would appreciate if you could call in advance when running late and even better if you are unable to attend your scheduled appointment so that I can better serve the other patients who were unable to get an appointment time with me on the day.
  3. When you take your clothes off, you don’t need to apologise for whatever it is you feel like you need to apologise for- eg not shaving, being sweaty, being fat etc. Unless these are part of your medical illness, I am not really concerned about them. Females are the worst especially when having pap-smears when really all I am assessing are vulval medical conditions and the appearance of the cervix for example. Your legs not being shaved is not even something I look at.
  4. Antibiotics are not required for all ailments and no your viral upper respiratory chest infection that is dry but chesty will not be gone by this weekend if I gave you Augmentin duo forte or any other really strong antibiotic you desire. Allow me to take a comprehensive history, examine you and then determine what treatment you need and understand that sometimes good old rest, chicken soup, Panadol might be all you need.
  5. Asking to be bulk-billed at the end of a long consult when not on a health care card and having been told at the time of booking the consult about the fees of the consult is the same as going to a fine dining restaurant, eating a degustation course and then when the bill is presented going on to ask for a 50% discount. I don’t like making a big deal about finances especially when I have patients waiting but I hope you understand that halving my income doesn’t mean I only pay 50% for my groceries, mortgage or everything else that my family and I need. If you are not keen to pay out of pocket for medical consultation, in Australia the good thing is that there are strict bulk billing clinics that happily provide that service. I am happy to provide that service if it is agreed and understood from the beginning of the consult.
  6. If your child has a fever or pain, giving them paracetamol and having their fever or pain settle won’t make me not believe that they had it to begin with. Having a grizzly child with a fever or pain that has been going on for hours or even overnight just so the doctor can see how high their fever is or how uncomfortable they are amounts to cruelty in my eyes. Just tell me that you gave them some pain relief and I will still take a history, examine them and take it from there.
  7. In the same token as *6, telling me you have 10/10 pain and you have not had any pain relief and you were playing on your phone when I walked into the waiting room makes me question whether you understand the pain score to begin with. If I say 10/10 is being burnt alive, you are saying you are being burnt alive and choosing to still be playing on your phone and not take any pain relief which doesn’t make any sense to me. Also, don’t tell me about your pain threshold- I just need you to score your pain out of 10.
  8. Doctors are human too and sometimes they get sick and have to have time off work. Sometimes they have to attend to family emergencies such as sick children and have to take carers leave etc. They also need to have time for holidays and this should not be laced with guilt. Doctors who attend to patients when they personally are sick or who can’t even have time off to do other life things run the risk of burnout. This can eventually lead one to stop practicing medicine altogether. So appreciate it if your doctor does take the time to attend to do these things as it illustrates that they are indeed only human after all.

These are the few that I can remember at the time of writing this list. I am sure there are many more and a whole lot more patients would like their doctors to know. Feel free to comment below if you have anything to add

*Comments and opinions above are mine and don’t reflect the opinion of any medical clinic or college I may be affiliated with

*Image sourced from Google

Who am I?

cropped-20160820_143634I am a mother to a beautiful 2-year-old who keeps me on my toes daily. I am married to a kind-hearted man who I believe is the result of God’s decision for me- an answered prayer and tries to tame the crazy in me. I am also a family physician with a passion for patient empowerment and education about all things health. I am always learning and trying new things the current flavour being all things cross stitch- sewing and baking which my hips are regretting every day. I am also an aspiring author and currently writing some books inspired by my cheeky son. Join me in my adventures as I juggle all these balls…