Medical Conditions A - Z

I am Doraemon to children


Q I specialise in paediatrics because...

Children are adorable. Keeping a child in good health goes a long way in helping him grow up to be a healthy adult.

I have seen how quickly children recover from major illnesses and bounce back to life. This never fails to amaze me and I find it very fulfilling to work with them.

Q If I were to give an analogy for what I do, I'd be...

Doraemon. I am a companion and guardian to children, like the famous Japanese robot cat is to the little boy Nobita in the cartoon series.

I'm also a friend to the family and someone with a magical solution for every situation, be it medication to treat an illness, or toys, gadgets and songs to keep the children entertained.

Q I come across all types of cases from...

Healthy babies getting regular checks to critically-ill children suffering from chronic illnesses.

Many people think paediatrics is about baby checks and vaccinations. But paediatricians actually manage a wide range of conditions, including children with neurological impairment like cerebral palsy; chronic kidney, liver or heart disease; and cancers like leukaemia.

I have done volunteer work in other countries, where I have seen tetanus cases and people with untreated end-stage leukaemia. They remind me of how fortunate we are in Singapore to be able to seek medical help and get treatment early.

Q A typical day for me would be...

Saying a short prayer upon waking up to remind me of the things I have - good health and a job I enjoy - to prepare for the day ahead.

I spend the day handling cases. Every encounter is challenging because it is never the same.

In the evening, I'll look through the list of patients I had seen the day before and give some of them a call to make sure they are doing well at home.

The highlight of my day is when I hear from parents that their child has recovered, and many of them appreciate the call.

Q One little-known fact about my field is...

It pains us to put a child through a painful procedure.

Many times, we may look professional, calm and even detached when we explain and carry out procedures in front of worried parents.

In truth, we hide a lot of our feelings and vulnerabilities and we care more than we can show.

Source:​The Straits Times© Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission