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Glory Glory Family Physicians!

World Family Doctors' Day falls on 19 May and we hear from our very own family physicians on what inspires them and what they find joy in, both at work and in life.   

Dr Foo Jong Yi, Senior Staff Registrar from OCH's Post-Acute & Continuing Care enjoys watching football during his free time and is a huge fan of the Manchester United Football Club. To him, the sport is not just about 22 persons chasing after a ball on the field. It is the camaraderie between players that draws him to the game – where players defend their goalpost in unison when they are being attacked, and moving forward together to score a goal when they are at an advantage.

It is also this spirit of solidarity which he appreciates in his line of work. Jong Yi strongly believes that teamwork is key in the healthcare system, where the different professionals come together as one to work towards helping patients with their recovery. Throughout his various postings with the different specialties in SGH, CGH and KKH, Jong Yi had met many mentors and colleagues who helped him grow in his career as a doctor over the years. The pandemic over the past two years further entrenched in him the importance of collaboration amongst healthcare professionals.

"The COVID-19 period was difficult for all of us in healthcare. However, I've learned to treasure my colleagues more and I believe that as long as all of us are on the same page and are willing to help one another, we can overcome any challenges in the healthcare system in future," said Jong Yi.

A noble profession and a calling
Becoming a doctor has always been Jong Yi's dream since young. He remembers the family doctor in his neighbourhood who advised and cared for him and his family whenever they had medical issues, and they even became friends over the years. This inspired him to pursue a medical career so that he can pay it forward and provide the same thoughtful care to others.

To Jong Yi, Joy@Work means

  1. Getting to help different patients with different clinical issues

  2. Never doing the same thing every day

  3. Talking to and learning from patients

  4. Sharing personal clinical experiences with juniors and medical students

  5. Being able to take charge of the care that patients receive

Jong Yi joined SCH in 2019 when OCH first opened its doors. Having just completed a one-year posting at the polyclinic, Jong Yi saw the opening to join SCH as a new and exciting opportunity which would help him progress further as a family doctor. It has since been a very rewarding and fruitful journey.

An inspiring encounter
"I recall attending to a challenging patient in palliative care. The patient was suffering from a heart failure and did not have much time left. We managed to control his symptoms well and later transferred him to a hospice for further care. When he eventually passed on peacefully, his family called to give us an update after, and expressed their gratitude towards us for providing him with compassionate care when he was in OCH. Colleagues from the hospice also shared that the patient still remembered us during the end of his life. Such encounters assure me that we are doing the right thing for our patients, and it is also what keeps me going every day at work," Jong Yi shared.

What being a doctor in a CH entails
"People often think that doctors who work in the community hospital only help patients with rehabilitation. While that is true, what is more unique about our role is our focus on bridging care needs for our patients as we deliver person-centred care with a view to eventually discharge them back to their homes and the community. The journey is not a bed of roses, but it is definitely meaningful," added Jong Yi.