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SCH Family Doctors’ Series 3


In conjunction with World Family Doctors’ Day in May, our colleagues from the SCH Post-Acute and Continuing Care team share a little more with us about their journey in healthcare, and some of their experiences.

Dr Li Yufei from Bright Vision Hospital (BVH) shares that her interest in medicine was sparked when she witnessed from a young age how challenging healthcare work could be, having quite a few doctors and nurses in her family.

In her words, working in family medicine is amazing, being able to see everything – from pediatric illnesses to adult medicine, gynecological consults and surgical procedures. She enjoys the constant mental stimulation as the mind never stops thinking, and finds it a privilege to be able to spend more time with each patient, explore their worries and concerns, and encourage them throughout their healing journey.

With BVH’s conversion into a COVID-19 hospital isolation facility since last month, we got Dr Li to share with us some of her thoughts being on the frontline battling against the coronavirus.

Also read: SCH Family Doctor Series – Dr Loo Yu Xian

Also read: SCH Family Doctor Series – Dr Xu Bangyu

What went through your mind upon hearing news of the conversion?

 "I did feel a little insecure at the beginning, but my feelings of uncertainty quickly dissipated with reassurances from the bosses and with courage. It was incredible how within a couple of days, all our patients were transferred to other community hospitals safely and seamlessly, additional relevant facilities were installed, and new workflows and protocols were clearly displayed. The brilliant teamwork and timely support had made this possible and I am honoured to be part of this experience."

Can you share a memorable encounter with a COVID-19 patient?

"During one of my night calls, I was asked to review a patient who was complaining of multiple somatic problems such as headache and stomach pain. It’s not very common for a young and fit gentleman to have so many somatic symptoms at the same time, and upon asking the patient if he had any worries, tears immediately welled up in his eyes.

We later figured that the patient, who is a migrant worker, was actually feeling worried about his family members who do not reside in Singapore, and about the uncertainty of when he could return to work.

To reassure him, we chatted a little with him about the COVID-19 situation, and also encouraged him to have video calls with his family. Our medical social worker and nursing team also provided him with psychological support, and his condition improved subsequently.

Instead of simply treating the headache, the chest discomfort, or the stomach pain alone, we managed to understand the patient better and treated him as a whole – and this is what being a family doctor truly entails."