Saturday, August 05, 2006

Australian Quest...

I heard a very disturbing rumour/hearsay/fact from a particular someone who was equally disturbed after being told of the rumour/hearsay/fact by a doctor regarding so-called recent updates in the future of medical graduates from Australia. Pardon my mouthful of words as it really is bothering!!!

It goes like this: apparently for students who graduated from any Australian university (regardless of whether they managed to stay on in Australia or came back to Malaysia after graduation), should they later decide to get their specialist training/certification (MRCP, FRCS etc.) from the UK, they would NOT be accepted back to the Australia for work! Even the UK, who themselves certified the MRCP etc. holders will NOT accept the specialists for work in the UK.

The impression I got was that the moment you get your let say, FRCS from UK after 5 years you graduated from Australia, you turn into an outcast who is rejected by Australia and the UK.

I find little (and rather unacceptable) possible reasons for this phenomenon, if this is really true. Possibly, once you graduate from Australia, you are expected to do your postgrad training and certification in Australia itself and opting for the UK is a kind of insult to the Australian medical system. So therefore they refuse you for work in Australia as you are deemed a betrayer. But this is assuming that Australia has their OWN form of specialist training and certification that is just as recognised and reputable as the UK's version, to begin with. Or perhaps it could be some sort of protectionist policy, where holders of the Australian version of specialty certification are given higher priority in terms of job opportunities. This sounds like the Masters of Medicine certification which recognises the holder as a legal specialist in the country that issued it and are given a certain extent of protection in the country. I am not sure if this concept applies for the Australian version of certification, if there is one in the first place.

How about the fact that the UK doesn't allow specialists who were certified by them in the first place to practice in the UK? Could it be that they don't recognise medical graduates from Australia to start of with and thus even if a doctor got his FRCS from UK he is still deemed unfit to practice in the UK because he wasn't an MBBS grad from UK? Does this only apply to Aussie graduates or even those from other countries? Perhaps this is also another form of protectionism of UK graduated doctors; pretty much like how even US MDs are required to pass stringent exams to be admitted into the British Medical Association, never mind the fact that UK and Britain are best of friends. However the impression I got from the rumour/hearsay/fact was that you are totally deprived of the opportunity to work in the UK once you are an Aussie grad who got your specialist training from the UK. In short, if the story I heard is true, Aussie MBBS holders who get their specialist certification from the UK are considered unfit to practice in Australia and the UK. So you may go anywhere in the world that MAY take you in but NEVER in Australia or the UK (unless they are so desperate for doctors or they may take you in if you pass lots and lots of entrance exams).

The reason I find it a concern is because I myself intend to do exactly the same; to graduate from the University of Queensland, stay on with an attachment at a hospital and then get my FRCS in Orthopaedics from Edinburgh or wherever in the UK. Then either come back to Australia or Malaysia to work and spend the rest of my life. If what I heard is true, I will have to instead opt to do my specialist training in Australia (no more UK) or risk coming back to Malaysia. UK would be a definite no way too. But this is all fine if I am just prepared to screw Australia and UK and just come home work in KL or Kuching (yes, I like Kuching).

But IS IT TRUE THAT SUCH A FORM OF DISCRIMINATION/LEGISLATION/RUMOUR/FACT exists??? People who know more about this possibility please shed some light!!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Adventures across a latitude 2006: Kuching

Yes, the title is so resemblant of Grace's posts' titles of her travels overseas and since as you all know that I have returned from Grace's hometown (which is across the sea at the same latitude) I decided to so name this post.

However, I won't be doing the job of detailing every food that we ate in Kuching nor describing the great view atop a sea-front cliff; Instead of Elena and I coming up with two about similar posts about the 4 day trip, we have decided to combine our posts and put it up on HER blog. Yeah, so for the stories and pictures of our wonderful trip go pay her blog a visit.

So since she will be doing the academic part, allow me to go into the more sentimental and analytical part. As a whole, I came back to KL having only nice memories and pleasant aftertastes in my mouth. The trips around and away from Kuching was fun, the food was overflowing and definitely yummy. I just miss all the wonderful noodles there. Sarawak Laksa is very much different from the one that we used to have at C1-7-2, if you know what I mean. It's beautiful with tiger prawns and gravy that compliments perfectly with the noodles. The Kolo mee, having a Maggi mee texture with sweetness of Char Siew sauce. Just yummy. Not to forget the wonderful provincial food we had on the way back from the beach, and the extravagant Chinese Fusion dinner we had courtesy of Grace's parents. Ok let's stop here as I am already salivating from the cephalic phase of digestion... And did I mention earlier that food in Kuching is very cheap? RM 5 for a Laksa with 3 Tiger prawns, RM 2.20 for a standard one-size-fills-all Kolo mee. KL money goes a LOOOOooooooOOOOOOooooooOOOONNNNNG way there. Oh yeah.

Our stay at Kuching, albeit a bit too short, was used to the fullest. If we weren't scaling treacherous slopes and descending menacing downhills at the Bako national park, we would be eating or simply gossiping/discussing/sharing about many different topics. I really appreciate the effort and time that Grace spent on us inspite of the fact that she is soon to leave for overseas and hasn't finished packing. Her parents are equally commendable for personally taking the initiative to drive us miles and miles to the beach and for treating us to all the special food of Sarawak. Even her Standard 5 sister Serena was very sporting to mix with her elder sister's friends. So with her cool dad, super friendly mom and funny sister it was a nice combination of hospitality that we got. They really went all out to plan for us our day to day activities, ensuring we were well entertained. Haha. As I told Grace, I would definitely have not done the same for anyone else who came to KL because I am too lazy and too busy to drive around and show people places I have been before. It's really a shame, because even as her parents are both busy specialists they still go the extra mile to spend time with us, talk to us and make us feel at home. It certainly was a well worth trip to Kuching and the only regret is that we couldn't spend more time there. Of course that won't be too nice since she has to get packing to leave anyway.

Another interesting fact to note is that somehow when her batch people goes to her place some form of car related incidents happen. When Daniel and co went over few months back they were unfortunate to get into a minor accident and scuffle with some local treehouse idiots. This time when we were there, her Unser (the same vehicle involved in the earlier mentioned misfortune) stalled in the middle of the road when rain water got into her engine's carburetor. But thanks to some reading up of the car's manual we managed to get it up and running again. The following day, after the final lunch in Kuching, her other car got summoned for not putting up a payment coupon. Kuching??? Must pay parking??? If it was MPPJ it would have been maximum fine of RM300 for not displaying, but apparently in Kuching is less than RM 50. So I gladly gave her the money to get it settled. Oh well let's hope it stays this way and nothing worse happens...

Now here's a list of what I miss from the trip:

The beach, the Jungle, the view from the cliff, the boat ride, the FOOD!, the beautiful house, the Cat, the Dogs, the FOOD!, the whole experience, and of course, the wonderful company and fellowship that we had.

Big Thank You to Grace, Serena, Uncle Surgeon and Aunty Paediatrician, Duchess, Bella, and Lazy Cat. Loved the trip so much!!!

ps. Sheena, we weren't able to make it to Miri as our schedule was already packed with so many pre-arranged activities and in fact we didn't even see all of Kuching! We missed the museum visits and caves! Will see you at the airport lor...