When medicine alone cannot cure, the search for remedy goes beyond the hospital.
Filling the Gaps of Healthcare
Dr Hamid has a special resolve to help his many "brothers".
During his time in the SingHealth Residency Programme in Orthopaedic Surgery, he would see them coming to the hospital with various muscular injuries. They did not enjoy subsidised healthcare, and could hardly afford the fees due to inadequate insurance coverage. The outstanding bills landed upon their employers, who, in some cases, could not afford to pay, had cancelled their work permit or had closed down the company and left them stranded.
Concern for migrant workers drove Dr Hamid to start volunteering with HealthServe, an organisation championing the cause of migrant workers in Singapore. For nearly four years, he has served as a General Practitioner at a HealthServe clinic, which treats migrant workers at just $5 per consultation, and more recently, as a specialist doctor at HealthServe's Orthopaedic Clinic.
"HealthServe's ethos about preserving the dignity of migrant workers appeals to me. A simple gesture, such as giving them the option of choosing their meals, is more dignified than simply handing out a prepacked meal," shared Dr Hamid.
Dr Hamid realised the social undertone to every health problem early on in his career. "I hear many stories as a doctor. Every health problem links back to a social or care problem. The health issues will recur if underlying problems at home are not tackled."
That led him in search of more fundamental solutions. He started volunteering with the Active Ageing Committee, which promotes the wellness of the elderly through engagement and health empowerment.
Reaching Out to Community
Besides serving as a volunteer doctor, Dr Hamid is a founding member of IM.PROF, a society of Indian Muslim Professionals that promotes entrepreneurship and empowers youths with soft skills and mentorship.
Through IM.PROF, he has advised students keen to join the healthcare profession and mentored two students who shadowed him in SingHealth's Observership Programmes.
"During the stints, I became more aware of my mannerisms and what I wanted to show my mentees. At the end of each session, we discussed the nuances of care that textbooks don't talk about. I found myself learning a lot in the process," said Dr Hamid.
Searching for Joint Solutions
Between his many roles in community work, clinical duties and research, Dr Hamid sees himself first and foremost as a surgeon.
"The work of a surgeon's own hands makes a direct impact on patients. Nothing can take away the joy and satisfaction I derive from improving someone else's life," he shared.
Dr Hamid is also deeply involved in clinical and translational research and has published close to 60 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. Noting the rising trend of osteoarthritis among younger patients, Dr Hamid's personal quest is to further the development of joint preservation and build a niche in knee joint preservation.
To further his research interest, he is heading to Imperial College in 2019 for a research degree programme in Orthopaedic Biomechanics. He hopes to translate his findings into surgical practice and be the bridge between scientists and surgeons when he returns.
Describing himself as a "people person", Dr Hamid draws motivation from his interactions with the people around him – family, patients, other volunteers and his community. Extending his medical skills and knowledge to help more patients beyond the hospital, or support the aspirations of others in his community, has become his calling.
To other like-minded individuals out there, Dr Hamid hopes that the Singapore Youth Award will inspire other youths to step forth and find their purpose in life.
"There may be others who want to do something for the community but think it's too challenging. Let them know that it is not impossible. There is a lot of support for youths to find their purpose in life and work towards it. It bodes well for youth and our nation if we can rally young minds in the country to each do something in their field for the benefit of the larger community."
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