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The Infinity Stones in Medicine

Caught Avengers: End Game? We asked SingHealth Residents and Faculty to imagine they had the infinity stones and how they would use them in their practice of Medicine. Read on to find out what they had to say!

Reality Stone

Question: If you have the ability to change something about the healthcare landscape today, what would it be?

"The medicolegal climate is currently litigious and defence medicine is increasingly in play. I hope to have better control of this reality, so that we can get back to the heart of patient care for what it truly is." - Gastroenterology Resident

"I feel that more can be done to make our current healthcare system more robust. A single patient can have many healthcare providers, which makes the landscape challenging to navigate. I would use the reality stone to integrate the various healthcare systems and simplify it for our patients." - Family Medicine Resident 

"Better wages, especially for allied health professionals and nurses, so that we can attract more Singaporeans to provide care for the nation!" - Otolaryngology Resident

Space Stone:

Question: If you could travel into the future of Medicine, what would you choose to find out? And why? 

"I would travel to space just to see the entire world. This would broaden my perspective of things and transform the way I provide care." - Internal Medicine Resident 

"I would like to find out if we achieved a cure for life-limiting genetic diseases." - Paediatrics Faculty

"I would like to see the impact of defense medicine on our healthcare system and healthcare costs. It would also be interesting to evaluate the new medicolegal climate." - Diagnostic Radiology Resident


Question: If you could turn back time to change something that has happened in your career, what would it be? How would you do it differently?

"I would have made sure that I took better care of myself by taking more leaves to rest and leaving work on time." - Paediatrics Faculty 

"I wish to reverse some of the decisions I’ve made in my practice of Medicine with better ones to benefit my patients." - Anaesthesiology Resident 

Power Stone

Question: If you have supernatural strength, how would you use it in your profession, and why?

"Moving patients from lodging in hallways to their wards requires a lot of heavy lifting and time. So if I could, I would use my supernatural strength to help transport these patients." Emergency Medicine Faculty

"I wish for the strength and ability to develop stronger mental resilience. I would use this ability to maintain my joy in medicine and provide more empathy and compassion for my patients (be immune to long work hours, patients' complaints, or threat of ‘frivolous’ lawsuits.) 

My answer is inspired by an anecdote from my favourite physician writer,  Dr. Hou Wen Rong 侯文詠. He recounted his meeting with a nephrologist who introduced hemodialysis (a treatment for kidney failure) to Taiwan. The nephrologist was lauded as a "superhero" at the time as he had the power to prolong End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients' lives. On the contrary, this gift of dialysis actually took the joy of medicine away from him. He was constantly struggling to fit a growing number of patients who needed the treatment into limited slots. The stress eventually got to him, and he started to have hallucinations that the spirits of his patients, who had died from waiting for the treatment, haunting him. While he had the power to bring healing to the many that received the treatment, he lost the joy and human touch of Medicine." - Cardiology Faculty

Mind Stone: 

Question: If you could influence the thoughts of your fellow healthcare professionals, how would you do so, and why?

"Sometimes, compliments and acts of gratefulness are hard to come by, which can be demoralising when we try to provide the best care possible. So, I would influence my fellow healthcare workers to feel more appreciated." Gastroenterology Resident

"I would use the mind stone to build cohesiveness and incalculate a deeper culture of care in the healthcare profession. This is necessary so that we can face evolving challenges ahead and ensure sustainability of our profession." - Diagnostic Radiology Resident

"I would use the stone to tell everyone, including myself, to relax, spend time with family and friends, and pace ourselves at work. Also, that we don't need to compete but to achieve our goals at our own time." Otolaryngology Resident

Soul Stone: 

Question: What is one sacrifice you have made for Medicine, and why? 

"I have sacrificed my personal time. This includes time spent shopping, watching a movie or even going for walks. It is necessary to avail myself to be a good doctor that would provide the best possible care for my patients. I cannot imagine life without Medicine or not doing something that contributes to a greater purpose." - Diagnostic Radiology Resident 

"Sleep, but it has made me realise I probably don’t need that much, anyway!" - Paediatrics Faculty