As the year comes to a close, what are some of the lessons you have learnt or people whom you are grateful for? We spoke with our Residents' Committee (RC) Co-chairs - Dr Alicia Lim and Dr Samuel Lim, to find out what has 2022 taught them so far.
The past few years of the COVID-19 pandemic have been challenging for many Residents as a result of the increased clinical workload in response to the pandemic efforts. But in a blink of an eye, we are seeing the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions as we approach the end of 2022. It is times like these that we look back on our recent experiences and reflect on what it means to be a healthcare professional in the current medical landscape.
As a front-liner, we knew the importance of our roles, but the sense of trepidation of the unknown was palpable from the start of the pandemic. Nonetheless, we all assumed our mantle - from Senior Consultants, Junior Residents to nurses and allied health staff, and marched onward into battle with open hearts but cautious minds. This call to service was a heavy one to carry, but many took up the role without hesitation despite the personal sacrifices made. I could still recall instances where fellow colleagues voluntarily took up additional night calls at the last minute's notice, even when that meant they were getting the short end of the stick, just to ensure that appropriate healthcare could be delivered in such trying times.
So you can imagine the huge sense of relief many of us felt when Singapore started her gradual easing of restrictions this year, especially for Residents who have not seen their families due to travel restrictions.
The resumption of social gatherings and dinner events within SingHealth was also something that we all looked forward to, including the recent SingHealth Residency Year End Dinner held on 9 December. Organised by the SingHealth Residents' Committee (RC), it was the first time since the pandemic where Residents from all subspecialties could gather in-person to bond over a night of dinner and games. It was truly a memorable event for all of us to remember as we celebrated the hard work put in these past years.
Dr Alicia Lim (pictured far right, front row) with her fellow SingHealth Residents' Committee (RC)members at the SingHealth Residency Year End Dinner 2022
Even as we progress onto an endemic world, we are constantly reminded that new challenges may lie ahead. However, I am constantly comforted by the strong support of my wonderful colleagues in the SingHealth community as we tackle daily challenges together. With such strong and firm support, it is with great hope that we will be able to overcome any hurdles that may come our way as one SingHealth family.
2022 has been a year of change (for the better, finally!). The freedom that we once enjoyed and took for granted are gradually being restored, and we have no doubt worked tirelessly to come to this point. The amount of organisational effort and individual sacrifices made to fight against the spread of COVID-19 have been nothing short of amazing. As a fellow healthcare worker and Singaporean, I am extremely grateful.
On a lighter note, I am constantly amused at how most of us are still trying to get used to the new norms! For one, I find myself masking up in malls (and even after getting off the bus on a hot day) until I look around and find that hardly anyone else is doing so anymore. At work, some of us - myself included - relish the convenience of Zoom meetings so much that we are still eschewing face-to-face meetings and are reluctantly trying to get used to in-person meetings even after restrictions have long been lifted.
Some things are much easier to get used to though. It has been a huge joy and morale boost to be able to gather in-person with friends for dinner and drinks after work. Nothing beats regaling epic stories to each other at the end of a long and tiring week or screaming our lungs out in support for our favourite team at a public screening of the World Cup masks off – no problem!
As I reflect on the past year, I realise that people really do form the backbone of our lives. Be it fellow colleagues in arms during a crisis, loved ones at home providing us with unconditional support or close friends who laugh and cry with us, nothing ever seems to make sense without people in the equation. For that, I am thankful to those whom I have crossed paths with and have made a significant impact in my life this past year.
Dr Samuel Lim (second from left) having a good time with fellow Gastroenterology Residents, Programme Director (PD) and Programme Executive (PE) over dinner.
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