Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thinking About: Migration (3)

Thinking: About Migration (3)

Dear Dr. POTS,

Thank you for your interest in our institution and for sparing your time in attending our recent roadshow.

We have received your curriculum vitae and are considering you for the post of medical officer in the Department of Surgery. The terms and conditions of employment are as stated in our recent roadshow.

Kindly confirm with us when you will able to attend an interview with the Head of Department of Surgery.

We look forward to your reply.

Thank you once again.

It was an unexpected email and one that was a very welcomed read. The contents of one short email is what separates the Lion City from Malaysia.

These are crazy days in Malaysia and doctors are not spared, albeit for different reasons.

Today is supposedly the last day for application into the local Masters program for further specialty training in the various disciplines of the medical fraternity. My colleagues were running helter skelter and making endless phone calls to the hospital management office. Seemingly, doctors were not duly informed that the application for the Masters’ program was already open since a few weeks ago. Naturally, they were caught in a very unpleasant situation to be informed of the imminent closing date at the eleventh hour.

The process of applying for the local Masters training program is tedious, to say the least and it not my intention to dwell into the details here. The criteria making one eligible for application is in my humble opinion largely irrelevant and unreflective of a medical officer’s competency. Such criteria include the attendance and completion of an utterly nonsensical Kursus Induksi and a minimum of 85 SKT points for three consecutive years, an evaluation exercise that is subjective and prone to abuse.

Some really competent medical officers in their sixth year of government service have applied for three consecutive years and still end up rejected and turned down. By the time these medical officers finally join the Masters program, they are easily in their early thirties – which is about the same age the SLAB products graduate as a fully recognized clinical specialist and begin subspecialty training.

Employment and further training in the Lion City is relatively convenient as opposed to the frustrating hassles for the Malaysian Masters program. The determining factors are competency and meritocracy.

In fact, when one applies to go South across the Tebrau Straits, a doctor feels wanted, desired and appreciated in the process of doing so. In my case, I received a positive reply within 24 hours of sending my curriculum vitae.

Will I feel as wanted and appreciated in the country that I was born and bred in?
The answer is obvious. The Malaysian Ministry of Health hardly cares if I died in the line of duty or resigned out of exasperation.

Am I afraid to make a move for fear that I will be unable to compete and measure up?
A little, maybe but just barely. I have had house officers who were unable to cope with the work demand in Malaysia but made it well over there in Singapore.

Well, as I have mentioned, not everyone is so mobile, for now at least.

For the moment, it’s time to start hitting the books again.


Sookie said...

If you get it, you should definitely go for it :)

CK said...

good luck.
keep posting here.
im proud of malaysian who make it anywhere and im sure you are one of those.
in fact, many of us here are sure.

Anonymous said...

seek for greener pasture if that is what your heart tells you and bring back the seeds someday

Anonymous said...

It's quite a good life in Spore.
It's not looking good here.
Well, for me life is still comfortable but even then the market here for really skilled work is small compared to SG, if you know what I mean.
I'm blessed to have American/British bosses. ;)
It's really helps...
All the best, think of your family, that's my argument, or what my heart says to me. ;)

fooji said...

dear POTs,

Your first two posts on migration really answered a lot of questions for me. Thank you for making it clearer. Indeed I still feel not ready to make a change because of the many loved ones.

Well,imagine you are going to die next month - would it make a difference?

Anonymous said...

Check with this guy how is he doing in Singapore!


Anonymous said...

There is a concept called hijrah in Islam. Livelihood shall improve following a hijrah.

Anonymous said...

There is an evidence that you are not grateful and bless with what you get from this homeland. May as well migrate and become a "president" or "prime minister" in other country if you are lucky to be accepted as a citizen.

Product of the System said...

Dear Anonymous,

I'm not sure if you are dyslexic or merely have a tendency to stuff words in my mouth.

I'm pretty sure the words "president" and "prime minister" did not appear in my article and especially not in the context you are quoting it to be.

I see no reason to further elaborate on my internal dilemma with regards to leaving or staying in Malaysia.

Suffice to say, leaving is not equal to being ungrateful and being restless does not mean an unfulfilled desire to be 'president' or 'prime minister'.

Could it simply be that i do not want to continuously live in paranoia wondering whether my future generation will once again be massacred in the name of national unity by the hooligans in UMNO?

By the way, you should try something more original. The way you were writing made you sound just like Badruddin Amiruddin and Nazri Aziz and the other UMNO goons.

Chris said...

You should go. Don't wait. It's a great opportunity to see how's life like in another land. And most importantly get yourself trained. You can always go back to serve later.

I grabbed every opportunity to move myself forward. The decision on migration comes later, after I've "sampled" life elsewhere. And, this is not a one-way process. I can always go back to Malaysia.

My education was sponsored by America and now, Japan. Does it mean I have to serve them, and not Malaysia? :-P The payback comes in many forms. You don't have to be in a country to serve that country. Research networking is done online. People are getting more and more mobile.

Hope you are not getting too comfortable with your current life, e.g. the bonsai and animal friends : ) and be resistant to change. You seem very talented and I am sure you will make the right sacrifice.

About myself. I am in my late 20's. Now working on my PhD in health sciences at a public university in Japan. I was a little late (a few years) compared to my American and Japanese peers.

Like many others, I had my share of rejections from the System. It's the mentality that will take years to change. We are still developing. Until we become developed, why don't you go check out a more developed System with a noble intent to upgrade your skill? Go back later, if you wish, to serve in a greater capacity and train those who do not and may never have the opportunity to leave the System.

iml said...

You are right. Most msian doctors that made it here, worked harder and more dedicated. Why because, they feel wanted and appreciated.

drhatta said...

It was said previously that if one serve in Sabah or Sarawak, it is easier to obtain a sit in the masters prog. However, this is not entirely true. I feel our neighboring countries do take care of their doctors better. Many talk about Singapore but we tend to forget about Thailand. Health care systems there is far better. We do not hear much of their doctors migrating to Australia or Singapore. My advice is get your postgraduate degree and if Singapore is better and quicker, by all means go.

Iqbal Ghazi said...

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Malaysia Residency