Exasperated Me


1. Getting so exasperate when a final year student can’t even talk to the patient and ask open-ended questions.

2. The inquisitive mind is basically what it is needed from medical professionals. In order to be inquisitive, proper technique of questioning, different ways of maneuvering the interview has to be mastered to the maximum.

3. A student can’t be too naive to accept answers and explanations. He/She would have to think the follow-up questions, restate right paraphrases and most important evaluate answers in term of rationality, relevancy, and congruity. All those processes have to occur in seconds. Hence, the student has to stay alert and keep thinking all the time during the interview. It is an active and dynamic process.

4. Trying to assuage pain and suffering quickly at the initial interview stage will hinder information gathering and result in poor history taking. To my mind, to a certain extent, Kelantanese language are peacemaking, tolerant and pleasing. Sometimes, students who converse in Kelantanese language avoid hurting patients’ feeling, but they are acquiescent and chose to agree without critical thinking.

5. I used to remind my students to be careful with the agreeableness attitude with patients giving the example of a patient coming to casualty following a motor vehicle accident without obvious physical injury and the doctor concurs by saying: ‘Ok deh’. ‘Deh’ is a suffix which is usually used in Kelantan language to present a sentence as rather light-going and not so serious and it has no specific meaning. The obvious reply the doctor gets is: OK; failing to realize (and examine) the patient would have suffered intracranial or intraabdominal injury.

6. Students were told that doctors do not please their patients all the time. It is a matter of balancing the critical thinking, acting, and empathetic feeling which to some students is difficult to master.

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