The Skill of Storytelling


It comes to a point when I write straight from my mind as if someone sings his fovourite song straight from his heart. Writing has become the art. Storytelling is the skill.

When I listen to presentation given by my students, one obvious shortcoming is that their presentations lack the art of storytelling.

Psychiatric presentation is sligtly different from medical presentation in such a way that students have to present symptom history (psychopathology) as well as chronology of events. In some cases, students just concentrate on chronology of events without probing much on psychopathology. How can they make a diagnosis if symptom history is incomplete?

During presentation, students have to make sure that the audience understands the story line. The presenter has to remember that many people have short attention span particularly if the story they listen is not properly organized. The audience has to depend on imagination and visualzation. Therefore, the presenter has to take the story as close to them as he can. In order to make sure the audience ‘feels’ the presentation, the presenter must try to stimulate the audience senses through vivid account of the incident using powerful choice of words.

More often than not, the presenter tends to forget on providing the setting of events as well as the traits of the charactor. That is why the presentation appears dull and dry.

Last but not least, keep the story short. Lengthy storytelling may easily makes the audience sleeps.

Good Luck.

Female dominance in Malaysian Varsity


This year intake to local universities is dominated again by girls. It is not surprising that 65% or 2 out of 3 successful applicants this year are girls since girls work much harder than boys. Boys are playful and not serious enough in their study. Imposing quota will only create ill-feeling and injustice since those girls that we are talking about might be our daughters, nieces and girl-friends.

There are many reasons why girls seem to dominate university entrance. I believe, our educational highway provides lot of exits for boys to stop by. Take for example, GIAT MARA, community college and polytechnic. To some extent, it is good to provide vocational training for those who cannot pursue their study in a scholarly pedantic way. Unfortunately, many would just stop over and find easy way out to earn little money to support their life. In doing so, many find hard to pursue their study as a result of heavy commitment to the new life.

Malay society in particular impose many rules and restrictions to girls. They are expected to behave in some particular ways. In many situations, girls are expected to help raising younger siblings when parents go to work. They clean the house, cook food for their family and complement domestic duties of the mother. When they grow-up, they seem to master their live in a short span of time. As we were told by a scholar, “If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.” Responsibility makes girls work hard in school. As a result, many earn good points or CGPAs which entitle them to take up good courses in university.

Epidemiological studies on the prevalence of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders world wide revealed that boys outnumbered girls in the prevalence of externalizing problem behaviors such as ADHD, conduct and oppositional defiant disorders as well as substance abuse and dependence. Many of them would be school drop-outs and would likely to acquire low salary jobs and suffer tremendous life events such as financial and marital problems which later lead to substance abuse and dependence. The figure released by National Anti-Narcotic Agency showed that majority (97.3%) of drug addicts in rehabilitation centers throughout the country are male.

So, let us resort back to the statement released by Datuk Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi, DG of Higher Education Dept, Ministry of Higher Education that the Ministry is not gender biased and there is no way the ministry can stabilize university intake involving genders as admission is strictly based on meritocracy. So keep the status quo, please..

Emotions Travel


I was away for the last 2 days attending Meeting on Portal Health, my uncle’s funeral and the Malaysian Conference of Psychological Medicine in KL.

It seems that in the last 2 days I was busy catching up stories with relatives and friends. At the same time, there has been an admixture of feeling from happiness, sad and sorrow to grief and bereavement.

I join my friends in the Ministry of Health to congratulate those who had been appointed to JUSA C. I think, it is an achievement of the life time. Personally, I am not sure whether I could be at par with them or not.

As a result of grief, I had published on my blog word of condolences which says everything from my heart (Memperkasa Paradigma). It was a great loss to me personally. For one who had experienced losing both parents, losing a father-figure is really a blow to the fragile self.

It is also a happiest moment meeting Professor Malhi since we last met and had a lunch together in Singapore last year.

My journey end up well after attending two meetings on agalomelatine and paliperidone depot injection. Nevertheless, my emotional journey continues to flourish my heart and soul so long as I live and breath on the realm of this temporal world (selagi hayat dikandung badan).

Bye

Tips to Balance Your Work and Your Personal Life


1. Take vacations.

2. Find a retreat.

3. Don’t take work home.

4. Stay active in a hobby.

5. Escape for few minutes each day. Pray.

6. Take maximum advantahe of technology.

7. Delegate greater responsibility to subordinates.

8. Limit travel.

9. Ask your spouse for feedback.

10. Reserve time each day for children.

Succession in Medical Profession


I find many similarities between politicians and doctors in the way they pass over their profession to the offspring.

First and foremost, many parents feel doctor is a noble profession when their children could easily move up the social strata, becoming a doctor is the simple answer to the quest of honor and glory. In some cases, the business entity like clinic and dispensary has to be handed over to the children.

The subconscious motive to many doctors is the need to pass over their legacy of wealth and generosity to the next generation.

It is a believe, to my mind, among some medical professionals that if their offspring fail to become professional equivalent to the parents, the upbringing is default in some ways or another. Becoming a flop family is a disaster. The families often gain less respect among peers and colleagues. Worst still some wive of doctors tend to compare their children achievement as the benchmark of family success. Not to mention on what car they owned and what house they lived in.

When competition is the only game in town when it comes to comparing social status, the inter-family relationship would be difficult.

The same phenomenon has also been observed among teachers as many of them are wealthy resulting from ‘privatization of the teaching profession’ in the beginning of this century.

As society progresses, challenges are unavoidable and social commentaries continue..