28 Jul 2011


While we were playing board games one night, Angelina suddenly said, “There is something I cannot get out of my mind.”

“What is it?” Angela asked.

“At the kindergarten today,” said Angelina, “N said it would be wonderful if we got married in the future.”

“But this is silly!” exclaimed Angela. “You haven’t even finished school.” She went on and explained why one needed to be mature enough before getting married.

The next Saturday, I was caught up with many emergency endoscopies and could not pick Angelina up from school. N’s mother offered her a ride. Sitting at the back, Angelina was delighted to find a mini-TV showing Disney programs. That afternoon, she muttered, “Maybe it is not a bad idea marrying him after all.” We were petrified.

Lai Yeh, I absolutely cannot take weekend duties anymore!

21 Jul 2011


Sooner than I realize, Jonathan is three months old. There is much to learn.

After big sister’s example, I never thought a baby could drink milk that fast.

I wish you would not sleep from seven to eleven every night. When you wake up at eleven, you look as if you have never seen me before. But your comfort is my wish.

My mother-in-law keeps urging me not to pick you up whenever you stir in bed. I cannot agree. If she has learned about JW’s experiments, she would know how miserable the rats were after he separated

them from their parents.

You babble so much. What a sight it would be when you chat all day long with your sister!

14 Jul 2011

Quantum Mechanics

After the remedial attachment, our Chairman sent us feedback comments from year 1 and year 2 students. That was eye-opening.

"Can the lectures be more specific on what we actually need to know?"

"Too many drugs in Pharmacology."

"The test contents are highly unrelated to the lecture's."

"Do we need to know embryology?"

With increasing specialization, I agree that most doctors only need knowledge in a small area. Szeto loves to stun colleagues by asking them the names of wrist bones. But why would you need to know them unless you become a surgeon specialized in hand surgery?

On the other hand, there are lots of things I wish I spent more time on during my undergraduate studies. I regretted my wishy-washy knowledge on embryology when I worked on stem cells. When I began doing research, I also hoped I had learned more molecular biology.

Surely you are not convinced, but I have heard a better answer.

Years ago, medical students need to study physics in year 1. One lecture was on quantum mechanics.

Overwhelmed by the complicated formulas, a frustrated student yelled, "Why do we have to learn this?"

The professor of physics paused for a second and continued with the lecture. After a while, the student interrupted again. "Why do we have to learn this?"

"Because," replied the professor calmly, "we have to prevent idiots from studying medicine."

7 Jul 2011


In the second week, I frankly explained to the students that I did not feel comfortable training doctors who never talked to patients. They made an appropriately frightened look and rushed to the bedside immediately.

While I never intended to fail them, LS further consolidated my decision. The students had to hand in a written case report everyday. One of her students wrote a masterpiece.

"An 80-year old lady was admitted because of decreased general condition. She was not communicable." The end.

Learning this, I hesitated no more and wrote an e-mail to the Chairman recommending all students from my group to be promoted to the next year.

On the last day of week two, a girl from my group called me as I was leaving after ward round.

"May I ask a question?"


"Do we still have to come next week?"

How wonderful. And they disappeared.