Exit, Pursued by Dogs

News on my placement for the end of the year:
it looks like I won’t have to spend it here.
I’ve been approved for Dubai in November.
And while I’m overseas, I might sight-see in December.

But amid all this talk of international rotations,
classmates posting applications to distant nations
and their seemingly never ending conversations
on the frustrations
of ambiguous indications from hospital administrations,
I can’t help but sit back and recall
how it was before
back in ‘09 when I went to Singapore.

Well, I was quite broke back then
(plus ça change, plus c’est la même)
so I scoured the internet up and down
until I found the cheapest room and board around,
I ended up in the spare room of a siao liao gal.
It was uncanny how, her life seemed to resemble a Channel 8 drama
but I guess boarding so cheap that was probably my karma
and between two months of observing her life
with apparent addiction to chaos and strife,
I was pursued by a pack of eponymous hounds
I found them hanging around at the edge of town.

See trains and buses had stopped for the night
so, out of options, I hopped in a taxi despite
the cost and not knowing my precise address
my guess was close enough that I thought it best
to just get out and walk the rest.

Within a few hundred meters of my destination,
I managed to recognise a railway station
and decided I’d just follow the train line home.
I would have checked more carefully if only I’d known.
I picked the wrong direction to walk along the MRT,
the path got quieter til there was no-one bar me.

By the time I realised I was all alone
in a nearly deserted commercial zone
and decided maybe this wasn’t quite right
I’d walked almost an hour through the moonlit night.

I decided to turn and find my way back
and that’s when I ran into a stray pack
of five large dogs ready to attack
growling and snapping trying to circle my back.

I walked backwards all the way to the main road
keys in hand (the only sharp thing I had stowed).
Fortunately, once I re-emerged into streetlight
the dogs paused for a moment on the edge of the night
then decided to leave me alone
free to return to the long walk home.

A picture of me shortly before wandering off to be chased by dogs
(Apparently that thing on the so-called lantern has its own movie too. Who’d have thought?)


A Job Interview…

It’s been about two months since I was gainfully employed
and since that time I’ve occasionally enjoyed
musing on the idea of going back into pharmaceutical practice
but I didn’t consider it too seriously – at least that is
until about a week ago when I received a message advising
of a poisons information position which I found quite enticing.

So I brought my résumé up to date
sent it off and settled in for a wait.
Sure enough, the very next day
they called me on the phone just to say
that they’d like to take the chance to arrange an interview
and I said ‘Of course, I’d be happy to talk to you’.

So I caught a bus there via the city centre
arrived good and early then waited to enter.
They finally called me in about 4 o’clock
for a relaxed interview which was largely ad hoc.
It seemed to go alright but I’ll have to wait and see
whether or not they end up choosing me.

Hospital Orientation

Good evening colleagues, strangers and friends
this is the Rhyming Med Student blogging again.
Today’s topic? I got to visit a hospital!
What did I do there? Well actually, nothing at all.

From next week we’ll go there to be tutored on clinical stuff
then if our examination skills are considered good enough,
they’ll tick us off as having achieved the requisite skill
to examine an actual person who’s actually ill.

But before we start going there to be taught,
the hospital administration has determined we ought
to be made aware of certain critical information
and the best way to do that’s with another orientation.

I tried to find the venue quickly, but the hospital was a maze.
I wandered through hallways and tried a dozen different ways
in a desperate attempt to get to where I wanted to be
but endless halls and cryptic signs were all I could see.

Eventually I stumbled on the auditorium (more by luck than good sense)
but I was slightly late and worried that I might thereby give offence
to some doctor/presenter who’d hold it against me for the rest of my career
(doctors are good at holding little grudges like that – at least from what I hear)

But it turned out that I needn’t have ran
I still got there before the first speaker took the stand.
On entry, I found most people were just sitting down
or chatting to each other and milling around.

Apparently, the first presentation was indefinitely delayed.
We later found out the speaker had been waylaid
to attend an aquaintance’s unexpected funeral
but no-one had informed the head of our clinical school.

After that everything went reasonably well,
a woman from infection control came to tell
us all about the importance of PPE and hand hygeine
– I have to say she was one of the more nervous speakers that I’ve seen.

Then there were libraries and where they’re located,
which have wireless internet and which are more dated,
opening hours and plans for their future alteration
and where to find most of the electronic workstations.

After that we had the fire safety co-ordinator,
he asked us some questions about fire safety then later
made us watch a compulsory 20 minute DVD
about what to do during a fire emergency.

By this time they’d managed to find a suitable substitute
for the first presenter who they’d lined up to talk with our group.
Most of what she had to say was on the theme of: ‘Don’t pester our consultants!’
which is reasonable advice, but it’s a little harsh to pre-emptively scold us.

Anyway, that’s yet another orientation been and gone.
Like most orientations I’ve seen, it did drag on
now in the interest of avoiding the same fate for this rhyme
I think I’ll finish here and wish you well ’til next time.