Sunday November 30, 2008
At least five doctors to suffer from mental woes every month
By M. KRISHNAMOORTHY
KUALA LUMPUR: Every month, at least five doctors are found to be suffering from mental illnesses, director-general of health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said.
He said these doctors were either psychotic or neurotic but still managed to get into medical schools because these schools were not screening students meticulously enough.
“When the doctors complete their two-year housemanship and their applications are submitted for registration with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), they fail to get registered.
“Their supervisors do not certify them as fit to be registered because of indiscipline and poor attitude arising from mental health problems.
“The mental cases range from psychotic to neurotic. Psychotic cases include delusions and hallucinations, and neurotic behaviour includes anxiety, fear and anger due to the competitive environment,” said Dr Ismail.
These medical graduates, totalling about 60 cases a year, are unable to cope with their housemanship as they may have been pressured by their parents to take up medicine.
Dr Ismail said it was disheartening to note this emerging trend due to an inefficient selection process, adding that the mental cases were referred to the Medical Review Panel (MRP).
Since many of these graduates have spent a lot of money on their medical education, the MRP may extend their housemanship and at the same time send them for psychiatric treatment.
“In the event they are assigned to work, they will be thoroughly supervised and counselled by experts and given light duties until their mental condition improves.
“I am not so sure whether we can identify those with attitude problems during an interview unless such problems are obvious,” Dr Ismail said at a forum on Training Future Doctors: Have we got it right?”
About 2,000 medical doctors are registered annually from 21 local medical schools and 400 recognised schools overseas.
Different medical schools around the world have different selection criteria for their students, Dr Ismail said.
However, he said that the ministry was also planning some form of examination to check their attitude, knowledge and experience after they complete their final examination.
Most of the mentally ill students, he said, could have undergone pressure and depression while studying and faced difficulty in coping in a hospital environment.
The other weakness was a lack of proficiency in the English language.
Higher Education director-general Prof Datuk Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi said the ministry was currently reviewing universities’ curricula to ensure high standards in medical education and training for doctors.
“Uppermost on our minds will be the safety and well-being of patients,” he said.
p/s: i think graduated doctors not only face d pressure and depression fr their parents wif high expectation to c their children becoming doctors...but housemanship and hospital environment too.. pressure fr the seniors doctors, pressure fr the patients complaint, on-call, salary and others (depending on how a doctor can handle the problem and stress)..
so, i'm giving advise to our students who studing in Indonesia and learning in local bahasa Indonesia... learn the medical term in English too (even not in Latin terms).. we really need to improve our English since our gov hsptl fully in English. learn how to take history taking wif patients in English too (esp in KL and city). it still not late for us to improve ourselve. dont gv up. holiday break just dont waste it.. apply to do the clinical in gov hsptl near ur house.get lots of friends fr local uni perhaps they can help us 1 day... ")
4 years ago