The Editors’ Musings

Tina Tan, Chie Zhi Ying

Tina Tan

I am the first doctor in my family, and the only one on my mother's side. It is hard for me to imagine what it would be like to grow up as a child of doctors or to come from an entire family of doctors. Do dinner conversations evolve into morbidity and mortality meetings or drug talks? Do Christmas presents consist of stethoscope parts or the latest version of the Clinical Practice Guidelines? Is the search for a specialist job one that involves being as far away as physically possible from the sibling/ parent practising in that particular hospital or clinic? Is it more challenging to live up to unverbalised expectations?

Our issue this month features thoughts and insights from a number of our colleagues whose parents and/or siblings are also physicians. We have also included two touching pieces from our overseas medical students as they talk about life away from home.

Meanwhile, let us celebrate the fact that as I write this, Singapore has finally hit Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) Green. May it stay that way for a good long time.

Chie Zhi Ying

In this February issue of SMA News on "Families in Medicine: Journeying Together", we explore from the perspectives of various authors how it felt to have a family member (parent or sibling) who is also in medicine.

I would imagine some who come from a family of doctors looking up to their older siblings or parents as role models and be inspired to follow in their footsteps to be doctors. Then, there could also be healthy competition (or rivalry) between siblings and that constant motivation (or pressure) to be better than one's sibling or parent since you are in the same field.

On a lighter note, it is indeed refreshing to read the travelogues and reflections of medical students studying overseas. So, sit back and relax as we ease ourselves into a new world of normal and be sure to take the time to indulge in the things you love to do.

Tina Tan is a psychiatrist in private practice and an alumnus of Duke-NUS Medical School. She treats mental health conditions in all age groups but has a special interest in caring for the elderly. With a love for the written word, she makes time for reading, writing and self-publishing on top of caring for her patients and loved ones.

Chie Zhi Ying is a family physician working in the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics. She also holds a Master of Public Health from the National University of Singapore and is a designated workplace doctor. She enjoys freelance writing and writes for Chinese dailies Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min Daily News and health magazine Health No. 1. She can be contacted at