The Editors’ Musings

Tina Tan, Clive Tan

Tina Tan

Last month's issue of SMA News focused more on mothers and daughters in medicine. This month, we are happy to let the men shine. I will let the snippets we gathered tell the stories of the male doctors among us who have managed to forge an identity that is not solely limited to being "a doctor". While the latter is undoubtedly one of the most crucial aspects of how we all identify ourselves, I am always a proponent of the view that other identities (in other words, passions or hobbies) outside of medicine are just as important for our mental and emotional well-being.

Similarly, I am delighted to highlight Dr Theodric Lee's article on his struggles in balancing his career with being a father, and how he and other doctor-fathers have come together to support each other. I hope his article strikes a chord with each of us, because it did with me.

Last but not least, we have published the results of the 2022 SMA Integrated Shield Plan Providers' Ranking Survey (see page 14). It was duly noted that there were slight improvements in certain ongoing areas of friction related to healthcare insurance. Do have a read for more detailed conclusions as well as SMA's stance on this perennial hot topic.

Clive Tan

I am glad that SMA News chose to have this issue featuring men in the medical profession. Discussions about gender equality have gained significant momentum in recent years, and it is important to recognise that men also face unique challenges and struggles. Men can often be underappreciated and at times invisible in many aspects of life.

I am heartened to read the stories by our men in the medical profession – sharing interesting stories that reflect their dedication to their causes, challenging societal norms, and in many cases just shining a spotlight on the good work that they do. Society often places pressure on men to be strong, stoic and unemotional – and these articles help reveal the softer side of our men and their pursuit of their passions. Many men also tend to neglect their health – both physical health and mental wellness. Dr Hing Siong Chen's and Adj Prof Lau Tang Ching's sharing on their experiences with staying healthy are inspirational and set good examples.

Another area where men's contributions are frequently overlooked is in family dynamics. While mothers are rightfully celebrated for their nurturing and caregiving roles, fathers often receive less recognition. Involved and supportive fathers play a vital role in the development and well-being of their children. Yet, society often underestimates the impact of a father's presence and the positive influence they can have on their children's lives. Dr Theodric Lee's sharing on the important role of fathers in the lives of their children and his journey on learning to be a good father will no doubt strike a chord with many fathers in the medical profession. As a father of three children attending primary school myself, the challenges and situations that Theodric shared resonated with me.

I hope you will enjoy this special issue.

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.

Clive Tan is a member of the SMA News Editorial Board and a public health specialist working in the public sector. He recently went on a diet and lost five kilograms in four months.