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Doctors have traditionally been at the centre of things in healthcare. Be it the science and art of medicine, or the commerce and organisation of healthcare.


I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart. 
As a man calls for wine before he fights,
I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights,
Ere fitly I could hope to play my part. 
Think first, fight afterwards - the soldier's art: 
One taste of the old time sets all to rights.

Robert Browning: Childe Roland 
to the Dark Tower Came, 15th stanza 

Someone once remarked that our generation is one lost in Money, Property and Matrimony. A Generation lost in the tide of time, aimless; without ideals and ideology, drifting.

A trite pessimistic perhaps. But there may be some truth in this. In addition to trying to fulfill our material and familial needs as young dootors, most of us are lost in medicine. Lost under the bond. Lost in our traineeship. Lost in our preparation for postgraduate exams. Lost doing calls. Lost in trying to keep up with patient after patient. Lost in trying to set up a private practice. The list goes on.

Unfortunately, young doctors collectively have to contend with more than the above seemingly insurmountable list of challenges. There are still the challenges facing the profession as a whole. Beyond the parochial interests of young doctors, and rising above the pressures of everyday life, there are yet more opportunities and threats facing the profession in the future, depending on how one looks at it. In short, we cannot stay lost and we have to upgrade our perspective of things a bit.

Doctors have traditionally been at the centre of things in healthcare. Be it the science and art of medicine, or the commerce and organisation of healthcare. The overall direction of where healthcare went and is going has always had doctors as both its conscience and its explorer.

But things are changing fast. We see new parties entering the scene. Such entrance may be inevitable with the integration of different sectors of the economy. These parties range from property developers, unions to even defence companies. Big Industry is coming and they are coming in for the long haul. Some roles of doctors in healthcare, other than that in clinical care, are also increasingly being taken up by other professionals. Whether these developments are good or bad or whether we become lost in these changes will depend on how the profession reacts to them. 

Doctors are no longer the pivotal have-alls and be-alls in healthcare. It is time for the profession to rise to meet these new challenges before we are marginalised into just technicians prescribing treatment at the frontline. The profession is more than an interface

The profession is more than an interface between patients and the huge medical-industrial complex that simple medicine has grown into.

between patients and the huge medical complex that simple medicine has grown into. Let us recognise this, the New Medicine that doctors live in today. For us, the younger members of the profession, the future is one of some uncertainty. We should be the future of healthcare. Yet how much the future of healthcare holds for us depend at least on how much of healthcare we care to be informed about and be involved in now.

The  commence, ethics and organisation of healthcare. Young doctors have to take up a more interested stance. Whether doctors will continue to be at the forefront of healthcare or just a member of the retinue will depend  on how deep and wide our involvement is in all aspects of medicine. We need to be in control of our own destiny.

The march of time waits for no one. We either lead, or be led.

The decision is ours to make. The time to decide is now.

Audentes fortuna juvat*

Happy New Year.

Wong Chiang Yin, 
Tan Tze Wee, 
Yue Wai Mun, 
Goh Jin Hian, 
Wong Tien Yin

* (Latin) Fortune favours the audacious