Frequently asked questions
What is your job scope?
People always ask what exactly do I do for a living?
Sometimes its from the general public (they usually confuse Sports Medicine with Rehab Medicine or with Orthopedics) or sometimes its within the medical fraternity (this includes other disciplines - they lack exposure, these medical officers and medical students).
So I'm going to share a list of things that fall within my scope of work/training:
1. I do medical coverage - I personally find this bit of my job scope the most unsatisfying but I know a lot of my colleagues beg to differ. We cover games, races, individual teams etc. I personally had followed the Malaysian Women's Basketball team to Commonwealth Games in 2018 as their team doctor and I was one of the few doctors running the medical base in Bukit Jalil for the KL SEA Games in 2017.
2. I deal with sports injuries - I reckon this is self explanatory. Sport injuries of athlete population as well as general population...coz y'know, everyone does sports to some degree.
3. I deal with musculoskeletal injuries - sometimes people get injured NOT from sports but from regular daily activities. A lot of times from overuse, some times from a fall, many a times from motorvehicle accidents. So I deal with everyone which possible includes your mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, neighbour, cousin and honestly, the list can go on.
4. I deal with post sports surgery rehab - post ACL reconstruction (or PCL, PLC, Achilles tendon, collateral ligaments, MPFLs, menisci & cartilage procedures, ankle surgeries etc etc) rehab, prepping the patient to return to either normal daily physical activities or high level sports.
5. I deal with post arthroplasty surgery rehab - post total knee replacement or total hip replacement, I guide these patients to return to whatever level of activities they are hoping to achieve. And yes....I'm a big fan of geriatric MSK rehab. These patients always bring me food!!!!
6. I deal with post trauma orthopedic surgery rehab - post plating/screw fixation/k-wiring/tension band wiring etc from any orthopedic trauma, I get these patients to return to pre-morbid levels of functioning....or at least I try. I'm not God.
7. I deal with exercise prescription for both healthy and diseased population - I guide patient to improve in their cardiovascular health. Weight loss is only a side effect from improvement in fitness. My main concern is whether or not these patients improve in their health markers to prevent or reduce the risk and complications of metabolic diseases that is ravaging this nation (and dare I say the majority of the developing and developed countries).
8. I deal with TRYING to come up with research topics and research developments. The ministry of health is always actively (or passively depending on which state you are in) trying to get their staffs to be proactively involved in research. I have to admit when I was in Kota Bharu, I had a lot of free time to ponder on doable research topics and the tedious literature review. I also have to admit I sometimes geek-out fully into these sort of things and after a while, became quite familiar with certain researchers and their work. I'm also decently good at sieving through bullshit papers on Google Scholar.
Do you still do triathlons?
I still dabble in cycling and running, albeit more of the cycling done is on Zwift.
I have been on a strength focus training (again) since the beginning of 2019 due to some personal issues and I found that strength training helped me sleep and focus better.
However I have signed up for Desaru 70.3 in April 2020.
Which means base training will be starting soon before the REAL structured tri-focus training starts...likely after CNY 2020.
How can I make an appointment to see you?
First decide whether you would like to consult with me at Seremban GH or at Regen Rehab PJ.
If you prefer Seremban GH, please obtain a referral letter addressed to Sports Medicine Clinic, Orthopedic Department. You might need to head over to the clinic to make an appointment.
If you prefer Regen Rehab Hospital in PJ, try calling our Case Coordinator at +6019-9839448 to make an appointment.
Or you can show up at one of Fortis Medicinae's upcoming workshops to learn something new. However we do not do one-on-one consults during our workshops.
What is your fitness aim(s) at the moment?
Trying to juggle making maximum strength gains while not fully losing my endurance fitness.
Let me tell you that is no easy feat.
It is really much easier to focus entirely on strength building...or just endurance training. Trying to maximize both at the same time sometimes feel like futility at its best.
Also I'm still working at it to unlock the Tron bike on Zwift.
Where else to find Sports Medicine in the public health care sector?
- Hospital Kuala Lumpur
- Hospital Selayang
- Hospital Sungai Buloh
- Hospital Serdang
- Hospital Klang
- Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya
- Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
- National Sports Institute (currently free for selected athletes, but they are opening their doors to general public for a fee)
- Hospital Seremban
- Hospital Melaka
- Hospital Muar
- Hospital Sultan Ismail (Johor Bharu)
- Hospital Ipoh
- Hospital Alor Setar
- Hospital Kota Bharu
- Hospital Kuantan
- Hospital Queen Elizabeth I & II (Kota Kinabalu)
Will review and update this list from time to time.
Didn't you move to somewhere really far away?
Yes! Yes I did and thank you for remembering that.
I completed my Masters Program at Universiti of Malaya in Sports Medicine in mid 2015 and headed back into the turmoils of Ministry of Health. Was immediately sent off to Kota Bharu for gazettement period and subsequently took over that position permanently. For 3 years or so, I was the Sports Medicine Physician Head of State....for the state of Kelantan.
That sounds fancy and all until you realize the fact that for the 2 years plus, I was the ONLY Sports Medicine Physician in the entire state of Kelantan and my patients came not only from that state, but from Perlis, Terengganu and Pahang as well. The furthest a patient had ever came from to seek treatment at my center was from Taiping, Perak!
This move also marked the end of my active participation in the triathlon scene as I couldn't (and wouldn't) take time off for races - I had to make sure I was at work in case my "far far away" patients turned up (which inevitably was the case, usually).
Also Kelantan state had a different weekend schedule than the rest of the country. Sundays were my Mondays then. Technically I never had Monday blues those 3-odd years there.
Sometimes I wonder how my path would have been if I weren't sent to Kota Bharu but in all honestly, those 3 years built a lot of character in me (but then to be fair, I had quite a bit prior to my arrival in that state!) and it help me find that passion I had always wanted in my job and my career. Some people shared with me that their job is just a means to an end....but I beg to differ. I find a lot of satisfaction and joy in what I do on an everyday basis (minus the bureaucracy of the ministry...and perhaps sports coverage) and I can quite confidently say that the move to KB was the BEST thing that ever happened to me in that crossroad of my career.
Is your running blog (http://peeass.blogspot.com) still alive?
Well, the last I'd checked, the page and its contents were still there.
You can still read the chronicled races that I had done since the conception of the blog (during the "finding myself" years) but the last blog post (if not mistaken) was about my Zwift set-up. I reckon that was in early 2016 before the very first Zwift Academy (which I was extremely obsessed with and cried real tears when it ended without me 'graduating' on time).
But if you remembered that blog, I just want to thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for following me (still) and my journey through my early Medical Officer-ship life and finding my love in suffering, sorry...I mean sports.
Where can I find your CV?
In the 'About' segment where I bore my audience with how I begin to consider Sports Medicine as my career path, I have included a link to a concise version of my Curriculum Vitae (CV).
For your benefit, I have removed all the lengthy, extremely boring and non essential bits of my regular CV.
I am interested in being Sports Physician. How do?
First off....wow! I'm surprised as to the possible reasons why you are interested to join the fraternity as many have minimal exposure to Sports Medicine in the Ministry of Health, not to mention many have no idea what our job scope is exactly.
But good on you for wanting to progress your medical career with us.
After completing your Housemanship and serving your mandatory x-amount of years with the ministry (for the permanent post) you will need to apply entry into the Masters program just like other specialties. At this point in time, all our Masters in Sports Medicine trainees undergo their training at University Malaya. It is a 4 year program and at time of publication, it is 4 years of in-campus training with intermittent periods of postings within the MOH hospitals. However we are in the process of moving to out-campus training (very likely doing the out-campus portion at Hospital Tuanku Ja'afar, Seremban - yes, that would mean that we will likely be colleagues at one point or another).
Unfortunately for the contract-listed doctors, we still do not have clear instructions for you on how to proceed with applications for Masters in Sports Medicine. However once we become clearer on the process, I will update this space.
What's the difference between Sports Science & Sports Medicine?
Sports Science is a broad area of sports related disciplines where academic subjects include physiology, psychology, biomechanics, sports management & other various sports related studies. Do not ask me what is the career progression in this field. I can refer you to someone to speak to regarding career options in this field.
For us in Sports Medicine, we are medical doctors that went through 5-6 years of medical school, a couple of years in housemanship to gain experience in various medical disciplines (or internship if you'd prefer that term), another few more years of service as a medical officer in related (or unrelated) fields before specializing in Sports Medicine via a 4 year Masters program. If that sounded like a very long time, then you would be right.