Insight: a day in the life of being a Family Physician

By: Dr Foong Tsin Uin

Raffles Hotel Arcade
Posted on: 25 Jan 2021

Dr Foong with patient

“No two days are ever the same for a GP/ Family Physician.

I started my day seeing a 2 month old baby for a routine check up and discussed the gamut of vaccinations she needed. Vaccinations can be a minefield for parents especially if Singapore is not your home country – and parents worry about being compliant with their home country, coupled with travel plans (when it resumes!) and future relocation plans.

This was followed by a one hour long appointment for a Health Screening. It is not a “pick & mix” package. At Osler Health, we make this process patient-led, but guided by our Doctors, who take time to explain and recommend tests that are necessary for your based on your age, medical history, family history supported by clinical evidence. I sensed during this consultation that In recent years there has been an increase in  various types of ‘clean’ eating. These come in various guises – perhaps fat-free, no carb diet, cutting out certain food groups and eating only specific food as they are the “super-foods”. There is nothing wrong with good intentions for a healthy lifestyle but when the behaviour becomes obsessive, and life and thoughts revolves strictly around this regime and schedule, and one starts to feel anxious and unsettled if this lifestyle is not always met that you may be looking at a condition known as ‘Orthorexia’. stress was a major concern, and the health screening was an entry for the Doctor to discuss this, but also a moment for the patient to take stock of their health and to be back in control.

We work alongside our patients. We empower our patients. We journey with our patients – but we also provide the firm and steely hands needed to give them the right and necessary care, in terms of advice, medication, but also navigating the landscape of specialists partners in Singapore. The objective is to empower our patients and to show that we are on their side, on their health journey.

There are some days where I am dealing with all sort of minor ailments – worms in children, fungal toe nails, head lice, rashes of all sorts. Or a 9 year old who is still bed wetting, or a teenager with angst and emotional chasm. Perhaps a menopausal lady who is angry and stressed but cannot understand why she is feeling this way, or a mother of 3 who requires advice about contraception – and we arrange to fit a contraceptive device in clinic. I could be removing a mole in the clinic or glueing up a child’s forehead after she has fallen over on her scooter.

Another day could see me giving a 45 year old woman advice about mammogram screening because her sister has recently had breast cancer and performing a PAP smear at the same time. I may be spending an hour talking to a new Mum, a 50 year old executive who is facing enormous work stress in the current work climate, or a teenage who has just arrived in Singapore and settling into a new school. I could be treating a 48 year old man with an uncomfortable feeling in his chest who is concerned whether it is stress or heart issues. I could then have a long discussion with a parent about allergies in Singapore – dust mite allergies, gluten intolerance (oh so common that everyone thinks they may have symptoms of this!), or managing a 12 year old’s asthma.

So, are we a jack of all trades? As trained Family Doctors, we are well versed in many aspects of medical care, and some Doctors have further training in certain fields, enabling us to provide even more in depth care for our patients. And at the heart of what we do – we are humans – we LISTEN, we CARE, we EMPATHISE and we do all this with the utmost integrity and kindness.”

Dr Foong is based at our Raffles clinic. For appointments please call: 6332 2727
Raffles Hotel Arcade Star Vista