Girly Tuesdays: 5 lip products that brings me around the world!

Since I am small, whenever I visited a place I’ve always like to collect something from there as a momento, but often a times I am interested in so many things that I ended up collecting tonnes of ‘garbage’ back home after every trip. Postcards, fridge magnets, stickers, key chains, brochures, travel maps, matchstick boxes and I’ve once brought back a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle all the way from London recently! =( A typical  generalist in action!

Anyway for today lip products are an easy go since I am currently taking baby steps in exploring the wonderworld of make up so let’s get it started!

Lippie stuff that brings me wandering around the world!

Lippie stuff that brings me wandering around the world!

1. Malaysia: Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm – Hibiscus 

This is officially my first ‘coloured’ lip product and was one of my 22nd birthday present from my mother! =) It was my first time visiting and purchasing from Burt’s Bees and after consulting the salesperson, I have decided to choose this (she recommended this for beginners, and my mum liked the colour).

BBd_DM_RM_LIP_BalmTint_Hibiscus_TUBEo_04-06-13-1446(*image from Burt’s Bees official website)

Stashed at around RM20+, it is a nude pink in colour which makes it great for daily use (as evidenced by mine being through rough conditions in my bag) and is moisturising, leaving your lips smooth. The lip balm being made of 100% natural ingredients was a big bonus, and it actually smells quite nice (hibiscus smell?)!

I’ve bought two other things from the store as well, their acai berry rejuvenating lip balm and their mini bottle of body lotion, which were both amazing! And oh in case any of you weren’t sure of the link, hibiscus is our national flower, thus Malaysia: Hibiscus!

2. London: Rimmel London x Kate Moss – Kiss of Life (111)

download (4)*image from*

This is actually a cheat as I bought it from Melbourne! In December 2013, I had the opportunity to do a 6 week elective in London. However, I lost my hand luggage on the first day itself (which I was so smarty-pants and stashed some cash in it). Thankfully, I survived 6 weeks in London but did not managed to store enough cash to purchase some stuff from the drugstore thus I bought it in my next stop: Melbourne.

I can’t remember the price but I remember buying it from a shop similar to Target where it was tightly sealed and I couldn’t even try the colour out. Eager to buy from this line, I literally grabbed one and just go, praying that it will end up looking nice. Thankfully it was!

It is a deep classic red colour which has a matte finish. The application is smooth and is very long lasting (it lasts the whole night during events). It is very easy to manage for beginners (since it is my first lipstick) and is very ‘blendable’.

3. Korea: Clio – Rouge Pang Peripera – Citrusy Girl (OR06)

*image from*

*image from*

Spotted this baby in a recent trip to Korea with the boy right before graduation. Entered the store near Ewha University to explore around since I have had many good reviews about their eye liner (which I have bought and tried on, was amazing!). Once entered, I was like a kid in the candy store and the salesperson was really friendly! In the end I ended up quite a while in the shop buying several more products and even joined their Club Clio membership to get some discount!

Anyway this lipstick is a wonderful addition to my little stash of lip product. It has an orange – peach tone to it and is very moisturising. The lipstick is very long lasting and is not too overwhelming for a new user. It fades naturally and is not cakey/ too creamy. And this lipstick actually smells quite nice, it has a sweet fruity smell to it and definitely reminds me of Korea every time when I am using this.

4. Australia: Nature’s Care – Natural Paw Paw Lip Balm

*image from Paw Paw official website*

*image from Paw Paw official website*

This guy right here was a last minute additional purchase at the counter over in a drug store in Sydney. It was the BEST purchase ever! The Paw Paw lip balm works wonder and is so soothing, and best of, it lasts the whole day with just one application. It has a guava smell to it which I am not complaining. The consistency is quite thick which makes me think that it might be petroleum based but it is in fact, 100% natural and petrolchemical free! Best of all, it comes with a lip applicator so I can just reapply anytime when I am out without worrying about hygiene issues.

5. Home: Maybelline – Red Porcelain by colour sensational (RP41)


Cheated again on this one but nothing ever beats home. I’ve got this with my mother during Chinese New Year this year together in a pack with a similar coloured nail polish. As the name suggest, it is indeed a bright red lippie, very strong, confident and classic. In our Chinese tradition, red stands for prosperity and happiness.

This Chinese New Year was especially memorable made by this duo as not only on myself, I have had the privilege to put on this nail polish for my mother, my godmother, my aunty as well as my grandmother, to wish them a blessed new year and hope that good things happen to them and that they will stay in good health and be happy as always.

The lipstick itself is very classic red and fades naturally without being flaky. It has a more glossy finish to it but is easily manageable as well. The colour is very long lasting and is rather moisturising as well. All in all, this is quite a good lipstick to stash in your bag for any functions that you are attending. If you go classic, you will never go wrong, right? =p

my swatches from bottom: 1. Burt's Bees tinted lip balm Hibiscus  2. Rimmel London x Kate Moss 111 3. Rouge Pang Peripera OR06 4. Maybelline Red Porcerlain

my swatches from bottom:
1. Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm Hibiscus
2. Rimmel London x Kate Moss 111
3. Rouge Pang Peripera OR06
4. Maybelline Red Porcerlain


As to my updates, we are now at our final stages of house hunting (all thanks to my amazing two future housemates, how am I supposed to live without you both?), and thinking about how to ship our car over from West to East Malaysia. I am both excited yet scared of housemanship (internship), excited to enter the next stage of life yet fear of the unknown.

On top of that, I am having periods of homesickness bugging me again, and now that I have just left my hometown (Kedah) and am currently in KL, I am feeling pangs of  not wanting to grow up and leave the family to the new town. Am I too old to have growing pains? =p

The skyline greeting me when I reached KL from my hometown Alor Star,  even the clouds are crying... =(

The skyline greeting me when I reached KL from my hometown Alor Star today,
even the clouds are crying… =(  (malindoair)

Bookish Thoughts: 10 ‘Medical’ Books lying on my Bookshelf needing some TLC!

After knowing where am I posted to next, things start to move fast and there are just so many stuff that needs attention! I guess this is part of growing up! Currently I am dealing with housing stuff (since I am going to work in another city not in my hometown or KL), and some financial stuff (which I am worst at, taking baby steps here), and everything seems so confusing!

I am thankful and blessed to have my ever supporting family and friends to guide me in this so that I can take a breather and still chill and live the moment, seize all the opportunities that I can spend with my family before I am shipped (literally) to the Cat City! (Multiple sobs, I don’t want to leave this place!)

Anyway back to our countdown for today, 10 books that I would love to read that is medically related, here we go!

1. Medical BreakthroughsThe Reader’s Digest (in my bookshelf since: pre-med)

This book has been lying on my bookshelf since I am 18 (think daddy or mummy got it from a book fair before entering med school)! The pages are interesting enough for me to flipped through once in a while but I have not gotten much out of it yet (too much words, and too many distractions in my life). Though it may be slightly outdated by now, I still hope to get the most out of this book!

the version that I have, hehe! *image from

the version that I have, hehe! *image from

2. The Encyclopedic Atlas of the Human Body – A Visual Guide to the Human Body (owned: pre-medschool)

Another book scored when I was doing my A-Levels back when I was 18 and at that time it was a SPLURGE with a price tag of RM50 from a book fair. Since then it has been lying on my bookshelf, have only flipped through it once when I am buying it (guilty call… =p ). Nonetheless, recently while cleaning up, I’ve found this again and flipped through, was quite a gem! =) Recommended for fresh meddies to be or curious babies like me, and although I’ve transported this book back to my hometown to be my dad’s reference book (he is interested in alternative medicine), I am thinking of sneaking it to the Cat City with me. I am guessing that it be helpful when I am losing my bearings especially during the first few months of ‘de internship’!

3. Human Lifespan Development – mummy’s copy (pre-clinical)

This was one of our prescribed readings back in first year which brings back much nostalgia. I still remember vividly our interesting psychology lectures by the Monash team, especially Mr Paul Jambu! Thanks for making psychology so much interesting! I have never read a page the real book but I have found out its existence in my house when I was in year 2.

our lovely Mr Paul Jambunathan! Thank you for making Psychology like a game! =) *image from google*

our lovely Mr Paul Jambunathan! Thank you for making Psychology like a game! =) *image from google*

My mum was doing her Masters in Counselling and this was one of her prescribed readings. At that time I was doing one year of Counselling course from the Buddhist Gem Fellowship (hoping to volunteer as a telephone counsellor) as well so was quite interested in the book, but still was too lazy to flip it though. My last push was during my clinical years, especially in Paediatrics or when I was doing my Geriatric posting during my final year.

To add more fire to it (=p), I had the privilege to do my clinical elective in the Neurology department of the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) London, one of the top kids hospital over in London and had managed to join several clinics dealing with developmental paediatrics (which basically deals with problems of kids growing up). It was an eye-opener and made me even more interested to read up more about (when I am not bounded with procrastination =p)

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), a dream come true!

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), a dream come true!

4. Stress and Mental Health SocietyDato’ Dr Tan Chee Kwan (pre-clinical)

Due to some event twists and turns, I’ve gotten this book since pre-med years. This book is recommended if you are interested in psychiatry and think that the normal psychiatric books are too bored to flip through. Dato’ Dr Tan is a prominent clinical psychiatrist who have dipped his toes in art, writing, sports etc. His book are filled with anecdotes, inside jokes and artsy-fartsy stuff occasionally. A good book to flip through (though I’ve just flipped 5 pages of it) so this is definitely following me to Kuching!

5. The Prescription for a Lifetime of Great Health: The Doctors: 5 minute Health Fixes – The DOCTORS with Mariska Van Aalst (owned at 2012) 

This book was from the Big Bad Wolf (BBW) Sales in KL (I think) back in December with a price tag of RM20. I gave so much thought to it before buying (as usually books from BBW are as low as RM3-5), thinking that it was a splurge! Laid on my bookshelf for two years until recently when I started cleaning the house that I’ve rediscover this book which I gave it to my dad to bring back to my hometown.

Now that I am back in my hometown, Kedah, and flipping though this book, I’ve just realised that this book is indeed, a hidden GEM!! Short and sweet, its a good companion book for your household, and just like the book described ‘you will have a house doctor with this book’. It’s something like Murtargh but in layman’s term and loaded with many general knowledge stuff, along with household tips and tricks! I am now thinking of sneaking it to the Cat City! =p

6. Kill or Cure: An Illustrated History of Medicine (owned: 2014)

This book has been luring me to buy every single day as I walked pass the High Streets of Chiswick while on the way to GOSH back in London. Priced at 9.99 pound in Bookcase, the steep price tag was stopping me from buying this book. Until one day when it suddenly disappeared from the window display, I panicked and ran into the bookstore to enquire about the book, luckily it was still there and flipping through it, I knew this is the book that I NEED in my bookshelf.

image from goodreads

image from goodreads

So at the very next day, I bought this baby back home and as a result have to sacrifice my shopping purchases. The only regret is I’ve been neglecting him and doesn’t give him the love that he deserves (this book is definitely a guy)! Time to shower some love to you, big guy!

7. As Nature Made Him – John Colapinto (owned: 2014)

This book was thrifted in one of the old bookstores in Melbourne, in a quiant little street (can’t remember the exact place! =*( ) for a mere 3AUD. As the title suggests, this book is about transgender issues, a true story that follows ‘a boy who was raised as a girl’. The topic itself and the price tag is enough for me to stash it, but the final touch was that as I was flipping through the book, a Christmas Card dropped out, with a lovely message inside (to the previous owner I think). What better book to have than a well kept one which carries a story and some personal touch? =)

download (3)

8. Pharmakon – Sorry forgot to jot down the author’s name (owned: 2014) 

Another book thrifted when I was in Melbourne, from another nice little bookstore at the price of 3 AUD, located at a street near to the CBD where my little sis is staying. The boy and I spotted this bookshop while sipping coffee on the super artsy street (I need to ask my housemate, the Dutch Lady about the street name, she recommended and it WAS a nice place to chill and spend an evening). After coffee we went inside the wonder store and I scored several books (as usual) from this shop. One of the best scores was Mr. Barrack Obama autobiography <Letters for my Father>, was a fantastic read! And now back to this book, it was about pharmaceutical companies and consumers, and stuff along the lines. I’ve flipped through it, seems pretty good and since I’ve finished its sibling, now its time to work on this book!

9. Psychiatric Emergencies – library of the Alfred Hospital (owned: 2014) 

This book was scored when the boy and I were in our second rotation of our final year in Melbourne. We went to the Chapel Street in one of the weekends for their Astor Theatre, which is an old school cinema to watch <Indiana Jones>! Was a pretty amazing experience! Chapel St. itself was pretty cool and both of us were like kids in the candy store wandering around, admiring the architecture which was well preserved and maintained its ‘old-ish’ charm. Lovely place to spend an evening!

the boy and I before being 'Indiana Joned'

the boy and I before being ‘Indiana Joned’

And of course we spotted several unique bookstores selling differing genres of books and themes. I was walking along the street when I spotted this book dated at least 10 years back about psychiatric emergencies. At the price of 3 AUD, I was like I AM GETTING THIS! What are the odds you will find a book from the library of the hospital you are attached to outside of the library itself on sale; from Alfred the Great (as some medical students have coined it); and its about Psychiatric Emergencies (I am interested in child psychiatry)! So this book went straight into my stash and I’ve never flipped it since (since I was buying it as a momento).

Alfred the 'Great' LOL!

Alfred the ‘Great’ LOL!

10. Time to Live: Jannie Tay’s Journey: Mum’s stash

I have noticed this book in my mum’s bookshelf since 2013 and she recommended me to read it since its pocket size and was a quick read. It is an inspiring autobiography about a strong woman who carries multiple roles being a businesswoman and at the same time juggling her career and her family. Things gets harder as she has to take care of her physically challenged daughter as well. She managed to do all of those, on top of that being involved in charity and caring for the underprivileged.The book dictates how she overcomes all the challenges and her insights, which I think would be an empowering read to all women.

the strong women =) my driving force!

I am blessed and privileged to get to know three of such inspiring woman in real life; my mother, my grandmother and my little sister. They have worn so many hats at a time, being successful and  yet managed to take care of the family and themselves so well, at the same time being supportive and ever loving to each other. To them I am eternally grateful and thankful for, and I wouldn’t have been in my place now if it wasn’t for them, and of course my great giant the DADDY as well! =) I love you all! And to the other strong women that have left footprints in my life, thank you for shaping me and giving me the confidence for me to believe that I can pursue my dreams and passion!

daddy! the giant behind me =)

daddy! the giant behind me =)

Mastering the Art of Self Discipline

Great thoughts! =) This article came at the perfect timing! I was feeling quite overwhelmed learning a lot of things (am a generalist at heart), especially lack of self-discipline and am equally bad at prioritising! Thanks for the insightful article Tom! =) BTW great layout, has been a regular reader since a couple of years back, strayed away 2-3 years back! A lot have changed! Layout has made it easier for people like me (with short attention span) to follow through the article! =) Congrats on being freshly pressed and thanks again for sharing!

Girly Tuesdays: 10 Scents that Lingers in my Room Right Now

I have not take much noticed until recently that I am actually pretty sensitive to scents, and am attracted to whatever products that smells nice (ok I think everyone does this as well LOL)! Anyway these are the scents that lingers around my room recently that I have fall head over heels with! 1. Victoria Secret’s – Sheer Love

VS angel in the making =p

VS angel in the making =p

white cotton & pink lily. I bought its mist spray form back in third/fourth  year from Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) for around RM45 for 250ml, there was a promotion going on I think back then, it was a buy 2 free 1 deal. I was planning to buy gifts for two dear friends so my bottle was basically free! =p haha student budget much! All three were pretty sweet and nice, the other two being Midnight something (more sexy tinge of things, sweet scent) and another name which I could not recall but smells more matured and lighter. Mine was the lightest among the three since this is officially my first bottle of perfume spray! =) Have only hit the 1/6 mark so far so its a pretty good buy! Question: Do perfumes have expiry dates?? 2. The Body Shop –  Atlas Mountain Rose 94776m_l This is officially my first Eau De Toilette (50ml) ever! =) It was a Christmas gift by the boy’s godparents when we were staying over in London in 2014! =) This has a stronger rose approach to it and is sweet yet not overwhelming, perfect for daily use. Mine was a gift box that comes with a bottle of lotion (around 150ml), which has a pretty decent consistency and lightly scented, not  too thick and sticky, good for daily use as well! All in all it was the perfect gift as it was winter over in London and my skin was like screaming of dryness at that point of time. (I’ve even finish a bottle of 30ml body butter which the normal size took me two years to hit the bottom back in Malaysia) 3. Intimately Beckham – For her download This is another Christmas gift, from Aunty Mary, my mum’s colleague and our travel buddy during the recent Australia family trip! We were over in Sydney when she bought this if I am not mistaken and there was some crazy discount deals going on over in The Chemist. I was busy smelling scents until my nose almost dropped to buy presents for the dad and the boy when i came across this Intimately Beckham. It was so cheap!! I think AUD20 for a pack of Eau De Toilette (30ml I think) and a 150ml lotion! I thought of buying it as Valentine’s Gift so that the boy and I would have couple scents but I could not find the sample to test the scent. As I was still searching Aunty Mary has paid and she has bought for me one set as my Christmas present! LOL… Anyway the scent is pretty amazing, less sweet then what I have own so far, with a much sexy tone to it and the bottle is the prettiest that I have owned so far, and due to its petite size it was so cute! The lotion smells divine too, but its too milky and watery to have much functionality to it. Still good to put on to make yourself feels sexy sometimes, hehe. 4. Bath & Body Works – Beautiful Day

it's a beautiful day, and I can't stop myself from smiling! =p

it’s a beautiful day, and I can’t stop myself from smiling!

They have BBW in Bangkok! =) This was the first exclamation that my friend Yee Hooi said when we stepped our foot into Pratunam Mall (?) in Bangkok recently in our graduation trip. So the three of us went crazy and smelled almost everything in the shop! I was under a tight budget (since I have just finish touring Phuket and will be unemployed for the next few months) so I need to make sure I buy my favourite scent out of all! My nose almost dropped when I smelled this so I just bought it! Its a mix of floral and sweet scent, and quite hard to describe the smell. I think of sweet peas every time when I attempted to describe the smell of it, perhaps it’s because the bottle is green and has some poppy shaped flowers design. (That’s the best that I can do to describe the scent). And to me it lives up to its name, I have a beautiful day every time after spritzing it on! The mist of 236ml costs around RM50 if I am not mistaken, my travel buddies Ying Xian and Yeehooi bundled quite a number of perfumes, hand sanitizers and candles as well! The candles smells divine and I am so tempted to get it, but its bloody expensive (and I don’t know how to light a match). Le sigh… =p 5. The Body Shop – Lychee Blossom Shower Gel (200ml) the-body-shop-200-lychee-blossom-shower-gel-400x400-imadzch4vubehg5k Bought this during one of the promotion season early last year or the year before (the body shop have sales periodically each year with discounts up to 70% off!), RM29 and I think I’ve bought this bottle at at least half of the original price. The shower gels by the Body Shop has always been great since the first time I’ve tried it (bought during promo time, because I am on a student budget and it is a splurge to spend 30 bucks on shower gel). Back to this shower gel, it is a very refreshing formula and light and makes you get ready for the day (if you get what I mean). I love to use it after sports to cool me down as well as when I am feeling extra energetic and positive! =) It just has some great vibes in the scent as well as consistency. They bubble quite well after using the bath lily! =) And the lychee, definitely a sweet surprise and extra bonus as it is so subtle yet I can feel the tropical vibe! 6. The Body Shop – Strawberry Body Polish download (4) This was scored from another (or the same) promotion for members whereby I managed to get this for only RM8 for a 75ml tube bottle (Original price RM19.90). I’ve never tried body polish before and have limited experience on body scrubbing items. So far this has done a pretty good job! The strawberry scent dominates the whole experience and they even have real strawberry ‘seeds’ (?) inside the tube. Its a pretty gentle scrub and has done its job so far. I am not sure whether I will repurchase this same polish thou. 7. Sephora – Fleur d’oranger: Orange blossom creamy body wash download (3) I’ve gotten this as a birthday present last year from a dear friend Bee AND THIS IS THE BOMB! =p I seldom try homebrands and TBH I wouldn’t have buy this (body washes from sephora brand) myself. But this tube changes my view, it is a great bathing experience and perfect for winding down after a long day. The experience is enhanced by using bath lily as you will practically have those bubble bath that you have seen in TV commercials! =p By its own, the orange smell wakens me up in a morning and there is a light mix of floral scent which forms a perfect mix! (Sorry this is the best that I can describe) =p 8. Soap & Glory: Sugar Crush Body Scrub Soap+&+Glory+Sugar+Crush+Body+Scrub Okay, I cheated in this one, it is no longer in my washroom (couldn’t even remember whether I managed to hit the bottom of the bottle or not). I’ve bought the smaller version of this in year 3 (it was a splurge, around RM30) as my first ever body scrub after hearing much raves about it and it was the best buy ever! I practically look forward to go to the shower because of this! It is sweet yet not overwhelming and the scrub is just superb! It works fine and leaves you skin baby like without having the sticky feeling. =) 9. Herbal Essence: Long term relationship Hair Conditioner Mask (150ml??) 600-HE_rasberries_packs_AUS This baby here is a win purchase! It is cheap, heavy duty, functional and smells amazingly mindblowing! I think I’ve bought it over a local chemist or supermarket for less than RM20 to tame my crazy hair and it works wonders! =) I have been using their shampoo and conditioner during high school days, thus this scent has its nostalgic attachment to it, making it even more special! It is sweet, floral but not too overwhelming. The mask consistency is pretty manageable, not too heavy duty and suitable to use once or twice a week (though its more like once a month for me). And this is my first ever hair mask and it hasn’t even hit the halfway mark yet even though I have bought it over a year ago. =P 10. Crabtree & Evelyn: Hand Therapy Collection: Rosewater (3.5oz) 79440~nocolor This was a splurge, and I mean, a real splurge! After Australia last year, I went to Sabah for an elective and my hands starts cracking like shit and it feels super course which scares the sh*t out of me. So in my desperate attempt to rescue my hand from the damage of over washing from the wards, I paid almost RM100 to buy this darling right here. It works wonder and within a week, my hands were back to normal again. I seldom use this product (laziness much) but after using it last night, it reminds me of the reasons why I picked this up in the first place. The rosewater scent is calming and soothing, perfect to use at night right before you sleep. =) Even though it is pricey, it is worth it to me. I just hope that I will be able to finish it before it expires! haha p.s.: Question: the scrub beads and the oil were separated in the tube (same problem with the scrubs), how do we mix it up before squeezing it out for application?) That’s all for now! And finally I can appreciate the importance of an aromatherapist in the medical world, it does has its healing power! =) p.s.: I have just gotten my placement for my internship (or Housemanship as we call it in Malaysia) yesterday! I will be serving in the Cat City, Kuching, Sarawak for the next two years! Though I am sad to be away from the family for two years, I am kind of excited yet nervous at the same time of what has yet to come! Wish me luck! I love cats so its a start to this brand new place eh? =p

Bookish Thoughts: 10 “Medical” Books I’ve Read In Med School

Being a doctor has never crossed my mind until the age of 15, my ambition has always been being a scientist and astronaut during primary school, musician, lawyer, PR relations in high school right up till 15 years old when i suddenly realised that my actual passion all the while has been medicine!

There has been several experiences, books and ideas planted on to me, like seedlings waiting to bloom into a young tree! =) Looking back, med school has been a roller coaster rides and often other than family and friend support, several things have played a pivotal role in helping me to experience med school thoroughly!

Anyway we shall leave this to another day and focus on the title today!

google images

google images

1. Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Dr Phang Cheng Kar (Clinical Psychiatrist, Malaysia)

– Recommended age: Pre-med/ year 1 (read in 2011)

– This book was born when Dr Phang was a medical student himself, fun read with loads of doodling and anecdote. A photostated copy of the book was given to me by a kind aunty from Subang Jaya Buddhist Association (SJBA) and later on I receive another signatured copy from Dr Phang (yay) from a talk that he gave to us organised by the Monash Counselling Department.

-psss: Since I have two copies of the book I am thinking of giving away one of them! Do PM/comment me if you are interested ya! =)

CAUSE i'm HAPPY! =P *google image thanks!*

*google image thanks!*

2. 7 Steps of Highly Effective People –Stephen R. Covey

– Recommended age: Pre-clinical/ Anytime when u feel uneffective? (read in 2006-2011)

– I’ve read 50% of the book from my high school library and later on this book appeared as a recommended reading and was one of the lecture from Dr Sivalal during first year of medicine teaching study technique. I think I didn’t managed to finish the book, though I remember it was a good one, and graphic or simplified version of it? (I have rather short attention span =p)

7 steps! =) image from

3. Tuesday with MorrieMitch Albom

– Recommended age: Pre-clinical /clinical/ palliative care(read in 2011)

– This book is a recount of the author’s pastor from his childhood suffering from a neuro-muscular disease and is slipping away slowly. The author delicately recalls the moments spent with him while including his own emotions and reflections. I was introduced to him via his work <The 5 people you meet in heaven> by a dear friend’s mum when I was feeling lost and down 7 years ago. For that I am eternally grateful and blessed. <The time keeper> is a good read as well!

4. Escaping daddyMaria London

– R.A: Medical ethics/ Paediatrics/ Psychiatry (read in 2012)

– This book is a real recount of young Maria as a teenage sex worker forced by her father. Things get worsen when due to the circumstances she is involved in drug and drinking habits. The emotions, struggles, experiences were painfully written retold and I am truly moved by her courage and by telling the world, creating awareness the issue of child prostitution and abuse.

5. One Last GoodbyeKay Gilderdale

– R.A.: med ethics/ palliative care/ peadiatrics (read 2013)

– A heart-breaking true story of Lynn Gilderdale who was diagnosed with a rare disease of chronic fatigue syndrome (myalgia encephalomyelitis). *spoiler alert* This book was written by her mother recording the process of Lynn reaching a diagnosis, being stigmatized as ‘faking it out’ among several others. The book also describes Lynn’s decision on euthanasia under the legal age and subsequently her mother being charged for murder.

euthanasia... A happy pill?  *google image*

euthanasia… A happy pill?
*google image*

6. A Nurse AbroadAnne Watts

– R.A.: public health/ clinical/ health economics/ global health (read 2013-14)

– Scored this book for 1/2 pounds in a cancer charity shop when I was doing my electives in London! Best book choice ever! This is a autobiography of Anne Watts, a freshly trained UK nurse who inherited his father’s adventurous spirit and set sail for Canada to practice. Later, with much spontaneity and open heart to learn and experience more, she worked in Australia outback and was exposed to aboriginal health; the Arctic to work in clinics in an igloo; and participated in the Vietnam War (this is recalled in the other book, have yet to scout for it yet! >.<).

– Apart from bringing back nostalgia from UK, this book also serves as a more detailed introduction to Aboriginal Health in Australia, which I have the privilege to be exposed more about the community and Indigenous health when doing a 3 month compulsory attachment in Melbourne late January. *Monash also offers Rural Elective for Malaysian Campus students starting from my year whereby students can apply to do an elective in rural Melbourne! I did not managed to get a slot but my best friend did and it was the best experience ever! =)*

Australian Outback! =) *thanks google image*

Australian Outback! =)
*thanks google image*

7. LockdownDrauzio Varella

RA: Infectious Disease/ Public Health/ Health Economics (2014)

– Bought this for RM8 from the Big Bad Wolf (BBW) Fair in Johore Bharu. “Inside Brazil’s most dangerous prison”, the tagline is enough to pull a Brazil football fan and detective serious fanatic to buy the book! It is about how a ID doctor reach out to Brazilian prison system to spread public health, namely HIV prevention programme. It started off pretty dry, explaining the prison system and what not (took me 1/2 a year to go through) but later on the story became so gripping to me and I finished it in a week from mid-book onwards!

wouldn't mind being 'LOCKDOWN-ed" if its this cute! =p  *image from google*

wouldn’t mind being ‘LOCKDOWN-ed” if its this cute! =p
*image from google*

8. ComplicationsAtul Gwande

RA: Anaesthesiology/ Emergency Department/ Health Econs/ Medicine/ Surgery (2014- ?)

– A very big thank you to the cutest and very dedicated Monash Doctor Couple Dr Rafidah and Dr Azim who run our ED and Anaes posting and for making learning so fun, and for lending out this book to us! =) I have only managed to read the book till midway when the 6 weeks rotation ends and did not have the opportunity to finish it, but I can still remember many of the details described by this American surgeon and his point of view and observation, including medical errors; the symbiosis relationship of medical conferences and sponsors; the privatization of medical care and medical insurance to name a few.

Note to self:Definitely going to read all his books in the near future.

9. The Examined LifeStephen Grosz 

– RA: Psychiatry (2014)

– This was my 24th birthday present from Mr Liew! ❤ *shy shy* Stephen is a psychoanalyst who in this short and sweet book records the dialogues with his patient (deidentified of coourse) and his own thoughts and reflections. Was a pretty quick read, finished in one night (wasn’t sure due to the sugar rush or was a easy read in general =p) Anyway pretty great point of view and good size to toss in your handbag to read on the go!

=p *image from google*

=p *image from google*

10. House of GodSamuel Shem

– RA: final leg of med school/ Initiating internship (or Housemanship) (2014)

– Thrifted at 3 AUD from a charity shop during my family trip in Sydney after my graduation ball. Bought this on the day of “Sydney Siege” itself, a sad day where 2 hostages were gunned down by extremist =(. We were brought to a ‘safe area’ by my lil sis who which is Manly Beach as we were staying in the city area and stopped midway for a chemist and bumped into this quaint little family owned charity shop.

– This book is a fictional story of how a guy intern in UK survived 1st year of ‘hell’ internship in the ‘House of God’. The book follows the intern waddling through his way with his fellow comrades till the end of the year, with a detailed and unique insight of hospital administrators; the relationship among partners; with family members; between interns and their superiors and hospital directors ‘the boss’; and of course the interesting relationship with nurses! (though most are pretty crude ones, kids watch out! =p)



That’s all for now! =) Thanks for enduring with me and hope that it helps! =) The medical school journey for me has been a bumpy one but I am blessed to meet all the great and fun people who never failed to inspire me! And since today is World Kidney day and being Women Month, I will be MARCH-ing it on and try to post frequently this month regarding the topic, and before my holiday ends and I have to start working for real as a houseman in Malaysia! =)

38Women’s Day: Girls and Education in Malaysia

Today’s focus: girls and education. The point was brilliantly raised by this author, who currently serves in Kedah (go hijau kuning!)!

I recalled when I was fresh out from Form 5 into national service (17 years old), I had this realisation that many of my fellow camp mates are already talking about marriage and some were even engaged before they were in the camp.

I vividly recalled one of our camp commanders mentioning that us as first batch were the ‘lucky ones’ since most of us will be going to college or university or joining the army forces later on (they even further organised a further education fair for us when in the camp). According to him, the later batches were usually school drop-outs or not planning to further studies, most even alredy has children or are pregnant at the time of entering the camp and have to be sent home a few days after.

Some of the lady campmates were even being abused by their partners and was found out during the initial medical check up, but they were too scared to voice out and did not want to take further actions so there is nothing much the camp commanders could do other than giving them ‘temporary shelter’ throughout the three month period away from home.

There is more than we can do via education, empowering our girls! And I definitely agree with my friend​ the next step will be via Women’s Health. =)

One Book recommendation:
– pretty quick read and interesting!
– do let me know if you managed to buy the book at a cheap price ok? have always wanted to read it but its too pricey!
– (I stood at MPH to read a couple of pages thus am able to give a quick review hahaha)

A Snippet of the Education System in Malaysia: On Professional VS Vocational courses

It is the time of the year again, whereby students in Malaysia started to receive calls and letters to notify that they have been accepted into the universities… or not. Then the same scenario that has been played for as long as I could recall will unfold itself again, and before you notice, complain letters and news articles regarding excellent students with Straight A’s have been rejected from the offer of their choice, which unsurprisingly will almost certainly be Medicine, Law and Engineering (I’ve actually learnt from somewhere that these are the three golden pillar of careers for Asians ).

This morning I have came across an article which was brilliantly written by a fellow Malaysian which triggered me to write my thoughts as below.

Undeniably there has been this thought among a lot of people that professional and science related courses will promise job stability and regarded as ‘higher standard’ as compared to other courses in Malaysia. Take secondary education for instance, if your results is better then u will be automatically placed in the science stream and vice versa. Why so?

When my sister decided to change to the commerce stream despite being assigned to the science stream after her PMR results, many of the people, students and educators included, have been advicing her that she should continue on learning science subjects despite being immersely interested in commerce subject. In fact, she was one of the rare cases that have actually made such a decision, and she never regretted that, and at last went on to pursue her further studies in accounting and finance, stating that her secondary education in commerce was definitely a great kickstart for her. I am proud of her for making her own decision and follow her passion (mind you, she is fiercely successful in her field now! :p) and that we have such supportive parents despite all the negative comments from the majority of the community.

I believe that there is no such thing as any particular profession being more superior than the other and you will enjoy doing what you love the most when you have the interest and passion in it. You can equally have a strong impact as strong as being a doctor on his patients by being a worker in the world bank, a teacher in a local community, an accountant of an NGO etc etc. So, widen your gaze and broaden your perspective and I’m sure you can find what you are truly interested in and pursue it! For parents and teachers, expose the kids to the world as much as you can, and be supportive on their decisions, or at least give them the chance to voice out their opinions regarding future career paths. =)

p.s.: I actually choose to be in medicine and have not had a day of feeling regret since! (hopefully it remains the same when I start to work next year! :p)

Med V Panic!!

Woah! Time flies and I’m now a final year medical student! (*panic alarm rings!*) A year from now, I will have a Dr. in front of my name, together with all the responsibilities that comes with it. The thought of it has always been terrifying to me, as I have a constant doubt on myself.

‘I am just not good enough!’

‘Impossible, it is just not possible that I can be a good doctor next year this time’

‘Oh man, I should have studied more! What have I been doing all this while?’ 


Few more things to add into this madness…

‘Where should I do my holiday electives? Should I actually do it to improve myself or take it as a holiday to spend more time with my family?’

‘ Malaysia HO and MO training, specialist training prospect’!

‘Internships in Australia? Super limited space and I don’t have a strong CV!’ 

‘Should I take PLAB or USMLE, keeping my options open?’

‘What my IELTS has expired! And I have to score band 7 and above for each section? >.<‘


These are some of the things that are on top of my head right now, and year 5 is definitely a challenging year and I certainly do have a lot to think of. The good thing about Monash University medical programme is that our VIA and final exam was done in year 4, and this year we are being treated as ‘pre-interns’ and our aim is to learn how to be an intern next year, which gives me a focus to pick up on practical skills, know the crucial medical conditions inside out and fine-tune on my procedural skills.

With this in mind, I have noticed that I am now much more involved in the treating team, rather than tagging along like I used to be during my third and fourth year. Though it is always scary to put myself upfront and to volunteer and actively participate in the team, I have noticed some changes in me now. By throwing myself into the ‘fire’, I am able to have more learning opportunities and have gained a lot of confidence in myself. That being said as the programme is very much self-directed, your level of involvement depends on your own motivation and drive, something I have been trying to work on since I first entered med school. 


At the end of the day, medicine is a life-long process and I guess I will have to just take it one step at a time. =) Any advice on future career pathways, how to be organised or anything at all would really be very helpful for this lost soul! 


On Labeling and Stigmatization

In the medical world, as cruel and inhumane as it may sound, patients are often being referred as ‘cases’ by healthcare professions, especially by doctors and medical students. On a typical day in the wards, I often heard someone asking, “hey, any interesting cases today?’, be it my friends or even among doctors. I, too, am guilty as charged. Sometimes it just slipped off my mouth, and it is a terrifying idea that whether am I still looking at patients as humans or merely another ‘case’. The thought of being drowned in the world of academic medicine and forget about the initial purpose of studying medicine – treating and making someone feel better, often send chills down to my spine.

Recently I have seen a 5 year old girl, Cindy* who came in due to recurrent urinary infection, with a background history of Turner’s syndrome (a genetic disorder) based on clinical diagnosis. I had the opportunity to have a nice chat with the girl’s mother, Kelly*, who has been ever so helpful and willing to give a wonderful history. It seems that the poor girl has been admitted three times prior to this due to urinary infection as well, which worries Kelly*. Upon further elaboration on the diagnosis of Turner’s syndrome, Kelly* revealed that the doctors suspected it shortly after the delivery as Cindy* seems to have some syndromic features. A karyotype analysis (a laboratory testing to map out the gene) was then ordered which interestingly came back with XX gene (rather than XO in Turner’s syndrome), making the diagnosis of Turner’s syndrome on Cindy* unlikely. 

Despite that, Cindy* continues to be treated as a child with Turner’s syndrome even though she had a normal karyotype and minimal syndromic features (low posterior neck line, slightly low growth rate). When the mother asked me should she believe in the report or take the word from the doctor, it occurred to me that she actually was not being explained about the report and being brief properly by healthcare professionals for the past 5 years! It is sad that the mother was being kept unknown about her daughter’s condition and no-one has ever attempted to explain to her what was going on for the past few years. For the past couple of years in medical school, we have been taught how important communication is and how we should always keep the patient in the loop on the management of their health. Yet, often, inadequate or no explanation has been given to the patients in the hospital due to time constrains and several other reason. 

Another thing that I have observe is that how far labeling and stigma can go when a diagnosis is not being reviewed accordingly. Even though Cindy* is unlikely to have Turner’s syndrome, the diagnosis has been following her around for the past 5 years. Is it because the doctors were scared to whistle-blow? Or they just took the safer way out and copy whatever has been written previously? It makes me think how important an accurate diagnosis is to the patient, and if he or she has been diagnosed wrongly, the labeling goes a long way and he/she might just be stuck with it for the rest of his/her life! Besides, it also made me realize how important continuous reviewing of the patient’s diagnosis is, in order to formulate and deliver the most appropriate management plan. 


I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to meet Cindy* and her ever supportive mother, Kelly*. I have learnt a lot, academic and ethics wise. It has been a lovely evening and I sincerely hope that one day, they will find someone to get rid of the label from her case notes for good! =)


Hey little ones….

5 weeks into Paediatrics and I’m loving every single day of it! 🙂 I am usually not the type of student that will go for extra classes by his or her own initiative so when I started to attend extra ward rounds it indicates that I’m really into Paeds! I don’t know what is it about kids, but those little monsters do have their magic on me!

Today we learned about neonatal examination and had our hands on practice on a few babies (upon the approval of their mothers of course). They are all so tiny, and seems delicate and fragile. One of the hardest part of the examination to me is the moro reflex, whereby you have got to drop the baby’s head a few centimetres down to your palms from midair to test for their reflex towards the loss of support. It just seems so hard to convince yourself that it’s going to be ok and the baby will be safe. Things get even more complicated when the mums are around to observe the whole test and they will feel frightened for the baby’s safety! Managed to get the hang of it after several attempts and honestly,  as weird as it may sound like it is actually quite addictive!!!

Another thing about neonates is the ability for them to recognise their mother. As illogical and unscientific as it seems, I notice that even a one day old neonate seems to be able to recognise their mother’s touch or voice and can be immediately calmed by it. Mother-baby bond?? Or am I thinking too much?? Perhaps mothers can handle their child better?? It is just so amazing and the strong bond is just so mesmerising! 🙂

Ok, enough of baby talk for the day, time to head back to my textbook of Paediatrics! 🙂