Aida Zabidi
I know I’ve been delaying, but change has always been something that scares me a little bit. 

I’ve moved around many places, learnt to assert my independence through dealing with the needs of daily life, and survived through it all – but every single time it comes around to having to leave again, I have a mental freak out. 

This time it involves me leaving home to move to Johor for my district posting as a medical officer. 

Johor. A mere three states down South, between three to five hours away depending on which area of the state. I can’t imagine what I would feel like if I had to move somewhere further, like some of my colleagues who have been transferred to Sabah or Sarawak. 

It’s not the location. It’s the thought of change. 

I had the same feeling when I first had to leave Australia to move back home to Malaysia – a sense of trepidation, mixed with excitement. The thought of starting that new chapter, of meeting new people, and doing something new. 

Ironically enough I’ve always loved trying out new things, and I’ve always liked meeting new people – all issues that suggest a natural propensity for embracing change. However I’ve always seen that as a short term issues, of hellos and goodbyes – nothing like the act of moving from one place to another. 

There’s so much to miss and I’ve enjoyed and appreciated my time as a houseman in Sungai Buloh Hospital. 

It was one of the busiest periods of my life, from being oncall to transiting to the shift system; from the early hours at work to leaving late when needed. From the initial fear of procedures and diagnosis to a more comprehensive understanding of treating patients and dealing with the stressors that came with the job and the people involved. 

I learnt not just how to treat the disease, but how to treat patients as a whole, and a certain work ethic that came from watching my bosses deal with patients. I learnt from my colleagues, juniors and seniors alike, and learnt about the type of doctor I wanted to be. I learnt from my patients, those lessons that taught me humility and patience and the value of dignity. 

My specialists were fantastic and despite the hard work, I loved it. I would not have been the same without the training I’ve received and I can only hope this will be something that I am able to carry with me throughout my life.

On my transfer letter, my head of department even made the effort to write me a personal note on my transfer letter that left me warm and fuzzy and near tears at how one of the most senior doctors in the service made the damn effort to leave a personal note on a letter. Cost him nothing, and meant everything to me.

Change is here. It is inevitable. 

And despite my fears, I will face this head on, and learn what I can along the way.

May Allah bless my path.

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