Aida Zabidi
When I first received the text from a specialist in my old hospital, my heart caught in my chest. Yesterday, the medical fraternity lost another doctor to the clutches of fatigue, in a scenario that is unfortunately all too common for us in this field. 


Dr Afifah was a medical officer in my old hospital, and her story strikes too close to home. I cannot imagine what her family and loved ones are going through, and can only pray that they find the strength to pull through these difficult times. 

We've all been there. 

We've all known someone who has fallen asleep for a microsecond at a point when we were too tired during our jobs; from the harmless swerve of the steering wheel, to the more sinister material or physical losses. 

 We've all made jokes about how tired we were, complained about how little sleep we've had, told our little anecdotes about how we've fallen asleep on patients - as if it's become something so absolutely normal in the course of our daily lives, almost like a badge of honour in our job as doctors. 

Perhaps we were luckier than our other colleagues who did not do as well. The concern among senior doctors is the prevalent belief that your skill is equivalent to the amount of hours worked. That by getting rid of the oncall system we'll produce less efficient doctors, that the health of our patients will be compromised. 

There are too many things to be taken into consideration, many sides to the tale, but as a medical fraternity, it is important to sit down objectively and figure out a system that will strike that balance between medical competency and the wellbeing of us doctors. 

Truth be told, that could have been me. 

It could have been any one of us.
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