Dr Abby Choke, Integrated Programme for Hand Surgery, 2018 Cohort
"Hand Surgery is a niche specialty that not only deals with hand and wrist conditions; it encompasses a wide range from reconstruction of complex limb wounds, brachial plexus injuries, and also goes beyond to help improve the quality of life for those who suffer from debilitating spasticity, stroke and tetraplegia.
I am fortunate to be the first batch of residents under the integrated national programme. We are able to gain exposure to the specialty in different institutions and learn the different ways of doing things from mentors of different backgrounds and philosophies.
It has been an exciting journey, being able to see, treat, operate, and witness how our patients improve, and how the very little details matter i.e. how we make the incision, how we design our flap, and how we place the suture.
There are times when we feel tired from a busy call, or dejected from not able to do more (e.g. reattaching a mangled finger), but at the end of the day, it all 'comes to a balance' when we have patients who are thankful for the work we do, or those who actually have an excellent outcome, and this can be immensely satisfying.
I am also thankful to have a very supportive faculty who does timely check-ins on our welfare and training progress. In Hand Surgery, there is so much to learn, so much to do; it's a never-ending learning journey!"