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How is life as a doctor in Singapore?

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  #1301 (permalink)  
Old 14-07-2020, 09:53 PM
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Is your wife Singaporean? Besides Singapore being a safer place to raise kids compared to USA, is there any other reason for coming back to Singapore?

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Old 16-07-2020, 08:39 PM
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Then you should be very happy to come back home. What's the worry?

Why didn't you do medical school in one of the Singapore med schools?

US system is post grad for medical school. So it takes longer.
My parents had decided to immigrate so the choice to stay was not really mine to make as an <18 yo.

The US education does take a bit longer but I do get an additional bachelor's degree out of the entire process. Besides bragging rights for my parents, it is not really race to see who can graduate earlier. It's a lifelong career. I am thankful to my parents for the opportunity to study and train abroad though.

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  #1303 (permalink)  
Old 16-07-2020, 09:17 PM
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Is your wife Singaporean? Besides Singapore being a safer place to raise kids compared to USA, is there any other reason for coming back to Singapore?
My partner is not Singaporean but fortunately (or unfortunately) is quite motivated to make the move.

Safety is one of the main reasons, and this is one aspect that I have taken for granted as a kid growing up. I remember taking the SBS bus home after school alone ever since I was in P2, and my parents nor I were never concerned about my safety.

In the few American cities we have lived in, we have to remain vigilant at all times and it is not uncommon to be verbally harassed especially as a visible minority.

Additionally, SG has an excellent education system and promotes a great attitude towards learning. While it can be a tad stressful at times, I do think that an appropriate level of stress provides an impetus/motivation for the kids to work harder.

Don't even get me started about the incredible food that SG offers. I miss my char kway teow, orh luak and egg pratas.

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  #1304 (permalink)  
Old 16-07-2020, 09:23 PM
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Then you should be very happy to come back home. What's the worry?

Why didn't you do medical school in one of the Singapore med schools?

US system is post grad for medical school. So it takes longer.
I think my worry of returning to SG stems primarily from my unfamiliarity with the local medical system and my uncertainty of what my remuneration or lifestyle would look like as a physician.

If we stayed on in the US, I know we will lead a very comfortable life on my income alone. Easily affording two cars, a decent sized detached home and 4 trips a year for the family to Europe, Latin America or even Singapore while having enough savings for retirement.

Also, a previous poster mentioned that SMC's minimum 2-year conditional licensing could easily spiral into 3, 4, 5 or even indefinite number of years if my supervisors wants to prevent me from moving into the private sector? This is almost tantamount to signing myself up for perpetual enslavery. The SG government always emphasize that ministerial salaries must remain attractive to retain talent from migrating to the private sector. Shouldn't the same apply to physicians?
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Old 16-07-2020, 09:48 PM
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I think my worry of returning to SG stems primarily from my unfamiliarity with the local medical system and my uncertainty of what my remuneration or lifestyle would look like as a physician.

If we stayed on in the US, I know we will lead a very comfortable life on my income alone. Easily affording two cars, a decent sized detached home and 4 trips a year for the family to Europe, Latin America or even Singapore while having enough savings for retirement.

Also, a previous poster mentioned that SMC's minimum 2-year conditional licensing could easily spiral into 3, 4, 5 or even indefinite number of years if my supervisors wants to prevent me from moving into the private sector? This is almost tantamount to signing myself up for perpetual enslavery. The SG government always emphasize that ministerial salaries must remain attractive to retain talent from migrating to the private sector. Shouldn't the same apply to physicians?
Paying too high a salary to physician takes the altruism and sense of duty out of them.
We want them to serve with their heart, and empathise with their patients

Tbh doctor salaries r v decent compared to nursing and allied health
Labour however is still a significant portion of our medical cost

Too high a salary attracts the wrong kind of people.

It took years to build a system with reasonable but not excessive salaries.
And keep our healthcare affordable with minimum tax rates for the public

Welcome back home, welcome to a life of service.
What is a greater calling than serving your fellow singaporeans?

I implore you to join us in this great endeavour
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Old 16-07-2020, 11:25 PM
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Paying too high a salary to physician takes the altruism and sense of duty out of them.
We want them to serve with their heart, and empathise with their patients

Tbh doctor salaries r v decent compared to nursing and allied health
Labour however is still a significant portion of our medical cost

Too high a salary attracts the wrong kind of people.

It took years to build a system with reasonable but not excessive salaries.
And keep our healthcare affordable with minimum tax rates for the public

Welcome back home, welcome to a life of service.
What is a greater calling than serving your fellow singaporeans?

I implore you to join us in this great endeavour
I know there is a sense of sarcasm in that response but I will reply nonetheless.

To clarify, I am not looking for a high/higher income. I simply want to maintain our current quality of life or know it will not be a significant decline moving to SG. I have a decent income in the 1%. Comparing to Nursing or Allied Health in SG is setting the bar very low, since they are notoriously underpaid. For comparison, my PAs & NPs makes 120k per annum working 9-5pm weekdays, with 3 weeks of paid vacation per annum and benefits (extra for weekends). How do physician incomes compare to the other non-healthcare professions in SG. Are physicians in the 1%, 5%, or 10% bracket?

You can always make the flawed argument that paying physicians "too high" of an income takes the sense of duty and empathy out of them. Are you therefore suggesting that a high income is inversely correlated with the ability to serve with their heart and empathize with the common folk? I don't mean to be combative, but this is a common, flawed argument in healthcare that non-clinical administrators use to justify their own profit margins and bonuses.

I just want to know all of my options before making the decision. Thanks.
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  #1307 (permalink)  
Old 16-07-2020, 11:27 PM
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Is your wife Singaporean? Besides Singapore being a safer place to raise kids compared to USA, is there any other reason for coming back to Singapore?
I responded to this, but for some reason it states that a moderator has to approve the post?
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  #1308 (permalink)  
Old 17-07-2020, 12:26 AM
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I think my worry of returning to SG stems primarily from my unfamiliarity with the local medical system and my uncertainty of what my remuneration or lifestyle would look like as a physician.

If we stayed on in the US, I know we will lead a very comfortable life on my income alone. Easily affording two cars, a decent sized detached home and 4 trips a year for the family to Europe, Latin America or even Singapore while having enough savings for retirement.

Also, a previous poster mentioned that SMC's minimum 2-year conditional licensing could easily spiral into 3, 4, 5 or even indefinite number of years if my supervisors wants to prevent me from moving into the private sector? This is almost tantamount to signing myself up for perpetual enslavery. The SG government always emphasize that ministerial salaries must remain attractive to retain talent from migrating to the private sector. Shouldn't the same apply to physicians?
I hate to disappoint you.

You have an idea what you are getting into. Yet for some reason you are still planning to go to SG. My guess is your spouse is Singaporean. There can be no other reason for going back to SG. Your parents took the hard steps to get you out of SG and you want to go back into the frog well.

I can almost guarantee you will regret your decision.

Plus are you keeping your US citizenship? Will you have to pay US taxes?
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  #1309 (permalink)  
Old 17-07-2020, 01:33 AM
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I know there is a sense of sarcasm in that response but I will reply nonetheless.

To clarify, I am not looking for a high/higher income. I simply want to maintain our current quality of life or know it will not be a significant decline moving to SG. I have a decent income in the 1%. Comparing to Nursing or Allied Health in SG is setting the bar very low, since they are notoriously underpaid. For comparison, my PAs & NPs makes 120k per annum working 9-5pm weekdays, with 3 weeks of paid vacation per annum and benefits (extra for weekends). How do physician incomes compare to the other non-healthcare professions in SG. Are physicians in the 1%, 5%, or 10% bracket?

You can always make the flawed argument that paying physicians "too high" of an income takes the sense of duty and empathy out of them. Are you therefore suggesting that a high income is inversely correlated with the ability to serve with their heart and empathize with the common folk? I don't mean to be combative, but this is a common, flawed argument in healthcare that non-clinical administrators use to justify their own profit margins and bonuses.

I just want to know all of my options before making the decision. Thanks.
Singaporeans in general have little respect for doctors. They view them as money grabbing greedy higher than thou mortals.

They love to see doctors make mistakes and fall from grace. They are also jealous of those who do well and make good money.

In SG generally people prefer everyone except themselves to be making the least amount of money possible.

You already have an idea of what you are getting into. I can tell you that you are making a mistake.

Your parents took painful steps to get out of the frog well. And you want to go back in.

I can almost guarantee that you will regret going back to SG. I am quite certain your wife is Singaporean or is someone who has absolutely no idea what SG is like except from reading the Straits Times.

I can only wish you all the best. If you want advice, go to another first world country. There are many. Sweden. New Zealand. Canada. Norway. Denmark. Netherlands.

good luck.

PS to avoid the stupid moderator nonsense, just make sure you copy your text before you hit submit. If you get the moderator nonsense just paste and submit again. It will go through. The moderator nonsense is random.
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  #1310 (permalink)  
Old 17-07-2020, 02:28 AM
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Someone lodged a complaint at the Singapore Medical Council against me during my tenure as an MO during NS.

Will this affect my hospital placement?
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