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Date:   24 March, 2011  
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pig & rabbits.

Toa Payoh Vets Clinical Research
Making veterinary surgery alive
to a veterinary student studying in Australia
using real case studies and pictures

 
No knowledge, skill and discipline
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS 
 24 March, 2011
Toa Payoh Vets
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0005

I note that the younger generation doing their 2nd year Junior College and who applies for a veterinary internship has no knowledge, skills and discipline. The applicants are mainly ladies. Many of them have straight As and can get into any undergraduate studies they choose.

However, these Singaporean academic stars don't have hands-on experience nor interests in animal welfare and medicine. Straight As without passion in veterinary medicine. An unwillingness to work diligently and put in the hours.

I am thinking of terminating sponsorship of internship for Junior College students as my staff feels that they are a burden and they are. My assistant Mr Saw actually dislike them according to one of my feedback as they hinder his work. He has to teach them how to take temperature etc and why should he do that? I don't know what Dr Vanessa Lin and Dr Jason Teo think of them.

Many of these young interns and even veterinary undergraduates don't have simple social skills. They come for interviews silently. They don't know simple courtesies which will gain them brownie points, like greeting "Good morning, Dr Sing, Good afternoon Dr Vanessa or Good evening Dr Teo." Some fathers or mothers drive them to the Surgery and wait for them for the interview! They give me the impression that they can't be independent and are tied to the apron's strings.

Does the top school principals NOT impart such skills to their bright students? It is not that I am desperate to be greeted. Not being punctual, disappearing without letting me know. These are what some past interns do.

Therefore, I am thinking of terminating this program for such young people as they have been brought up in abundance and know no hardship. They don't want to work hard and seem to think that the world should suit their lifestyle and way of working late in the day (being night owls). Turning up late for work is a common trait too.

There are 3rd party injury liabilities too. What if the intern gets bitten or scratched by the dog and cat respectively? The parents will sue me to bankruptcy.

For the above reasons, it is wise for me not to accept interns unless they are highly passionate about veterinary medicine, rather than thinking of using the program to pad their resume.
 
Happy Retirement?
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS 
 24 March, 2011
Toa Payoh Vets
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0005

E-MAIL TO DR SING DATED MARCH 23, 2011

Dr Sing Kong Yuen

Dear Sir,

I am involved with recruitment for the Freeman Scholarship Program at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in the US. We did a recruitment session recently for our finalists. One is a lady with a strong interest in becoming a veterinarian.

I believe we are badly-positioned to help her realize her dreams. Specifically, vet schools in the US are graduate programs, requiring the applicant first complete four years of undergraduate study . Then take the MCAT exams and go through the entire school admissions process again!

I suggested to her school systems that work on the British system, such as Glasgow. I also suggested the AVA scholarship program. I noted from your website that you attended Glasgow on the Colombo Plan, served with the SAF Provost Dog Unit, tended race horses for the Bukit Timah Club, started your own clinic, and are now headed into happy retirement.

You have walked the path that she is considering. Might you have a moment to take a call from her and give her the wisdom that comes from real experience?

I am an ex-infantry officer who spent his life as a civil engineer building prisons, police compounds and the coastal barrier for the Singapore government. My ability to guide her is terribly limited.

Thank you so much for any help you can give.

With best regards,
Name given
 
REPLY FROM DR SING DATED MARCH 24, 2011

Hi

Thank you for your email. I can always spare more than a few minutes to meet one-on-one to the young lady who wants to be a veterinarian. Phone calls are a waste of time if the persons are sincerely interested in knowing more about veterinary medicine and surgery. During the meeting, I can assess whether the young lady is really passionate about veterinary medicine and surgery. Phone calls and text messages and emails are preferred by the younger generation who don't have the real interests or passion and merely wants to go fishing.

Let me know as soon as possible. I don't know where you get the impression that I am into "happy retirement". I have an associate veterinarian who is younger and takes care of many of my old clientele as there is insufficient rooms for 2 vets at any one time. I still consult and yesterday I spayed a Fox Terrier as the owner wanted me to do it. I am even busier than before in veterinary medicine, travel and real estate.

I hope we can meet one day and not just e-mail. Best wishes.
emergency caesarean section maltese toa payoh vets 3 am, Saturday, 2011, singapore
For other small animal cases, goto toapayohvets.com
Toa Payoh Vets
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0005
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Clinical Research
More cases are at: Rabbits & Guinea Pigs

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