A stint in the A&E department of a public hospital when he was 27 convinced Mr Ashvin Vardza Raju he thrives in a fast-paced working environment.
“During that rotation, I realised that I enjoyed the rigour of shift work,” he says. “After completing my National Service in 2018, I decided to be part of an emergency medicine unit and have never left since.”
Before his national service, he had a compulsory rotation in emergency medicine as a medical officer.
Dr Ashvin, 30, is currently a hospital clinician with Woodlands Health Campus. With the hospital scheduled to open progressively from 2023, he is currently stationed at Sengkang General Hospital.
His primary role involves receiving A&E patients with all kinds of medical conditions, coming up with a timely and accurate diagnosis and recommending the best treatment plans for them.
Though the job might sound stressful to some, Dr Ashvin is undaunted by the pressure. He explains that he’s always been a problem solver at heart.
“I enjoy taking on challenges, and this profession allows me to challenge myself and help people at the same time,” he says. “We often look after many patients within a 12-hour shift, and are required to make a provisional diagnosis as accurately as possible.”
One particularly memorable and challenging case he encountered was when his team needed to transfer a pregnant lady who had met with a road accident to another hospital. The transfer went smoothly, and the patient reached the other hospital safe and well.
However, the team witnessed another road accident on the way back. They immediately stopped to offer assistance, evaluating the driver and passenger to make sure there were no life-threatening injuries. They also stayed with the casualties until the arrival of the Singapore Civil Defence Force ambulance.
“We immediately stopped to offer assistance, evaluating the driver and passenger to make sure there were no life-threatening injuries,” he recounts. “We also stayed with the casualties until the arrival of the SCDF Singapore Civil Defence Force ambulance.
“The experience taught me to think on my feet, react to different medical cases and make sound clinical judgements within a short turnaround time,” reflects Dr Ashvin.
Going forward, Dr Ashvin hopes to further advance his skills so that he can provide the best care for patients. He has been accepted into the 2020 Hospital Clinician Scheme, a newly-developed career track to retain non-specialist doctors, expanding their job role and recognising the larger responsibilities they take on.
Under this scheme, doctors receive broad-based training to work effectively across related disciplines and care settings. At a senior level, clinicians will deep-dive into disciplines of their interest and undertake more complex care roles, giving them the flexibility to be deployed across different care settings.
“The scheme enables me to pursue my interest in emergency care with enlarged job responsibilities,” says Dr Ashvin. “I’ll also have the opportunity to practice in general medicine, giving me wider exposure to more clinical conditions.
” He adds, “Exposure in these two disciplines will enhance my professional career, and further increase my job satisfaction.”