#FacesofNeeSoon – National Day Edition

KTPH – Dr Ooi Say Tat

Dr Ooi Say Tat is a Senior Consultant under General Medicine at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. When he was young, he was frequently ill and had multiple consultations with doctors and nurses. He shares that always felt better after taking their advice and prescribed medication. Since then, his always had admiration for healthcare workers especially doctors and nurses, and that steered him towards his career path. 

Healthcare, like many other fields, is always evolving. For example, as Dr Ooi shares, there are always new discoveries in the understanding of diseases and new treatment methods. In addition, every patient is different, the care they need would require a personal touch on top of the treatment using his knowledge in medical science. Hence, medicine is both science and art to Dr Ooi. Overall, it has been an interesting and humble learning experience for him in healthcare, which has kept him going in his profession. 

Being in a small team, he and his team members were hit hard with COVID-19 cases last year, especially in April. Fortunately, his colleagues from other divisions and departments stepped forward to help his team, and he very grateful for their assistance. His team also received support and encouragement from the community, such as food, drinks, and cards with well-wishes delivered to healthcare workers. He shares that it was very heart-warming to see people helping and appreciating each other in the face of a pandemic. 

Like other healthcare workers, he hopes for the best with his patients in their journey to recovery. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where the available treatments may not achieve the desired outcome. This poses a great challenge to Dr Ooi as it is difficult to help patients’ families understand that active treatments may not necessarily bring desired outcomes for patients. However, the provision of healthcare requires teamwork amongst a care team of doctors, nurses and allied health providers. Dr Ooi believes that the medical team’s engagement with the patient’s family early in the process to discuss available treatments and care would help overcome some of these difficulties faced. This would also allow the patient’s family enough time to better understand the patient’s condition.