“When you’re stressed, there’s nothing else to do but face the source of it. Running away will only postpone what you will eventually have to face.”
No matter how long and hard your workday has been, know that a physician is probably having it worse, and that with greater regularity. Like all physicians, Dr Daniel Yeo went through the standard baptism of fire: 36-hour duties and 20-hour workdays. Though he’s long since worked his way up to being a consultant cardiologist and medical director at Apex Heart Clinic for a well-deserved slowdown, Dr Yeo knows a thing or two about dealing with stress.
As a cardiologist, he often has to treat critically ill patients despite his own personal fatigue and hunger. But all he needs
is a recovering patient, a good book and some light-hearted Korean dramas to take the edge off. “When you’re stressed, there’s nothing else to do but face the source of it. Running away will only postpone what you will eventually have to face,” he advises.
THE TRUTH IS…
In that vein, Dr Yeo believes that many misconceptions about modern medicine are causing undue worry. For example, many still think that an invasive Catheter Coronary Angiogram is the only way to assess the heart’s blood vessels, but a CT scan is now just as accurate, is cheaper, and requires less radiation exposure.
Then there are those who remain mistrustful of medication, thinking that feeding the body with artificial fixes will cause side effects. While side effects can occur, thus necessitating follow-ups, most medicines are well-tolerated by the body. A common example is the cholesterol-lowering drug class known as statin.
Opting for a natural alternative such as red yeast rice is becoming popular, but many aren’t aware that these alternatives are also statins. The first statin was isolated from a fungus, and subsequent variations are also derived from natural precursors. “It’s possibly cheaper to just buy the conventional medicine,” Dr Yeo says.
IF IT COMES DOWN TO THE CUT
Should it come down to surgery, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a traumatic experience. Doctors now have a range of less invasive procedures at their disposal. Stents can be used to widen blood vessels through an artery in the arm or leg, and patients can be discharged the next day.
Implanting a pacemaker, which only requires a small incision about 4cm long, will only take you out of work for a week. Even if a big operation is needed, a skilled and experienced cardiologist can have a patient discharged after just four to seven days.
For more information, visit Dr Daniel Yeo, consultant cardiologist and medical director, Apex Heart Clinic, Gleneagles Hospital, 6A Napier Road, #04-37. Singapore 258500. Tel: 6479-7928.
HEALTH SPECIAL – DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE