Brunei Blog Week 2


Brunei Blog Week 2


Well and truly settled into the medical centre now. My first weekend on call went without a hitch. Apparently it is rare that on calls are this quiet, but most of the UK families are back home for summer and many of the Gurkhas and their families are back in Nepal. This does not, however, mean there is nothing to do.


Most of the clinics are taken up with seeing children. A lot seem to have had mild fevers and there seems to be a very low threshold for coming to see the doctor! The advantage of being in a country where admissions do not rely on the NHS is that routine investigations such as x-rays, ultrasounds and even MRI scans can happen within hours or days rather than weeks. The same goes for outpatient appointments. It took me by surprise when I referred someone for ultrasound only to see them booked into my clinic again the following morning. My first assumption was that they required analgesia, so was taken aback when they arrived at clinic with a fully reported shoulder ultrasound! Thankfully it was only a rotator cuff sprain so I booked him into physio. They saw him two hours later after lunch!


We have a medical student here on a special study module, so I have been able to use some of my free time teaching. Today’s topic was envenomation and jellyfish stings following a patient presenting with the latter. We also have a weekly practice teaching session as well as a doctors meeting each Thursday.


Wednesday evenings one of the Gurkhas runs yoga sessions for the medical centre staff. I decided to be brave and give it ago this week. Never tried it before so did not know what to expect. I think I am going to need a lot more practice!


Outside of work I have been able to explore a little. When on call I have to stay within 60 minutes, but this still means I can see a decent amount. There are plenty of places to eat, many within a few minutes walk of the hotel, and I have so far tried Thai, Japanese, Italian, Indonesian, Malay and Indian, as well as visiting the “London Kebab House”. The main issue here with finding your way around is that nobody refers to the different restaurants by their proper names, instead calling them by their most popular dish, such as “the Mango Chicken” place or “Seafood linguine”. It takes some getting used to!


Sunday on call was quiet, so I was able to visit the only real tourist attraction in Seria, The “Oil and Gas Discovery Centre”. It is interesting, but I wouldn’t set aside a whole morning! Other than that, my evenings have mainly been spent by the pool or the beach. This evening me and one of the other doctors will be going for Sushi, so nice to have some company. 

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