HKUMed News (Vol 27 | Issue 2)

Attracting New Blood Manpower is the key to attaining aspirations. The three department and unit heads agreed that recruiting staff and students is imperative but challenging. According to Professor Rainer, DoEM is facing ‘two levels of challenges’: ‘The first challenge is giving medical students enough exposure of Emergency Medicine, which is actually a very exciting specialty. If students only spend one or two days in a five- or sixyear programme, they really cannot taste the excitement. It is important that they get good exposure and spend as much time in the Department as they do with other specialties.’ The second challenge lies in the absence of a private practice track in emergency medicine in Hong Kong, but this is also beginning to change. ‘Recently, GHK, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, and the CUHK Hospital have opened their emergency departments, and do attract specialists in emergency medicine.’ Given the complexity of work, the intensive attention required and high throughput of patients at the emergency department, Professor Rainer added that ‘a major expansion of workforce’ is required to keep up the service quality and work-life balance among staff. ‘A bit more positively, we have a huge resource in the Mainland, with many top doctors,’ said Professor Rainer, which could be a plausible solution to the problem. For Diagnostic Radiology, however, competition from the private sector is the key challenge. ‘We need radiologists who can do academic practice, clinical, teaching and research, but there are few eligible candidates in Hong Kong. With a robust local market, most radiologists prefer going private,’ said Professor Bae. Institutional constraint is another issue. ‘I’m sure there are people who would like to do academic radiology, but under the current system, there are more doctors practising general radiology rather than specialised radiology. Since general practice has a higher demand in the Hong Kong market, devoting additional years to pursue subspecialty radiology practice might be seen as diminishing one’s “marketability”.’ These considerations prompted Professor Bae to look beyond Hong Kong. ‘I am looking around, [such as] the USA, the UK, Australia and Asia, for people who are interested in doing subspecialty academic practice. Engaging radiologists beyond Hong Kong could be another option. Some radiologists who have relocated to Canada or the UK are licensed to read scans, and can provide extended teleradiology services.’ Like his colleagues, Dr Sin is also faced with the challenge of recruiting students to join his unit. Notwithstanding the shared mission of protecting health and saving lives across all medical specialties, critical care offers a remarkably fulfilling experience. ‘Critical care is a very unique specialty – we strive to save lives and take care of patients with critical conditions, among which some may be nearing the end of ↑Dr Simon Sin is among the very few doctors in Hong Kong specialising in both critical care and cardiology. He finds joy and satisfcation in serving patients on the frontline. 冼維正醫生是本港少數 已接受深切治療科及心 臟學雙專科培訓的醫 生,深感在前線服務患 者,帶來莫大快樂和滿 足感。 FEATURE + 28