The Ones Who Wield A Knife

14 August 2022

There is a saying on the Internet that the scalpel is a surgeon's "lover," and when Consultant Colorectal Surgeon Dr Tan Kok Neang heard it, he laughed.

"With one slit of the knife, for the surgeon may be just a few seconds, a few minutes, but for the patient is his whole life,” Dr Tan shared. One sentence, one knife, sums up the kindness of a surgeon's heart.

In most dramas, the doctor in the operating theatre reaches out his hands, and a nurse will pass the scalpel to doctor's hands. "You can't do that. The scalpel must be placed in a stainless steel kidney dish, and the doctor has to pick it up from there," Dr Tan said, who is in charge of general surgery and colorectal surgery. The interview has only began to uncover the "NG" details in dramas.

Becoming a Surgeon

While listening to Dr Tan talk about surgery, his tone is calm and collected, showing the ease of a surgeon. When he was a child, his mother was rushed to the hospital for an operation because of jaundice caused by gallstones and a bacterial infection that led to sepsis. After the operation, the doctors told them that bringing her in any later would have been hopeless. His mother was in the hospital for observation with tubes all over her body and was discharged almost 10 days later. "That was when I thought doctors could save lives, and that probably planted the seed of wanting to be a doctor."

If You Can, Don't Let Life Come To An End

"In fact, we are all lining up towards death, and as a doctor if 'you have not yet reached the time' and 'you can still', get them to the back of the line," he expressed.

Dr Tan sees the work of surgeons with 'knives' in their hands as water that can carry the boat or overturn the boat. "A knife can save lives, but it can also go bad," he shares.

Source: Sin Chew Daily