Today’s work took me to the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine for their annual media luncheon and a tour of their recently-opened Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovative Learning Centre for Medicine, a centre for simulation-based training. The luncheon was in a room with about 10 tables, filled with doctors from every specialty and local media. I got there slightly late – taxi driver got lost – and by then most people had taken their seats. I randomly selected a seat beside one with the name card of Dr Sidney Au Yeung, not knowing what kind of doctor he was.

It turned out he is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology working at a public hospital. I was thanking my lucky stars for picking the choice seat – what were the odds? I soon found out that he knew my ob/gyn and used to be colleagues with her years ago at Queen Mary Hospital. Over lunch, I took the chance to ask Dr Au Yeung about some questions and worries that had been on my mind. (Hey, with private consultations at HK$1,000 a pop, why not seize the opportunity, right?)

Firstly, some friends have asked me why I haven’t gotten a 3D scan. Should I go for one too? Dr Au Yeung says it’s really just a gimmick. While it gives you a better idea of the facial features of the baby, he says a 2D scan does just as well at analysing the foetus and picking up any structural abnormalities. I would get a 3D scan if I could afford it, but these 2D scans, which have been pretty regular, are already fast emptying my bank account at between HK$600 and HK$2,400 each (sans said consultation fee). Ouch.

Secondly, I’ve read lots of stories of babies born stillborn after being strangled by the umbilical cord. What are the odds of this happening to mine? Dr Au Yeung says the odds are very low, like one in a couple of thousand. Will running increase the chances of it happening? Doc says no. Basically, he says, if it happens, it happens, and you can’t do anything to stop it from happening, and neither can you do anything even after a scan shows that it’s happening. He says after 20 weeks, everything should be fine… So, well, I guess I just gotta pray and keep the faith that all will go well.

Thirdly, and this was just out of curiosity, do male ob/gyns find it harder to get patients? Dr Au Yueng says in public hospitals, patients don’t have a choice anyway. However for patients who do have a choice, he says most women tend to prefer female gynaes, but strangely enough when it comes to surgery, they put their trust in male doctors. Hm.

Well, anyway, after lunch, the media tour of the new centre began. And among the few simulator machines and dummy patients that we saw, this one stood out for me…

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That look on her face – and the screams of distress she was making – was definitely worrying!!