Houseofficer found dead (II)

Further to the initial breaking news there has been more details in the other papers
The Star reports: Trainee doctor found dead after suspected overdose

A trainee doctor was found dead in a restroom at Kajang Hospital. Police believe he had overdosed on an unidentified drug. Lee Chang Tat, 29, was found dead in the men’s room of the paediatric ward at 7am yesterday by hospital staff who went looking for him after they noticed that he was missing.
He was found with a used syringe beside him, which police believe he had used to inject himself with a drug to fight off fatigue.
It is learnt that Lee, who had been working at the hospital for the past three years, had been working on call for five consecutive days.
Selangor health director Datuk Dr Azman Abu Bakar said hospital staff, who found Lee, tried to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful.
“He was rushed to the emergency room but it was too late,” he said.
Lee, he stressed, had no previous medical problems.
A security guard at the hospital said they found him when someone tried calling Lee on his handphone and heard the ringing tone coming from the restroom.
“We broke into the toilet cubicle and found him lying there with the needle,” he said.
Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahab said Lee, who studied medicine in Uruguay, had been complaining to his family about the hectic working hours.

The Star, like China Press got it wrong as to where the late Dr. Lee was trained. Checks with the MMC website shows that he graduated from Ukraine (CSMU), and not Uruguay. We’ve posted quite a few times in the past about CSMU and given that there are concerns about the training graduates from CSMU receive, and that such training may not adequately prepare them for life as a doctor in Malaysia, one cannot help but wonder if this added to the “stress” the late Dr. Lee endured. Other details emerging from the Dobbs doctors forum are that it was reported in a Chinese daily that he was AWOL for nine months during his training and, after appeal, he was made to repeat his training from scratch.


Malaysian physician, haematologist, blogger, web and tech enthusiast

9 Comments on “Houseofficer found dead (II)

  1. I read with both sadness and laughter at all the comments and newspaper reports made because I have qualified knowledge of the incident.It is a lose-lose situation ( EXCEPT FOR UNSCRUPULOUS NEWSPAPERS AND PAPPARAZZIS) to comment about it for everybody including the deceased, the medical school, his classmates, his non alumni colleagues, the hospital and also the Ministry of Health. There is nothing any outsider can learn from this incident and we should let the dead lie with dignity.

  2. You have a point Andre. While the family deserve privacy in their time of grief, the facts cannot be left to speculation. Our concern of course is if the “system” let him down, it should not happen again.

  3. His death had absolutely nothing to do with his work or overwork. Whatever the reason, just let him rest in peace. MOH should not be the punching bag for this case as the true cause of death is entirely personal bit it is no point to discuss this in public.

  4. The question is was it suicide? If it was then someone missed the warning signs and the system failed this unfortunate young man. The discussion is important so that this should not occur again. Better than to brush it all under the carpet.

  5. Too late for this issue to be settled by a ‘don’t talk about it’. Rightly or wrongly it is in the public consciousness, manipulated by the media, politicians and his family. The death has somehow been associated with bullying and stress of junior doctors. Without a transparent and full account, the issue will not die down.

  6. The death had absolutely
    Nothing to do with overwork or bullying as mentioned. In fact the problem started even before he joined the HO training. Ever wonder why the parent had so far say nothing or even complain about MOH in this issue except to stress that this was not a suicide. To probe further In this case will only embarrass the family concern.

  7. So if it was not suicide, then it begs the question of was it an OD? Embarassment to the family or not, the comments and subsequent stories in the press already made it look like the system look bad in contributing in some way to the death.
    If he had a drug problem, it also begs the question of how this was not picked up and why he did not get the necessary help.

  8. poor doctor, you seem to know the details of this unfortunate incident. From what you imply, there are 2 issues.
    1) His hospital and dept needs to be irrevocably cleared of any suspicion in his death. This requires complete transparency. Too many aspersions have been cast against his seniors, and by default all senior MoH doctors. His family alleges there was foul play, which makes the hospital look even worse.
    2) If indeed he had longstanding ‘serious issues’, why was he still allowed to be directly involved in frontline patient care? Wouldn’t that put his patients at risk?

  9. Again I think it is up to MOH to reveal the truth or not but I must stress again the cause of death had absolutely nothing to do with overwork or bullying. Notice that the family also leave it for the MOH or police to investigate. They NEVER blame or trying to sue the MOH except that the refute this was a suicide case. I am indeed not in the position to reveal anything in public. The MOH or police should be the one to do so.