Interview Mok Shi-Lynn
Dr Nicholas Lim Lye Tak
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Shi-Lynn (SL): Why did you choose O&G?
Nicholas Lim (NL): The interest began when I was a 3rd year medical student. That was the first time I experienced delivering a baby. I still remember that first mother I delivered – it was her 8th child!
SL: She’s more experienced than you, I would imagine.
NL: Oh, definitely! I didn’t even have to do much. And when the baby was born and she held the baby in her arms, I could see the joy in her eyes, even though that was her 8th baby. That experience made me want to do this job.
If you’re O&G, you deal mainly with women. And I think I have better rapport with the fairer sex. So that helps in this job.
It’s a very taxing discipline but a very fulfilling one at the same time. I have to wake up at odd hours or leave midway through dinner to conduct a delivery. Sometimes, I may be stuck in a hospital till midnight just waiting for a delivery. But having said all that, if you were to ask me to choose again, I would still choose this.
SL: You sound really happy where you are.
NL: I am, I am. You have to have passion for whatever you do. That’s the driving force. With passion, no matter how tired I am, I would still persevere.
SL: Can you share some of your more interesting or memorable deliveries?
NL: I still remember this lady… she chose to deliver squatting or on all fours. She was very calm and birthed her baby easily and without much coaching. It’s like she knows what her body is doing, what her body wants. The baby came out well and she did not sustain any tears even though that was her first pregnancy. So what I’m trying to say is that when a woman is comfortable and confident with her own body, she can do miracles. I’m just a bystander watching the miracle unfold.
SL: What about the dads? Have you seen any dads pengsan in the delivery room?
NL: So far, I haven’t had any dads collapsing. But there are a few who turn pale, become very quiet and don’t look quite right. We’ll ask them if they want to sit down. That’s why from time to time, we need to check on the dad as well, not just the mum. (laughs)
SL: With such an unpredictable schedule, what does your leisure time look like?
NL: I spend most of my time at work. That’s why I even live nearby, because sometimes I actually have to run to work in the middle of the night! But I try to go to the gym three times a week. I also meet up with friends for meals and drinks. And whenever I can, I travel. I try to squeeze in a trip every quarter – two short ones, two long ones. But my long trips are just a week or so, because I can’t go away longer than that. It seems like whenever I take a break, someone would deliver!
SL: What’s your ideal holiday? And do you travel alone or with family and friends?
NL: Because Malaysia is so hot and humid, I try to visit temperate countries in any season except summer. I like to travel with friends and family. There are pros and cons though. If I travel alone, I can sleep till 10 or 11 and I don’t have to follow others’ schedules or needs! But the downside is that I would need to eat alone, and I don’t like eating alone.
SL: Which destination is on your bucket list?
NL: I’ve been wanting to visit Greece since 15 or 20 years ago. So that is on the top of my list and I’m trying to do it within the next couple of years.
SL: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
NL: Not retiring, that’s for sure. I see myself still loving what I’m doing and growing my practice. And having those babies that I delivered years ago coming back to visit me… walking or being cradled by their mum, and taking photos with them. Those would be such rewarding moments for me as an obstetrician. You see all these pictures of babies in my room? I treasure each one of them very much.
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