MYMonashAlumni: Frontliner Story 6

My name is Chloe Siaw, and I graduated from Monash University Malaysia in 2014. I am currently an Advanced Trainee of the Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM), and I work as an Emergency Registrar in Austin Hospital, Melbourne.

COVID-19 has been an unprecedented global pandemic that has impacted everyone’s life directly or indirectly. Being a front-line medical staff in the Emergency Department, this has been much closer to my heart.

One of the main challenges as an ED doctor amid this pandemic is having to completely change my practice of medicine from pre-COVID days to current prioritising of personal safety by donning appropriate personal protective equipment before attending to the needs of patients, even in the context of life-threatening situations.

As with any doctor, my instinctive reflex is usually to rush in to provide immediate care that would impact a patient’s survival. It is both a moral dilemma and a struggle at times.

COVID-19 is a lonely disease for patients battling this infection at home or in hospital. In my personal clinical experience, it is hard to see them fight this disease alone without any loved ones present for fear of disease transmission. 
There is a lot of anxiety, loneliness and uncertainties in the community during challenging times like this.

A vaccine is hopefully on its way, but until then I hope that people will remember to be kind to each other and look out for one another. As together, we are only stronger.

Dr Chloe Siaw (Class of 2014)