Dr Yen Lim

Diabetic Man on Patrol with ADI
DoctorDr Li Yen Lim
LocationKavieng New Ireland Province, New Ireland
DateMay 2018 - November 2018
Read MoreYen's Blog

Dr Yen Lim is currently on patrol with ADI in New Ireland in PNG. She originally moved from Malaysia to the UK to study medicine. She relocated to Blacktown (Sydney) in 2013 where she currently works as a GP, when not on patrol in PNG with ADI.

“Moving to Sydney was a steep learning curve initially but managing patients with chronic disease in my area of social deprivation in Blacktown was not dissimilar to the work I had been doing in the UK. I get great satisfaction from dealing with patients from a wide variety of backgrounds and ethnicities with a particular clinical focus on women’s health, antenatal care and paediatrics.

“So far, my work on patrol in PNG has been, by and large, the same as my time as GP in both Sydney and the UK – diabetes is an upcoming problem and muscle aches and pains from overwork a common presentation. The difference is I am also seeing cases of malaria, TB and tropical skin infections. The local health officers we work alongside will support you really well if you ask nicely (and smile a lot). The potential for learning from them is huge if you have the right attitude, and this goes both ways.

“Managing resources available to you, on the other hand, is a different beast. On one patrol, I saw an older diabetic gentleman who had run out of his diabetic tablets over a week ago. He was at risk of being severely unwell and was feeling awful. The health centre had no diabetic tablets and could only support him with IV fluids. The logistical discussion on transferring him to Kavieng hospital then ensued. Ironically, as I was looking through the outpatient tray of tablets while this discussion was taking place, I found a bottle of Dianil 5mg for diabetes. Further training is needed here to help local health officers manage resources for the future. I suspect that with life being so tough in PNG, living for today is the cultural norm.”

Dr Yen Lim is currently on patrol with ADI in Western Province of PNG. She originally moved from Malaysia to the UK to study medicine. She relocated to Blacktown (Sydney) in 2013 where she currently works as a GP, when not on patrol in PNG with ADI.

“Moving to Sydney was a steep learning curve initially but managing patients with chronic disease in my area of social deprivation in Blacktown was not dissimilar to the work I had been doing in the UK. I get great satisfaction from dealing with patients from a wide variety of backgrounds and ethnicities with a particular clinical focus on women’s health, antenatal care and paediatrics.

“So far, my work on patrol in PNG has been, by and large, the same as my time as GP in both Sydney and the UK – diabetes is an upcoming problem and muscle aches and pains from overwork a common presentation. The difference is I am also seeing cases of malaria, TB and tropical skin infections. The local health officers we work alongside will support you really well if you ask nicely (and smile a lot). The potential for learning from them is huge if you have the right attitude, and this goes both ways.

“Managing resources available to you, on the other hand, is a different beast. On one patrol, I saw an older diabetic gentleman who had run out of his diabetic tablets over a week ago. He was at risk of being severely unwell and was feeling awful. The health centre had no diabetic tablets and could only support him with IV fluids. The logistical discussion on transferring him to Kavieng hospital then ensued. Ironically, as I was looking through the outpatient tray of tablets while this discussion was taking place, I found a bottle of Dianil 5mg for diabetes. Further training is needed here to help local health officers manage resources for the future. I suspect that with life being so tough in PNG, living for today is the cultural norm.”