tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)TOA PAYOH VETS

Date:   26 March, 2011  
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pig & rabbits.
at Toa Payoh Vets
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
ate:  26 March, 2011 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129

Hamster cages sold in Singapore. Toa Payoh VetsI receive many e-mails regarding internship. Some writers obviously have not visited the Toa Payoh Vets webpage to research on the requirements of internship and just want to go fishing. These applicants will be rejected. Some simply write an e-mail without a resume or two testimonials and expect to be successful!

Market yourself well if you want to do well in life and get what you want. This is the reality of life. There are strong competitors even if you have straight As in your A levels. There are other factors affecting your
chances of being successful in real life, far away from your school's ivory towers.

Therefore, be prepared if you want to be an intern. In Toa Payoh Vets, internship is Dr Sing's giving-back to the community rather than a tool to recruit prospective employees. Therefore, applicants need to satisfy the following:     

1. Application via e-mail/post. E-mail to giving 5 reasons in 200 words as to why Toa Payoh Vets should accept you as an intern. Enclose your resume, 2 character references and academic results of your "O", "A" levels and undergraduate grades or equivalent.

2. Please note that we do NOT accept interns with poor academic grades and no two character references that will be contactable by phone to verify your character.

"A-level" and polytechnic graduates must be accepted as prospective undergraduates in veterinary schools in the U.K, Australia, New Zealand or U.S.A. This usually means at least 3 straight As and some Bs at "A" levels or Junior College Year 2 results.
4. Knowledge of digital/video photography will be an advantage. Show me your portfolio if
you have such knowledge. 

5.  E-mails without our above requirements and those with attached files will not be entertained. We don't download attached files due to concerns about viral infections. Therefore, learn how to include your character references inside the e-mail directly or post the application to Toa Payoh Vets, Blk 1002, Toa Payoh Lor 8, 01-1477, Singapore 319074. 

6. Interviews by Dr Sing. Bring your original certificates and testimonials together with photocopies. Testimonials unsigned by the teacher or referee or without letterheads are suspect and are unacceptable. I will phone your referees, therefore ensure that they are prepared to talk to me about your character and integrity. If you "forget" to bring photocopies of documents, including evidence to support your acceptance at vet colleges overseas, you will be asked to go home.

7. Payment for internship. Please note that you will not be paid. If your parents or you expect payment, please apply elsewhere.

8. Honesty is most important for young adult interns as dark forces in your mind seem to work harder at the growing up age to deviate you from the "straight" path. Poor work attitude, insufficient sleep and tardiness will not be tolerated. Thefts of money and property of Toa Payoh Vets will be reported to the police.

9. Diligence at keeping records and writing up cases within 48 hours are required. I will discuss with interns some cases. If they don't have time to record the findings and challenges encountered in the handling of such cases, how can they learn and profit from the internship? I note that there are many interns from Junior College not adhering to this requirement. This is a bad attitude. 

9.1 Pen and Paper/Electronic pens. It is best you bring your non-electronic book to write down details and instructions of the cases.

I know some young ones are used to keying messages into the mobile phone. You are the internet generation. However, I cannot wait while you thumb furiously my verbal instructions and discussions of the cases into your mobile phone because I have lots of things to do myself.

Therefore, pen and paper are still necessary. However, if you have an electronic pen, it is OK with me. Reports of certain cases are to be submitted within 48 hours by e-mail to me.   

10. Personal safety. Toa Payoh Vets is in an industrial park but it is a very safe place to work in the evenings. I had an internist who told me her grandmother was worried about her working in the evening and therefore she should work during office hours. In such cases, my reply will be to just stay at home. Veterinary work in the real world involves evenings and weekend work.

11. Gossip. Try not to waste time spent at Toa Payoh Vets by idle talk with my staff. They have lots of work to do but some of my staff simply love idle chat and gossip with newcomers. Most likely you will find that you need time management and that you practically have no time to complete your tasks. So why spend time gossiping?

12.  Self-discipline & targets. You should write up the daily cases within 24 hours (that is why I will ask whether you have a note-book) and e-mail them to me (not as attached files - you figure how you do it electronically).   

13. Independence. Ask your mother not to phone me enquiring about internship on your behalf. I don't accept students who can't be  self-reliant.  Please ask your parent or best friend NOT to accompany you for the interview. But if mum comes, introduce the parent/s to me as a matter of courtesy. Best friends and parents are best left at home! This is one time you need to cut the apron's strings and be confident as you embark on a new and wonderful adventure into the big animal world.

In conclusion, many young Singaporean adults used to growing up in a life of abundance come for interviews and work unprepared without resume and knowledge of the company's requirements. Please note that you are asking for an internship and therefore should be well prepared for the interview so as not to waste time.   

Internship is serious business for you. You will learn the ropes and the challenges of the real world in a commercial veterinary practice. It is so much different from your school or home. It is not a travel or boat cruise at Toa Payoh Vets. It is not your "grandfather's house" where you come and go as you please and relax at Toa Payoh Vets just like the young man in the picture of "The Myanmar's Lake Inle - clear waters. Toa Payoh VetsMagnificent Twelve".  

There is much to learn and much to teach the interns going to study to become good veterinarians in the very short time you are with me.

A lot of time and resources are given to the intern to get them on the feet into the exotic and beautiful veterinary world. I don't want youths who are not up to my expectations to be at Toa Payoh Vets. Therefore, ensure that you are able to comply with the above requirements before you apply to be an intern at Toa Payoh Vets. 

Emergecny Caesarean Section, dystocia, large head of 3rd pup. Toa Payoh VetsCommon behaviour of Singaporean interns observed. Tardiness and not being punctual at work are commonly observed for the previous interns. This is unacceptable and your internship may be terminated immediately. No social skills like saying: "Good morning" to my staff.
You may feel that you are not paid, therefore you can come and go as you please, taking time off without permission. Toa Payoh Vets actually must spend time and money to mentor you.

You are not an asset to the practice at this time of your life and if you feel otherwise, please do not apply for internship. The world does not owe you a living. You have to prove that you can be an asset to Toa Payoh Vets by your actions and your diligence once you are accepted as an intern. Note that punctuality at work is important in Toa Payoh Vets. If you feel that you can't be punctual or wake up early in the morning to go to work, please do not apply for internship.

Note that your internship will be terminated immediately if your working attitude and punctuality are not up to my expectations. Ensure you have sufficient rest at home. I have seen interns yawning or sleepy during my case discussions. This is not an acceptable behaviour and may mean instant dismissal. Therefore, treat your vet internship seriously. Your good or bad behaviour serves to undermine Toa Payoh Vets' scheme of internship for future applicants and therefore you need to do your best. 

Even if you are selfish and don't care about other young ones by displaying poor work attitudes during internship. In any case, your internship will be terminated immediately if you show little passion or interest in veterinary medicine and surgery. Note that testimonials are given only for interns who have worked full-time and for more than 4 weeks and show above average performance and care for their work. Others will receive a record of attendance. No part-time internships (e.g. weekends only, come and go as you wish) will be entertained.

Veterinary undergraduates are not exempted from the above-mentioned requirements. An e-mail just requesting internship will be rejected. All internship will be processed and approved by Dr Sing Kong Yuen only.

An interesting case study is shown below:
March 24, 2011 was a day to remember due to the following incident.

The Junior College student with straight As and 1 B and an excellent testimonial from her form teacher could not work "long hours." She had phoned me the previous night to let me know that she would not work the long hours of internship as it was "tiring". So, I told her that I would phone her back regarding her terms and conditions of work. That implied that she ought to stay at home till I decided since my offer was not accepted. Yet she presented herself at the Surgery today at 8 am as I had told my assistant Mr Saw that the intern would not be coming.

I asked if her father or mother was against her working hard? She had no objection to the hours of work during the interview yesterday and even arranged for her driving test lessons to take place at 5 pm on Friday. She would work 6 days a week with one weekend day off. She arranged for 6 weeks of internship - a very short period but that would give her some credentials as she had applied for an AVA veterinary undergraduate scholarship.

Apparently her father was against it. "You will be going to America to study," I said sadly to this young personable lady who did not need to take the "O" level examinations unlike the average Singaporean student as she was the "top 10% of her cohort likely to go to the university" and therefore exempted from "O" level examinations (a letter of explanation was produced by the school). 

"Your working hours are non-negotiable. In any case, you will be off before 5 pm on Friday for your driving test at Bukit Batok and you don't work on one Saturday or Sunday." I was rather sad that she could not put her foot down for her own to build up her own future. "You need to think for yourself and not get tied to the apron's strings."

I wished her good luck and let her go home as I anticipate problems from her parents. Over-protective Singaporean parents who think that the world owes their academic superstar-children a living are actually harming the young ones in achieving independent thinking and being street-wise. 
Case studies: Interns with no skills, knowledge and discipline.
Myanmar middle school village students, designtravel pte ltd  singapore customised tourismtpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)4022 - 4025. Make A Small Difference to Myanmar Children's Education


To make an appointment: e-mail
tel: +65 9668-6469, 6254-3326 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129
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