1. What is your job title?
Assistant Director, Human Factors & Systems Design at KK Women's & Children's Hospital in Singapore.
2. Why did you go into Human Factors?
I started as a pilot trainee at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s B.Sc. in Aviation Human Factors program (now defunct). My love for flight and flying led me here.
3. Why did you choose the healthcare route?
I didn’t choose the healthcare life. The healthcare life chose me. My Ph.D. was funded by oil & gas conglomerates, and during my time as a graduate student I met Professor Yoel Donchin who was visiting Singapore and he mentored me through the world of healthcare. My first healthcare champion was Dr. Tiek-Whai Lim, who was leading the patient safety initiatives in Changi General Hospital, and he recruited me into healthcare. The rest was history.
4. Why did you decide to be embedded as opposed to work in academia or industry?
Technically, I’m considered as working in the healthcare industry, as opposed to chasing basic research. The opportunity to directly impact and change actual systems within the span of weeks and months motivates me. The difference between working inside a health system versus a medical company is the opportunity to gain and exercise a diverse set of human factors knowledge and skills. This aligned well with my nature of being a "Jack of All Trades" (after coming from aviation and oil & gas).
5. What do you enjoy most about being an embedded HF practitioner?
Actually saving lives. If only I have a newspaper wall like in the movie The Kingsman...
6. What is one piece of advice you would give up-and-coming HF professionals who want to be embedded in healthcare?
Learn to Google quickly and discreetly. While you don’t need an MD for this job, you will be working with lots of medical terms and jargon. There’s only so many times you can ask clarifying questions in a room.
8. What is your dream superpower?
I agree with the late Stan Lee: Luck. “For years, kids have been asking me what’s the greatest superpower. I always say luck. If you’re lucky, everything works. I’ve been lucky.” - Stan Lee
9. If you could be a member of any TV show family, which would it be?
Rick & Morty
10. Cake or Pie?
Cake. Carrot cake.
7. What is the one piece of advice you would give to healthcare professionals to help those up-and-comers?
Unlike most other medical subspecialties, you really don’t need to try and know everything about human factors. Have a discussion with your neighborhood HF expert and let them sweat over giving the correct human factors answer. If you’re unsure whether your human factors youngling is correct, seek a second opinion, and patiently support and nurture your youngling into a full-fledged powerhouse.