IMC is pleased to welcome Dr Karien de Groof to our Camden Clinic. Dr Karien is a Dutch doctor who trained in Erasmus University, Rotterdam and has worked as a GP in Holland and Geneva, Switzerland. Dr Karien moved to Singapore two years ago with her husband and young children. Dr Karien speaks Dutch and French.
What is your favourite part of being a GP (Doctor)?
I really enjoy the personal contact with my patients, to listen and empathize with them and looking for ways to solve their health issues. The diversity of the work and the broad spectrum of clinical presentations makes it challenging and interesting.
You speak Dutch, English and French. How do you feel speaking in the native tongue effects the patient experience?
My patients tell me that although they speak English, for health issues they prefer to communicate in their native tongue. They feel more comfortable in discussing their issues and express themselves better. For that reason, I learnt French before moving to Geneva.
What have you learned living and working in a Pandemic?
The Pandemic has changed our lives in a lot of ways and everyone has been affected in one way or the other. Living abroad without the possibility to travel and visit relatives is hard for many expats. The Pandemic has brought insecurities and new challenges for many expat families. As a family doctor I am aware of the impact on your patient’s wellbeing and mental health and I try to find ways to help them cope with that.
You have lived in Switzerland and Holland before. What are your top tips for moving countries with children?
Moving with children is always challenging, whether it’s the first time you travel abroad or not, each age brings different issues for kids and parents.
As so many of us have been through the same difficulties you should never be too shy to ask others for help. This can be a neighbor, a parent from school or a health professional, if you share your concerns many are willing to help. For pregnant women or families with a newborn find a mother and child group or class, I found this extremely helpful.
Finding a daily routine, engaging in sports and social activities and going out as a family has helped us settle in.
What are you looking forward to exploring in Singapore?
We have visited the Botanical Gardens, Fort Canning Park and Dempsey Hill. I would like to see more of Singapore, explore more hiking trails, visit Pulau Ubin and other wetland reserves.
When we can travel again what is on the top of your travel list?
I would love to go to Australia once it opens and of course Europe to see my family.
Lastly what is your favourite way to relax after a busy day?
I bike home along the Singapore river, have dinner at home with my children, read them a bedtime story and go out for an evening stroll with my husband, if I haven’t fallen asleep already.
Dr Karien de Groof is a Dutch doctor who graduated from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam in 2009. she worked as a resident in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine and Cardiology in two regional teaching hospitals in Rotterdam. She has worked in in Holland and Switzerland and will be practicing in our Camden clinic.