There are few doctors I would trust. many of them seem so impersonal, money grubbing , do not respect the patient enough to explain their diagnoses and prescriptions and some are downright plain incompetent.

Then there is the issue of the medical mindset itself. In Indonesia many of the doctors approach infections and diseases as if they can nuke the hell out of them with antibiotics.

So it was a great delight when I came across a doctor who was great not only as a professional but as a person as well.

As a professional he was trained in Western medicine, but then branched out to learn Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. So when treating you he would explain a symptom from the perspective of Western medicine and then from the perspective of TCM. He would usually prefer TCM methods of acupuncture and herbal brews for chronic symptoms but was not so purist that he wouldn’t prescribe some antibiotics if the need was there.

As a person he was fabulous. Always chirpy and positive he would chat with you on many things when he was treating you. Through him I learned much about how the body works and what to take and not to take. We also shared some common hobbies – photography and traveling. The last time I saw him he said he used to work continuously but of late he’s learned to scale bak a bit and spend some time travelling. He was the happier for that.

He was also fit. I would bump into him at Pacific Place because he was working out at the fitness centre there. Physically he looked the picture of health.

He was also compassionate. His practice was so successful that getting an appointment with him was very difficult. New patients have to wait about 3-6 months before they could get an appointment because he would spend at least an hour finding out about their state of health.

Yet if there is a real need he would also ways find the time to treat you. When my mother visited and fell ill I texted him and he called us over that morning so he could treat her.

He was a great man and it seemed that the world was his oyster. Life, however, doesn’t always stay with the deserving.

He died of a heart attack last week while exercising at home on an stepper. He was 39 and apparently had no record of cardiac disease.

RIP Dr Alvin Indradjaja. We all miss you and remember you.