Got High in Our Class Picture

I was literally high during our class photo this morning… as tradition, after 2 or so serious shots, there comes the wacky shot, and I was high because my classmates who are taller than me (that is 98% of the class that are taller than me), lifted me up in the air for fun. It goes to show how me and my classmates get along; has to be, since we’ve known each other for nearly 4 years now, and being in medicine, the bonds are a lot stronger than normal friends.

It was great seeing my other classmates’ faces again, since clerkship begs our class to be separated in groups for the different rotations per department. There were no cheesy hugs or anything, but we knew, from the way we simply smiled and talked from hours on end, that we missed each other and were happy to see each other again.

Just a few more hurt and we are done with our studies and on to the next level… PUSH!

This will be another short post LOL


Spell Toxicity

Second day of my glorious return to medical clerkship, and I have tasted what I was already used to before. The toxicity of medical clerkship.
To think I am used to it by now, why am I bickering about it? Well, this is of a different level… one that not even I can get used to. Now here, I wonder, how can I get through the last 3 weeks of clerkship with this kind of toxicity?
Sadly, no other way to go about it but to just face it, head on. Just like how your room gets messier before it gets any cleaner, in medicine, it just gets harder before it gets any better.
This is just going to be a short and sweet post, because that’s who I am; literally short and sweet.
Bright days are definitely ahead of me, and my classmates… Respect to all the doctors out there for going through all this crap… and never, ever, giving up. So what makes them any better than me? I will make it. Pass all this crap. And where that white coat with an MD at the end of my name.

Playing Doctor…

I have returned to my medical clerkship this morning after being struck down with measles and was out of the loop for 2 weeks as a result of it.
I must say, having to get my body used to the workload, having to get used to being a slave all over again, and having to train mentally and emotionally to deal with all the banter, insults, demands of patients just because we have yet to have our very own coveted white coat, is quite overwhelming as I am not totally recovered from my illness just yet, and having to do all these in one day, is just a tall task. But its a tall task that I can do, indeed.
The only thing that is hovering over my head right like silly friend rearing his/her ugly head while your texting your significant other is that I have a pre-operation report tomorrow that I just received the chart to study tonight (in which I will do after a power nap LOL). I hope I won’t get eaten alive tomorrow.
Overall, I can say that it’s good, no, it is great, to be back in clerkship. 3 weeks to go, before our class review for the comprehensive exams and its graduation. 3 weeks, gotta be strong. Just 3 more weeks.
Now, I will take my power nap, and hopefully return later tonight with enough energy to kick ass in tomorrow’s pre-operation report. FIGHT!

Slice of Life: Community Rotation in Arayat, Pampanga

My groupmates with the “Barangay Health Workers” that also act as our guides; not pictured… ME.

Funny how things start so scary since we don’t know what we are getting ourselves into, such is the case with me and this community rotation; as with many students, even if the task is daunting, scary, or plain boring, one will still strive to rise against such a challenge in order to get the grade, pass the subject and course, and then, eventually graduate. But such is the case also, that at times, you are blind sided by the fact that what you perceive as daunting, scary, or plain boring, can become the most fun you had in years.
The past few rotations we had so far, were challenging in their own right, and had their own sense of fun (I will be posting about our previous rotation some time later… really later), but we had an idea on what is to be expected of us from our residents, etc., with this community rotation, we really had no idea at first, but once we were acclimatized, as always with me and my groupmates, we get the job done in such a quick, orderly, and most importantly, efficient manner, and that’s why I love my group.
Being a city boy, well, being a geeky-stay-in-your-room-Filipino-American-city-boy, I was at first, at a loss; not in the sense that I couldn’t get the job done, but in the sense that it is as if I wouldn’t survive there in Arayat, for a day, but that quickly watered down when the Barangay Health Workers were the nicest bunch of ladies I have ever met, and the people in that live there are just as friendly and extremely humble.
I keep on rambling on about this job we had to do in Arayat; so what is this job anyway? We had to go around around their neighborhood, doing a survey, based on their current living situation in order for the local health organization to list possible ways to improve their living situation. 

Melody interviewing the locals

Ditto with my groupmate, Paul.

The whole experience is humbling, and in a way, worth while; I for one, who has spent most his life in the sense of familiarity, finds this new area, these people, a refreshing experience as it pits me out of my comfort zone. I am not well adept in the local dialects, but I was still able to communicate even with my half-ass attempt to speak Tagalog (one of the many dialects). Also, its not as if, English is a total mystery to these people, as for me wanting to practice medicine here in Philippines, I still spoke in Tagalog even amidst them insisting that I speak in English.
Alas, here I am interviewing…
Apart from interviewing, I had another assignment given to me by our consultant in charge, Dr. Rene Santos, and my groupmates, that is, obviously, to take photos for the documentation of this project and it will serve, for me and my groupmates, of our rotation here in the community. I was the obvious choice, since ever since I was first year, when we used to have medical missions with Dr. Rene Santos, I was already the photographer for such events, and everytime there is a class activity or college activity, I am always in the front line of photographers, thus, my classmates’, and in this case, my groupmates’ go-to-guy for documentation.
Of course, I wouldn’t say no to such a task for a number of reasons, one I wouldn’t have to pick my brain out for Tagalog words, and two, I get to be reacquainted with my beloved DSLR named Nikki (because she is a Nikon). But I’d soon find out, that I should have declined and rather interview than take photos…

I didn’t start shooting on day 1 of our community service, the first 3 days, I was also interviewing the locals, it wasn’t until the 4th day where I took photos, but ironically, out of all the days we have been there, the 4th day happened to be the hottest day as the sun finally peaked through the other wise cloudy day. And to top it all off, I had forgotten that me and my groupmates usually split up with our respective guides in different areas of the neighborhood in order to cover more ground and finish the job a lot faster. So I had to walk arounf in this heat looking for my groupmates in different areas of the neighborhood. Of course, not being around there, I had asked my guide if she would help me find my groupmates so I can document, however, like any parent eventually sending off their children on their own, she let me go, with her blessings, to find them on my own. This wouldn’t bother much if I was actually really familiar with the neighborhood, but being a complete tourist, lugging around my camera and such, on my own, wandering the streets, looking aimlessly for my friends, one could imagine my fears of being mugged or kidnapped. Thankfully no one did so. But that was an exciting moment, however, I wouldn’t want to experience that again. At least just that part.
Now, it wouldn’t be any much of a shooting trip if I don’t have any creative shots that I usually call “the money shots” when I am tasked to shoot in an event. I had a couple or so shots that I really enjoyed taking and post processing and below are but a few of them:
“The Other Side”; I added the monotone to make it more gloomy since it was too sunny for its own good. Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution

“It was a blur”; had no tripod in taking this shot, but it turned out alright. Visit my Flickr photostream, link below this blog post, for higher resolution

My groupmate, Vyel. Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution

I felt like playing around with prime’s bokeh. Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution

In here, people are more than willing to be your model. LOL Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution

I saw this toy in such a strange location. Being vigilant, I took the shot of this imprisoned  toy. Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution
Our community rotation is far from over, but I couldn’t wait to blog about this experience of our’s; we still have to tally our surveys, make reports and present, etc., but the was things are going thus far, I feel that everything will turned out anything but daunting, scary, or plain boring.
I guess, that’s it!

My Flickr Photostream:

And I missed you so…

Bam! It has been like how many months ago since I visited this site let alone post anything!

I will, as I always have said before, do my best to update this blog of mine.

Just some quick updates on my life in general; I am currently in my 4th year in medicine which means I am a junior medical clerk, or in the olden days of yore, a medical clerk, and currently in my 4th month of what is to be a year of clerkship. I am also currently in vacation mode or so as I am in community rotation.

As for my guitars… they are collecting dust sad to say.

For my PC, I have upgraded a crap load of peripherals, software, and internal hardware. I am glad to say that I finally made a small home server to accommodate for my backups. The most recent purchase was a Ducky DK9008 Shine II Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Keyboard with blue LEDs… so recent in fact, that I just purchased it 6 hours from the time of this post (it is the factors why I wanted to blog tonight because it is such a joy to type on this keyboard!).

And as for my photography, I have been updating my Flickr every now and then, but no major events or creative shots have been taken as of late. I did, however, attempt to shoot some water droplets on a CD ala macro, but I am starting to think I should invest on a focusing rail to aid in my macro shots as I shoot with a reverse lens, on top of that, I can finally do focus stacking to make even more incredible high magnified macro shots in focus. Thankfully, I have 2 events in the coming weeks that I was asked to shoot. And since I am in community rotation in Arayat, I may be able to get good street photos, landscapes, and the like.

That is all for now… I will post as much as I can because I do miss writing blogs.


Clerkship Cometh!

I will begin my clerkship in AUFMC tomorrow and in the Department of Pediatrics (so ironic, I hated that subject), furthermore, I’ll be stationed at the nursery.

All the fears, doubts, anxiety is at their very max right now. But it’s like what my sister said who went through all this before “it’s just 1 year of sacrifice, and you will enjoy all the rewards for the rest of your life”.
Just gotta toughen it out for one year, because “the most beautiful things in life are always the most difficult”.
When Passions Collide
“When Passions Collide”
More in my Flickr Photostream (Click the Photo)

And lastly, with God by my side, what am I to fear? =]


"What have I gotten myself into?": The Realization of the Medical Clerk

I would like to begin this post by saying, yes, I have skipped out on updating my “2013 Weekly” posts as it has been such a trying time this past month, what with the examinations we had, all the reports we have to pass, and all the research papers we have to finish. So, it is understandable that I would rather divert all my attention, and what little strength I have left in the tank for those requirements in order for me to reach my short term goal, that is, being a medical clerk this April 1, 2013, and that will in turn lead me to my next goal, becoming a graduate and intern, and finally my ultimate goal, being a full fledged licensed physician (hopefully in the Department of Surgery). But later on, before clerkship, I will resume my weekly posts, starting with a long entry that will compensate for the past weeks.
Anyways, after all has been said and done, all the head-scratching examinations been dealt with, all reports been passed and laughed at, etc, the Promotion Boards was held last March 12, 2013, to discuss who among 52 3rd year medical students are worthy to become 4th year medical clerks. It was nerve wrecking (so much so as our previous OSCE… more on that next time) to say the very least, and when they finally decided who were to be promoted, as with previous years, no words were said by the doctors within the Promotion Boards were uttered to us… only a piece of bond paper… with the names who are deemed worthy. And it looked like this:
YES!! I made it!! (encircled… duh)

Thank God I was able to make it… I was worried as it was a difficult year. I may not say that it was more difficult than the 2nd year, but 3rd year subjects gave us little to no time to do anything that they require us to do. Plus, there is OB-GYNE that nearly completely make me fear the race of women. Well, the difficulty of OB-GYNE stemmed from the fact that we never had any prior experience with the subject; unlike surgery, we had anatomy to help us out; pharmacology had biochemistry as its foundation; pathology had its roots from physiology; and the like. But none for OB-GYNE.
The day after the announcement, my mom coerced me to make my new uniform for clerkship and the immediate weekend, we bought my shoes, my watch, and other necessities. Call me excited? I am. But not as much as my mom or my sis (who is already a doctor). They wanted to get my gear immediately to prepare for clerkship. Guess they are proud or know well enough how bad it is to rush things.
With all the happiness also came sadness; as mentioned above, we were 52 students. The first Promotion Boards only allowed 37 students go to clerkship, leaving out the remaining 15 to take further examinations, termed removal examinations. Think of these exams as a lifeline of sorts.
Some of us that already were promoted decided to lend a hand in their review as we really have no intentions on leaving a man or woman behind. We want to graduate together. We have much too close to eachother to simply turn a whim and celebrate on our own achievement. We can’t.
The second promotions happened last March 18, 2013, and 11 of the 15 students taking removals were granted the chance to become clerks. Now we have 4 casualties so to speak. But they may still be allowed to become clerks… on March 22, 2013, we will finally find for sure, the final number of students who wiull become medical clerks.
For the rest that were already granted clerk status, we had a tour (not like we need it anymore) to the hospitals we will be working in: AUFMC and JBLMRH. This will be our home away from home for the next year.
After our tour around AUFMC, Dr. Michael Dizon, who is in charge of the interns and clerks and my sister’s classmate during medical school, said it is a good idea to have a photo together. And so we clerks did:

There I am, second from the left, bottom-most row…
Everyone is all smiles, and I am no different. But as the orientations and the tours of the hospitals continued on, I can’t help but say this to my Dean and Secretary Dean, “What have I gotten myself into?”.

This is the moment that I have been waiting for since I first burst through the doors of our lecture room at first year medical school. Now that its here, I am scared. I fear that I don’t know anything from my past 3 years of studies. I fear that this language barrier will cause my life to be a living hell. I fear that this short stature and weak physique will not only be the subject of every bad joke within the hospital, but also not suited for what tasks will be bestowed on me.

In spite of all the reassurance from my sister and Dr. Dizon that my language barrier, for which I deemed as my greatest hindrance for now, will definitely cause some ripples in the water for awhile, I will have a hard time eliciting the proper history or physical examination, however, they told to look to their classmates, Dr. Bill and Dr. Ben, who also had a difficult time speaking the native language here but survived. And there is also my sister, who just learned the language during clerkship. So, I have a chance to survive clerkship in terms of my language barrier.

As frail as this body could ever get, I will persevere with my fighting spirit. I will push my own limits if I have to. This means so much to me that I will not let my body bog me down. Vitamins, balanced diet… that’s what I’ll need. Exercise? I will be walking everywhere, occasionally running, so I will have my exercise that way.

Emotional rollercoasters and spiritual challenges await me as well. I will be shouted at some time during clerkship, I may talk back at my groupmates, I may even question my faith at times. These may make or break a student… I hope to be steadfast enough for me to be able to take in the verbal blows they’d throw at me.

But still, as scary as it all seems, it is something that one must go through to be a doctor, and instead of fearing it, I should just look at it as a fun short time before being a real doctor.

I will strive in to make it worthwhile, staying with my classmates as we will inevitably choose different institutions to work in the future, learn a lot from this short time, make new friends/allies… all the good things.

So, for my silly question “What have I gotten myself into?”; well, I got myself into one of the most noble, most worthwhile career paths on Earth. It won’t be easy… But as Dr. Santos once told me “The most beautiful things are always the most difficult”.