Jun 17

The Disillusioned Medical Student

I struggled during my first two years of medical school in the University of the Philippines (UP). This I can say only in retrospect, not because of a lack of awareness at that time, but more so because I refused to acknowledge how I felt. I thought I was OK. I wanted to believe I was OK. Many years later, as a doctor and teacher at the same medical school, I can say I wasn’t. Continue reading →

Nov 12

Why Good Enough Is Never Good Enough

“Nakaka-disappoint nga Sir, eh. Kaka-declare pa lang na suspended ang klase bukas dahil sa ulan, tinatanong na agad ako kung puwede bang half day sila. Nung (medical) clerk ako, kahit gaano pa kataas ‘yung baha at kahit gaano kalakas ‘yung ulan, pumapasok kami.”

“You have to realize, not everybody sees the world the same way you do.” Continue reading →

Jun 12

Sampung Payo para sa mga Bagong Medical Clerk

  1. Magbaon ng maraming Micropore tape. Pang-wound dressing. Pang-label. Panggawa ng collar at splint. Pang-secure ng IV line, foley catheter, at NGT. Pandikit ng natanggal na suwelas at napunit na pantalon kakalakad kung saan-saan. Matutuklasan mong guguho ang ospital kapag nagsara ang pabrika ng Micropore tape.

Continue reading →

Dec 11

On Making the Wrong Diagnosis

To any medical student, no task is more daunting than having to come up with a diagnosis for a patient who comes to him or her for medical opinion. I am not referring to patients seen in the wards or in the outpatient clinic, but to family members or friends of family members complaining of headache, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, or some skin lesion, among other things. Being the first doctor in the family (and my mother being the friendly village pancit vendor), I have had my share of such patients when I was in medical school. Continue reading →

Jun 11

How I Got into INTARMED

Using her then box-type cellular phone with a 15-minute battery life, my unassuming mother delivered the good news that would ultimately lay down my career path.

“Anak, congratulations! Nakapaskil dito sa blackboard. Nakapasa ka!” Continue reading →