First day in Derma

Two more months to go and I’m done with my 2nd year of med school! Just started with our Dermatology module today with lectures and panel non-stop from 8 am to 4 pm. From the orientation, we went straight to lectures about common pathologic diseases and we even had patients from the hospital’s support club join us for a panel. I appreciate the efforts of Derma to have this panel so we could apply our learnings and learn how the diseases affect people’s lives, especially those in the marginalized sector.

I was so drained afterwards. I didn’t get to study tonight because I had to wash all my uniforms because I didn’t have money to bring my laundry to the laundry shop. Usually, our school is pretty lax with the wearing of uniforms, but Derma is strict (in general: from the time you come in, to attendance checking every class, to complete uniforms). The module is only for one week so everything is jam-packed because we have to take 3 exams by Friday morning: OSCE, module exam, and kodachrome.

My hands hurt from the washing and cleaning the condo (I had to do spring cleaning because I’m the only one left here and the whole place is a mess). I hope tomorrow will be better for me.

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4 years later and still no better

I’ve been out of my funk all the years I’ve studied in med school. Walang gana since LU1. I’m scared because this is a huge no-no in med school. Sooner or later, I’ll be forced to change my attitude or get flunked. I don’t want to fail, but I really don’t feel the joy in studying all these concepts. At first I thought it was burn out, but I don’t think burn out lasts this long. I just want to graduate and have a good life. Why can’t I feel anything?

30 April 2016

Today, I circumcised a child for the first time.

Circumcision is a common practice here in the Philippines because of our culture. Hindi ka raw magiging binata kung hindi ka pa nagpapatuli.

Every summer, a lot of tuli missions are held by organizations across the Philippines. There’s no class so the participants won’t have to be excused from classes after this minor surgery. Why do people do it? Organizations’ reason: service. Participants’ reason: free tuli. Win-win.

An organization I’m in, MSS, has been holding a tuli mission in Barangay Sauyo, QC for 5 years now. This is my first time to join because it coincides with my school year (and not summer vacation) so I don’t have to go home to the province. I didn’t realize I was scared until I was there. After shadowing someone, I had to do it by myself. Boy, was I shaking. I felt clumsy and uncoordinated; like I didn’t know what to do. There was a lot of crying heard because the event was held in a covered court so everyone’s just lying there side by side. I felt bad afterwards because I believe my patients should always get the best of what I have to offer. I ask myself, is that the best I can give? Shaky hands and jumbled words for instructions?

The experience has made me think why I’m here studying medicine in the first place. It makes me think if I really have what it takes to be a doctor. I don’t like the uncertainty I can offer myself as the answer.

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FOR THE UNDERSERVED.