May you rest in peace, Bryan. Thank you for being an inspiration. Please guide all the other children with cancer. (via rogrogrog)
Here I am writing an essay for the department I am applying in. Describe three meaningful instances in Internship. This has got to be one of them.
Blood, sweat, tears and stars
It feels a little weird, unusual and rather odd to wake up in the morning without having to calculate the number of minutes you would eat your breakfast. Without having to feel guilty that you slept for two hours in the afternoon after regurgitating all that information you studied in Anatomy. Without having to worry that there are only eights day before the board exams. Without having to feel anxious, excited and scare all at the same time.
I am just thankful that it is all over.
No words can describe the whole process. Technically, I started studying since first year- from the day our cadavers were blessed in Anatomy back then. Second year was exams very week. Third week was OPD. Clerkship and internship was hospital work. I had a total of five years preparing up for an exam.
The day before the exams, I was nervous like crazy. The excitement that the process was about to end was on one side. The fear of failure and not knowing the answer was on the other end.
Around 30-40% of what you will review will come out in the exam. The rest will come from the whole five years of medical school. My tip for the medical students out there:
1) Do you best in all the smallest things you will do- from studying for an exam or a preceptorial (this knowledge may come in handy in the near future) to extracting a blood from your patients. Know why you are extracting a blood gas. Try to interpret the results. Know why you are extracting CBC for the nth time. Interpret the results. Why are you doing it?
2) Be thankful for your patients, consultants, friends and family. They are your shining armor.
3) Remember that your future patients won’t ask you board rating. The boards is a test you have to pass.
4) Know the reason why you began travelling this yellow brick broken road called medicine. You will easily get swallowed by the system and fatigue. Disillusionment can overshadow you, but do not let it consume you. Hold on to reason. Hold on to why you became a doctor in the first place. Remind yourself that. It will be your source of ATP when you are broken and tired.
5) Medicine is 20% knowledge. The rest is sheer heart.
6) Pray. Doctors can only do so much. The rest is all in God’s hands.
With that, I congratulate our future physicians. Let’s set the world on fire. So help us God.
The last few minutes
And so we are down to the last two minutes of the basketball game. Down to the last few minutes before we finally reach the culmination of our five-year preparation for the medical board examinations.
We will be taking our examinations for the twelve different subjects, composed of the basic sciences (Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Legal Medicine, Physiology and Pathology) and clinicals (Surgery, OB, Pedia, Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Pharmacology).
We began our review, facing that formidable task of synthesizing and collating all the information that we have. I was very fortunate to be enrolled in a review school, which guided me in my review. The whole three months was rigorous, both mentally and physically.
During the start of our review, I wanted to defer and take the February boards instead, since, I feared that there is not much time to cram all the twelve subjects. However, just like in any battle and most of the battles that I have fought, I am usually half-armed when I wage a war. There is no way but through.
I was blessed to be able to listen to a talk by a doctor who passed the board exams just after his family was devastated by the Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte. He narrated how he had to deal with the uncertainty of the safety of his family in the midst the mental torture in his review. Yet, he made it.
Eman Bautista is another success story. He is 65 years old when he took the Philippine Medical Board exams. He had struggles with finances and marital problems which deterred him from finishing the medical degree. I was amazed at how the brain of a 65 year old man can memorize tons of information for an examination like that. He spoke to us wearing his barong, and his stories of pain, laughter and hope. He even drew the heart of a patient with Tetralogy of Fallot.
I pray for all the medical students taking the board exams this August 23rd. May God bless us all.