Ahmad Sampang ibnu Hajiri, MD

A Personal blog by a Tausug medical student (now a doctor!) from Sulu and the stories that inspired him.
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Assalamu Alaykum!

I've been trying to sort things out in my new life as a barrio doctor, and among those "to-do lists" is freeing some disk spaces in my phone. I was sifting through my gallery when I realized how much of an adventure the past 12 months had been for me. In this post, using screen caps from my gallery, I will try to share what happened in my life last 2017.

Here goes!
*WARNING: Some photos may contain graphic pictures. Those with blood/wounds were turned black-and-white. Photos of patients here were shaded to respect their privacy. Thanks!


Unfortunately, I do not have my January folder in my phone. I think I already transferred my files to my external drive by then. What I can remember here is that... I am still an intern in Internal Medicine, of course! haha. Maybe in the wards? Was this the time I went on JWAPODship? (JWAPOD: Junior Ward Admitting Physician on Duty). I gotta check my old files.

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

This post was originally published in January 2015, almost two years after I entered the great hallways of Calderon in UPCM. Now, it's January 2018: roughly 6 months since graduation, and here I am, a full-pledged UPCM Alumnus and now a licensed physician! Wow!

Then I realized in this blog that this post reaches more hits that the other posts I have published , and I know I badly needed to update this...And so I did. I tried...

And so... To those aspiring future martyrs amazing medical students who will sacrifice their social lives really enjoy learning the wonderful world of medicine: here's a few tip/instructions on how to apply to UPCM. A complete list of what you need to accomplish before the deadline!

First, a disclaimer! I AM NOT IN ANY WAY CONNECTED TO THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE of the UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE OF MEDICINE. I am simply an old timer who wanted to help the young ones wanting to follow our, uhm, noble steps.

Ready? let's do this!

Who are qualified to apply to UPCM?

You can just download the admissions brochure (updated annually) here: UPCM Admission Brochure. But to sum it up and make things easier for you:

*PF = Professional fee

A patient's question that is hardest for me to answer is...

"Magkano po, doc?" (How much will I pay, doc?)

I remember back in PGH, whenever we tell them  "wala po. wala po kayong babayaran sa aming mga duktor." (Zero. You don't need to pay us anything at all). Their faces were  always left in awe and disbelief. Almost to say to us "weeeh? di ngaaa?"

But now, I am in an uncomfortable seat and I have to helplessly smile and direct them towards the nurse who in turn will lead them to the cashier. Waiving a PF is always an honorable act that we doctors would want to do. Especially to those we know are indigent and could use those money for other things like their medicine, or transportation back home. How I wish I could waive each and every PF for my patients. But I just can't. Doing it would be tantamount to suicide. Especially to young doctors who are still struggling in this messy world he just stepped in to. We are humans as well. We eat, we pay our bills, we get sick, we die.

This is real life and real talk. Yes, health and Medicine in general had been designed to be a "commodity" in this country. Those who have more will get more. And those who have less, are left with the choice of going to a government hospital and wait for hours just to be seen by a doctor... Or suffer the pain through the night. :( A sad truth we face every day. Sadly and depressingly so.

How I wish I was born in a country where I can heal a patient without them needing to ask me how much to pay. And without me looking at this job as a mere source of income, but rather as a way to serve those who need me most.

It's hard to be a doctor in this country if you think about your patients' pockets.
And it's harder to be a doctor who wouldn't.

Magkano nga ba ang serbisyo ko?
hai buhay.

The patient paid her “consultation fee” and started walking towards the exit door. And to my surprise, she looked back, smiled at me and said “Salamat dok!” (Thank you, doc)

Perhaps that is the only payment I was asking for. Something that no amount of money could ever buy.


Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah!
All praise is indeed to Allah alone!

I still can't believe that I am now a LICENSED DOCTOR! Seriously, to say that I am still in cloud nine, is an understatement!   As one mentor once told me: "You will be floating there for a year, at least!" And he was right!

Alhamdulillah, last September 22, 2017 the results of this year's Physician Licensure Exam was released and it was indeed one of the best news in my life I could ever ask for. I am now a duly licensed physician in this country. I now have the license to heal, to cure, to do surgery and to prescribe medicine. And with it comes the big responsibility of not harming my patients as well. I never felt how heavy this responsibility before until now.

Ma shaa Allah. This was a dream that I never once thought of having nor achieving when I was a child. (You see, I really wanted to become a Civil Engineer like my late father). Still, Alhamdulillah God gave me the opportunity to be one. I am truly grateful!

I have a lot to say... The enumerable names of people to thank for all these to become a reality... To my family (especially my Inah, my mom and my two sisters), friends, relatives, mentors, professors, those who supported me financially one way or the other, and of course to my patients who made me realize the importance of life. MAGSUKUL KANIYU KATAN! Thank you!

I am still balancing and trying to adapt to this new life a young doctor. I will try to post a more formal and better post one day haha. 


-Ahmad Sampang, MD

Emergency Room
Surgical Trauma Rotator

It was just another regular evening on a 24-hour duty at the Emergency Department (ED or ER, for most of us). I was one of the only two Trauma Interns on duty and was just taking a break from charting a very long list of patients--ranging from those who fell from stairs to those intoxicated madmen stabbing each other to death! It's a rare occasion for Trauma ER to have no patients in 3 hours time so I grabbed that opportunity to go out and buy a cold drink at the ER kiosk (it was around 1AM by the way). 

On my way back to our station in the Acute Care Unit (ACU), I could see the Triage was already in a mess. There were piles of stretcher-beds (with a patient of course) and hordes of their watchers waiting to be seen by our TO (triage officer). Where was the TO, you asked? I wouldn't be surprised to see her in the resuscitation bay (RB), well--resuscitating a patient. And I was not wrong: There was an on-going "double code" at the RB.

*Double code by the way means: having two "code blue" at the same time. One code blue is already exhausting and would require all the available health personnel to be present, to help out and do the ACLS, to save a patient whose heart suddenly stopped. Now multiply that to two and take the number of the personnel by half. That's one helluva job to do! Plus, it's that time of the year where we have no Clerks rotating in DEMS. So yeah. Bummer.

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just saying. -Dr. Ahmad