A Doctor's PF

*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…

Now a Doctor. Now what?

Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah! All praise is indeed to Allah alone!
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.
Honestly, after 1 month and roughly 10 days being a physician, I still can't believe it. I am still floating in cloud 9! As one mentor once told me: "You will be floating there for a year, at least!" 
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 dad). Still, Alhamdulillah God gave me the opportunity to be one. I am truly grateful.

A Hundred CPRs Later...

Assalamu Alaykum. (Peace be upon you!)
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 th…

Last 50 days of Internship

Internship ends in a few days (July 1 to be exact) and since March 22, we started the #Last100Days of Internship countdown. Those who are following my Instagram account would know that I have been posting random pics with the countdown numbers (see above photos). I tried my best to complete the 100 days but it was just so hard! haha.
And now, who would have thought that we are now down to the last 50 days! It happened so fast! I can't even believe that the ten months of internship--no, the FIVE YEARS in Medical School is about to end! SubhanaAllah! 
I do not even know what to feel right now. Should I be excited, because everything's about to end? Or should I be anxious and scared, because... well, because the daunting future that lies before me is certainly scary! (read: Board exams, being a full-pledged MD, too much expectations from everyone...)
Still, as I keep on recounting the remaining days of internship, I just can't help but look back... those enumerable experien…

Outside that Room

March 13, 2017
I was outside the hemodialysis (HD) room, watching some videos on Youtube while waiting for my patient’s HD to start. A few minutes after I seated myself on a vacant seat outside, a woman came near me. I recognized her the moment she approached, she’s my patient’s mother. I could see her eyes weary, tired and full of questions. It takes only a few seconds to recognize a soul in search of answers to her endless questions. And this one is a definite example.
“Doc,” she started meekly, “Doc, tapatin niyo po ako.”(Doc please tell me)
“Po? Ano po yun, maam?” I asked, my earphones already removed for me to focus on her every word.
“Doc, ano na po ba talaga ang kalagayan ng anak ko? Di na po ba siya gagaling? Mamamatay na po ba siya?” (Doc, what is the real condition of my child? Will he still get well? Will he die?) her voice shaking with fear, full of anxiety over what she might find out.
I asked her to sit down beside me and calm down. Then I inquired how much does she already k…

Reading ECGs

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be with you!)
It's my last week as a Senior Intern in Internal Medicine and this week, we had the chance (and honor) to accompany our Service Senior Resident, Dr. David Francisco on his ECG rounds. We went to the Central ECG Room where all the ECG requests and results are done, took the remaining unread ECG's and read them. Awesome, right! 

I always had a hard time understanding ECG's before. Of course, before medschool, those lines were nothing but alien scriptures to me like everyone else! haha. But after studying Basic Clinical Cardiology (one of my "first loves") in LU4 and getting exposed to the wonders of electrophysiology of the heart, understanding the peaks and troughs, the elevations and the depressions of those lines, was simply amazing! I still can't believe a few weird lines could already tell a clinician what the heck is happening with his patient's heart! 
Anyway, after few years in PGH, I am still in the learning stag…

Pre-Departure Reflections

Assalamu alaykum!
This week marks our first week in the community as part of our 6-week rotation in FCh260.2 Community Medicine. We will be assigned in Mendez and Bailen, Cavite. We will be leaving for Cavite this Tuesday, in sha Allah. But before that, we had to finish some series of orientations, trainings and lectures on community organizing. This is pretty exciting as you may all know that I am an avid lover of Community medicine. It's like my passion! haha. I am among the 10% of medical students who wouldn't hesitate to raise their hands when asked to practice as Doctors to the far-flung communities. The smell of the unknown adventure that lies ahead certainly excites my soul! Yohohoho!
Anyway. We were asked to submit a "Pre-Departure" Reflection paper with the following guide questions. I have a far longer response to all of them, but I had to cut the, short as we were limited to one page only haha. I am sharing this to everyone :) 
See you around!