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! (Peace be upon you all!)

We are back in the colourful world of Pediatrics after a week of break with the second half of Pharmacology module. After the nerve-racking exam last Friday, it was indeed a welcoming relief to see the colourful walls in the OPD Pediatrics with all those Disney characters all around. And of course, the cheerful smiles of our angelic patients never fail to keep our days brighter as well.

Pediatrics wall wallpaper disney Toys story
The colorful walls in the OPD-Pediatrics
There are more better photos of Disney Princess somewhere.

Case Conferences and Higher learning!

This week we had two case conferences, a lecture on complementary feeding (where our professor gave us chocolates! Yeay!) and lots and lots of Out-Patient exposure! Our rotation of 12-hour duties in the Pediatric Emergency Department (Pedia ER) are also being wrapped up for this last two weeks of our training in this department. This Friday my group will have our second and last 12-hour duty :) Pretty looking forward to it and learn more things, in sha Allah (I might publish a post about “what to prepare for ER Duty”)

Chocolates Complementary feeding Malnutrition
Free chocolates during the lecture on Complementary Feeding!
Hooray! (we have to stay awake in return though ahaha)
We talked about Malnutrition while feeding ourselves with these.

This week I also learned more about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy, and a bit about how to classify the severity of malnutrition of a child and on computing their Caloric Requirements as well. It was also great to see one of our very first “Mother-Doctor” in the college. Dr. Moral was the one who handled our “hand-group” during our first year in proper medicine wherein we talked about the wonderful art of Medicine and about our dreams and careers as well.

The Forever-mates with Dr. Moral

Photo grabbed from Karl :)

Autism Awareness Week!

Every last week of January, the Autism Awareness Week is being held nationally. Just recently I read about something like a “March of Angels” held somewhere in the metro in support of this awesome advocacy. You see, the cases of ASD (Autism) are increasing in number these days, and the wrong perception of most of us is that Autism is already a “dead end". That it’s the end of life of the kid with Autism. This is ultimately wrong. There may be no cure to Autism yet, but it is not a lethal, “death-sentence” per say. The child with autism can still live long and happy, provided appropriate supports are given and his/her problems are addressed.

In line with this as well, the Department of Pediatrics held a Bazaar and Autism Exhibit. There were booths wherein accessories, toys, bag-tags, bags, and even cookies that were PERSONALLY HAND-CRAFTED/CREATED by children with Autism were being sold. Some of their paintings were also put in display (and boy, some of them can paint way better than me! Haha)

The Paintings by kids with autism are in the background.
We were just looking at this map (not made by the children LOL) haha.
Pose pose! (bought some awesome tasting cookies!)

A new Halal Place!
Alhamdulillah! We also discovered a new Halal restaurant near our school. It’s some 5-10 minute walk from PGH. I brought my friends there earlier today and they oh so loved the foods! Haha! They sell authentic Halal cuisines ranging from 55 to 120 Php. You can choose from a lot of foods inspired from Malaysian, Indonesian, Pakistani, and of course Tausug Cuisine!

Halal Food cuisine Malaysian
Gayyah's Pagkaunan Halal restaurant :)
It's in Del Pilar Street near Pedro Gil side and
just in front of the Musallah in Mabini.

The name of the Restaurant is “GAYYAH’s PAGKAUNAN Halal Restaurant”. I haven’t tried all the foods and I am planning to interview the owner (or at least the one in-charge), and see if I can come up with another post (review?) about this place. It’s pretty clean and the servers (I refrain in calling them waitresses, coz they're really not haha) are very kind :)

Their SATTI and TIYULA’ ITUM are so delicious! @_@ Both costs around P65-75 each. They also have “Budget meals” (with 1 cup rice, 1 meat-viand, 1 vegetable viand and free glass of juice and tiyula’ itum soup) for only P55!
delicious food Tausug satti tiyula itum
Top: Satti
Below left: Tiyula' itum, Below right: Their Budget meal.
(Photo from Buddy Denzy :)

This might be the new place I will keep on visiting and bringing my friends to, especially those who really want to try our Halal foods :)
Food trip with classmates
Yeah, it's them again. We are not "Forever-mates" for nothing huh?
They really loved the foods by the way! ^_^
(Though most of what we ordered were
actually Non-Tausug foods! LOL)

Photo grabbed from Karl :)
Still need to work harder

Another realization I had this week (again) is the fact that I STILL HAVE A LOT TO IMPROVE ON. I am still not as good as my group-mates in organizing my data and reporting my findings; And I still do not know a lot more of the cases we meet in the OPD -_-. I really have to push myself even harder to be better, in sha Allah. I chose this path knowing that it won’t be easy. So I should never be disillusioned by the number of free time I am having right now (well compared to last year in HelLu4).

Speaking of working harder… there are really times that the struggle to stay awake in class is very, very hard to handle -_- specially when you are post-duty and the room is soooo cooold!

Sleeping at school

Hmm well, I think that’s all for the update on my Life in Medschool Series :) Hope you all guys a re doing well! Salam kasilasa!

PS. I am having some free time thanks to the pretty-benign schedule this week haha. I have to keep it productive though. Have to force myself to read and study some cases even though we don’t have an end-of-rotation exam. I wonder if I can really put these words into action though -_-

Again, Salam Kasilasa!

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

The second week as an ICC student in the Department of Pediatrics just ended with a rather "incomplete" sets of days in a week. We had special non-working, no-classes holidays the past 2 weeks that reduced our class days from 10 to 7 (due to the Feast of Black Nazarene last January 9 and now the Papal Visit from Jan 15-19). And as a result, all those supposedly scheduled lectures and case conferences were cramped in the remaining school days! 

It was actually exhausting: to report on a case conference at 7:30 then have an ER duty the next night and then go back to class the next morning!!! What now, are we finally and slowly turning into zombies? But then again, we chose this path from the very beginning, and there are no reason to complain about these right now... Why dream of being a doctor if you want to feel nothing but ease and comfort? Things don't do that way. Always. And exhausting as it may seem, we are still having fun learning things anew in this awesome field of medicine :)

The past week what I honestly cherish learning is the undeniable, inseparable, indisputable connection between the mother and her child. Just like in OBGYNE where we were taught that we are taking care of not one, but two patients, Pediatrics also adheres to this principle. Even though we are taking care of kids from their first day of life to their 18th year (Pedia patients' age range), we cannot deny that they are still inseparable to their parents, especially their mothers. Maybe not much with those older children who are starting to explore the world independently, but with the younger ones, this is really visible. And still, as physicians and health providers, we should never overlook this very important fact: Always consider your patients' mothers/parents as well in your management plans.

A week of learning

We had lectures on how to properly conduct History and Physical Examinations on pediatric patients, (re)learned the different kinds of vaccinations and how to properly give them, and some important matters to prepare us for our one-month training. We also had some exposures in the Sick Child clinic (SCC) and some case-conferences which I consider very "high-yield", especially if you were able to read on them ahead of time. Which, as you know, is very unlikely to happen to me haha. Again and again, I have to remind myself that I must learn to study ahead and without limiting myself to the classroom setting. If you have the time read something :) It will always be worth it in the near future in sha Allah.

And then, the last but not the least: the 12-hour Pedia ER duty.

My first 12-hour duty in the Emergency Department

Emergency pediatrics hospital medical student medschool UPCMMy ER-Group started our duty in the Emergency Department (Pediatrics) at around 4PM and finished the next day, 4AM. There were some amazing cases during our stay, some are toxic but most are benign. And as ICC's who know nothing much, what we did there were mostly "monitoring" of vital signs -_-. But hey! It's as important to the other tasks as well, at least we are contributing somehow right? And this is the first and only exposure we have in the ER for this Learning unit. More of it would be in LU6 and 7. But I really hope they would train us more so that you know we wont be too surprised or overwhelmed by the tasks we might have in the near future as clerks and interns. 

(photo inset: The ICCs, Clerks and Interns on duty; photo from Karl)

Taking a break. Time: 2AM

=== ===================

Ina' is here!

Now moving on to the not-gloomy news: My mom is now here in Manila :) it was really great to see her face and hug her after months of staying away. I wasn't able to go home last December, so it was a wonderful gift that she is now here :) Alhamdulillah. I would talk to her about our patients, the funny experiences, the sad ones, and it was always a wonderful feeling to have her here, to share these thoughts I have in mind that I can never share to any one else. 

She also shared her stories about us growing up, which are always funny yet inspiring. Mothers are always the best huh?

Next week we will have a break from Pediatrics and go back to the confusing world of Pharmacology. There will be an exam by the end of the week and I heard it's among the "hardest" exams. Huh. Since when did we have any not "hardest" exam anyway?

Okay, that's all for now, Salam Kasilasa!

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

My block’s next rotation starting this month (January) is with the Department of Pediatrics. Yes, the wonderful world of Medicine for the little ones! We will be training in Pedia for a duration of four weeks just like our past rotation (in OB-GYN). It is also among the “Big Four” departments that all medical students must be familiar with in order to, well, pass. But like all other departments that we have been to, what I am really looking forward is learning more about dealing with patients in this department, enjoy my stay in this rotation and see for myself if I will be comfortable with it—you know, for future references.

And with our experiences in Pediatrics for the past two years, whenever I hear the term “Pedia”, the very first thing that would come in mind: There’re too many graphs and charts! This is perhaps the only field of medicine that has so many graphs and charts that one needs to be familiar with in order to survive. Growth charts, weight-for-length chart for boys and girls, BMI-for-age graphs, Childhood immunization schedules, developmental milestones, and they even have a separate BP readings by age!

“Children are not small adults” our professors would always remind us. They are not like adult humans; we cannot treat them the way we treat the adults. They have a lot different physiologic processes that are either absent or are still undergoing maturity compared to an adult human. Thus, taking care of them is pretty much on the more delicate side: we have to look for a lot of danger signs especially in administering medications. Plus, most of them don’t even know yet how to express what they are feeling! (Good luck interviewing a crying 8 month old baby).

Thus, any medical student who will go on training in the field of Pediatrics must really be well-prepared for all these. He must learn how extract information from both the parents and the child if possible. He must be alert and observant in the child’s actions and expressions. He must have a good background of the normal developmental milestones of the child, what is in the normal range and what is not (ha! Good luck to me on that!). And lastly, he must learn how to be child-friendly and don’t scare the hell out of every child he interviews. They say having a toy with you will “make or break” your history-taking. Hmm, now where is that teddy bear of mine? (Just kidding, I don’t own things like that)

Now for the preparations. What an ICC Student must have to prepare for the month long training in Pedia:

1. First in the list is the bible: Nelson’s Pediatrics 19th Edition. 

Nelson Book Pediatrics 19th
It’s up to you if you will buy the book or just get an electronic copy (it’s illegal, isn’t it?). I don’t have the book, so yeah, you already know what I have. You really don’t have to read the book cover to cover (no one have ever done that I am pretty sure). According to the orientation slides I have read, we will only focus on the top 10 Ambulatory Morbidities in the PGH for Pediatrics. On what those are, we will still find out along the way. There will be a lot of Patient preceptorials and SGD’s right after that. So, it is pretty wise to have an electronic copy to sneak in and read some basic concepts on your case while waiting for your preceptor to arrive.

The original book costs around P5,000+ but you can buy it in a cheaper price in Recto (I found one arounf P4100) or in any of the fraternity/sorority book-sales.

Dr. Fe Del Mundo's Textbook on Pediatrics and Child Health is also another option if you have the luxury of time and money. But it's pretty hard to find a copy of it. It's pretty old and I don't when's the last time they published a new set of copies. A lot of my friends recommend this though. Don't expect me to give you a review of this one, haven't read much on it. 

2. The “Red Book” aka Preventive Pediatric Health Care Handbook 7th Edition (2014) published by the Philippine Pediatric Society. Before our ICC rotations started we were asked if we wanted to purchase these beautiful thing, of course most of us bought their own personal copy. It’s pretty helpful I think, maybe until your own medical career in the future. It costs around P200 (I forgot the original price).

Red book philippine pediatrics 2014
The "Red Book"
Published by the Philippine Pediatric Society

 I have not read all the contents yet. Just scanned through them and I find it very useful because for once all the necessary charts and graphs I have been worried about are attached in the booklet! ^_^ Happiness! I mean, I no longer need to print a separate copy of them all.

Red book pediatrics content growth charts
Colored growth charts for girls
Red book pediatrics content Vaccine immunization child
Childhood Immunzation schedule
Red book pediatrics content
Preventive Pediatric Healthcare recommendations

And look! The book also comes with this Visual Acuity chart for kids :)
Wonder if I will be able to use this though

3. The other ICC essentials
We already talked about this in our separate post: The ICC Essentials #link#. Perhaps what would really be useful here are the measuring tapes to measure all those circumferences and lengths of growing limbs and parts of every child patient you meet in the wards.

Tausug pouch medical stuff medstudents
My ICC Pouch ^_^ with a touch of Tausug Piys

medical equipments ICC medstudent
My ICC Stash. Sorry it's always messy.
 And with the special performance from these two:

4. Pediatric Stethoscope
This one is not really mandatory but very highly encouraged. You’ll, there are things that you can’t hear with your adult stethoscope and a Pedia Steth would really save your day.

Stethoscope for children medstudent
My new Pediatric Stethoscope ^_^
Finally I can use this Pedia Steth my beloved sister gave me :D Thanks Inn!

5. Sphyg wit Pedia Cuff
An attachable pedia or infant cuff for your aneroid sphyg will surely be handy. Do not expect to get an accurate BP of your infant patient using your adult cuff! You can buy these awesome things in Bambang (Medical Equipment Center—as I call that place) for about P400 a piece without the aneroid.
BP App, sphyg children pediatric infant
A Child-size Sphyg cuff would really be helpful.

I wonder if I missed anything else? Hmm. For now that would be the things we need in preparation for Pediatrics. Oh yes, I almost forgot this one:

6. An Approachable, child-friendly, non-monstrous face.
Have an approachable smiley faceTry to be as child-friendly as possible. Keep a smiling face whenever you approach a pedia patient. Most of the time they would be shy and scared on your first visit, but when they realized later on that you are harmless and you are there to help them, I am pretty sure the kids will like you and be more comfortable with you. If you are doing well, you would even receive a bonus: a heartfelt smile and "thank you, doc" and a cheerful wave after your stay with them.

Now that we are pretty much “prepared” for the training, what’s next? Simple: Enjoy your learning experience! :)

Personal Note: Ahmad, there are a lot of children in Pandami and Siasi and even Jolo who never really had seen any doctors in their whole lives! So you really have to learn a lot from your short stay here so that you can at least give them something in terms of service. And you love kids don’t you? Plus, this rotation will surely be important in your training if you plan on applying for an Off-campus Elective in Pediatrics in Zamboanga (or Sulu). Just do your best. And stop slacking around!

Salam Kasilasa!

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

This post will be more of a full-of-photos blogpost as they say, "pictures can paint a thousand words" :) I will just give a short introduction about it.

Last December 27, 2014 the New Muslim Care Philippines conducted a feeding program and Islamic lecture in BASECO, Manila as part of its "Empowerment Event". NMC Philippines is a Non-Profit Organization composed of dedicated Muslims in the Metro who aims to help the Ummah in simple ways they can, worked hard for the success of the event together with other organizations like

Bangsamoro OFW Organization (BOFWO) and
Philippine Ramadhan Tent Kitchen.

Alhamdulillah, we thank all those volunteers who came to support us even though we have nothing much to give them in return. Verily, the best deed one can give is that good deed without expecting anything in return. :) 

Jazakumullahu Khairan and may Allah increase His bountiful blessing upon you and your families. Ameen. 
Now for the photos of what happened that day... (PS. there's also a video by the end of this post :)

Volunteers preparing for the activity. 

Jojo Valdez, President of NMC Philippines giving the Opening remarks

While we took the kids outside to play!

Counting off, and introducing each other to the particpants.

Even the volunteers are participating in the game! haha

The kids taught us about teamwork :)

And having fun! (Searching for their Tsinelas)

Working together to win the prize. and have fun as well
We need to win! Wait who owns this shirt?

Longest line, you say?
After the exhausting games.. Everybody wins! yeaay!

Who's this, a Muslim Santa Claus?
Just kidding. Peace!

Meanwhile, Ustadz Ahmad Javier is giving lectures to the parents.
Look at that approachable smile 

The Bangsamoro OFW Organization in Green at the forefronts 

The kids exhausted and hungry waiting in line for their... free lunch! yeaheey!

Nom nom nom. Bismillah.

Oh yeah, the photographer almost forgot to take pictures with the kids :)

And the big Bros and Sisses with the kids

The Backstairs Boyzz
Organizers and Volunteers

The Women of Paradise --ehem--
Organizers and Volunteers

 And here's a great video by bro Rashid Garcia


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just saying. -Dr. Ahmad