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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My last day as an ICC

By  Ahmad Ibn Hajiri     June 08, 2015    Labels:,,,,,,,, 
Assalamu Alaykum (Peace be upon you all)

Last week was, if I could literally translate it, was indeed a "hell week" for us ICCs. We had our final exams on Pharmacology, Otorhinolaryngology (ORL), Ophthalmology, Pediatrics and NeuroPsychology, had our Annual Comprehensive exam (200 items presented in a time-allotted powerpoint slide) and our ever-dreaded Grand OSCE (stands for "Objective Structured Clinical Examination, something like a practical exams with different stations). After the last exam in Friday of that week, we were already in a "finally-its-over" mode until the results of the exams came in. Some of the students did not make it to the passing rate of some station sin the OSCE and so they have make up for their grades. I failed in two of the stations (Psychology and Pedia: Vaccinations station). That afternoon we finished the "repeat exam" for the Psychology station, Alhamdulillah we all passed. The repeat rotation for pediatrics was scheduled the next day: A 3-hour duty in different wards in PGH.

It was then that my last day of ICC year was extended for another day.

Did I regret failing in the OSCE? At first yes, but later on I was in fact more grateful that I unintentionally did so. Why? I realized that spedning my last day as an ICC interacting with patients was far better than grumbling over pages of exam papers trying to find out what's the best letter to shade on my answer sheets ^_^ And I was not wrong.


The Saturday of that week (yesterday as per this writing), I spent my last day as an ICC (3rd year) student in the Pediatrics ward to complete my "Repeat rotation" as I unintentionally failed one of the stations in the OSCE (something like a practical exam). Honestly, at first I was disappointed as I was supposed to be spending a good acads-free weekend. But later-on as I approach the end of my "duty", we were asked to monitor the vital signs of some patients. It was a short and then became a wonderful encounter that I never expected in the first place.

I met Matt, who was so cheerful, he even offered his snack to me (to which I declined. Come on it was his only snack!). He keep on asking his mom when will they finally get out of the hospital. He would even make comments about some of the kids who cry often (a normal thing in the Pedia ward)

I met Andrew, who had a "hole in his heart", and after asking him what he wanted to be when he grow up, he shyly answered: "Like you, kuya. I want to be a doctor." I simply smiled and told him to do his best and achieve that dream. I want to see him become a better doctor one day. And before moving on to the next bed, he asked what's my name. Andrew found a "best buddy" while staying in the ward, a fellow patient next to his bed. But he was asleep when I came to visit, so I wasn't able to talk to him.

I met Kyla. Well, she was just sleeping. A fragile angel at 4 days old who came to the world too early (31 weeks). Perhaps she was too excited eh? While struggling to find her pulse, I wondered if ever I could hear her speak or see her dreams, what would they be?

I met a few more kids in Ward 9 before the last patient to be monitored. We finished around 10 minutes before 6PM (we were supposed to end at 5PM). But rather than complain about extending our stay, I was in fact more glad that I did... It felt more fulfilling.  That day I went home not feeling as exhausted as I expected, but instead with a heart filled with hopes and dreams for those kids I met. That last day of my ICC year gave me more reasons to tell myself how much I really love this job.

After that one week of toxicity reading pages upon pages of notes and readings, we tend to forget that we are here not for the grades we desperately try to salvage, not even for the diseases that we always try to make sense of. We are here for our patients: For these people who needed our services so badly.

Therefore we, as doctors, have that great responsibility to hone our skills and be better physicians each day. For after all, what is a doctor but a mere human flesh with nothing but a few knowledge and skills to treat his fellow kind. We are no different from them.

Salam Kasilasa,
Ahmad ibn Hajiri

About Ahmad Ibn Hajiri

Ahmad is a young Tausug Physician now serving as one of the Doctor to the Barrios (DTTB). He is a free spirit. He loves coffee. And fish.

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just saying. -Dr. Ahmad