As My Clerkship Year Ends

Clerkship Day 253/253

Today is the last day of Clerkship (known to UPCM as Learning Unit 6 or LU6), my fourth year as a Medical students. No, maybe it is not yet the official end of the Academic year as we still have our 5 Final examinations and 2 Comprehensive exams next week... But yes, this is the end of our final rotations in the different departments in UP-PGH. I can't even believe I am all done with all of them!

We started with Pediatrics, then Family and Community Medicine, then Obstetrics and Gynecology then we had a one-month elective, then we went on to Surgery then Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology, then the dreaded Neurosciences, then longest rotation which is Internal Medicine and last came the not-so-fun-anymore "fun four": Rehab Med, Orthopedics, Otorhinolayngology (ORL/ENT) and Ophthalmology.

Wow! It felt like it started years ago! But it still feels like it just happened yesterday! Maa sha Allah!

And as I struggled to "relearn" the art of studying or cramming for the exams, I can't help but look back at the tracks we have left behind. There were indeed moments of joy and fun, of tears and struggles, of inspiration and great learning, of stubbornness and time-wasting... And I wondered, how much have I grown since day 1? Did I actually achieve my goal of preparing myself to become a better physician to serve my people in Sulu?

And as my Clerkship year ends,
I looked back at those times I spent talking and listening to my patients' stories.
I looked back at those times when a pedia patient would cry whenever he see me coming, thinking I would "inject" things to him again.
I looked back at those times when I see him get well, and heard him say goodbye with a smile.
I looked back at those times when a 5-year old patient hugged me and said "Thank you, Doc.", even though I wasn't able to do much if I were to take things into account.
I looked back at those few moments I shared telling stories to a patient who can no longer see at such young age.
I looked back at those times when I first "catch" a newborn and held him in my arms, her strong cries still loud in my ears.
I looked back at those times when a motherin labor held out his hand, asking for someone to hold her, and I was just the fortunate one to be there.
I looked back at those times, late in the nigH and we're still awake, pushing wheelchairs or stretchers along the dark hallways of PGH.
I looked back at those times we talked and learned about their stories.
 I looked back at those times I laughed with them, sometimes got angry with them, cried with them, cried for them.

While the rest of the world is in deep slumber... We stay up and work in the dark... to serve.

I looked back at those times I hopelessly kept on doing chest compressions as my patient's life slowly drained away from his body. "I just talked to him last night! This can't be happening! Please live!" I heard myself shouting in my mind.
I looked back at those times we tried all we could do to save a life only to end up failing.
I looked back at those few moments of silence that we could only offer for our dead patients.
I looked back. And remembered the nameless faces of families, friends flocking over their late loved one who just passed away. Did we fail them? "No," a senior once said, "We did the best we could. But it's never wrong to feel sad. We all know we are not playing Gods here. We can not save everyone."
I looked back at those moments that all I could say to them was "I'm sorry for your lost. Nakikiramay po kami."
And I looked back at those times, remembering too well the pain, the heaviness in my heart every single time I lose a patient right in front of me.

Today is the last day of being a Clerk. And yes, as I looked back... Really, a lot of things did happen. Did I actually grow and learn new things along the way? Perhaps I did, I just can't tell them apart. But it's here. I know it's somewhere here within me.

And so, for all those things that may have helped us clerks become better doctors-to-be, in behalf of my colleagues, I wanted to say thank you to all our patients whom we consider our real mentors.

"Your patients are your teachers," I remember one of our professors in Art of Medicine once said, "They will teach you things you will never learn in these thick pages of medical books. Things that will make you better physicians to them. So always try to learn from them."

THANK YOU!
MAGSUKUL TUUD KANIYU!

Outgoing LU6 Clerk, signing off.
Ahmad ibn Hajiri
posted from Bloggeroid

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