April Fools and Medical Tools

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Earlier today, I was reading a blog… It had reasons why you shouldn’t become a doctor. Natawa ako. I understood and mostly, I felt what the author was trying to say about the medical field. In summary, he said that you shouldn’t delve into studying medicine if you are not ready to sacrifice your friends before Medical School, your relationships and pretty much your own health and sanity.

Doctors are not the healthiest people on the planet, they are sleep deprived, eat irregularly and do whatever it takes to survive the stress. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is evident when you’ve been on duty and you had to choose between sleep or quality time with a significant other. Sleep wins. Physiologic needs trump the need for love and belonging, for security. You need to find either a partner who is in the same field or a SAINT who would willingly put up with the craziness you’re going through. However there is ONE reason why you should take up Medicine. If it is your calling, if it is the one thing you see yourself doing FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE then by all means, GO FOR IT.

Tomorrow is April 1. What’s special? Wala naman because I don’t have any summer vacation picture to post in my page nor a “mouthwatering” body to display in the beach. Sa totoo lang, wala pa ako maayos na tulog. Hindi dahil nag-inuman kami hangga mag umaga, nagpagulong-gulong sa beach, sumayaw buong gabi ng “Feel this Moment”. Nasa hospital ako, naka duty. Habang pinagmamasdan ko ang pasyente ko pinapa nebulize, sumagi sa isip ko na mag ta-tatlong taon na pala ako nung unang sinabak kami sa hospital bilang doktor. Oo, April 1, trending na naman nyan ang mga hastags #clerkship, #juniorinternship , #lowestformofanimal ,#ninjaintern , #boyatgirltakas , #anakngdiyoskayapullout at kung sosyal ka,#shetwhitelacosteshoeskomayblood

Mahabang pasensya ang kailangan sa #clerkship. You have to survive this step in your medical career even if it means hardly seeing your family whom you live with, even though you won’t be able to see your best friends that much, even though you’re in a group different from your friends, even though you would be seeing your ex’s girlfriend/boyfriend in the hospital every single day, even though another ex is dating your group mate, even though you would miss a lot of events including weddings of friends and christening of their kids birthdays and everything else, even though you would end up not watching your favorite shows or get to watch movies you’ve been dying to see, even though you are going to lose the guy/girl that made your heart skip a beat again (whom you just met a couple of weeks before clerkship), You just got to deal with it. Everything would fall into place if it is in His will.

But before you can go further, you need to be able to fulfill your basic responsibility. As a medical student, that responsibility is to study well. The pervasive nature of mediocrity is such that medical students who get by with “Pwede na,” “Ayos lang iyan,” and “Bakit ko ba pahihirapan ang sarili ko?” later on become the doctors who deprive their patients the opportunity to receive the best possible medical care at the soonest possible time. Remember that every minute of delay translates, not just to inconvenience at your patient’s end, but to another minute of unnecessary pain, or anxiety, or hopelessness.

You’ve already invested so much into this, your parents gave so much for this. Sweat, blood and tears went into your career path and it’s not over yet… There’s nothing else you can do but survive. Let’s take it one day at a time. Matatapos din yan  As I’ve always been saying, by choosing to become a doctor, you make a commitment to pursue excellence, to go above and beyond expectations whenever possible. That commitment starts, not during #clerkship, not when you pass the licensure exam, but on the day you turn page one of your Anatomy book

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About the author:

Francis Xavier “FX” Apostol, MD is a graduate of the Angeles University Foundation Medical Center School of Medicine Class of 2012. Aside from being a highly respected and dedicated doctor, is also a loving father and husband, a mentor, educator and lifelong learner. He also describes himself as pogi.

NB: this first appeared on the author’s social media account, accompanying pictures and words by Dr. FX Apostol. No copyright infringement intended.

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About allen mallari

physician by profession, writing is his other passion. irregularly updates his blogs spread precariously over the web. he also has a penchant for the absurd, the sublime and everything in between. View all posts by allen mallari

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