Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Four Months Down

Fun! Done with 123 days on internship so far! :)

For those 123 days, I've learned to become a monitoring machine, a med-tech, a counselor, a nurse, a secretary, a social worker, a child psychiatrist, a rectal examiner, a retractor b*tch, a blood runner, a vein stripper, a pseudo-anesthesiologist, an EMT, a rad tech, a bullet extractor, a research assistant, and a nose job model.  A colorful road to becoming a full-fledged doctor don't you think? :)

(Forgive the random rambling. I have a headache and too much fastfood in my blood.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little Blessings

For every whine of every day, I get little blessings in return. Gotta love the Big Person Upstairs for throwing the little surprises to keep my spirits up.

Like I got a Sunday with my family, which is quite rare because the universe somehow conspires to make my duty days fall on Sundays most of the time.  We ate a lovely lunch at The Old Spaghetti House in Robinson's Otis; thin crust cheese and pepperoni pizza, hearty spaghetti, pesto pasta, calamares, nachos, and chocolate chip cookie a la mode.  Our family then headed over to our ancestral home in Sampaloc to celebrate my sister's birthday with pancit palabok and mocha-chocolate cake.  I had a chance to play with our family's lovable askal Cloud, who loved horseplay and belly rubs (and took extra care to keep his paws off my hospital whites.)

Monday found me finishing chart rounds early (as most patients were out-on-pass, given the long weekend), being a research assistant for a greater part of the morning, then off at noon.  My aunt sent me a message inviting me to go around the mall with her, which I accepted.  Spent a good part of my afternoon eating (a delicious grilled burger, chunky fries, enchiladas, and chips), browsing shops, and snagging two new tops.  I also got a haircut (my first in about eight weeks); the stylist happily lopped off about 8 inches of frizzy hair off, leaving me looking about 5 years younger. Teehee.  Since it was late, I opted to go home to the ancestral house in Sampaloc to sleep, but not before watching a bit of TV, eating some cashew roca, and browsing through gossip rags.

Today, again finished chart rounds early, interviewed two more patients for the study, had the funniest encounter in the plastic surgery office (where a patient pointed to my nose and asked for similar nostrils), and observed in the pre-op conference. Lunch was followed by a short nap, then a visit to my friend in Tahilan.  Back at my dorm, I took a nice shower then dinner. Now I'm just checking my email and producing this post.

So far, I've had this great stretch of little blessings and I am more than thankful for everything that came my way.  They are such great pick-me-ups because the previous weeks weren't quite as restful.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


About 100 days into my internship in the national hospital (also known as 100 days of being a glorified aliping sagigilid or scut monkey), I was ready for a break.  I noticed that I was becoming less compassionate towards patients and their bantays, and such greatly bothered me because I'm usually the person who would find any and every way to make sure that a patient got a radiologic procedure, labs, or medications.  Helping the really needy is a noble job, however, the health care situation here is far from ideal, so things become draining and feel futile after a while.  I guess that truth finally sunk in and has me all but scrambling to get back into the slightly more civilized world of private practice.

I guess it was encountering a certain subset of patients on a daily basis that had me figuratively throwing my hands up in defeat and saying "fuck all this."  Ever heard of the phrase "mahirap tumulong sa mahirap?"  I particularly am bothered by patients (and bantays) who come in and demand top notch care (and whatnot), yet refuse to move a muscle when the time comes to do their part.  We need them to register, go to social services, submit labs, get radiologic requests approved, buy the medications or needs, while we doctors tend to the patient's most immediate needs; some of these bantays are content to watch or want us to do those things mentioned, which is unfair and impossible because we're tending to a good number of other patients who need urgent care as well.  I particularly loathe those people who are exceptionally rude and feel so entitled.  There are times I want to scream at them, "you're not even paying your taxes!"  I guess being constantly exposed to the harsh urban life bestows a certain mean (cue in Taylor Swift now) attitude on them, that they can't help being that way, much to their detriment and our dismay.  In the beginning, I tried to reason with this people in the sweetest possible way, but repeated "fail" moments have me abandoning the attempt.  I'm not ashamed to say that there were times I had to raise my voice and put on a mega-frowny face to get things moving.

Gah, being a doctor is such a thankless job.  I don't want the negativity from this people to influence my life but I think I'm beginning to turn into a heartless automaton bee-yotch.