(/)Survive a month in med school!!!!!!
This may seem like such a small achievement for medical professionals who have already survived years of the med life, or for medical students that have hurdled more exams than I have, but I believe that this victory is still worth celebrating and remembering. We medical students study life – we should also learn how to celebrate it. ;)
“The first year is the hardest,” so they say about med school. It has been difficult, yes; PLM-CM never runs out of challenges to give. But, I am happy to say that it is not devoid of adventure; it is certainly not without many firsts! Some of these new experiences may make med school feel like it has been so long already, but some make me look forward to the next adventures that await. :D
This blog entry about my first month will highlight the firsts that I have experienced so far, not only in med school, but in the crevices of my sanity breaks.
First Time to Stop Calling my PH Upperclassmen as “Ate”/”Kuya”
Being the eldest child in the family, I’ve always wanted to address people older than me (by only a few years) as Ate/Kuya. So when I found out that I’ll be having some upperclassmen back in undergrad as my med school batchmates, I knew that this old habit will die hard. But being in med school taught me that even if these batchmates of mine have lived more years than I have, they are also adjusting to this adventure. I might as well treat them as equals since we are going through the same journey. :)
Here you can see a collage of some PHxPLM friends. Guess who the original upper classmen are! ;)
First Time to be Trans Head
Definition of Terms: Trans – short for transcript of the lecture; this is a class notes system, because it’s hard to take notes alone, especially in Med
I’ve never volunteered for anything trans-related back in my undergrad years. I would only volunteer to compile, and this compiling gig was still a challenge for me. Hence, I am known to pass my trans drafts on the last minute before the deadline. I knew myself, and I vowed to never take on trans responsibilities in the future. /that’s what she said/
But alas, that vow was meant to be broken. For I knew that when I asked our class president how our trans system would go, I was inflicting upon myself the burden of making sure that the system would optimally function. I accepted the burden, hoping that things will get better in the long run. And besides, all responsibilities come to an end, right? (I keep telling this to myself, every time haha)
Of course, everyone had to adjust to the trans system – even my fellow PH undergrads who were not used to integrating information from the book into the transcript. Even I had to adjust, of course. From the girl who submitted drafts at the last minute, I became the one who received them. I also had to remind the Trans Formers (lol) about rotation schedules and trans deadlines. Personal order level up! Meticulousness level up! @-)
It was, and still is, a challenge. My prayer for every trans I receive is that it will be a joy to edit, and that I will have much patience as I wait for the drafts. But although I am challenged, I am thankful for having co-trans heads that are reliable colleagues and God-fearing women. They inspire me to be more patient with others, and with myself.
What I deal with on a regular basis:
First CYA-Lingkod Fellowship!
Otherwise known as my first detox session in this med life, haha! Basically,Lingkod is CYA’s working population counterpart, hence the need to bond more :) I met a lot of Lingkod brothers and sisters for the first time in this detox session, and I am happy to say that my listening skills have been honed! Thank you brothers and sisters for sharing your stories. My listening skills need to be developed so that I’ll be a good doctor :)
First Meeting with “New Friends”
I speak for the bones we had to study for the first Gross Anatomy Practicals. :)) I thoroughly enjoyed the intricacy of the structures, and I appreciated how structural characteristics define a part’s function. I know too that ancient bones are way easier to look at than cadaveric muscles, so I’m happy to say that I have appreciated them! :P
Spot my “new friend” among the new friends :
First Case Conference
Definition of Terms: Case Con – basically, where future doctors gather to discuss medical cases that are of relation to the lecture at hand
My first one was definitely a horror film worth watching – well, from my point of view, at the least. Contrary to what many people think, I easily get intimated in formal academic discussion. When you couple that with a preceptor that forbade us from looking at notes, you get a tongue tied girl whose nerves got the best of her! Haha. :)) But if there’s one thing I learned here, it’s this: great competence leads to great confidence. May my love for learning overcome my fear of doing something colossally wrong. :)
First Karaoke Sesh with the Med Buddies
When is the best time to sing your heart out? After three catastrophic quizzes and a Case Con, of course! And that’s exactly what we did. We may not have fully grasped those Cell Physiology concepts at the time, but we did what our lecturer said: entertain yourselves. Being a musically inclined person, this was a cathartic way to release all the insecurities and negative thoughts about med school. Thank you to the VP Committee who thinks the same way! :))
But definitely not the first crammed one! HAHA. It was all about how you envisioned yourself as a five-star doctor. Being a visionary, I tried to make my thoughts as concrete as I can… in a span of two hours, because cram is lyf HAHAHA. Since I whipped up in two hours what others meticulously think about in two days, I definitely did not expect a special mention in class! God’s ways are definitely not ours. Or maybe it was just the karaoke. :))
First Class Bonding Sesh
AKA being honest about first impressions & finding out who’s single and who isn’t over slices of Big Guys Pizza. Haha! We may have crammed it, but it was a great way to break the ice and develop bonds beyond our original barkada. I’m sure the rest of the year will be great for us, as manifested by the great pictures we have! :)
(PSA: Baluarte de San Diego Gardens has such picturesque scenery! Pro tip: Bring along a shutterbug with you. :P)
First Changes in the Action Group Leadership
Definition of Terms: Action Group – CYA’s unit groups
Since I am now a student of PLM & not UPM, I also had to make the big switch as to the AG I’ll be handling! I had to say goodbye to my old group of UPM sisters, and hello to my new one composed of sisters who studied in PLM & Mapua. I must say that God was present in both my goodbye and my hello, and I am assured that He is with my sisters all the way. I am confident that God is leading me to where love can go, so I only hope to be an effective instrument :)
Here’s a collage with my old group coming in first & my new one coming in second!
First Case Con Prep Sesh in Mcdo Faura
Back in undergrad, my curfew was at 9PM. But now, change has come! HAHA. This was definitely a productive endeavor, for I certainly learned a lot from my classmates about how to analyze pathophysiology pathways. I now know how to fix my nerves for Case Con: by learning from PLM’s chosen future doctors :)
First Birthday Celebration in SM Manila
We medical students study life – we should also learn how to celebrate it. ;) and that’s exactly what we did! We began our first toxic week by celebrating James’ birthday in Tokyo Tokyo SM Manila. Nothing ever beats a restaurant with unli rice, for as James said: rice is lyf. Hahaha. Definitely thankful for pauses and sanity breaks like these! :) I hope Tokyo Tokyo keeps on supporting our unli rice diet. :))
First Visit to Intra Mall
Definition of Terms: Lab Con – basically, where future doctors gather to integrate theoretical principles with laboratory results
I definitely did not know that there were good study places in Intramuros! Without that class suspension & without groupmates who graduated from PLM, I definitely wouldn’t have discovered this. :)) It was a productive work session, not only LabCon wise, but also Pokemon Go wise! Thank you to Café Pression for being our sponsor. :))
The challenge here was not knowing which part you’ll report. :)) But even though this was the case, it was less nerve-wracking than I thought. Either that, or maybe it was the assuring presence of Dr.Velasco that saw us through. We were blessed with a preceptor that allowed us to help the groupmates who needed elaborate answers, and who patiently explained to us the concepts we got jumbled up. It definitely went better than I thought for we weren’t that clueless about what was to come. Thank you Lord for a kind preceptor and good groupmates! :)
First Cadaver Dissection
Don’t worry, I won’t be too graphic about this. Main point of realization though: I now get why some doctors work out. Procedures such as surgeries require lots of stamina, and if you get tired easily, you won’t be able to deliver! This I learned while enduring the stench of formalin and the mixed odors in our Gross Anatomy lab. Haha!
I’m also thankful to have groupmates who are eager to learn the ways of anatomy and surgery. I hope to learn from them too; even if I know in my heart that I will never be a surgeon, I will be needing this knowledge too. :)
First YC Study Sesh with the Med Buddies
Definition of Terms: YC – short for CYA Youth Center. CYA’s ultimate tambayan hahahaha
For our last evening study session before the Neuroanat and Physio exams, we chose the YC as our refuge. My classmates certainly enjoyed its amenities, and I am sure that this won’t be the last study session here :)) Even if we were laughing practically half the time, I am still blessed to have friends who kept me awake for at least a few hours. Haha! :))
First Topic Proposal Defense in Med
But definitely not the first time to get grilled and rejected! HAHA. Main lesson learned: medical research is waaaaaay different from public health research. The learning curve is steep but not totally unattainable. The adjustment phase towards the beast that is PLM Med continues, even for subjects that constitute only one unit of the curriculum. I am thankful still for groupmates that have been accepting of my suggestions, and undergrad friends who listened to my stories! :) Below is a rare picture with the CPH reps to PLM-CM 1D 2020:
First Detox Sesh in SM Manila
Our first day in Med was July 18. One month later, we chose to celebrate our first month by having fun in SM Manila! It was my first time to try the Just Dance in World of Fun, and it definitely released my endorphins! Thank you to my classmates who were game as well!! Lesson learned: Zumba must make a comeback in my routine. :))
And if you think that’s all we did, think again!! Just Dance may be fun, but nothing ever beats a cathartic karaoke session (feat artists from Mandy Moore to Jessa Zaragosa) in Karaoke Hub. Here, we have proven to ourselves and to their staff that fitting 10 people into a room of 5 – and dealing with such arrangement for 2 hours — is definitely possible. ;)
My first month of Med was definitely a roller coaster ride, and I’m only thankful that I’m not going through this journey alone. Here’s to happier times in the months to come!