Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Just a few moments to relax before facing my Physio exam tomorrow and moving exam in Histology... Can't believe this is the second to the last week before the 1st sem ends- next week is the 2nd bi-monthly- Finals for the semestral courses like Psychiatry 1 and Embryology but just the 1st half of all the other subjects which are annual.


Like I said before- med school demands time, money, and concentration. There are a lot of hurdles along the way- even a board topnocher once remarked, she had her share of failed exams in med school even when she studied. The amount of information to absorb is just astounding... The previous lesson may not have sunk in yet, but you are bombarded with new information yet again. The trick is to never quit.

Even the smartest do not always survive, it is usually those determined enough to adapt and learn. I think my biggest weakness which I am happy I can admit now is my impatience for long, drawn out plans. It had been my pattern to jump from one industry to another once I get bored or lose interest, and never really have a 10-15 year plan. It was simply part of my personality, but the good thing is now, every time I become weary or tired I just think of what a great opportunity this is, and the rewards the future will bring. Earlier I was worn out to the bone, looking out the window waiting for the bell to ring so I could move to the next station for the anatomy practical exam- I looked at the decapitated cadaver in front of me and thought: Ok, so memorizing muscles and nerves and blood vessels may not have been the best thing, but one day I'll need that knowledge when I treat my patients. I felt better knowing that it does have some value not only in preparing me for my profession but for the kind of physician I'll be. Like in Nursing school, I never really "shined" until 3rd year- that's when we had our hospital duties. Being part of the action is so much more interesting than the classroom.


The first sem enabled me to get a "feel" of what to expect for the next four years. Good thing I've kept in touch with other med students I met in WVSU interview- we get to compare our student lives, swap stories and tips and get a wider perspective. Here are some stuff I learned:

1. Some professors "recycle" old questions, some do not. Sometimes you'll be surprised the one with most connections instead of the smartest will get the highest score- it means they have upperclassmen friends.

2. There are certain peculiarities per school- in CIM they only identify muscles but no longer focus on origin/insertion/innervation but they are particular with Biochem. In RTR anatomy is very challenging because aside from memorizing all the muscles-Origin, Insertion, Innervation, Action, you also memorize a litany of nerves, vessels, bones, and have a 100 item moving exam at the end of a unit or two. For each region, ex. upper extremity- four different professors will give four different sets of exams-each with their own style. The worst thing is that RTR is big on recall-type (instead of analysis-type multiple choice like in WVSU, and our previous school St Scho) exams- enumeration, identification, definition of terms, illustration and labeling. Oh well, I suppose one can't go about anatomy without memorizing. Surprisingly, Biochem is not that bloody here.

3. Your study habits will/ may change according to demand. Your body will be exhausted, your spirit broken, deal with it. And get back on track. Do what works for you. I am a visual person so I make diagrams, drawings to remember the lessons.

4. Learn to enjoy and soak in the environment. Again every school is different. Here, I was shocked students spent so much money on occasions (P650 for an acquaintance party? no thanks! spend 100,000+ in three days for the foundation days? quite unreasonable to demand for 1st year students), but then again apparently those events are "big deal" and are tradition so doing our part would be a good thing to do. At least the Academic calendar is followed, so at least I can plan my trips ahead- now that's something I always look forward to. Travel as therapy...


I have more respect for doctors now, and for the first time I actually I could imagine myself as one. Suffice to say, everything is slowly coming together, thanks in a large part to my loved ones who believe in me more than I believe in myself lol... The battle is long, but I can say I am willing to slug it out and one day live the dream of graduating with honors when I get my MD. That sounds so abstract, but as long as I have the patience it will become reality in due time- with a lot of hard work, blood , sweat, and tears.

Here's to hoping. and DOING!

PS: The proposal for the first ever official student publication is already in motion, good thing the alumni is supporting the cause. The meeting last week with the good doctors of alumni association resolved to make a formal letter to the RTR President Cong. FM Romualdez, and once it gets the "go signal", we begin recruitment of the organization members. That's one more reason for me to be determined to make it- writing is a passion that feeds my drive.

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