What Your Doctors Always Promise You (But probably don’t tell you)

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RMC Department of Internal Medicine Residents with their Chairman and Training Officers.

 

As early as medical school, it has always been emphasized to never promise anything to patients –otherwise, we might just be giving them false hopes. For the science of Medicine is never stagnant and ever changing. Its art sometimes more philosophical than logical. And with the advent of modern technology and new discoveries, its practice has never been this sophistically complicated.

 

Medicine has its glorious moments, and it has its gloomy days. We’ve had patients who came in dead, but went home walking. We’ve also had days when we admitted a seemingly well patient accompanied by his wife in the morning, who unfortunately ended up a widow in the afternoon.

 

But no matter what condition your patient has –be it benign or toxic, simple or complicated, rest assured that we are doing everything we can. From the moment the very innocent-looking, young, and vibrant intern gets your medical history and examines you, to the time the tired and famished resident redoes all the things the intern did and makes your admitting orders, to the time your attending physician visits you, it doesn’t stop there. We prepare for each and every patient we see -from the usual late night readings, to the constant case discussions made during our regular conferences, to the daily rounds we do, until the day you are sent home.

 

So no, you will never hear us promise you a good outcome. But to tell you honestly, here’s one thing we, your doctors, always promise to do: that in every patient we see, in every case we encounter, no matter what the outcome is, we will always give you our best. That’s what we are trained to do, and that’s what Medicine is all about.

 

To burn all candles, exhaust all efforts, and explore all possibilites –all for the care and comfort of those who entrusted their lives to us. This is our promise to you. It has always been, and will always be.

Sick and you shall find.

He started by telling us his personal story of getting sick, which ignited his interest in searching for the truth.

Today was a warm and breezy Sunday afternoon well spent with my co-residents at one of our cardio consultants’ farm.

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Dr. Maleza and Manong Miguel with the RMC IM Residents after a sumptuous meal! #BusogLusog

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Post-lunch lecture where Dr. Maleza inspired us to always question available data for evidence and never tire in searching for the truth.

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K-A-R-A-O-K-E.

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View from the top.

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Bliss.

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The Koi pond.

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Dr. Maleza teaching us how to make probiotics. How cool is that?

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“Hala kanami!”

Quiz time = NAME that tree. Now this was the part where we (except Rhaffy) sounded and looked stupid. We can easily name the most common organisms involved in the different infections that occur in certain body parts… BUT WE DON’T KNOW THE NAME OF THE TREES!!!

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Tree number 1. What is it’s name?

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And this was Dr. Maleza’s reaction to our answers.

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More reactions.

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Well at least the boss had fun laughing at our guesses. Obviously, we don’t know our trees.

Breathers like this are a must for resident physicians. Getting out of the four walls of the hospital relieves you of your daily grind’s stresses -the echoing cries of patients and significant others that we are very familiar with, the never endings codes that happen here and there, and tons of events that extend your patience far beyond its limitations.

Stepping out of our arena every once in awhile not only maintains our sanity; but more importantly, it makes us realize that there is a world outside of medicine -something we have deprived ourselves as we hone our skills in taking care of the sick.

And this was exactly the goal of Dr. Francisco Maleza, Jr. for us this afternoon -to make us realize that despite the demands of the practice of medicine, we should still find time to pursue our true passions. 

For it is only by doing what makes us genuinely happy, when we can say that we have found our place in this world… and our purpose.

So what is that one thing that you are passionate about?

If you’ve already found it, never tire sharing it with others!

If you’re still searching, enjoy the journey -for sometimes it is in seeking that we truly get to know ourselves and our heart’s desire.

Liham Para sa Isang (Bagong) Residente

Dear “walang-kwentang, walang-alam na Resident” Self,

Hello.

Kumusta na?
Pagod na pagod ka na?
Titigil ka na ba?

Mas madaling sumuko. Mas madaling talikuran ang mga pagsubok at mga bunganga ng mga taong palagi na lang galit sa iyo na parang wala ka nang nagawang tama (o mga taong akala nila ay palagi na lang sila ay tama).

Pero ang tanong…
Magiging masaya ka ba pag matanda ka na at naalala mo na minsan ikaw ay naging residente sa isa sa pinakamagaling na ospital sa bansa pero tumigil ka dahil napagod ka?

Pahinga ang sagot sa pagod, hindi pagtigil.

Sapagka’t saan man at ano man ang iyong propesyon, kung ginagawa mo ang lahat nang maayos at binibigay mo ang iyong “best” sa mga ginagawa mo, nakakapagod talaga.

Balang araw, matatandaan mo ang lahat ng iyong pinagdaanan -lahat ng pagod, luha, galit, at saya na iyong naranasan bilang isang residente, at iyong mare-realize na lahat ng ito ay kailangan mong maranasan bilang parte ng proseso sa paghubog sa iyo hindi lang para ikaw ay maging isang magaling na doktor, kundi para maging isang makabuluhang doktor na may malasakit at pagmamahal sa kapwa. 

Okay lang mapagod, sapagkat kung ang kapaguran na pinagdadaanan natin ay nakakapangiti at nakakabuhay sa ibang tao, mas pipiliin kong mapagod habang buhay.

Palagi mong tandaan, hindi ka nag-iisa. May seniors ka at consultants sa likod mo, at may Diyos sa itaas. Hinding hindi ka nila pababayaan.

 

Remember the prayer you once wrote…

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Nagmamahal,

Your Future “Consultant” Self

My Aunt’s Advice to Young Physicians (And to the Young-At-Heart too)

So recently I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to visit my Aunt at Fresno, California. I knew during my childhood days that the eldest sister of my father was a doctor, but I never really got to know her better until today.

She graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine Class of 1969, did her internship at Framingham Union,then did her paediatric residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and finally her fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine. She has been in practice for 45 years, and is currently retired -that’s probably why she now has time to entertain guests at home! lol

Every day at her house, I get the chance of getting to know her and her sister (my “Di-ko“, Chinese word which means the second eldest sister of my dad) more and more. What amazed me was the fact that despite the generational gap (she’s now in her late 60s), we still get to talk about almost anything and everything -from light topics on love and life, to the heavy ones like how different the practice of medicine is today compared to how she did it during her time -of course our favorite topic would always be PGH. =)

One afternoon, we were having lunch at Red Lobster down at E Shaw Avenue when she gave me some advice on how to approach residency when I go back to the Philippines and start Internal Medicine on December.

She said,

You have to take your time. A lot of people are always in a hurry these days. It’s important for you to take time. Take time to talk to your patients. Take time to talk with the nurses. Take time to teach your students. They’re part of the team -this is something most residents miss out nowadays.

Boom. That just got me. I have always valued education and training a lot -especially teaching students, but I am also guilty of sometimes rushing things just to accomplish tasks on time.

This was just a wonderful and timely reminder. To young physicians like me. And even to the young-at-heart.

My Aunt, Dr. Emilia Ting - Garber (Fresno, CA)

My Aunt, Dr. Emilia Ting – Garber (Fresno, CA)