Medical school, so far, feels like a lifetime just filled with transitions.
YL7, or third year medical school, is all about moving out of the classroom and into the wards. Books and research journals will always be our master, but they’ve done all they can for now. With only a month or less until we start as clinical clerks, I’m not ashamed to say I’m daunted and overwhelmed and maybe unprepared. But I’m also terribly excited. I’M REALLY REALLY REALLY EXCITED AND READY TO DIE.
Firsts, Lasts and Always
I entered third year medical school with the idea that I should make the most out of my last classroom year. There were a lot of “no” moments that I forced myself to say “yes” to, and I’m really happy I did. They led to some of the most unique and best experiences of my time in ASMPH so far.
Whoever said high school are the best years of your life clearly didn’t go to med school. (I’m a firm believer that life only gets better as you get older, otherwise, what’s the point?). We spilled blood (literally), and cried tears during the OSCE and comprehensive finals. And yet we’re here. We’re thriving.
…So, finally, here’s a blog post of all the new things –with a smattering of old– that I tried out this school year. In hindsight, I probably slept most of the year and then crammed all of this excitement into the second semester. I have such a poor personal/social memory that I already don’t remember the sequence of events.
LAST Classroom Year
It’s hard to write about our “last classroom year”. What do I write about? The bloodbath hunger games-style scramble for the best seats, the kinks my back developed trying to snooze in those plastic chairs, my disdain for the random circles of Antarctica that freeze up our souls?
I think, academically speaking, I’ll miss the comfort of transes the most. It feels very weird to have to trust yourself and your groupmates instead. It also feels right.
And speaking of transcriptions… Up until the very end –not to be dramatic or anything– my trans group is still not that good at bonding together. Even the simple group birthday song or dinner seems like a struggle. But do you know what we we’re good at? General excellence. I’ve never met such individually competent people in my life.
FIRST Dance Workshop
Somewhere down the road of third year medical school, the Ateneo Med Dance Group had the brilliant idea to host a K-Pop dance workshop (they may or may not have been influenced by stans like me). This isn’t strictly an academic thing, but it is an ASMPH thing that I’ll be very happy to remember always.
I mean, I still can’t believe I survived dancing to BTS – Idol.
I honestly thought we were going to dance a girl group dance, which would be infinitely easier than a BTS performance. Hence, the BLACKPINK pose. Please don’t ask me to take this down in shame hahahaha.
LAST Debate Competition
You kind of never want to say you’re “retiring” from the debate community because people only end up throwing it back to your face when you inevitably join another one. But I had an opportunity to sign up for an international tournament this summer (and probably win a subsidy for my travel and reg fees), but just the thought of debating or adjudicating exhausted me. So maybe this really is it.
First –a non-academic debate competition, which I made a long post about elsewhere already (probably Facebook).
And then there’s the more academic debate. You’d be surprised by how many debate rounds happen in medical school. Or maybe it’s just Ateneo.
I haven’t done any interpellation within a debate since high school. So many cringe moments all around. At least we won.
Speaking of competitions –I also joined my first-ever CPC (Clinicopathological Conference). Along with quiz bees, I feel like CPCs are THE academic contests in medical school. Teams from different schools are given the same case, from patient history to course in the wards until death, but there are some pertinent information taken out. Using everything they’ve learned so far, teams have to logically infer the correct diagnosis and cause of death. Best in presentation, and presumably reasoning, wins.
I didn’t sign up to join, but somehow I ended up as the speaker for our presentation. It was: a learning experience. It was also, blessedly, a chance to talk to people in our school that I wouldn’t ever have talked to before. Late nights and free food (courtesy of a school fund) just to figure out a sherlockian mystery are memories I might as well treasure always.
FIRST International Academic Conference
I also attended (and presented) at another academic conference this school year. I know, shocking. Just kidding. I already blogged about this unbelievable experience in Thailand.
I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but I also didn’t originally sign up for this opportunity. I would like to thank Lea once again for putting up with my bossiness and self-entitlement.
Looking back, one of my biggest takeaways from this trip was the realization that the Philippine medical education system is hilariously underfunded and under-supported compared to our ASEAN neighbors. We’re excelling by the skin of our teeth.
FIRST IV Cannulation (of Many!)
Here comes the blood! I’m very very very proud that I got the IV cannula inserted pretty much on the first try (same with the venipuncture, though technically that one’s not my first time). I still ended up getting Chanel’s blood everywhere (sorry!).
Next month, when we start serving hospitals at the bottom of the food chain, the only thing we’ll have is confidence and the willingness to learn. No matter how bloody.
I cannot count the number of times I have been referred to as a “rose among the thorns“. First of all, that’s sexist. Second of all, my Clinical Experience (Clinex) group mates were absolutely harmless. Hilarious though.
We’ve been through 10 ClinEx sessions together –many of them in the isolated, impossible-to-Grab Pasig City General Hospital– and I can say with full honesty that I loved the experience. There were many stupid moments, but that’s what learning experiences are for.
bonus: neonatology preceptorial
FIRST Year-End Concert “Exhibit”
Going to Saturday events are a bit of a rarity for me. I always buy tickets to the year-end dance concerts in the hope that my extrovert persona will rear its head, but alas, it never did in the first two years. But then I heard that a good 1/3 of my batch was performing for this one, so I thought maybe third time’s the charm.
LAST Batch Party
I don’t like parties. There’s always a pressure to drink, and I can honestly say I’ve made really bad decisions under the influence so I never go. I’m also allergic, so there’s that.
Anyway. The party became bearable and I became more sociable after a bottle or two. Hopefully never again though. The things I do for my batchmates…
I made a resolution to talk to at least five people I usually don’t talk to, and I kind of did! I’m very proud already.
bonus: first (and only other) med school party
I’m fairly sure I glowed up. Maybe.
ALWAYS: ASMPH Batch 2021 #21Se #21BigFight
Just the batch. I guess no matter happens in the next two years, I’m happy to have learned with all of you.
last ever TBL
It was a disaster. I’ve suppressed it from my memory. Here’s a happier picture of my LEC to compensate.
first aid workshop
Featuring one of the cutest people in my life, Xtine.
scrubbing, gowning and gloving
Another first of many!
volunteering for a mock OSCE for batch 2022
No actual photo. Have Chanel and me with a cookie.
bye for now!
Honestly people were coming up to me and calling me a rare Pokemon. True though.