Baffled

I HAD the immense privilege of helping Rich King, our batch head, compose the speech for the welcome ceremony for incoming first years in the Department of Medicine last week. His delivery gave this short message a more serious, determined tone; and he spoke like a seasoned orator. Here it is, in full.

Internal Medicine - Philippine General Hospital
Credit: Dr. Nemo Trinidad

It still baffles us: the fact we made it to residency in Internal Medicine at the Philippine General Hospital. When we look back at the rigorous pre-residency process just a few months ago, we had no way of knowing whether we were going to get in at all. There were so many applicants, many at the top of our own classes, all oozing with brilliance and compassion, so much so that in the end, we felt it was anybody's game. We wouldn't feel cheated if we didn't get in and they did. And yet, by God's grace, by a beautifully orchestrated miracle, we received the call one fateful afternoon. Some of us were still curled up in bed, or watching a movie over our laptop, and when we heard the resounding, “Congratulations! You made it!”, many of us couldn't believe our ears. Our lives finally took a new direction for the next three years.

And true enough, here we are. It's been about a month since we had begun. Just four weeks or so of the proverbial PGH IM Residency Experience have made us realize that this life—residency training—isn't a walk in the park. It is tough, challenging, humbling, nerve-wracking, exhausting, but it can also be fulfilling. The joy of seeing a patient about to die just a few days ago walk out of the hospital, feeling better, as if nothing had happened—that's priceless. Nothing can compare to that. And that keeps us going.

We are, indeed, honored to be a part of the Department of Medicine family. We are grateful for the opportunity to be trained in one of the country's best institutions, by the best people. There are no words for the immense gratitude we feel. We hope that we will become internists the Department can be proud of. We look forward to working with you all. Thank you!

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