Thursday, August 6, 2009

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Baptism of fire

Today was supposed to be the baptism of fire, the yearly ritual of subjecting first year medical students to a battery of tests that lasts for the entire day.

Much as I would've wanted to, I didn't get enough sleep last night. At 3 am, there were just so many things I still didn't know. I managed to squeeze a three-hour shut-eye, plus a couple of 30-minute naps in between study periods, but other than that, I didn't get the recommended sleep duration.

I was drowsy the entire time, my sleepiness aggravated by the gloom and rain outside the window. Classes in other schools, I later learned, were already cancelled because of the storm, but hey, this is the College of Medicine—so we proceeded anyway.

In the morning was the written exam on the lower extremities. The dreaded 140-point move type exam was to follow after lunch.

The exam, to a greater degree, relied strongly on short-term memorization and quick association of one information to another. It's hard to do both because there are just so many things to remember in so little time. At one point, I was so drained I practically mistook a nerve for a ligament, a left bone to a right one, among other blunders I'd rather laugh at in sheer amusement and frustration.

Dr. Bundoc, the class's favorite lecturer thus far, told us that after the exam, we'd feel we were truly medical students. Surprisingly, I felt that. It occurred to me that now, I have a better understanding of how the human body works.

I'll probably read this entry years from now, possibly as a resident training in some hospital. During that point, I would have undergone much harder tests that the ones I just took today. But I'd like to think of what happened today as a turning point of sorts, a foretaste of things to come.

I attended my Bible study group after and had fellowship with a few classmates. What a refreshment God's Word was. We discussed Psalm 27 and saw how David called God his light and his salvation (Psalm 27:1). Acknowledging his helpless state, he came to God, pleading for His grace, seeking His will in everything.

The message touched me in many respects. By letting me undergo all these trials, God teaches me to see the end of myself and seek Him. Oh, what grace the Lord has shown me today.

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