Friday, March 2, 2012

Chronicling a month-long state of a heightened sense of responsibility

I was the block's appointed OB-Gyn liaison officer (LO), a post I held for a month. Not that I deserved it, of course: I was volunteered by my wretched blockmates out of spite. I say that lovingly.

As the LO, I coordinated the scheduling of posting assignments, relayed both early and last-minute announcements to the block, pleaded our requests to the course coordinators, and answered a number of questions about the most minute, insignificant details. This was a glorified secretarial job, but for a person like myself who hardly keeps schedule print-outs, let alone commit them to memory, who lives by the day—by the hour, actually— the task was a major challenge.

How comforting that word is: was. The past tense. An unmistakable reminder that those days are over. I remembered how, during the first week, I prayed that the Lord give me wisdom, sustain me physically, and cause me to humbly respond to different people. How gracious He has been to me. “The joy of the LORD is [my] strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Not that I hated this rotation. As a matter of fact, I loved it. We all did. For the first time I was able to assist in the delivery of a baby, perform a Pap smear, do an internal examination, place an IV line, extract blood for analysis, insert a nasogastric tube, introduce a catheter, and witness cesarean sections and curettage procedures. Did I see the infamous robo-rat—that rat that can eat its way into anything, even steel—in the interns' call room? Unfortunately not.


It was my first time to witness a patient break down in tears, answer a question in the Summary Rounds without me understanding anything (both the question or my answer), get confused with a woman's various orifices (they don't look exactly like the textbook photographs, believe me), taste a patient's spittle as I inserted a tube in her nose while she was gagging, see a mother die in childbirth, and observe the remains of a freshly aborted fetus on a sterile pan.


In med school, we have a term called "high yield," which is a state of learning so many important and useful things in a short period of time. This rotation certainly belongs to that category. And what a fun and memorable learning experience it was.

photo photo

Now forgive me if I sound like someone who has just won the Oscars, but here it goes:

We'd like to thank Dr. Mark Antonio, our resident coordinator, for being so organized, considerate, and approachable. Although we didn't see much of him because he was assigned to another ward, we nevertheless felt his presence because he went the extra mile to assist us in our learning. Special thanks, too, goes to Doctors Iaya, Claire, Ross, Audz, and Dianne. We will always fondly remember our first-year resident monitors, Doctors Marble Co, Apple Taladtad, Aubs Seneris, Tippy Cusi, and Rani Cadiz-San Pedro, for accompanying us to our next preceptorials or small group discussions, occasionally sharing their cookies, chocolates, or Gardenia loaf bread with us. Finally, we are grateful to the many residents who took time to teach us in the Labor and Delivery Rooms, the OB Admitting Sections, and the Out-Patient OB and Gynecology Clinics.

I personally thank Poring Porlas and Grace Villafuerte, liaison officers of Blocks 7 and 8 respectively, for their valuable tips.

My blockmates, of course, occupy a special place in my med school experience, and it gave me such joy to serve them. To have experienced these experiences with them is a privilege I'm thankful to the Lord for.

Pediatrics is up next week. I'm really looking forward to getting back on to my regular pasaway programming.

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