It’s All In The Mind

For the past Sundays of attending church services, I noticed that Pastor Ed was constantly reminding the church about the effects of our thoughts to our daily lives. A person who always thinks that something will go wrong is in actuality being robbed of happiness TWICE. Why? First, cos he can’t enjoy his current supposedly happy moment and second, he will eventually get frustrated and sad when that bad thing didn’t come. The emotions that we feel and the actions that we emphasize all start in the mind and the state of our minds dictates the kind of life that we have.

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And it’s not just always on how we absorb or put assortment of thoughts in our minds. It’s also about changing how we see things. One popular example I read in @twitter was, when Titanic sank a hundred years ago everyone was devastated; it was tragic, but for sure the lobsters in the ship’s aquarium ready to be served as Ravioli that night were all very happy. Did you get the point? It’s about perspective. Of course the lobster example was lame but I’m just making an essence out of the story.

Imbricated Intentions

I just had an epiphany earlier today that I don’t have the thin line between flirting and just plain being friendly. I actually have them overlapped.

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In certain instances, me being too sweet and showing too much kindness imbricates my innate way of flirting or showing likeness. So in actuality, the people that I like wouldn't know most of the time that I like them because  they think I’m just being too friendly. And vice versa. That if I don’t intimately like a particular person who happens to like me, they usually would still assume that I like them too because I’m just being very generous.

I don’t get it. How do you put a boundary? How do you segregate? How do you even just put a fine line between flirting and just being friendly? Why don’t we just get what we want? And be happy? Noh?

Office Ensembles, November 2011

We are in this transition of season from the hot & humid weather to now being colder and colder each day. And I see the rise of medical complaints ranging from cough to runny nose accompanied by itchy throat, persistent sneezing and skin lesions; Allergic cough, seasonal allergic rhinitis and hives. These are the common out-patient problems nowadays. In relation to that, I made a transition too on how I dress up at work. From the more comfortable ones to the advent of playing with clothes such as colors and layers.

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Dress Shirt: vertical grey stripes, Vintage Ed by Guess
Stethoscope: 3M Littmann Select
White Medical Coat: Nikko’s Tailoring

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Dress Shirt: 101 New York
Suspenders: dark blue/white, striped by McJim

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Scrubs: camouflage, B.T. from AFP Medical Center in V.Luna, QC
Baseball Raglan: black/white, cotton by Russell Athletics

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Dress Shirt: white/black, double-collared by Folded & Hung

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Collared Tee: blue, striped by Gap
Belt: black leather by Armani Exchange
Trousers: denim, Guess Jeans
Carabiner: black, gift (car key)

Evolution Of My Limbic System

The first time I knew and experienced love that is true, I was reckless. I was young… a teenage boy, curious about love and relationship, rolled by raging and erratic surges of hormones. I had different perspectives then. I was mostly controlled by bodily chemicals such as testosterone and not by my emotions and rational thoughts... Physical attraction was a trigger and plays a huge role in the picture, although I am not saying it wasn’t true love. I knew that it was love and true but my perspective was immature. And unstable.

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Then physical attraction was killed. It wasn’t much of an importance anymore. Glossy eyes became overrated. I’ll be lying though if I say it ain’t a factor. You still have to be at least presentable and look bright. But it doesn’t stop there, you have to be smart but not necessarily wise. One hello outweighs a killer smile; wit wins over poreless skin. I check resumes and I ask which university you got that degree. How about a post-grad? I always start with the question “What do you do?”. Sensible & long conversations… A must! I am in dire need of stability and security. I want someone who has a dream. Yes, I became that choosy.

Then I realized, it’s not all about beauty and brains… I still know my standards. I am sticking into it… but if I will wait ‘till I find that someone out of 6billion people in the world with all my strict parameters, I’m just gonna end up as a failure and eventually die not being happy. No one is a perfect standard. There is always a margin of error. And I believe that each one of us is destined to a lifetime partner. Samson had Delilah. Mickey has Minnie. Beauty worked it with Beast. There might be however conflicts between personalities or differences in characters but the truth is, most of the time the opposite works. It’s the law of polarity. Yin & yang. Anode & Cathode. North and south. It’s just a matter of finding  and realizing that he/she is the closest thing to your standards. So what if he has an error of 0.1%? It’s about accepting that error cos we can’t do anything about it. That 0.1% error is part of the person that makes him/her whole. It’s just a matter of compromising those certain differences. Meeting half-way. Finding a happy medium. Going to the middle ground. Striking a balance. Give and take.

And that’s when unconditionally loving someone comes into place. :-)

It hurts

Just like a pair of brand new shoes.

But you still wear it cos it looks good on you.

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And you just keep on wearing that single pair because it doesn’t just look good on you. But because you love the pair. And as time goes on, as you get used to it, it becomes more and more okay to wear it all the time.

The pair of shoes that we choose makes us happy. But the question is, how was the experience way back when you started wearing it? Horrendous. Difficult. Uncomfortable. The real catch however is, how did you deal with it? Pads. Socks. Bandages and what have yous do it yourself ideas.

Everything at the start may be difficult for us to handle but if we really love it, then that difficult part will just go away eventually and naturally. And so we never stop. We make remedies. We do crazy things to adapt.

We go on, wear it until it feels okay. Better. Happy. Comfortable.

They Call It Seventy Seven

But I call it the one-of-my-super-day-ender bars. LOL.

I capped my night last Tuesday with Jerome who’s been a very good friend of mine since high school. We actually had a long day & decided to meet up after work. I saw patients the entire day & had to catch-up on my readings in the evening; He on the other hand had a 2-10pm shift in the lab. So the plan was to cap it off with a few drinks.

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There’s this bar in Kamuning called 77 that I frequent. Visits started when I was still  reviewing for the Philippine Medical boards which eventually became a habit to grab one or two drinks per night after studying while still being giddy with all the caffeine running through my veins. The alcohol serves like an antidote.

The place is like an old up&down house circa 70s-80s turned into a very cozy hangout venue popular among crowd of the 20s to early 30s. When alone, I usually go straight to the bar and order a bottle of spirit or a cocktail of kurant & sprite, chitchat with the bartenders and even to perfect strangers and voila, “Have a happy & good night evbud!”. 77 has always been a fun place for me.

Although last Tuesday, t’was a different story cos I was with a friend. We stayed in a sala-set area complete with sofas and a low wooden antique-ish table. Very homey indeed. Fortunately t’was a Tuesday night so the place wasn’t crowded.

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We sat comfortably wherein I was literally slouching like twas my home with a pizza, a pitcher of Kurant & Sprite on the table as we began with our usual “How’s it goin’? What’s the 411?” tryin’ to catch up with each other’s lives. Love’s always been a problem of this friend and as we started discussing his love story, its flaws and all those shitnitz, I realized that I am actually having the same dilemma to which I was casually denying and just shrugging it off for the past days or even weeks. I was in denial like it’s not affecting me that kind of sort of thing. So in  reality, I was giving the advises to myself as I did a litany of what you should and should not do and this and that and what have yous.

T’was crazy. As I was telling my friend “you became to available & vulnerable kasi…”, it’s like me talking to myself like a non-compliant schizo. I was… yes literally just talking to myself; addressing all my preaching to myself. And in conclusion, I am pathetic and desperate… And maybe lonely too.

I never had a good relationship for the past year/s. The last date I had was a click, my standards… but t’was just so-so, garblish and undeniably fun but really nothing-is-going-on… yet still I got hooked. Call it one-way, unrequited, it’s-just-me-slap-me-wake-up. So yes I became too available then now vulnerable.

One epiphany led to the next. I need to evolve, noh? See? My friends are now getting married, their kids are being baptized… And now my physician friends are already stepping into the next level in their lives that is Residency Training. They are all evolving while I stay on my comfort zone. Is it even a comfort zone until now?

I am stuck in a rut. I knoe I am slowly progressing with my choice of career going through its path that I chose and I have to take but I realized that I don’t need to just transcend with my career… I need to evolve too as a person; as a normal human being with normal physiologic & biologic needs.

And so that night at 77, it made me figure out what’s definitely wrong with me, and that I’ve been ignoring it for quite some time now, and now I’m so sure that I’m gonna change it. Soon. Very soon.

It was aactually an awesome night. After all, nights at 77 always end up nice and good. Cheers! :-)

Obstipated

*Random thoughts & rants

When you reach the age of 26 and you don’t have that much money and a very stable job to brag about, it’s like being the biggest chunk of floating ice in the world; a useless iceberg; a lost soul of some sort. An old lost soul of ice, nowhere to go. And broke. And sank Titanic.

Garble-ish I knoe. To be totally honest? It’s kinda hard to make a point sometimes.

Many times I came across the idea that I am probably in a wrong career path. But I believe that all those running ideas were wrong; just cerebral; that I was just thinking that I am, yet I am actually not. I have moments when really overthink; in times when I really lack sleep and I overdosed myself with caffeine. And I think I should also drive less… and limit my toilet visits cos most of my epiphanies <and not to mention euphemisms> happen while I am driving orrr I’m taking a leak or shit.

Orrrr it’s just the anal in me.

Did you know that thoughts can destroy a person? It can confuse, deceive, damage, distress, torture… and even kill. So our minds should be watched, guarded, filtered, cleansed, purified…

To quote former First-lady Imelda Marcos,

“Think of the true, good, & beautiful”

She is so right. I am so clouded with doubts and insecurities.

Maybe at this age and time, it’s normal to be nervous about faulty career and instability. That I might be doing the wrong choices in life. What if my fate isn’t really this? Or that? Really scurd.

But of course I cannot just go change careers left and right to hit the right one just like what I usually do to my hair, right? The next month it’s gonna be blonde. Or I get bangs. Again. It’s not that easy; but I wish it is. That easy.

Sometimes I can’t help but question myself why I even went into med school. And it’s hard to hate myself on that cos this is the only thing that I’m really good at. And yes, if I do think of any other profession right now, it’s gonna be hard to give up on something I’m already good and happy at. Like me checking on your throat <say ahhhh please>, or hearing how one’s heart beats <lub-dub-lub-dub-toinks>, or poking my finger up into one’s ass <ouch!>.

As a child, I also thought or have planned of doing the simplest things in life like being an astronaut <Am I sure this is simple?> or being just professionally good looking. You knoe, like using your good looks as a job. Let’s label this as my dream career #2. But I wasn’t very lucky with the genes that I acquired. I didn’t win the genetic lottery super grandprize. Some of my cousins took all those precious chromosomal types like the standing-tall-genes, unclogging-pore-genes and the nice-jaw-line-genes that cut me off my dream career #2. Haha.

But kidding aside, if I chose to be in those raunchy fashion shows and magazines, wouldn’t that cause me to regret not being a doctor instead? Right. But come to think about it, combining those two is actually feasible, ayt? By being a professionally good looking doctor! Haha. In my very own rights! :-))

The question now is… how?!

I used to work, 24-7. Yes, work even during the weekends. Cos I am a physician, that’s how we roll. Our lives belong to our patients. I spent 36 hours of duty every 3 days. So I just want to tell some of you to shuddup and stop bringing the crappy idea up regarding the recent depression issues among call center agents because of sleep deprivation. Have these people even ever thought of us?! Gawd!

Where is beauty rest in that scenario? It doesn’t exist.

I used to earn like 4 thousand bucks every 3 months <ikr? not even reached the minimum wage>. I got a raise when I became a GP but I still ask my parents for money at times, they pay for my phone bills, gasoline, and my apartment rent. Whatta loser kid I am. I actually can earn bigger than anyone else’s salary at my age if I work full-time, but that can’t be done cos of upcoming exams.

Where is the joy of retail therapy now? Non-existent!

Never in my life did I ever breakdown until several months ago, I woke up one night and just started crying. My roommate was like “What is wrong with you?”. Well, I also didn’t know. I just replied “It’s full-moon, I am lunatic you know…” Hahaha… I think I scared him.

Don’t mind me. I am just burnt-out. Probably.

This is me verbally obstipated which is ironic cos I still have a lot of things to say. So maybe this is actually a verbal diarrhea. A mild one that is. #JustSaying

So today, I will never stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile. Focus focus focus.

*Thanks for reading. This post is a crappy one. And I am not a psycho for crying out loud. Believe me.

Office Ensembles, October 2011

I am creating a new thread in my blog called Office Ensembles wherein I will be posting remarkable <at least I find nice, haha> attires that I get to wear in the clinic every month. Details will be given to freely promote the items. As some of you already know, if I like a product I promote them freely via twitter or here in my blog.

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Top: Pop Icon
White Blazer: Nikko’s Tailoring
Belt: black leather with metal buckle, unrecalled Hickok
Trousers: Dean & Trent

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Top: Old Navy
Steth: 3M Littmann Select

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Top: Dean & Trent
Steth: 3M Littmann Select
Stamp: DigiStamps

Rainbow Identifiers Among Healthcare Providers. Is it necessary?

I susbcribe to medical articles online and I recently read a Medscape article by a medical student regarding disclosing a health professional's sexual identity to gain trust & rapport to patients.

The author said, "I personally would prefer an out and proud lesbian with a rainbow identifier rather than someone with plain scrubs. At least I know the lesbian nurse is willing to let me know something about herself that I can relate to. Does this mean she's a competent nurse? No. But does it mean she's not competent? No." - Carl Streed Jr.

In my opinion, sexual identity among health professionals should be kept exclusive but undeniably. Our personal lives should have minimal or even have no place in the medical setting. That is to keep most personal matters outside the clinic, to control emotions, and to focus on the patient in front of us. When emotions is combined with medical decisions, it would be a havoc. It wouldn't do any good to the improvement of the patient's condition. Same is true why doctors aren't suppose to or advised not to treat close relatives because conflict ensues come medical decisions and options.

But come to think about it, when patients are in the hospital, in a place that is sterile, disconnected, and intimidating, it's easy to see patients cherish anything that allows them to relate to their caregivers and vice versa. There goes the difference and awareness between the terms transference and counter-transference. Healthcare providers may probably extend their personal lives to a certain extent to make patients somehow connected to his/her caregivers. But doctors and nurses should put boundaries or limit this as to not develop the "counter-transference" which may eventually lead to bias that affects the giving of medical options and care. Like I said, personal lives should have minimal place in medical setting.

I also agree to Carl Streed's statement that "Patients just want to connect. Providers just want to connect. To deny such an opportunity misses a large part of the healing process that occurs in medical settings."

I need patients to trust me and be very comfortable with me. In healthcare, we don't mean business. Patients are not clients. I was trained to treat patients wholistically because one defect no matter what aspect (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) can affect one more thing or the rest; a depressed patient may not recover from a simple cough.

In conclusion, caregiver-patient relationship is somewhat like a contract. Trust, connection, communication are very important. Sexuality may not be an issue to some but for others, it may still be. In my honest opinion, it still holds true to keep or limit personal matters outside the premises of the clinic room. Disclose personal issues if it can help a patient but one should know the boundaries.

*posted via Blogger app for iOS.

James Of QC

I got this new TV series that I’m watching aside from the everybody-knoes-I’m-watching-Greys. It’s entitled Hart Of Dixie. Initially, I was hesitant to start watching it because I dowana spend too much time on TV but since a friend suggested it and said that I can super relate to the story and so I began.

And I am hoooooked! It’s the series of my life <of course except that Hart is a hot, female surgeon>

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The story revolves around Zoey Hart who is a doctor. After her graduation in med school, an old man offered her a job in Alabama as a General Practitioner (GP) but turned it down because she got major plans. She went to a surgical residency program in New York City and planned to take her Cardio-Thoracic fellowship following the footsteps of her “dad”. But her dreams fell apart after her boyfriend dumped her and she wasn’t accepted to take the fellowship program because a mentor said she lacks “patient-care”. She was then advised to have her own practice first. This made her remember a job offer yesteryears which made her decide to move to Alabama to have her own private practice. There she discovers the deeper meaning of practice of medicine, love and friendship.

Just like Dr Hart, I am hardcore. I may not have graduated as one of the top players in my class but yes I am hardcore in my very own rights. Haha.

Even before graduating in med school, I have my own big plans too! I underwent internship program in a prestigious hospital, acquired a desirable mark in my board rating, and scouted for hospitals that will give me the best Internal Medicine residency training compatible to my personality.

To be totally honest, I already put my mind set into 2 hospitals of my choice. Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and National Kidney & Transplant Institute (NKTI). I even got my NKTI application already before I even take the boards! I was that dedicated.

NKTI: “We usually accept applicants on September after the boards, but anyway here’s your application form.”

Although, right after taking the boards my parents talked to me about the option of taking my residency training in the US. I was like, “Whut???”

I know, right?

First of all, it’s a privilege to receive such offer especially from parents to take the residency training somewhere else. If med school in the Philippines is a financial burden, to go into training abroad is considered a possible bankruptcy.

Second, I love my life in here. I am not complaining. I have several reasons why I love it in here. Basics: practical and easy.

Third, practice of medicine is a loooot easier here compared to a foreign land especially the US where lawsuits and medical insurances are popular.

I told “the ‘rents” about the option of taking my residency here instead then fellowship training somewhere else after. Cos if I want to train abroad, I still want to go back and do my private practice in here. And to establish a firm foundation of my name as a doctor in here, least I can do is to do my residency training in here first. So much “HERE” in this paragraph, but yes that’s how I can simply put things in HERE. LOL.

The problem with that is, training outside the country requires me and actually every single doctor out there who plans to train abroad to take their country’s medical boards equivalent. Not, unless I train in Brasil where our medical boards is fully accepted. And I dowana do that (medical boards again?!?!) after my residency training cos twud be a lot harder for me to dig basic medical knowledge at that time.

So I weighed the pros and cons.

A lot of people know especially the people I’m very close with that I am the kind of person who doesn’t settle. I don’t want to say it’s my principle even before Steve Jobs made it popular but I just don’t. Really. Settle? No.

I accepted my parents’ offer because it will do me good in my profession. For sure & I know that I’ll transcend even better. And I am confident that the attachment and love that I have in this country will always be the same. And that I can just go back and help whenever I want.

I am also the kind of person who embraces change. I am hungry for medical breakthroughs. And it doesn’t happen in our country years after it’s already obsolete to some. I want change, to a lot of things. For the betterment of everything.

And while I am still young, why not live it to the fullest!? Travel <which I really miss and love>, explore, be in a different place and taking chances.

I also don’t want to be stuck in a rut. I’m not boring, right?

So there, just like Dr Hart I am setting aside my dreams to give way for my even better fantasies. And before pulling myself out of this country <which is anytime soon>, I am currently practicing as a GP trying my best to give to our countrymen the knowledge and skills that I have and to learn and enhance more from the patients the compassion which has been inside of me all along.

Anyway going back to the medical drama series topic of this blog entry, Dr Hart is deviant. People don’t trust her as a doctor because she’s too pretty to be one and by the way she dresses herself to the clinic or in the public which I can so much relate cos people still think that a doctor should be always prim and proper. No, no. Think again people. Don’t judge a book by its cover orrr by its movie version. Haha. I once encountered a patient who thought I was just 18! Well, I don’t know if twas a compliment but I found it a little sneaky way of saying I’m too young to be treating her.

In the first 4 episodes of this series, Dr Hart met a lawyer which made it more interesting cos I am also fascinated with lawyers. I need someone who will defend me just in case I get a lawsuit. haha. Kidding!

Ok, this post is too long already I bet it’s getting boring. Adios!

Respite. & Recharge.

You may have all the libido to fuel you up… But even minerals get depleted, restored, supplemented.

Have an intermission to your reality. Refill your energy. Do nothing.

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It's fun to sometimes get lose and to pretend. To get crazy. Daydream. Enjoy the scent of a flower. Hangout with friends to believe in. Stare at the falling leaves that drift by the window.

Sleep. Eat. Laugh. Breathe.

Even the sun comes down. So why can’t you?

Pause for a while. Relax.

My Tote-ful Stories

Why, when & where do I use my totes?

The story about my fascination with tote bags started when I was still reviewing for the board exams. These tote bags are most of the time labeled by fashion critics as not really fashionable at all. Well, that statement is half-true.

They usually don’t look good to a certain extent. Cos they’re not suppose to be used when one is formally and elegantly garbed. But these bags that I am talking about are very useful to people who are always on the go. They look good and are precious during casual events and everyday pointA-to-pointB activities. They’re very spacious and durable. Besides, tote means “to carry”. So carry all the way with your tote! :-)

During my preparation for an exam, I have these tiny satchel-fit books/reviewers that most of the time contain summaries of what I learned in med school. But relying on these reviewers alone is not a very smart idea… at least for me. I still hafto bring with me several huge & heavy books because instances happen that recalling specific subject matters just don’t occur in a snap. These huge books then serve as my references. That’s the time when I have to depend on these tote bags to contain all of my heavy Bibles. :-))

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It’s a lie if I say as physicians, we don’t get gifts from pharmaceutical companies. It’s a given & a relatable fact that we receive small freebies from drug companies like pens, stationaries, bags and what have yous. The most popular and in demand are these huge tote bags. They actually all look the same… boring and square but picking the right color reflects one’s personality. We usually use them to pack our sundries when we go on duty. But personally, I don’t. I use duffel to go on duty. I prefer to be different. :-P

Hint: These bags also reflect the owner’s specialization. How? Check on the generic/brand name labeled on these bags. <e.g. A physician handling a bag labeled with amlodipine branded as Norvasc may be considered a Cardiologist. A bag with azithromycin branded as Zithromax on it is probably owned by an Infectious Disease Specialist. A sildenafil AKA Viagra bag is most likely a bag of an ED specialist. :-))>

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I also bring totes to the groceries. You know why? You know why? Cos I was once asked to pay for each of the plastic bags to contain all my grocery items. I know right? It started when SM Supermarket initiated their GreenBag Advocacy. So in order to reduce the use of plastic bag in shopping, they implemented a specific day when shoppers have to pay for the plastic bags used unless they bring recyclable bags/totes to contain their items.

I think it is a smart idea by the SM to have an eco-friendly advocacy.

How about you? Do you have a tote story?

RIP Steve Jobs

The genius who changed the image of an apple. An apple that used to be just a fruit but now sparkly gadgets each of us own.

Thanks for the creativity Mr. Steve Jobs! You are one of the persons I know who is truly unselfish, hopeful, an intelligent person who isn't afraid of change and always carry a positive outlook in life. You are an inspiration to many. iSad.

This blog entry was posted via Blogger for iPhone. :-)


Let’s All Embrace…

Change & Aging.

They’re the only permanent things.

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Just a timely reminder. If you're always battling against getting older, you're always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow. It’s one of the most beautiful things. Grey hair. Skin lined with hardship. Tiny steps to remind us that we finally have to slow down. :-)

Quoting Mitch Albom in his Tuesdays With Morrie,

"Aging is not just decay... It's growth."

Grab It!

Orrrr someone else will!

We all have major life decisions. In our very competitive world, the first person to grab an opportunity will most of the time get that chance and take it home. So it still holds true that the early bird catches the worm. It pays off to be early. I’m not saying I never get late. I am punctual but I also have flaws when it comes to time management… Then again, it’s true that the earlier you start, the more you will get in return.

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Actually it’s as simple as comparing it to the pop Fire Floss. IKR? It’s my favorite bun in Bread Talk. Well it is the only bread that I buy there. The catch is, it’s always consumed! It’s likewise the crowd’s favorite! Everyone loves it! So whenever I pass by any Bread Talk branch and I see them putting freshly baked Fire Floss on display, I immediately grab a tray and buy a dozen. That’s how it works.

To be totally honest, I was already searching possible jobs online while still waiting for the release of the board exam results. IKR? I was that confident! LOL. The competition is hard and I knoe that I have a lot of batchmates who also want to start earning money as soon as possible. Talk about already aged 26 and are still asking our dear parents for gas allowance. While most of us will immediately take the chosen residency programs, I on the other hand will have to wait and take further exams so that I can train somewhere else but here.

There goes my enthusiasm in finding a job that early. I badly needed a job. I ain’t a student anymore. I’m a middle-aged physician who’s majorly dependent to his parents. How pathetic, noh? No offense to some but for me I feel ashamed already. So since I have my license now, why not use it!?

Quoting my good friend Eugene Lao in his Facebook status,

“I realized na ang labanan sa moonlighting job ay hindi nadadaan sa CV or experience kundi sa bilis ng internet connection! Haha Globe internet you're failing me!!”

It’s true. Shotgun! Touch-move! When I found an opening in the clinic where I am currently employed, I immediately worked on my curriculum vitae for what(?) ~5minutes(?) and emailed it which was super uninspired and unedited. I was then surprised the next day that I was already invited for an interview. A week after that, I got the job. I am already treating patients on my own! And it happened in a snap.

So, grab lang nang grab! Unless you can’t afford it. :-P

I know that sometimes it’s hard to make certain quick decisions especially when the opportunity is already in your hands and that if you let it go, someone else will make a beeline for it. If you have doubts and not 200% sure of taking it, then just let it go. It simply means that you’ll never be happy eventually. Because apparently, there is is/are reservation/s deep inside you. So just let it go and let another person be happy.

Same is true in a relationship, always take a chance. Randy Crawford said in her song,

Love begins with one hello… …One hello is how it starts…”

Always say hello. Be friendly. Be nice. And be decent. It wouldn’t hurt if you say yes for a dinner. One dinner doesn't necessarily mean an outright follow-up sex orrr a subsequent movie date the next week. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of immediately having a dinner date, then I suggest you agree with just grabbing a coffee or tea instead cos if you ain’t like the company, it’s easier to get out of the situation with just a cup of drink in your hand… But then if you had a blast or a connection happened during a coffee date, it will be nice to have a follow up dinner after. *Piece of advice: Not a movie date on the first meeting.

But then again, quoting Jen Lindley in his goodbye message to Amy her daughter,

“…when you find that love, wherever you find it, whoever you choose, don't run away from it. But you don't have to chase after it either. You just be patient, and it'll come to you, I promise, and when you least expect it…”

You must know your limits. Know your place. Take a chance but don’t let it kill you. You might win it all, but you may also lose your heart.

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So, grab lang nang grab! If you ain’t happy, then move on to the next! <just like the sushi in the mini conveyor LOL>

“The early bird catches the worm…”

But what if the early bird just wanders around keeping the time pass by itself?

Well that’s a different story.

Kung “daig ng maagap ang masipag”, baka nga magkapatid sila. It simply shows that these two qualities go hand in hand to success. :-)

The Bigger Picture

In life full of cherish and despair… Ironies and coincidence… Hope and rejection… Love and hate… Norm and deviant… Upper-side and ghetto… Tramps and proper…

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It is not always about you… Look at the picture… It’s not always about you.

My Top 5 Medical iOS App

1. Medscape from WebMD

It’s a clinician’s easy access guide at its finest. Medical conditions are sorted by organ systems and diseases are discussed in details from pathophysiology to epidemiology, clinical presentation, work-up and management.

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Drug informations are well-laid and explained. Details like pediatric and adult dosages, interactions, adverse effects, contraindications and even pregnancy and lactation precautions are available.

Procedures & Protocols section gives details from ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) & BLS (Basic Life Support) to anesthetic techniques and per organ system diagnostic help guides.

What’s more? In the News Section, there are articles about medical breakthroughs with real-time updates from reliable sources like Reuters and Medscape Medical News. In the Education Section, latest important researches and studies are accessible.

Rating: 4/5

2. PediDoser for iPhone

I was taught in MedSchool that pediatric patients are not little or small adults. Disease presentation, approach to medical diagnosis and management or treatment are way way way different in pediatrics from adults. Pneumonia in adults is different from pneumonia in kids.

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The most critical part is treating the sick kids. They are fragile especially the infants. Children require drug dosages less than what the adults can take due to several functional reasons. Physicians compute the required dosage of medicines in every pediatric patient based on their weight & age, depending on the drug preparation and on the MKD (mg/Kg/dose or day)

I personally can calculate the adequate dosages of basic medications for children. MKDs differ in each and every drug and that’s where the core of the calculation lies. Who memorizes all these MKDs? I have no idea. I personally don’t. We have thousands of drugs out there so really, who does it? No one.

This app is very useful into giving the adequate and safe amount of medications to children as long as you know the patient’s age and weight.

Rating: 3/5

3. MedCalc Pro by Drs Pascal Pfiffner & Mathias Tschopp

I went into Med school and not into Accountancy or Engineering because I hate math. I didn’t realize that in medicine, we compute a lot too. It’s easy to convert Celcius to Fahrenheit or to compute for a patient’s BMI (Body Mass Index) but these equations aren’t just the things where we do math. We also compute to estimate bicarbonate deficits, the fractional excretion of sodium to detect pre-renal azotemia, and what have yous…

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This app is a huuuuge help. We don’t really have to memorize all the equations especially the rarely used ones once we encounter them in certain occasions.

Rating: 3/5

4. ECG Guide by QxMD

I know my ECG (Electrocardiography). I even had my cardiology electives in Med school because I wanted to somewhat master the skills of reading the lines and waves and segments.

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This app is good to keep one’s ECG knowledge fresh all the time especially the basic 12 leads. It reminds you of the normal ECG values. Yes, ECG traces are measured and also being calculated. The best thing about this ECG app compared to the others is the friendliness of the interface. It’s very easy to use and understand. No complicated numericals and highfalutin explanations.

What more? What if you encountered a delta wave in ECG?! Now you gotta have to download this app and read on it. Hehe.

Rating: 2.5/5

5. Radiology Assistant for iPhone

Radiology is another aspect that I took as an elective when I was in Med school because I personally believe that a physician should know how to read even the simplest radiologic test. As much as you know your ECG, a clinician should also know the basics of reading diagnostic films. Chest X-ray is requested almost all the time and we cannot always wait for a Radiologist to read and give us his/her impression based on what’s seen on those films. A basic knowledge is an edge. If you know how to interpret a case of pneumonia or pulmonary tuberculosis in plain chest films is a huge advantage to you and to your patient as well for early management.

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I love this app because it is concise in discussing everything about radiology. It makes film reading techniques from plain x-rays to CT-scan and MRI easier and understandable. The discussions are very comprehensive and detailed & hi-def sample photos are included that an internet connection is most of the time required to browse through it.

Rating: 2.5/5

Changes In My Life

I am currently living on to my dreams. I finally achieved what I’ve been wanting since I was a little kid. That is, to help and heal. I believe those are my real purposes in life. Very Godly ministries, ayt? HEAL & HELP.

Everything is now falling into the right places.

Two weeks after I passed the medical boards, I immediately got a permanent and real job. No grand vacation or whatsoever, I took a job that I wanted. I am that competitive, noh? Haha. LOL. At that time, I haven’t even claimed my professional identification card yet but I already started getting paid professionally. I am happy. Really happy. All about this new and real job is just perfect. I chose my clinic schedule that is every MWFs, on a very opulent time, where the clinic is just a 5-min drive away from home, atmosphere is very comfortable, staff nurses are very friendly & helpful, I’m fairly compensated and not to mention lunch and snacks are free!

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I love seeing patients. And this is another reason why I love my new job. I miss seeing them. Although I am only handling ambulatory medical cases, it’s actually also a good thing cos I need adequate time too to study for upcoming exams.

What else? A few days ago, I received an email from DJ Mo Twister inviting me to join him in his nightly podcasting show. I’ve been an avid fan since the show started and I listen to his podcasts when I have the time. I ain’t got real problems nor tried calling into his show to ask for help but it amuses me how people ask their assortment of problems (some are lame, some are really in need of serious help) and he wittily advices.

I think I was born to help. Not just merely the sick ones but in general. A looooot of my friends share their problems to me. That is maybe because I am such a good secret keeper. LOL. IKR? But yes I am. When someone asks me about someone else’s issues, my answer is always “It’s not my secret to tell.”. Although, maybe I am an effective listener too. A friend once told me, “Have I ever told you there’s a very special kind of comfort having you as a friend? Wala lang. You’re one of those people who can comfort even with just saying a few words or even if nothing at all. Amazing. I just thought you should know you’re special like that.” I was flattered of course.

But I don’t think it’s not because of the few words that I say. It’s just that what I usually advice is practical and very frank.

So, yes. Last Wednesday I was invited by DJ Mo Twister as his guest doctor in his Good Times With Mo Podcast (GTWMPodcast). Doctor Gan used to be the doctor of the show but he left due to some personal reasons. So Mo is now in search for a replacement. Link to that podcast episode if found HERE!

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To be totally honest, I so much enjoyed being in the show. I used to be just a listener but on that night I was talking to them listeners and viewers and giving them my personal opinions. I don’t know how to really thank DJ Mo for the privilege cos the experience was incredible. He was also very accommodating and made sure I was comfortable the entire time cos twas my first time. The crew was likewise awesome.

I think I wasn’t that bad as a first timer but hell yes I was deeply nervous. It was like doing a revalidation exam again! I don’t know if I’ll get in as a regular of the show but hopefully! Cos I really had fun and I think it will be a form of another outlet for me to share my thoughts, ideas, the practicalities in life and decision makings.

Everything that’s going on with my life is so fast. And I can’t be stopped. A lot of things has been greatly happening to me and I’m so thankful especially to God, to my family and to those who support me, love me, and for bringing me where I currently am standing.

I still have a lot of dreams. Noh? And I am slowly and surely achieving these. I may be regretting a little for not taking my residency training immediately here in the Philippines but I am preparing to pull myself out of this town to win anytime soon! :-)

But for now, I will be busy to heal and help you. :-)

I Was Cursed!

Did you knoe that a little girl cursed me to fail on my medical boards?! Yes.

First day of the exam was nerve-wracking. I was at my most nervous feeling on that day. I reckon all of us were. I only ate half of my egg muffin sandwich for breakfast from MickyD’s cos I felt like literally barfing.

While we were in a long queue outside the MLQU where we were assigned to take the exam, a girl aged about 10yo approached my friend in front of me and begged for alms, “Pangkain po…”

When she finally approached me, I realized that I still have my only half-eaten sandwich with me. I took the sandwich out of my bag and handed it to her.

But she refused.

She wanted money.

I was taken aback! I denied giving her money until she became a little violent where she started pushing me and insisted that I give her money.

I did not! I did not give her even a dime.

She then cried, “Sana hindi ka pumasa!!” (I hope you will not pass the exam!!)

I was like, What?! I felt a skip on my heartbeat. I wanna pull the girl’s hair and ask her to take back what she said! But I froze. I had like an absence seizure for a minute or two and I think I was on SVT as well.

Luckily… Faith, strength, courage and wisdom has been inside of me all along! :-)

I am the kind of person who sometimes buys cookies or snacks when I have extra savings. I put these at the back of my car and so when street children knock on my window and ask for alms, I give these food instead of money. Cos food will surely go straight to their stomachs; but for money we’ll never really know.

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It’s just so sad that even a kid would do such violent act. A kid who asks for “pangkain” but refused my sandwich? It’s becoming a really violent world already. Actually, what the girl did was an abusive behaviour.

No matter how good you are to others, some people wouldn’t return the goodness back to you. Sometimes they would even stab your back. It’s very disturbing and unfortunate. Seriously.

ABUSE doesn’t only apply to children and/or to women… It’s very rampant in our society now. And once you get abused, you get absence seizures and SVTs… If you know what I mean. It’s traumatic.

I hope we transcend into a better society. Really.

And I want to quote my mom regarding this matter, something like: “Binigyan mo na ng bigas pan-saing, kukunin pa and kamatis at itlog sa iyong ref.”

A very “abusive” statement, noh?

By the way, MLQU is located in Quiapo. I knoe, right? Quiapo is so ghetto! Be safe!

How to Ace the Medical Boards

IKR? This is not an advise coming from a topnotcher of the board exams for Physician… but from an average, sometimes lame yet self-confessed conceited MD.

The following tips MAY PROBABLY (redundant to emphasize) help you ace or least pass especially if you are a type B>A personale (histrionic>schizoid) much just like me. Also, some of these are particularly directed to my co-Tomasinos bonded by “traditions”. LOL.

  • Have a much needed break or relaxation right after internship orrr right before you start formally studying for the exam. Give your mind and body a rest for maximum of a month and a half. They deserve it. And by formally it means the serious kind of studying. And by serious… you define your own seriousness. :-P
  • Buy review materials during mid-internship and start reading browsing these reviewers or start highlighting important details if you may. As we all know, highlighting takes time… Right? This may probably not gonna work… But it’s just a common knowledge that once you begin early, you end up acquiring more.
  • Speaking of buying review materials, buy only one review book or material for each and every subject. Don’t hoard. Get a version which you find comfortable and easy for you to read and understand. I for example opted to have the Board Review Series in most of the subjects, Baby Robbins for Pathology (But make sure you have read the entire Papa Robbins during med school) and MRS for Microbiology. Also, always bring Netter when reviewing for Anatomy; visual aids help. A lot.
  • Don’t enroll. Unless you are comfortable paying 10K bucks for an in-house review. In my opinion, reviewing for the boards is a personal time between you and your review materials. It’s like cherishing what you have learned during the entire med school. It’s like reminiscing the glorious days when you first heard of the medical terms… But I recommend that you rather sit-in to important classes especially in subjects you find very difficult for you, orrrr in Preventive Medicine class and Legal Medicine.
  • Keep in touch with friends; maintain your circle and social life… especially to those who can spend thousands of bucks for a review class. Rumors always have it.
  • Focus on the details. The most important/s. The most commons. The basics. Don’t spend too much on breakthroughs.
  • Create a time-table. Personally, I gave 5 days to each subject. Finished or unfinished, you must move on to the next subject as to not compromise your time for the rest. Get a copy of the exam schedule to make your own strategies for studying.
  • Apply for the exam in the PRC very early.
  • Acquire sample exams. Although, don’t drown yourself with too many. I noticed that almost all the subjects did not come up with questions from those sample exams. Trust me. Unless you hear rumors about this and that that these will come out as the questions… But personally, the sample exams are helpful. It will help you estimate your knowledge in every subject. So try answering them like a real exam.
  • Get a review bag. I call it a review bag because it’s a separate bag from your usual daily bad. It’s where you put all your review materials and studying-sundries like an iPod, notebook/s, highlighters, pens, sunnies, hand sanitizers, chips, mints, etc. Invest on a satchel and totes to contain big books as references.
  • Bring with you a non-med-related book or magazine. This will help you unsaturate your mind with all medical stuff you are putting in your brain while pausing for a break.
  • Don’t restrict yourself from your usual routines. Personally, and as a lot of people know, I tweet a lot and I tried quitting during the review period and it drove me a lot crazier. Seriously. If you’re into online-games, partying, movies, music, concerts, or bondage or what haves, don’t put them on hold but rather reduce the time you spend with these stuff if you may.
  • Stay healthy. Reviewing for the big exam will keep you sedentary. Reading while sitting whole day defines it. Choose the right and proper food and drinks. Ask for a non-fat drink and take off those creams. Find time for physical fitness. Ask your friends orrr partner to do aerobics/jogging or anything physically healthy for you…
  • Save money. With the advent of popular and gourmet coffee shops, people who want to study or just simply hangout accumulate in these not-so-cheap places. Find an affordable but comfortable place. A bonus if it’s just a 5min drive away from home to save you on gas. And a jackpot if they offer free and adequate parking space.
  • Pray. And Believe.

Good luck to the next batch! Breath…

James Abraham D. Malala, MD

TBTH? The feeling is too different way back when I took and passed the MedTech licensure exam not so long time ago. Haha. Both pre & post-results. The feeling is so much better than that!

IMO, the exam was horrible. Seriously. Spell H-A-R-D. Some questions particularly on my favorite subject are garble. So it didn’t occur to me to really feel safe that I will pass the exam. It was mind blowing and energy-sucking.

After the 2-weekend exam, I was prostrated. Kinda like I went through a choleric episode for a week! Day 1 post-exam I just stayed in the house and rested. Day 2, kept myself busy; had my haircut, read a novel and agreed to have dinner and watch the advance screening of Conan The Barbarian with my co-interns.

Day 3. I was trembling since I woke up this morning. I knew the results will be released today but I never expected that it will come out this early. I decided to keep myself busy, again. Went out to watch movies for free at the 2011 Japanese Film Festival in UP Diliman. After watching the second film, I decided to snack on some cake and tea at ChoKiss when I suddenly received messages saying the results are already being uploaded.

After several minutes, my thoughts were something like…

“OMFG, why is it that nobody’s calling me?!”

“Is it really out yet?!”

“Why now?! Why should my iPhone currently not around when I needed it badly?!”

I can’t bear the feeling. I can’t eat, focus and enjoy my Quezo Chiffon! I decided to call on a friend to know what was going on!

“Is it out yet?! Is it out yet?!”

“Yes, yes, I saw your name!”

Best-est news! Ever. Bliss is an understatement. It was the best orgasm I had for ages.

When I passed the MedTech boards, the first people I called were my parents. Since they’re in the opposite side of the world now, I called my Tita who initially wasn’t answering her phone! LOL.

I cried while telling her the news. It made my Quezo Chiffon a lot more salty. I think. :-))

I was literally crying at ChoKiss all by myself. Yes, I’m a certified maudlin on certain occasions especially if family-related. I think people were watching but I didn’t care. I cried because I remembered the hard work. It wasn’t the studying which was hard. The exam was! Geez!

So there, I am now officially a registered doctor of this country.

Thank You!

I wanna thank everyone especially my family and my closest friends who had faith in me. To those who prayed for me. To those who gave me confidence. To those who helped me in this struggle. Thanks muchos.

I wanna thank my mentors for the knowledge. I say I used 80% Stock Knowledge, 20% Acute Knowledge.

I wanna thank and congratulate my batchmates! We did it 100% at 400 years! Woohoo!

“Now where is the party?” LOL.

Examinees, did you donate you pencils?

The Philippine Regulation Commission have this new program  by asking the examinees at the end of the exam to render/surrender their pencils (and even pens, sharpeners, erasers and what haves…). I’m not so sure of it’s recentness but ~4 years ago when I took the MedTech boards, there’s none yet. So for me, it’s relatively new.

According to our very accommodating room watchers, the pencils will be donated. There was a note/letter being passed around after the last examination stating that the collected pencils and other items are being donated to provincial schools especially to those schools with marginalized students.

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I just found out that traditionally, examinees would break their pencils post-exam as a symbolism of not taking the exam again. Well, obviously I didn’t knoe there is even such tradition and apparently I didn’t do it in 2003. Well maybe because I still have to use pencils this year!

Personally, I bought a box of Monggol #2 pencils and acquired several “blessed” pencils during the pre-boards mass in UST chapel.

I brought 5 newly-sharpened pencils during the exam and used only one during the entire 4-day exam course.

Just imagine how many utile pencils can be gathered at the end of the exam if each examinee has ~5 pencils. That’s gonna be a looot!

I think this program of the PRC is brilliant because personally, I don’t have anything to do with the pencils anymore. Some examinees would even just leave those pencils in the exam room. And instead of breaking those pencils traditionally, why not give it to the needy instead?

I hope those pencils will continue to serve its purpose to our younger and less fortunate students. :-)

25 is History

First of all, this new entry marks the recovery rebirth of my old blog. It’s been reborn a hundred million times already since July 2004 due to several important reasons but for now, let’s take another journey.

I’ve maintained this blog for 8 years now and all I can say is that a blogger will always be a blogger. And I’m just a blogger who knows what he wants. And all I want is to write and share ideas and experiences. That’s just it.

I uncluttered my blog for better viewing. I minimized the content of my sidebars, scraped off unnecessary captions & what haves, and removed some more important and personal information.

This blog is now also viewable to your mobile browsers in a very mobile-friendly way. Coolio e? And the best part of all is that you can read my entries via RSS feeds! Yay! Subscribe now! LOL.

And wait there’s still more! If you subscribe right now, you’ll get 10 medical consultations/visits for free! LOL.

Last night, I was at Jay-J’s Kalayaan and celebrated the what we traditionally call “Salubong”. A security guard and a waiter thought I just turned 22. IKR? I was about to give them the biggest tip I’ve ever given not until one of them mentioned that he thought I was a nurse. FAIL. But it’s understandable. A doctor can’t be as young as 22. Innit? Unless maybe I’m Jose Rizal. The MD carplate didn’t work at all. Haha.

So much thanks to @jrmfrrr, my ever reliable friend since HS who came and celebrated with me in one of my fave resto-bars as we wrapped my 25th-year up and cheered me into welcoming another year in my life while subsequently gulping all the bottled-spirits until I choke myself to death. Not really. But almost.

25 is already a history. I’m no longer mid-20s. I am already within the bracket of late 20s. Orrr… Almost 30. I don’t mind though cos the survey says I still look 22. Haha. And a nurse.

There are still a lot of things to be thankful for. There’s life, love, career and sex.

Foremost, thanks to God for the everyday blessings.

Thank you to my precious family who understands my precocious abilities or the lack thereof. Our current setting is a little bit complicated but I know that “this” is for the best.

I want to thank my medical circle of friends. There are a lot. To my professors and consultants who taught me the art of our profession and inspire me to do the same way. To the fellows I’ve worked with who made me feel part of the medical team. To my residents who poured and screamed knowledge on me so that these knowledge  will never be forgotten. To my batchmates/colleagues who share or sometimes abhor the same sentiments, I know we’ll make it happen… 100%! To my medical best buddies, thanks for the “trips” during sleepless duties, for the spontaneous things that we did and we still do cos we can’t make finite plans, for the “covers”, for the bed sheets and blankets, for the bunk bed space, for the cup of coffee, for the sundries of our work. Thanks a lot. To the medical clerks I handled and inspired, I’m looking forward into working with you guys again in the future. To the nurses who really made our lives easier and bearable, thanks!

I want to thank my high school friends who stayed and are still there to whatever kind of call I ask. You know who you are. You’ve seen me transcend. From a lousy high school boy to an idealistic medical technology student and now to a realistic physician. Me.

I wanna thank my non-showbiz friends. You guys rock me all the time. You make me whole. You guys form the missing puzzle in me. When I moved my things out from my old apartment a few weeks ago, I found this

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and I was laughing really hard reading through the scribbled dedications. The memory just dawned into me all the events occurred that night. It was a perfect job guys! I realized maybe you guys actually are showbiz-friends at all! Haha. We should definitely take a break from our careers soon and visit Bali, noh?

I also want to thank my organically acquired 200+ twitter followers! So much love to you guys. Twitter is like my outlet especially when I’m alone and bored. You’ve been following me since December 2007 reading through all of my more than 10K tweets about conceitedness, random rants and shared happiness. Sorry if sometimes I’m a lil constipated. But still, Yay! Follow me!

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To the hundreds (and still counting) of FB friends who greeted me today! Thanks muchos. They are all heart-warming. Srsly. BTW, I will not open a Google+ acct yet despite hundreds of invites. Saaaaaarrehhhh…

To those who beeped me their greetings! Salamat. You guys almost crashed my current jurassic-esque phone. :-))

And to the people I forgot to mention, maybe you’re indeed forgotten. Hahaha. Just kiddin’. To those who came into and out of my life for the past year, the people I’ve met and eventually gone, you know how I roll so you’re not really forgotten. Thanks.

Back to study mode. :-/ Cheers!

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I love blowing candles. :-)) Thanks for the surprise ice cream cake Nico & Jorgene!