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!