When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. And when you stop expecting material possessions to complete you, you’d be surprised at how much pleasure you get in material possessions. And when you stop expecting God to end all your troubles, you’d be surprised how much you like spending time with God.
There I was at mini-stop, falling in line to buy a banana. There were 5 more people in front of me. The person in front of me was wearing a white uniform.
All of a sudden, he turns around and says “Hi!” with a smile plastered across his face, making eye contact.
There was no inkling of recognition when he turned around to face me. I clearly remember not seeing him anywhere, or being introduced to me.
Flabbergasted, I said “Hi!” in reply.
(What!? Social faux pas right there)
Then I thought, “wait a minute, I don’t know you…why am I saying Hi to a complete stranger. Unless…”
I turned around.
There she was, a girl walking past the aisles, waving back.
When something bothered me, I didn’t talk with anyone about it. I thought it over all by myself, came to a conclusion, and took action alone. Not that I really felt lonely. I thought that’s just the way things are. Human beings, in the final analysis, have to survive on their own.
First of all, I would like to thank the Lord for this wonderful turn of events.
A few minutes ago, we borrowed our cousin’s laptop to upload photos from our Thunderbird afternoon walk. My mother then chided me into showing our relatives pictures from my ladymed photoshoot.
To put the next few minutes into context, the laptop was perched precariously at the edge of the glass table.
By an unfortunate turn of events, it fell. My aunt was able to cushion the fall with her foot, but the “thud” was very audible.
I proceeded to remove the battery to reset the laptop. Then as I opened the laptop, I heard it.
A mechanical creak.
The right hinge connecting the screen with the keyboard was loose. It was as if the laptop had crepitus every time you opened it. The side of the laptop next to the hinge also had a thin gape that appeared every time you opened it.
I was gripped with guilt. How could I tell them that what was a whole, undamaged gadget a few minutes ago now had imperfections? It was also possible that it was already in that state when I borrowed it, and I iust didn’t notice.
But what made it more difficult was that my mother, who noticed the accident, wanted to dismiss it. I was contemplating how to tell her that we should pay for the repairs. Eventually, I asked her what I should tell my cousins when I returned the Lenovo. She told me that I should just suggest to them that they get it repaired in town, the antithesis to what I wanted to hear: that WE (or rather they, because I don’t actually earn yet, but I almost wanted to tell them to let me shoulder it/take it from my allowance/pay for it in the future) should get it repaired.
I then walked up to Danielle and told her:
A: “Danielle, ito na pala ung laptop. Hmmm. Ganito na ba talaga ‘to?” (points to hinge)
D: Merong part diyan na natanggal dati kaya tumutunog na.
A:Ahhh, kapag binubuksan? Meron din ditong parang bukas…ganito talaga ‘to?
Thanks Lord! :))
This is a reflection paper required from my latest rotation. Since I haven’t posted anything here in a while, I figured this can go up here. I’m not entirely sure which parts are real and overthought , but I think some truth rings somewhere in these lines.
What are your behaviors that you think are effective as a doctor?
What are your behaviors that you think are ineffective as a doctor?
How do you plan to address/improve the ineffective behaviors?
Medical school knowledge is such a huge conglomeration of information that we have to critically discern for ourselves and our patients’ sake. Not just for the sake of necessity, but considering that most of the time, the patient and his family are limited to what they can afford. Perhaps this is where the art in a logical and scientifically-directed course comes in.
In our journey through medical school ,we must equip ourselves not only with the facts, but with the values that would ultimately make us better doctors. Whether it be being obsessive-compulsive, compassionate, being an active listener, among others, it is up to us to hone these behaviors and choose what will benefit us and our patients.
Being nitpicky and thorough is something I recently learned this year in medical school. Lecturers would often tells us to be critical about what laboratory tests to order, and what treatment to give, in the context of the social paradigm our patients immerse themselves in. It was only recently that I realized how our decisions as doctors impact the lives of our patients. From hereon out, I hope that trying to cover every base that the illness would try to find a loophole in would be covered a little bit of obsessive compulsiveness.
As with any body of knowledge, one of the most fundamental questions we could ask is “Why?” Why don’t the polar ice caps melt at an instantaneous? Why are the plants able to release oxygen? Why is the patient’s GFR falling at such rapid rate?
Curiosity is another trait that I think is crucial to my development as a physician. Perhaps my ignorance about a lot of things regarding school is the impetus behind it, but realizing that you don’t know anything, and actually doing something about it, is a characteristic that I have picked up in medical school.
It is unavoidable that as we gain some qualities for the betterment of our practice, some necessary values are filtered out. One of the ones I realized that I think not only has ingrained itself into my subconscious, but has pervaded a community of doctors, is apathy and impatience. In this stage of the curriculum, sometimes I feel like the patients have become an exercise for us, that it is imperative we juice out every bit of information from them as quickly as possible, without trying to practice empathy. Perhaps this is a usual occurrence in this stage of medical school, but I hope that we get to address this by reflecting on our own, and catching ourselves before we fall into the trap of asking questions incessantly.
A simple solution for losing our empathy would be self-awareness and practice. Practice it not only with our patients, but also with friends who tell you about family problems, relatives who you’ve seen are having a hard time lately. It would also be useful to make an effort to be sincere and comfort the patient while interviewing them, showing simple gestures such as pats on the shoulder, handshakes, reiteration, making eye contact and smiling at them. It may not be the sincere at first, or may feel unusual, but as the saying goes “Fake it until you make it”.
We all have preferences and inclinations as to how we approach our patients in medical school and our future practice. I prefer to be curious and obsessive compulsive, while trying to stray away from the pull of treating patients as objects. Being a good doctor entails a good mix of academic diligence and interpersonal skills. I hope that even as medical students, we can fathom kind we would be.
Our patients only deserve the best.