Friday, April 14, 2006

Clerkship's End: Getting Sentimental

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be sad to leave medical school. I've always imagined it would be a joyous and momentous triumph for me. And then I met these guys (picture below) and I thought, I wish I could work with these people for a longer time than what we had.

They were my dutymates in obstetrics, my very last rotation, and I really loved working with them. I think in my whole four years of med school, I’ve never enjoyed group work as much as I did with them and it’s a sad thing for it all to be over.

Yes, clerkship and medical school are indeed over. I went on my last duty last night and we had a bit of fun and plenty of food. It only really sunk in as I was packing my stuff at the apartment. I think that made everything a little worse. Packing things away always makes me sentimental. (I moved out of the apartment and back to our home in Pasig, since Medical City is only about 15 minutes away; I lived in an apartment for 3 years).

I wrote a little something last night as I was thinking quietly about all these. Let me just post it here:

“It's our last duty night as medical students. I really don't know how I should feel. Marc was right: we only feel we're going to miss it because it's almost over. Or actually, maybe not.

I think that getting through a year of clerkship is an accomplishment. I start to remember all those crazy toxic nights in this hospital, home to me these past 4 years. Well, I do not consider UST the institution as my home. It's the people I've met along the way. It's the getting through a particularly toxic duty night, the summoning of all my patience for an irritating groupmate, the waking up at 4am to monitor patients. It's the work and the people and the experience.

I now realize that I'm truly going to miss one of the worst and yet best parts of my life. I think I truly evolved into a real doctor this year. I may still have a lot to learn in medicine but I think I'll never learn more than I did in clerkship. It's not just medical knowledge. I learned about life this year. I learned that more often than not, you can't trust most of the people around you and that everyone at one point will disappoint you almost as sure as you will disappoint them too. I learned that poverty kills and that even the noble profession of medicine is dependent on wealth and financial capability. I learned how to love a patient and pray for him. I learned how to dislike a patient and summon all the patience I have in order to render good patient care. I learned all about being human and being a doctor, and the difference between the two.

In a few hours, it will all be over. I'm happy and yet I'm sad. All good things must come to an end. It's time to finally move on.”

And now it really is over. Sigh…

A look back at the entrance to the UST Hospital Clinical Division
as I was walking home from my last 24 hour duty as a medical clerk.

3 comments:

PiNkBlOtS said...

Goodluck!!!!
All of us clerks deserve a very big CONGRATULATIONS for having gone through a year of clerkship.

JenMP said...

Then I give you guys a very big CONGRATULATIONS!! I remember when you were first going into clerkship, Karl, and how you were a little anxious about it and that it seemed to be this huge thing. Indeed it was, but is it weird now that it's over, thinking about how you felt when you just began? It's crazy that's it's already been a whole year and that you are done with clerkship. That truly is an accomplishment and I'm proud to say you are my friend. I am excited that God has taught you so much and just as excited to see how He will use that in you!

karlmd said...

wow, thanks for that very touching message jen! yeah, it's so weird for it to be all over. doesn't it seem like it was only yesterday that i was asking you to pray about this? i think i've always derived comfort in that fact, that time really flies and i won't feel it go past. the Lord has brought me to a field where i'm facing countless years of training before i ever get to see patients of my own. and it's comforting to know that pretty soon, and i won't even know it, it will all be over and i'll just simply be a real physician.