Sunday, May 14, 2006

The White Coat and the Tie

I wear a tie to work everyday. A tie. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d wear a tie to work. In my dreams, there was only a white coat and a stethoscope, there was never any mention of a tie! Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Of course, I didn’t dream I was naked when I wore the white coat. But a tie was never part of my dreams. But, really, I don’t mind wearing a tie. A tie is always cool to wear. I just never, ever dreamt I’d wear it on an everyday basis. That’s basically a really brief yet accurate summary of my life right now. I get to wear a cool tie everyday. I get to wear my white long sleeved blazer (with my name on the breast pocket) and my stethoscope around my neck and greet patients as they come in to the ER feeling terrible, and I get to try to make them feel all better with my smile – and my cool tie! Hehe. I’m trying to see the positive side here. Bear with me.

Duty nights are toxic, especially since I’m rotating under the “premiere department” of The Medical City – Medicine. It’s not called The Medical City for nothing. As interns of the Department of Medicine, we’re basically the whole hospital’s go-to interns. When the interns of Surgery and OB are all inside the OR assisting in a procedure, the nurses call us to do these interns’ dirty work. What’s more is that 4 of the 11 nursing floors (i.e., where the patients rooms are) are purely medical floors. Pediatrics has 2 floors assigned to it, and another 2 are assigned to Surgery, and a whole floor for OB-Gyn. And yet sometimes, we have medical admissions in those floors too! That translates to seeing patients in all 11 floors. On any given night, there are only 2 or 3 poor Medicine interns on duty.

But it’s not all bad. The whole hospital is airconditioned, sparing us interns from the harsh humid weather of Manila. And this, for me, is the best: after a whole night of zero sleep and answering calls from the nurses, we get to take a luxurious shower in hot or cold water, whichever is your preference. I assure you, there are very few hospitals in the whole of the Philippines that offers this luxury. Some more plusses: A Starbucks is located at the hospital lobby, open until 12 midnight, to provide that essential Caramel Iced Shaken double shot of espresso to keep me up all night (well, nearly all night). The residents are all very kind and considerate, a far cry from the toxicity of the residents in UST. The nursing and auxillary staff are very courteous and make one feel right at home.

I love every minute of what I do these days. Not everyone feels the same way, what with the lack of hands-on patient experience (we can’t do pelvic examinations on most patients since they are paying private patients of the consultants and we are after all unlicensed doctors under training). But to me, that will not matter much in the long run. I can learn most of these things on my own and it is a small price to pay to work in a place where I really love to be in. I’m sure others will beg to disagree. But hey, it’s really all a matter of perspective.


PiNkBlOtS said...

kainggit naman buhay nyo syan

karlmd said...

think of it this way. it was a choice i had to make. you get more hands on patient care in UST, and with more consultants breathing down your neck so you're forced to study. in medical city, we have less of that. i made the decision to forego UST (as if it was a very difficult decision) because i saw internship as strategic placement for my future practice. hehe.