Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An Encounter with an Old Mentor

I saw my old med school mentor the other day. He was with his family at the photo printers. I was about to have my picture taken when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him looking expectantly at me, like he knew I would recognize him. And I did. He's gained some weight but he seemed more cheerful and relaxed than when he did his rounds at the hospital way back then. I approached him and cheerfully said hello and asked him how he was. He asked me why I was still in Manila (he knew about my plans to leave for the US). I told him the plans fell through. Pleasantries. It was a timely meeting for several reasons.

I remember that on my med school graduation, I sent him a thank you letter where I said I considered him one of my mentors. But to be honest, I don't know if he fits the description of mentor. We weren't exactly close and I don't think he necessarily thinks of me a protege but ever since I met him in sophomore year, I knew I wanted to develop in myself the same love for teaching that he so generously exudes. He was very tough and most of my classmates were terrified of him. But I saw through the tough mantle and knew that at the core, he just loved to see his students understand medicine. My encounter with him was timely because I am at a point where I have started becoming involved in some form of teaching. And seeing him again after so many years reminded me of how much time he spent with the students and that, in a smaller scale, the same is expected of me. I do not aim to emulate his technique. A lot of students find his ways too abrasive. His passion for teaching, his concern and love for learning, these are the things I find inspiring in him. And I guess these are also the reasons why, in some small way, I can look up to him as one of my mentors.

Sent from a BB.

Posted via email from karlmd's posterous

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