Iced Tea Girl 5/25/2008 11:23:00 AM

I don't drink coffee. For some strange reason, this medical doctor doesn't even like the smell of this brew which has aided generations of medical practitioners in their quest to be awake while serving 35 or so hours in one shift. In other words, I abhor the drink. What kept me partially awake the whole time (and still does today, although I am an unusually light sleeper when on duty...) is iced tea.

I'm not exactly an iced tea addict, more like a connoisseur of sorts. I don't take it everyday. I don't crave it all the time. I do fully enjoy a little sip or a long slurp every time.

When eating out with family, friends or colleagues, its my usual drink of choice.

At home, I'm the one you see mixing up a pitcherful of any instant iced tea flavored mix for household consumption. Occasionally, there's some lemonsito (Philippine lemon) in the mix as well. It could also be half an iced tea mix and half another fruit flavored mix. It depends on my creativity (or the supply in our refrigerator).

Sometimes, I take my tea hot as well, or brew it hot then place it in the freezer. Occasionally, I'd brew some tea, then add powdered milk or some powdered fruit juice into my hot beverage, take it as is or chill it as well.

Now that I seldom have the luxury of time to mix things up, one usually finds me with a bottle of C2, Lipton or Sola with my afternoon snack, bought from the hospital's pharmacy/convenience store.

TBR 11 Goes on a Food Trip ! 5/22/2008 07:16:00 PM

There is a young Vietnemese-American doctor about to end his rotation in our department, and about to start residency training in Washington State. As part of Filipino hospitality, he has been invited by various doctors to dine out in various restaurants in and around Cebu City as well as sample home cooked meals in their homes. This goes to show that Filipinos just love too eat! This brings me to the topic of this week’s TBR: All about food! What’s your favorite dish/meal/cuisine/drink? Do you have some particular food cravings? Do you have any unusual food choices? Do you cook, or do you just eat well? Do you have some special/secret/unusual recipe you would like to share? Please leave your links as comments to this post or send me email : jaaraf [at] yahoo [dot] com. Deadline for submission is May 26, 2008 11:59 pm, Philippine Standard Time.

The One and Only... Doctor! 5/18/2008 11:52:00 PM

I'm the only medical doctor in my immediate family and my immediate extended family (no other medical doctor among cousins, aunts, uncles and their wives/husbands). I wasn't even planning to be a doctor until the 4th year of high school. Then, I was planning to take up medical technology, but decided at the last minute to take up biology as a pre-medicine course, a decision I won't ever regret (I made their the friends I know I will have for the rest of my life!) Anyway, when my mother found out of my decision to become a doctor, it was supported all the way even to the point of having one of my aunts in the U.S. take care of my tuition fee in medical school. It seemed like it was a dream come true for her to have a daughter as a doctor. My father's attitude was more of "If you want to do so, go ahead. Whatever you like." I wasn't forced to go to medical school, but boy, did I get all the encouragement to go through the whole process!
I feel like nobody in my family understands what I went through or am going through, and about to go through. I only have my friends and the members of my "other family" (see my previous post) who are doctors or who were then in medical schoool to talk to.
It's a little odd that they would all consult me in some matters but would not listen to me in others. My mother who's a diagnosed diabetic will still let her sweet tooth go when my father tempts her with goodies. My asthmatic brother will leave his inhaler at home when going on an overnight trip. Yet, my younger sister will always want me to check on her sore throat. I get texts from my cousins about medical stuff.
Still, I know they all love me and support me, especially my mother who is back to making me breakfast early every morning (I always go to early morning mass so I have breakfast at 5 am) and packed lunch everyday (I don't want to get in line in the cafeteria if I happen to be eating between performing to barium enemas.)

rAdIoLoGy NoTeS 10 - rEaLiZaTiOnS 5/11/2008 04:46:00 PM

I'm almost midway to my 1st year of residency training, and it seems like I just started yesterday... I have already begun to adjust to the work schedule (which can range from doing nothing the whole day to being so busy that you get out only at 6pm when your previous or not have a single wink of sleep the entire night you're on duty...) and, maybe a little bit to the teasings of the male staff, which I have begun to adjust too (I still put my foot down on their "green conversation" and so-way-back-in-high-school types of comments and teasings...) But in the midst of it all, I am happy, serene, and I love my work. I'm still looking into the possibilities of giving a little extra to the people I work around with... whether it's a smile, a greeting, a word of advise, or maybe just listening and praying for what the other person needs. I'm grateful that I have found fulfillment in what I do, even this early in further studies in my chosen profession... I hope that everyone else does so as well.

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To all the MOTHERS out there: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Encounters of the "Dean" Kind 5/06/2008 04:08:00 PM

[Taken from the Frindster site of CIM with the original captions: Recognize the white figure inside the library? ]

Our newly retired Dean, Dr. Josefina L Poblete has been a defining icon of sorts for all of us graduates of the Cebu Institute of Medicine ever since she has been at the helm of our medical education. She's one of those persons who leave an impression on you. I think it can be summed up by this one thing comment I remember in a conversation with her daughter, Dr. Poblete-Chan, who was then my Problem-Based Learning (PBL) group preceptor when she asked me, "Are you (referring to me and my groupmates) uncomfortable with me just because I'm the daughter of your dean?" I have never felt uncomfortable around Dr. Poblete-Chan, but her mother makes you uncomfortable when she's around just because you know that she is dead serious that she wants you to become THE "Physician With a Heart"

I remember a panel interview with her and the deans of the other local medical schools as part of the application for the regionalization program of the UP College of Medicine (I never pushed through with applying there due to non-compliance with a requirement though). She was the only panelist I remember who rarely ventured a smile throughout the interview.

Everyone was always careful when she was around. Maybe it's because she has the tendency of spotting something awry with one's uniform (i.e. too short skirts for females, wearing earrings for males). She would tell it exactly to your face when you did something wrong/inappropriate/not to her liking. She also makes you want to be somewhere else when she was around. Interns (senior clerks in local parlance), PGI's (post-graduate interns), and residents literally disappear from the OPD's hallway when they spot her coming through the door from a mile away.

One time, at our stay-in community rotation, she caught one of my co-interns walking around sans uniform in the primary care center. She saw him running into the male quarters to hide, so she went right up there to talk to him, ask him why he was running and to give him a piece about being properly dressed when assigned to the center and not to loiter there when not on duty.

Another time, at the same community rotation, she noticed that I buttoned my smock. She really came up to me and told me to unbutton the smock as it is more becoming to look at us in uniform that way. I was quite taken aback. I am until now still uncomfortable with buttoning my now long-sleeved resident's white coat.

For an entire two weeks, in my internal medicine rotation, our sub-group was on our toes when she was house consultant and would annouce house rounds almost daily, and even a surprise ward rounds on a Sunday morning which caught even the house resident by surprise.

Charity cases were presented to her on a one-on-one basis directly by the interns for her approval. You never know whether she would focus on the socio-economic background of the patient in question or the intricacies of the treatment modalities the patient would be subjected to. I had the misfortune to once present to her the only charity case which to my knowledge was unapproved (mostly through the lack of foresight of the admitting resident, and the lot just falling onto me to present the case). I felt like dying on the spot when she said the words, "..., and that's why I'm not going to approve this case!"

One thing that I do appreciate is her effort to help us learn to practice medicine in an ethical manner through lectures, though I guess it has sometimes fallen into deaf ears. I also appreciate her emphasis on modesty and dressing in a manner in which people would regard you with more respect, which a lot of my peers have tended to disregard.

There are people you won't forget your entire life. Dean Poblete is exactly on one of these people in my life.

An "Exercise" Confession 5/03/2008 04:54:00 PM

Physical Education has never been my favorite subject. Ever since early in grade school, this klutzy nerd has had a hard time coping up with the intricacies of a modern dance routine or playing any ball game. Later on, sometime after having had swimming lessons, I developed a distaste for dipping my self into any large body of water (i.e. swimming pool, sea, river, waterfalls) because of a certain incident which I would rather not mention... I then became adverse to any form of regular physical activity with the exception of a nature hike or long walk. Unfortunately, I seldom have the opportunity or the time to indulge in this activity nowadays.

In short, I don't exercise regularly. As a medical doctor, it's something I'm a little reluctant to actually admit. I have never set foot in a gym, and neither do I plan to in the future. I am already living such a tight schedule in my first year of residency and attending to other family and social obligations that this has been at the end of my set of priorities. Frankly, it's the only thing in the healthy lifestyle list that I am unable to do (aside from the usual lesser number of hours of sleep all doctors are subjected to in the course of their training and profession).

I still wonder when I will ever incorporate a regular routine of physical activity into my schedule...