PGH Internship

I lost it somewhere. I lost that seemingly insatiable, relentless drive which fulled me back when I decided to enter med school. Back in second year, I found myself dragging my feet to classes, drowning in torrential course work,  and feeling trapped in a seemingly endless of cycle of exam after exam while 'life' happened for non-med people. Third year was similar, and while I watched myself gain weight from indulging in caffeine pumped drinks every shifting period, I felt my enthusiasm whittling away.

I dismissed these feelings as birthing pains. After all, I'm a firm believer that all good things require genuine effort, sacrifice, and consistency; that is persevering despite and inspite of how you feel, because even if you feel bad today, it always does get better eventually. And maybe, I thought, I was just tired.

I was sustained by the feeling of satisfaction  that came with completing every year of med school. I came with a renewed sense of vigor in 4th year clerkship as we finally had the chance to handle actual patients. Less books, more real life experience. But somehow, that came crashing down as well when I learned that any well-conceived management could only go so far for a patient who could not even afford the required medications. Sabi nga nila, hindi naman nakakagamot ang reseta. Working in a public hospital made me aware of the realities of poverty that no book nor documentary could ever make you fully understand. Totoo nga, nakakamatay ang kahirapan.

Maybe it was from the constant disappointment of taking care of patients who stay more than they need to in the hospital because their conditions are too precarious to be managed at home, and yet cannot have the needed diagnostics done that further beat my worn down enthusiasm. That and the heirarchal ego tripping of some doctors, me watching silent as patients are prescribed exorbitantly priced 'sponsored' antibiotics, patients and caregivers who wait until the last minute to bring themselves to the hospital, hospital personnel who revere pay patients but act snidely to charity patients and all sorts of shit also known as reality.

It's the feeling of helplessness in a system that seems so efficient at being inefficient and ineffectual, and, despite of the well-meaning intentions of some health care providers, I cannot help but imagine ourselves as cogs who continually trudge down the same tired old beaten path, running the same old contraption, getting bogged down by the same old deficiencies and inefficiencies, not creating so much improvement but only keeping the entire thing from falling apart. I'm speaking in riddles. And I speak with the fatigue only someone who has worked in a public hospital know.

I am digressing. And ranting. But as I realized yesterday that I lost 'it' somewhere (whatever that 'it' may be, not sure if it's desire, enthusiasm, motivation or what not), I am purposefully searching for it again, or whatever 'purposefully searching' might actually mean tangibly. I am fortunate to find myself in an institution that inspires me to treat patients better, and I guess being in an environment where poor patients have at least a fighting chance to live, is a good enough start for me.

3 comments:

Purbali Dutta said...

Hey Aubrey. I'm Bali. I'm a med student too..I've been following ur blog since like 2yrs ago...i read it while i was staying in cebu(not anymore)...every time i come across ur posts(sorry u kno we guys lack time to blog n c them)I can totally relate to it! Well...Keep Fighting! Just wanted to say- I understand! It's normal the way we feel..not great but ya.

Aubrey said...

Hi Bali. Didn't think anyone still read my blog. Thank you :) And yes, keep fighting on!

AnakIluh Ibn Hajiri said...

Hello po Ms Aubrey! Anung year kayo nag-Internship sa PGH? Batch 2014 or 2015 ba kayo? Congrats eitherway ^_^ you are getting closer to that dream of grabbing the MD (GOd willing)

I have a lot to thank you for those years nung nangangapa pa sa "how to pass NMAT" and now nasa Medschool na, I woud always come back and check out your blog for new posts.

See you in the finish line po, Dr. Aubrey ^_^