What motivates you in Medical School?


The last speaker for this year's APMC Regional Convention was Dr.Ron Baticulon (ronibats.ph) who is a Filipino pediatric neurosurgeon, writer and a teacher. It was coined that he came from a family of geniuses because all of them who are five siblings graduated as a valedictorian and was all UPCAT passers. However, he preferred to be known as a family of hard work and determination. (read more: Five Valedicatorians)

Dr. Baticulon delivered a speech that inspired us - medical students about Keeping The Motivation in Medical Studies and there it made me think what keeps me motivated in Med School.  Well, here it goes, my personal dream on becoming a doctor is my motivation. Sometimes, you have to start within self and then other reasons follows. I am not going to write about what Dr. Baticulon's speech but I am going to share my piece.

Like how little kids answer in their yearbook "What do you want to be when you grow up", I answered, "I want to be a doctor." I was still innocent and know nothing but just white gowns and stethoscope. I used to play "doctor, doctor" and pretentiously treat my barbie doll or teddy bear with improvised medicine bottles, band aids and syringes. And then on, I knew I want to be a Doctor. Nobody in the family or first degree relatives was a doctor and if I pass the PLE  (in Jesus name), I will be the first one. But as I grew up, environment changes and peers changes that it reached to the point I wanted to become a Chef. I grew up seeing my mom and relatives cooking delicious food using their own recipes. I actually labeled myself as a frustrated chef. As everything constantly changes, I came back to my dream as becoming a doctor and here I am pursuing in Medical studies.

My parents follow in the list for they are the one who support me financially, physically and emotionally. Their hard work in sending me to an expensive medical school is what keeps me moving at times that I don't want to attend classes because I am so sleepy. Imagine waking up at around six in the morning because of your 7:00 am classes and then going home at around 6 in the evening. I always rant about where am I going to insert a luxurious sleep in the schedule. But whenever laziness kicks in my mind, I always think how my parents are also doing the same thing. They wake up early in the morning to work and they go home to look after the family and then my mother has to comply with some paper works. They are the one who look for money and they are also the one who feed us. And so, this is what motivates me.

Next on the list are my patients during our clinics. I was moved when Dr. Baticulon talked about going an extra mile to your patients. It was about asking what's the patient's favorite color, movie show and many more. Dr. Ron Baticulon was one of the reasons why becoming Pediatrician is one of my choices in the future. 

I learned from a movie, Patch Adams that us doctors don't only treat the patient's disease but we also increase their quality of life. Well, I remember having a 12-year-old patient who was amputated due to osteosarcoma on his right leg. The patient was playful, responsive and very cooperative. I believe that his support system was very strong and also joyful because I also talked to his parents. I asked the patient what does he want to be when he grows up and he replied in verbatim, "Police pero putol man ug tiil." (Police but I don't have one leg). I asked him if he watches Ang Probinsyano where Coco Martin plays the role of SPO1 Cardo Dalisay and he happily replied with a yes. Maybe for some, having an amputated leg can be very depressing most especially he was still 12 years old but his lively spirit made me realized that there are more things to be thankful of.

Us doctors don't only inspect, percuss, palpate and auscultate but we should also look beyond their eyes and inside their eyes. In that way, we have brought a good impact during their hospital stay or in their life. Moreover, they have also touched our lives and motivates us to become a better doctor.

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