Sunday, August 31, 2014

Farewell, Surgery!

More photos from our Surgery rotation because August has already come to an end and I will really, really, really miss everyone and everything about this rotation. :( I have half a mind to take up Surgery residency because of it! (Just kidding.)

I begin my Internal Medicine rotation tomorrow and I'm scared as hell. I never liked IM during junior internship and, with all the department changes, I'm pretty sure my feelings still stand at present. However, I'm getting ahead of myself. We'll see how it goes after the first week. Or day. Or whatever.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

An Ode To Surgery

August is drawing to an end bringing with it an end to our Surgery rotation. After spending two months in Surgery during clerkship/junior internship and another two months in senior internship, I can safely say that becoming a surgeon is far down on my list of chosen specialties. Don't get me wrong, I love going on duty during this rotation. I've learned to love going on rounds twice a day, waking up before 4:00 am to do wound care on our post-op patients, doing our daily census, and everything being a surgery intern entails. But I can't see myself spending another five years in residency doing grunt work, going on duty every other day, and forsaking the little personal time I have left for my family and friends. I know that every residency program out there requires its own share of personal sacrifices from its residents but...somehow, the sacrifice seems greater when you're in surgery.

Anyhow, enough about residency and the future. I'm here to share the great time we're having in surgery as interns!

One of my group mates joked that if we could spend the entire year being surgery interns, we would. We'd be happy with our meager allowance every month and free food every Wednesdays (courtesy of the med reps!). We'd cook delicious dishes every lunch and dinner time and even manage to squeeze in a quick breakfast before morning rounds!

It is often said that everyone gains a little weight in surgery rotation. Surgeons love to eat.

Who doesn't?

I believe this all started with the Wicked Oreos. My group mate, Lauren, had an epiphany at 1:30 am and sent a text message to us: "Gawa tayo wicked oreos next duty. :)" So we did. They were the best Wicked Oreos we ever tasted, let me tell you. 

Isn't it a beauty? Our residents loved it so much that we made them again on our next duty. :)

It also helps that my group mates are my friends too. I can't imagine not working with them for the rest of internship.

Sometimes I forget that I'm not a student anymore, in the legit sense of the word. My parents aren't paying tuition anymore yet I'm still inside the campus, albeit going in a "different" classroom every morning. Every once in a while, I have to remind myself that I am doing internship and that I have to remain professional and polished at all times. 

This is the real world after all.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Beach trip, anyone?

I'm in need of a relaxing vacation trip somewhere where nobody knows me and where no one will bother me with work-related things. I love what I'm doing though, I really do. However, one needs to take a break once in awhile to avoid burnout.

It's been almost a month since I've last posted here, my apologies! I have lost myself to the daily pace of life in the hospital (it feels like I practically live there) and my mind is preoccupied with requirements and exams. However, one good thing that happened recently is that I have taken up boxing! Yes, BOXING, of all things! I am not violent at all but I must admit that I get a full body workout whenever I go to the gym. Don't worry, I'm still a fish (a mermaid?) at heart and I WON'T give up swimming. But the rainy season is here and boxing gives me a pretty good alternative to keeping fit. My blood sugar levels thank me, if you must know. :P

I really miss writing all my thoughts down though. One of my junior interns recently mentioned that he came across my blog while searching for matching/internship stuff (I blogged about it a year ago here. Time flies by AWFULLY FAST!) and I actually felt shy, bordering on embarrassed. I know what you're thinking: "Why is she embarrassed about her blog? It's public so she knows anyone can read it!" Chill, you guys. I guess I'm not completely comfortable knowing that people I actually know (family, friends, colleagues, etc) read my blog. I know I'm not the only one who feels the same way. I have read posts by other bloggers tackling this personal issue. 

However, if you're reading this now and I actually know you in person...then, HELLO! :) I prefer you not mentioning it to me that you've seen my blog though. Hihi.

Anyway, to my recent followers, WELCOME TO RESUSCITATE! :) I sincerely hope you enjoy reading my posts. I hope to find time in my busy schedule to update here more often.

Until then, cheers!


**PS: The Physician Licensure Exam is starting THIS WEEKEND! My prayers go out to DLSHSI's College of Medicine Batch 2013 and to all my friends taking the exam! Aim for the top! I'm so excited for all of you! :)

Snatched from Red's Instagram

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

25 Facts About Me Tag

Stumbled across the lovely Alexandra's blog through my usual 'blog-browsing'. She had posted this 25 Facts About Me tag and I thought it would be a good idea to do it, so I gave it a go. :)

What is your middle name?: De Mesa
What was favourite subject at school?: Back in high school, it was Music since I was part of the school choir. In college, I took up Nursing and I loved my Health Care classes which included the basic skills a nurse needs to know. When I finally entered Medicine, I enjoyed Microbiology and Pediatrics!
What is your favourite drink?: Alcoholic? Anything with vodka in it! Haha! But if I have to go sober, a Peppermint Mocha frappuccino from Starbucks does the trick.
What is your favourite song at the moment?: Ariana Grande's Break Free is currently stuck in my head.

What is your favourite food?: JAPANESE, most definitely! Give me maki anytime!

What is the last thing you bought?: Two 1/2 gallon tubs of ice cream from the convenience store! We decided to have an ice cream party in the Surgery office last duty.
Favourite book of all time?: I would have to agree with Alexandra with this one: HARRY POTTER. For the win!
Favourite Colours?: Teal, mint, aquamarine, emerald. Or all those colors together!
Do you have any pets?: We have a lot of dogs at home! We have 3 labradors namely: Scottie, Phantom, and Ashley. Two local breed dogs: Gusot and Tagpi. One daschund named Patola.
Favourite Perfume?: Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea Perfume. 
Favourite Holiday?: Christmas of course! Nothing beats Christmas carols, decorations, Simbang Gabi, family reunions, gifts under the tree, and all the local delicacies served only once a year!
Are you married?: Nope!
Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: Yes, I LOVE to travel so much that I've lost count. I started traveling at a young age and I've been to the US, Europe, and the land down under. There is still so much to see! <3
Do you speak any other language?: I speak mainly two languages: English and Filipino. I took up French and Italian lessons way back and I've obviously forgotten them but I'd love to study again given the chance.
How many siblings do you have?: Zero! #onlychildproblems

What is your favourite shop?: Any shop that has makeup! Haha! But if I have to choose one, probably PCX or The Face Shop. For clothes, I'd go for SM and Uniqlo. They have everything I need.

Favourite restaurant?: Omakase, hands down.
When was the last time you cried?: When I received bad news about an exam I just took. I honestly thought I was never going to graduate from medschool.
Favourite Blog?: My favorites include The Londoner, World of Wanderlust, and Paris In Four Months
Favourite Movie?: Midnight in Paris, Burlesque
Favourite TV show?: House, Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girls
PC or Mac?: PC! Mac leaves me feeling stupid. :|
What phone do you have?: iPhone 4 and Alcatel. I need two phones for work and everyday life.
How tall are you?: 5'2 but I wish I were taller!
Can you cook?: Yes, but only the no-brainer dishes such as potato salad and pasta. I'd love to learn though!

Thanks for reading until the end! :P Feel free to answer this and post it on your blog! Leave your blog link so I could read yours. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Body Shop Wishlist

The Body Shop Wishlist

Now the topic of this blog entry is something I'd like to think of as 'uncharted territory'. How often (if ever) do I blog about something so, well, girly? But skin care, as I have come to realize lately, is just as important as makeup! 

I've been breaking out lately due to stress and lack of sleep so it was just my luck that I stumbled upon The Body Shop's Skin Care Diagnostic Tool via a beauty blog! The tool is created to virtually assess your skin type, know your skin problems, and even inquire about your lifestyle. Once you've submitted your answers, the diagnostic tool will come up with a skin care regimen for you, complete with products for cleansing, toning, and moisturizing for day and night! 

Here's what the diagnostic tool came up with when I answered their questions:

Pretty awesome right? No more guessing about which skin care products will work best for your skin! I can't wait to drop by The Body Shop the next time I go to the mall.

I would love to know: what's your skin care regimen? :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Post: Family Brunch

Hello everyone! How's your weekend so far? I had a pleasantly relaxing (rare) weekend off at home and I was able to entice my parents to have brunch at Ihop in Alabang.

My parents and I enjoyed dining al fresco where the breeze was cool and where the diners were few. I only wished their hot chocolate had refills! 

What did you do over the weekend? :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How To Survive Medical School

This one is for you. Yes, you, the one who is currently in medical school or wants to get into medical school.

This is for you, the one in medical school who may be in his/her first, second, or third year (heck, maybe even in fourth year!).

This is for you, the one in medical school who may be having trouble studying until the wee hours of the morning (don't we all?).

This is for you, the one in medical school who may feel down and depressed because he/she got his/her third (or fourth) failing grade in a row in one subject (let me sympathize with you).

This is for you, the one in medical school who still hasn't gotten his/her study habits down pat yet.

This is for you, the one who aspires to enter medical school but feels he/she is not genius enough to make it.

This is for you, the one who aspires to enter medical school but has inferiority complex issues and feels that he/she will not measure up like his/her classmates (I felt the same way).

This is for you, the one who aspires to enter medical school but is having second thoughts because he/she isn't sure how to survive in it.

I don't claim to be an expert in such things and I may certainly not be the most qualified (ie. the smartest) to tell you these things. But I just want to share some of the things that I learned during my 4-year journey in medical school; what worked best for me, how it helped me, and other tips and tricks that may be able to guide you along the way.

So whether you are already a medical student or someone who wants to get into medical school (and is already having second thoughts), then this one is for you. :)

1. Take notes during class
With all the book chapters and transcriptions that you have to read and memorize (for a single subject alone), how could you possibly retain all that information come exam time? I sometimes take shortcuts and skip the book altogether (bad idea but it saves time) and focus on the powerpoint lecture and the transcriptions made by my classmates. During the lecture, write down important information and details so that you can review them later on. Sometimes the exam questions come from the things that the lecturer says. They aren't written on the powerpoint slide and can't be found in the book either.

My dorm room table swamped with books and notes
2. Choose your study place wisely
Choose a place where you can concentrate and focus on your study material for long periods of time while staying comfortable too. Avoid couches and beds because studying in these places will guarantee that you will be asleep in no time. Choose a place with good ventilation and good lighting. For me, it was in my dorm room, specifically in a chair in front of my table, or sometimes the library.  I was halfway through 3rd year when I realized that I studied better at HOME, of all places. Most of my classmates avoid studying at home because there are all kinds of distractions: TV, internet, good food, good bed, parents, pets, etc. But it's precisely because of those things that I was able to focus better at home (or maybe I was just plain home sick). Well, to each his own.

I also know of some people who frequently study in coffee shops but I find that those places have poor lighting and how can you concentrate with all that noise? I make an exception to coffee shops when I have already gone through my reading material once or twice. Only then can I enjoy my cafe latte with hazelnut while reading and recalling the signs and symptoms of appendicitis.

My kind of writing material: colored pens!
3.  Select your weapons of choice
By weapons, I meant ballpens, highlighters, and sticky notes! You know that first day of school feeling when you have brand new school supplies and you can't wait to use them? Well, I felt exactly the same way. For my ballpens, I preferred purple and pink for underlining/encircling words and phrases. For my highlighters, my main brand and color was Stabilo in blue-green while I had Dong-A Gel Highlighters in yellow, orange, and green for my "sub-colors". Yes, I figured that highlighting is an art in med school. I also used sticky notes for reminders and marking my books/transcriptions.

Needless to say, my pencil case was always bulging and ready to burst inside my bag but what's important here is that they can make you feel at ease while studying and you can devise a way with the colors to know which topics are important and which are must-knows. Another plus, the bright colors prevent you from being bored while studying!

4. Create a study schedule
I strongly advise that you do not procrastinate just like what you may have done in college. There is so much material to be covered that you cannot possibly absorb all of them within 1 or 2 nights of studying. In most medical schools, they give out a schedule of when the lectures will be, when the exams will be given, and what will be covered in the exam.

Create a study schedule weeks before the exam and I suggest to read in advance. Read the chapter on the topic that will be lectured the following day so you already have a grasp of the material. The next day after the lecture, if you still have time when you get home, go through your lecture notes. This will reinforce your learning and it's as if you already had two readings of the topic.

Create a list of the topics per subject that will be in the exam. Once you've read a particular topic, cross it out then proceed to the next topic. This way, you can see how many topics you still have to cover. Time management is the key.

On the day of the exam, it's quite difficult to learn new material so reading your books/transcriptions would be useless (and will only make use of short-term memory). Besides, you already feel too nervous and on edge to focus anymore so I suggest to go over past exams of the previous years. This way, you can test yourself on your mastery of the topic and who knows, maybe they'll repeat some of the test questions!

5. Ask someone to help you
Make friends with the upper classmen! They've been through what you're going through now and they can offer you loads of advice. They can give you feedback and tell you how Dr. A makes his exam questions or how Dr. B wants your patient histories written. In addition, you can borrow review material from them, especially their previous exam questionnaires if they have them. Consider them your big brothers and sisters in medical school.

6. Don't be afraid to approach your professors
Whenever I sensed that I was on the verge of failing a particular class (which thankfully never happened), I always make it a point to approach the department and talk to my professors. We discuss my current class standing and how I can improve my grade. This shows that you are pro-active and willing to be guided by your seniors.

 My group mates during junior internship were some of the best ever
We're still together through college and medical school
7. Surround yourself with good people
Remember, you entered medical school to become a doctor. You're in this for the long haul. One way to help you survive this grueling (and rewarding!) journey is to be with friends who will stay by your side through the good and bad times. I cannot stress this enough. If I didn't have any friends during medical school, maybe I would have graduated all the same but I sure would've been hell of a lot lonelier. Hey, the friends you make will be your colleagues someday. Patient referrals, anyone?

There you have it! I sincerely hope I have helped you in some way in your journey through medical school. Do share some of your experiences, I'd love to know about it. :)