Sunday, November 23, 2014

Back to the mountains of Bailen

My Family and Community Medicine rotation for this month requires us to visit the rural community three times a week. We went back to our communities where we were assigned to live in last year. Incidentally, I lived in the same community where I stayed around 4 years ago during my undergrad. The place is so familiar that I already feel comfortable in it. 

Our foster mother was so happy to see us and likewise. I remember living in her house last year when we used to set up a grill and prepare barbecue for dinner in the backyard. Those were good times.

For senior internship, however, we're only assigned to the Out Patient Department and the health centers so our weekly visits to the community will have to do. On our first visit to the community, we met up with a couple of interns from the UP-PGH and we held a meeting regarding the new program of the Department of Health. 

Life in the community sure is peaceful. There's a feeling of camaraderie between the citizens and us lowly interns, as evidenced by the bag of fruits we were given to take home and the invitations to town fiestas. I never got it in my head to become a family medicine practitioner, though. Doctors to the Barrios, anyone? I suppose they're not for the weak of heart. Health care is not easily and readily accessible to people living in rural or far-flung areas. Doctors assigned to said areas do a LOT of walking just to get to their patients, not to mention that they probably sacrificed a lot just to do what they're doing.  Maybe there is something to be said about these Doctors to the Barrios being our local heroes.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Thoughts: 7 Things That Make Me Happy

Hello hello! I'm pretty consistent with this whole blogging-only-every-two-weeks-or-so, aren't I? Well, at least you know what to expect. :P

I'm back with a new blogpost! I won't be writing about my current rotation, which is Family & Community Medicine, because I honestly don't know what to write about THAT (unless you want to hear my woes about the rotation requirements). I'm here to tell you all about the things that make ME happy (because I do have a life outside the hospital, you know). 

1. Family
Of course! Nothing makes me happier than going home on a weekend and actually staying home with my parents and talking about our week. Even if it's just for a day or two, spending time at home is an effective stress-buster/recharger for the coming week.

2. Friends

Friends got your back, no matter what. Even though I only get to see some of my closest friends once in a blue moon, I'm glad to have them in my life!

3. Our dogs

These furry creatures are so well-loved in our home that they're considered a part of the family. Scottie the labrador always sleeps in my room whenever I'm home and Ashley (Scottie's daughter) has the cutest curled puff tail in the world.

4. Ice Cream

Laugh all you want! Ice cream is my guilty pleasure and there's no hiding it! Feeling happy? Get some ice cream to celebrate! Feeling depressed? Drown your sorrows in a tub of ice cream. My diabetes won't stop me so thank goodness for sugar-free ice cream. :)

5. Travel

I'm a self-confessed travel junkie. Total wanderlust. Will work for travel. That kind of obsession. I was introduced to the world of traveling at a very young age and I have my parents to thank for that. There is still so much of the world to explore and I can't wait to visit all the places in my bucket list!

6. That feeling of accomplishment

New skills and actually graduating from medical school. These things gave me such a natural high! Accomplishing something that you've worked so hard for is worth much more than monetary value.

7. My readers!
YOU, of course! When I first started this blog, I blogged only for myself. I did it to relieve my stress and to unload my mind from my thoughts. But eventually, I met people through my blog and it makes me happy to know that what I write helps them in some way. So, THANK YOU! :)

Well, there are more things that make me happy, of course but I think that deserves another blogpost. :)

What are some of the things that make YOU happy?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Barn Joe's Smoke Grill

For those of you living in Dasmarinas, Cavite, are you looking for a new restaurant or food haunt to satisfy your palate? (I keep craving for jamaican patties but sadly, the nearest Royal Carribean/De Original Jamaican Pattie stall is all the way in the Alabang area.) Tired of eating in the same limited dining options in the area?

I understand your sentiments. Worry no more because I think we may have found the answer to your search -- Barn Joe's Smoke Grill! 

After duty one evening, the boyfriend asked if I wanted to try Barn Joe's for dinner as per recommendation by one of his friends. I said yes since I was eager to try something new (and was feeling pretty sick of eating the same old maki and pork barbecue of nearby establishments). 

Stall No. 26
JMAR Building
Mangubat Avenue, Burol Main
Dasmarinas City, Cavite

Barn Joe's Smoke Grill is a short tricycle ride away from the De La Salle Unviersity Medical Center, and can even be reached on foot. It's across the street from Chichabab's and Villa Isabel. It's not exactly the safest location in the area but I'm sure that's a mere setback once you taste what they have to offer!

Let's get right down to it! Barn Joe's Smoke Grill has a menu that's short and to the point. After all, why bother with numerous dishes when you can perfect the ones you already have, right?

We ordered the Massive Joe Pulled Pork (Php 175) which we split into two. We initially wanted to order the Massive Joe Beef Brisket (Php195) as well for variety but the owner said that one sandwich was already good for two! The sandwiches are already served with fries so we settled for the pulled pork and ordered Coleslaw (Php 25) and Saccharine Iced Tea (Php 25). 

Massive Joe Pulled Pork Sandwich with fries, Coleslaw, and Saccharine Iced Tea

Wow. And I mean, just...WOW! That is one big sandwich! It's stuffed with delicious pork strips that are mixed with tangy barbecue sauce and coleslaw (I wasn't so sure about the coleslaw-in-the-sandwich part--too busy stuffing my face to bother with the specifics!). 

Can we all please take a moment to notice the iced tea? It's served in a glass jar! Too cute. :)

A close up of the Massive Joe Pulled Pork Sandwich, yes?

If I were, say, really hungry, I think I can finish one whole sandwich by myself! I believe that it is not a good sandwich without some form of potato dish on the side (in my humble opinion), and the fries were just perfect. They're a bit bigger than your average fast food french fry. They were bitin though, so we ordered additional french fries! One barbecue and one sour cream flavored. We justified the extra order by saying we wanted to try more of their menu but...we were just really hungry. :p

Sour Cream and Barbecue flavored fries (Php 25/order)
Being a lover of all things potato (mashed potato, baked potato, french fries, Twister fries, etc), I have to say that they don't quite come close to the rich flavor of Potato Corner fries (best fries in the world, hands down) but they complement the sandwich nicely!


Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5

Ambience and Cleanliness:
The whole place gave a burger joint vibe with its red and white checkered ceiling, creatively designed punched iron for the overhead lamps, red and white wooden tables and chairs, and a chalkboard for their menu.

Cleanliness is an important factor for me as I cannot stand unsanitary restaurants. Barn Joe's appeared to be neat and clean, with a spotless floor and no sticky tables. We were the only diners during our stay there so that might be a factor.

The Barn Joe's staff were nice and friendly! We were able to meet the owner (we presumed he's the owner) and had a short conversation with him regarding the menu. He was very helpful and we were pleased with the service over all.

Before we left, one of the staff asked us to fill out index cards with our personal data saying that they plan on including delivery to their services this month (!!!). I told them that it's a very good idea and that could they please deliver to the hospital? Duty would be so much more bearable if we could have their food for our meals!


Needless to say, we left Barn Joe's Smoke Grill feeling full and satisfied. We thought, FINALLY! A new dining place to haunt! I  even kept thinking about their pulled pork sandwiches the next day...they're that good! We have to go back soon and try the rest of what's on their menu. 

How about you? Will you be giving this restaurant a try? :)

Check out their Facebook page HERE!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Post: Mid-Year Slump

How can October be considered as "mid-year"? Well, it happens to the best of us. Your birth month just ended with nothing to look forward to until Christmas, add to that the stress from your job and there you have it. Your mid-year slump.

I had the same sentiments last year. Spent my birthday eve on duty, endorsing a case on my actual birthday, killer rotations, and just being generally exhausted from it all. Maybe birthdays start to lose their meanings when you get older. You only remember your birthday is coming up just a week before the big day, losing yourself in work on your birthday itself, and getting only a few greetings from well-meaning friends and family who actually remember. (Since when have I turned into a birthday grinch?) I can't really blame anyone. Everyone I know is so immersed in their personal lives (work, family, businesses, etc) that they can't be bothered to know what's going on with others. I am guilty of that.

But anyway.

I'm having a serious case of wanderlust lately (again). But this time, I have my internship group mates to wanderlust with me! Hihi. We're planning on taking a vacation soon. A few of us are dreaming of Bali, Indonesia...

Or perhaps Cambodia...

But maybe we'll just have to take a reality check and go somewhere local, like Davao or Palawan.

Any suggestions for must-see places around the Philippines? :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Return from the dead.

(How else am I supposed to phrase this blog entry's title?)

Wow. That was one LONG blog break! September has been my busiest (and most depressing!) month so far this year. Well, I also celebrated my birthday last month so I guess all was not lost. 

But, man, Internal Medicine rotation is the worst.

The working hours are reasonable enough but we have triple the responsibilities this time around, compared to junior internship. I sometimes feel that my JIs get more sleep than I do during duties!

My duty partner and I recently gave a Case Management Conference in front of our fellow interns, residents, and the department chairman. It was the most nerve-wracking two-and-a-half hours of our lives. We are so relieved to have survived it.

Lately, to be quite honest, it's an effort to drag myself out of bed and go to work every single day.

The only thing that kept me going all throughout last month is that this rotation WILL NOT last forever (I am now more certain that I'm won't go into Internal Medicine as my specialty). We have our Family Medicine rotation for November-December and I'm excited to spend the holidays at home!

Nothing but fate keeps me going at this point. I just need to hold myself together and trust Him.

PS. To all my new followers, welcome to my blog! :)

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.