Category Archives: Medschool

Welcome to UPCM Family, Class 2020!

Alhamdulillah! (All praise be to Allah!) After the loooong wait, the list of admitted applicants who passed the rigorous application process in UPCM is now up! We now have the initial list of LU3 students (1st year Medicine Proper) for the school year …

Two Months Left

It was a cold night after my sister’s wedding in Sulu. I have to catch the last trip to Zamboanga even though I failed to buy my own ticket (the vessel was already fully booked the day before!) This was not new to me, racing with time, catching trips, …

Community, Herbals, and Red Velvet: TOTW #11

THoughts of the Week (TOTW) # 11
What happened this week: Started with FCH250: Community Medicine in Urban Setting, Being an LO, 24th birthday and being sick, Herbal medicine. 

In five hundred words, I would aim to share all the thoughts I had in this week. Be it in complete paragraphs or just mere thoughts that come into mind. Here are the things that wrapped up week #11 for 2015.

The Essence of Community Medicine

“Health is not just the mere absence of illness but a complete state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being.” –Alma Ata declaration of Primary Health Care (1978)

“Public health is everyone’s business”, “health is an inalienable human right”, “The ultimate goal of community medicine is to ensure equitable health for all” are just among the concepts being bombarded to us since our freshie days. And here we are again, refreshing those ideals, engraving them once again in our hearts.

Community medicine has always been close to my heart. I went to Medschool with the purpose of someday somehow be able to serve the far-flung areas in Sulu who never had the chance to even see a real doctor. Now that I am here, how many times have I forgotten those ideals that I had during my first day in medschool? 

And so I hope my two week rotation in Community Medicine with bring all those back to me ^_^ I never really lost them. They were simply “covered” up by all those bio-medical shiz for the past months in ICC.
Going to Singalong all in one Jeepney ride! 

Meet and greet with Dr. Raduvan (not Dra. Duvan! haha) at Fabella Health Center

Scouting the Estero de Paco that separates Brgy 734 from Brgy. 736 (our barangay)

Seems things are pretty peaceful here. 

Liaison Officer, again.

Being a Liaison Officer (LO) is pretty challenging in whatever field of rotation you may choose to be an LO of. I have already experienced being an LO for the whole class for a single course (BDI: Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Illness) which comprises not one, but 5 departments including: Pathology, Microbiology, Parasitology, Psychiatry and Family Medicine. It was exhausting alright, yet fulfilling. A kind of challenge that one must experience once in a while.

This week I embark on another challenge to be an LO for our 2-week rotation in Community Medicine. I thought it would be easier compared to last year where I have to handle five departments and collect papers and evals (evaluation forms) from 158 students (now I only have to deal with one department and 20 evals! Yeay!). The Pros: you get to meet amazing professors and exchange numbers and email adds with them. The cons: you have to think about every schedule, every activity, every paper assignment, every deadline, every day for the next two weeks. Oh well, been there, done that. So what’s wrong in doing it again right?

One of our professors, Dr. Cordero, once said: 

“The LOs are the ‘matured one for the entire rotation’.  Like, they are forced to be matured for that short duration of time: always the one to start the discussion, check the attendance, get all the papers, encourage the students to be early, etc. And then that ‘maturity’ will be passed on to the next LO in the next rotation.”

And he is right ^_^

I pray that I could handle this duty well and may Allah make it easy and worthwhile for me. Ameen.

Meeting with Health workers and Barangay Kagawads: Briefing before going to ocular visits in the community

Herbal Medicine

Well, one of the exciting events this week was our “Herbal Medicine Preparation” session also known to us as the “When Medstudents go Master Chef Mode: Herbal Edition”. In less than 4 hours, we were taught how to prepare syrups, linements and ointments using three of the research-proven local herbal medicines: ginger, oregano and makabuhay.

The Competing teams:

The Secret Ingredients
The Kitchen utensils: recycled and used wisely

Master Chef mode: Time is running out! But hey, pour them gently…

The end products: Ginger linement, Oregano Cough Syrup, and Makabuhay ointment

Birthday Blues

I turned 24 this week. And I was having a very bad flu that day.

Still, Alhamdulillah for all the blessings for the past 23 years. Indeed I could talk all day just trying to enumerate all the great things that happened to me for those years and I have only One to thank for all those things: Allahu Azza wa Jal ^_^ And one of those ultimate blessings I could never ever get tired of being thankful to Him, is for giving us a wonderful mother ^_^ Alhamdulillah! I love you inah!

Here’s a trivia: Of all five of us, I was the only one who was born in our humble home. It was those times that my family was having financial problems that we cannot afford to go even to a lying-in clinic, let alone a hospital. So when I was finally excited to go out to see the world, my father was only able to bring my mom into her room and get a local midwife (Panday) and help my mom in labour. After hours of waiting, tadaaaa! And I was born!

And on that day, my mom would often gleefully share: “On that day, your ama’ (dad) and I were not able to sleep just because we finally had our first son, and we named him ‘Ahmad’”. ^_^


PS. I don’t usually celebrate my birthdays with cakes and balloons and parties and all. What Islam taught us is that we should be thankful to the Lord Almighty, pray and and ask forgiveness. We should remember death in every day that we become closer to it. And we should be thankful, for sooner we will be able to meet Him as well in Jannah (Heaven) in sha Allah! And with the prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) Sunnah (examples) he usually fast on the day he was born. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to fast on that day because I was sick -_-

But my dear forever-mates who are so cool bought a delicious red-velvet cupcake for me (and another block-mate who had a birthday the day before mine). And of course, gifts are gifts and one should never refuse gifts given whole-heartedly by loving friends. I LOVE YOU GUYS ^_^ Cheesyness overload haha. For more years of friendship and medical madness!

Excuse my usual disheveled hairdo.
These guys are my awesome forever mates.
That Red Velvet cupcake was ~awesomely delicious!~

Apparently, 500 words is not enough haha! ^_^

Salam Kasilasa!

Back to Pediatrics, Autism Week, and a New Halal place!

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)
We are back in the colourful world of Pediatrics after a week of break with the second half of Pharmacology module. After the nerve-racking exam last Friday, it was indeed a welcoming relief to see the colourful walls in the OPD Pediatrics with all those Disney characters all around. And of course, the cheerful smiles of our angelic patients never fail to keep our days brighter as well.

Pediatrics wall wallpaper disney Toys story
The colorful walls in the OPD-Pediatrics
There are more better photos of Disney Princess somewhere.
Case Conferences and Higher learning!

This week we had two case conferences, a lecture on complementary feeding (where our professor gave us chocolates! Yeay!) and lots and lots of Out-Patient exposure! Our rotation of 12-hour duties in the Pediatric Emergency Department (Pedia ER) are also being wrapped up for this last two weeks of our training in this department. This Friday my group will have our second and last 12-hour duty 🙂 Pretty looking forward to it and learn more things, in sha Allah (I might publish a post about “what to prepare for ER Duty”)

Chocolates Complementary feeding Malnutrition
Free chocolates during the lecture on Complementary Feeding!
Hooray! (we have to stay awake in return though ahaha)
We talked about Malnutrition while feeding ourselves with these.
This week I also learned more about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy, and a bit about how to classify the severity of malnutrition of a child and on computing their Caloric Requirements as well. It was also great to see one of our very first “Mother-Doctor” in the college. Dr. Moral was the one who handled our “hand-group” during our first year in proper medicine wherein we talked about the wonderful art of Medicine and about our dreams and careers as well.

The Forever-mates with Dr. Moral

Photo grabbed from Karl 🙂

Autism Awareness Week!

Every last week of January, the Autism Awareness Week is being held nationally. Just recently I read about something like a “March of Angels” held somewhere in the metro in support of this awesome advocacy. You see, the cases of ASD (Autism) are increasing in number these days, and the wrong perception of most of us is that Autism is already a “dead end”. That it’s the end of life of the kid with Autism. This is ultimately wrong. There may be no cure to Autism yet, but it is not a lethal, “death-sentence” per say. The child with autism can still live long and happy, provided appropriate supports are given and his/her problems are addressed.

In line with this as well, the Department of Pediatrics held a Bazaar and Autism Exhibit. There were booths wherein accessories, toys, bag-tags, bags, and even cookies that were PERSONALLY HAND-CRAFTED/CREATED by children with Autism were being sold. Some of their paintings were also put in display (and boy, some of them can paint way better than me! Haha)

The Paintings by kids with autism are in the background.
We were just looking at this map (not made by the children LOL) haha.
Pose pose! (bought some awesome tasting cookies!)

A new Halal Place!

Alhamdulillah! We also discovered a new Halal restaurant near our school. It’s some 5-10 minute walk from PGH. I brought my friends there earlier today and they oh so loved the foods! Haha! They sell authentic Halal cuisines ranging from 55 to 120 Php. You can choose from a lot of foods inspired from Malaysian, Indonesian, Pakistani, and of course Tausug Cuisine!

Halal Food cuisine Malaysian
Gayyah’s Pagkaunan Halal restaurant 🙂
It’s in Del Pilar Street near Pedro Gil side and
just in front of the Musallah in Mabini.

The name of the Restaurant is “GAYYAH’s PAGKAUNAN Halal Restaurant”. I haven’t tried all the foods and I am planning to interview the owner (or at least the one in-charge), and see if I can come up with another post (review?) about this place. It’s pretty clean and the servers (I refrain in calling them waitresses, coz they’re really not haha) are very kind 🙂

Their SATTI and TIYULA’ ITUM are so delicious! @[email protected] Both costs around P65-75 each. They also have “Budget meals” (with 1 cup rice, 1 meat-viand, 1 vegetable viand and free glass of juice and tiyula’ itum soup) for only P55!

delicious food Tausug satti tiyula itum
Top: Satti
Below left: Tiyula’ itum, Below right: Their Budget meal.
(Photo from Buddy Denzy 🙂

This might be the new place I will keep on visiting and bringing my friends to, especially those who really want to try our Halal foods 🙂

Food trip with classmates
Yeah, it’s them again. We are not “Forever-mates” for nothing huh?
They really loved the foods by the way! ^_^
(Though most of what we ordered were
actually Non-Tausug foods! LOL)

Photo grabbed from Karl 🙂

Still need to work harder

Another realization I had this week (again) is the fact that I STILL HAVE A LOT TO IMPROVE ON. I am still not as good as my group-mates in organizing my data and reporting my findings; And I still do not know a lot more of the cases we meet in the OPD -_-. I really have to push myself even harder to be better, in sha Allah. I chose this path knowing that it won’t be easy. So I should never be disillusioned by the number of free time I am having right now (well compared to last year in HelLu4).

Speaking of working harder… there are really times that the struggle to stay awake in class is very, very hard to handle -_- specially when you are post-duty and the room is soooo cooold!

Sleeping at school

Hmm well, I think that’s all for the update on my Life in Medschool Series 🙂 Hope you all guys a re doing well! Salam kasilasa!

PS. I am having some free time thanks to the pretty-benign schedule this week haha. I have to keep it productive though. Have to force myself to read and study some cases even though we don’t have an end-of-rotation exam. I wonder if I can really put these words into action though -_-

Again, Salam Kasilasa!


Applying for UP College of Medicine

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

UP College of Medicine Applications PGH UPWe are already half-way through the school year and as expected, the new sets of applications for the next batch of martyr amazing medical students who will sacrifice their social lives really enjoy learning the wonderful world of medicine is here! Actually I am already way too late for this, but nah, what’s new? So to help those who are planning to apply in the most prestigious college of medicine in the country (UPCM of course!) here is a complete list of what you need to accomplish before the deadline!
For those applying for academic year 2015-2016, COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS ALREADY! The deadline is already on FEBRUARY 4, 2015!

Here are the requirements:

For Lateral entrants/Regular applicants for LU3 (Medicine Proper), i.e. those who finished their Baccalaureate Degree or about to graduate this school year (2014-2015):


1.       Fully accomplished UPCM Application Form

a.       Available at the Admissions Office (Calderon Hall)

b.      You have to pay a fee of P1,500 before getting the application form. The fee is NON-REFUNDABLE 🙁

c.       For those coming from Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, you can PM in my FB page for some assistance, if needed.

UP College of Medicine Application Form
A sample of the UPCM Application form
2.       A certified true copy of NSO Birth Certificate (Original and photocopy)

3.       True Copy of Income Tax returns (ITR) of both parents if available

4.       Original plus a photocopy of your NMAT result taken in last 2 years (April 2013-December 2014).

a.       If you don’t have a copy of your results yet, request a copy from CEM, Inc and just inform the secretary in the admissions office that you will submit it later on (“to follow”).

b.      An NMAT Score of not lower than 90 percentile is required to be eligible for application.

5.       True copy of Transcript of Records (TOR) or Certified True copy of Grades for at least the 3 and a half years of your BS/AB program.

6.       Four copies of 2×2 pictures. Formal, white background and signed by the applicant (on the front), do not staple/glue them in your application forms.

7.       An updated certificate of Immunization(especially Hepa B) is also required. Having the first dose of HepB Vaccine is allowed provided that the student will ensure that he/she will complete the immunization later on.

8.       A signed copy of the Return Service Agreement (RSA) for all regular applicants. This must be signed by both parents, with witnesses and also notarized, so I advise that you finish this first as soon as possible especially if your parents are in the provinces.

9.       For Regionalization Program (RP) Applicants:

a.       A photocopy of all the requirements submitted to the Community Liaison Officer (CLO) of their respective Region (you will be informed to whom you will send the additional documents)

b.      A signed Acceptance to Serve and Assumption of Liability (ASAL) Agreement instead of the RSA. More on this later.

c.       A fully accomplished Reply Slip (included in the RP Primer, downloadable copy provided below)
For those applying in the REGIONALIZATION PROGRAM (RP), there will be a slight difference in the application process. Aside from all those mentioned above that you have to submit to the admissions office, you also have to submit these documents to your respective CLO:

1.        A fully completed Regionalization Program (RP) Application form. It is basically the same and provided together with the regular application form; no additional fees to pay.

2.       A certified Photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate

3.       A proof of Residency in the community by submitting the following:

a.       Barangay Certification

b.      ITR of Parents

c.       Certificate of Membership of Indigenous People

4.       RP Form # 3 (to be provided by the Admissions Office)

5.       True copies of ITR of both parents for the LAST THREE (3) YEARS.

6.       Voter’s/Comelec ID of parent(s) and Applicants (Clear photocopy)

7.       A Letter of Intention addressed to the RPC Chair (Dr. Abdel Jeffri Abdulla) to be considered under the RP. (download the pdf copy of the RP Primer for more info about this).


Downloadable copies:

For any other concerns regarding the application form, kindly visit the UPCM website or contact the Admissions Office:

UP College of Medicine
547 Pedro Gil St., Ermita, Manila
Telefax: 536-1368 you may visit our website


 See you in there! ^_^

Salam Kasilasa!


Preparing for Pediatrics ^_^

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

My block’s next rotation starting this month (January) is with the Department of Pediatrics. Yes, the wonderful world of Medicine for the little ones! We will be training in Pedia for a duration of four weeks just like our past rotation (in OB-GYN). It is also among the “Big Four” departments that all medical students must be familiar with in order to, well, pass. But like all other departments that we have been to, what I am really looking forward is learning more about dealing with patients in this department, enjoy my stay in this rotation and see for myself if I will be comfortable with it—you know, for future references.

And with our experiences in Pediatrics for the past two years, whenever I hear the term “Pedia”, the very first thing that would come in mind: There’re too many graphs and charts! This is perhaps the only field of medicine that has so many graphs and charts that one needs to be familiar with in order to survive. Growth charts, weight-for-length chart for boys and girls, BMI-for-age graphs, Childhood immunization schedules, developmental milestones, and they even have a separate BP readings by age!

“Children are not small adults” our professors would always remind us. They are not like adult humans; we cannot treat them the way we treat the adults. They have a lot different physiologic processes that are either absent or are still undergoing maturity compared to an adult human. Thus, taking care of them is pretty much on the more delicate side: we have to look for a lot of danger signs especially in administering medications. Plus, most of them don’t even know yet how to express what they are feeling! (Good luck interviewing a crying 8 month old baby).

Thus, any medical student who will go on training in the field of Pediatrics must really be well-prepared for all these. He must learn how extract information from both the parents and the child if possible. He must be alert and observant in the child’s actions and expressions. He must have a good background of the normal developmental milestones of the child, what is in the normal range and what is not (ha! Good luck to me on that!). And lastly, he must learn how to be child-friendly and don’t scare the hell out of every child he interviews. They say having a toy with you will “make or break” your history-taking. Hmm, now where is that teddy bear of mine? (Just kidding, I don’t own things like that)

Now for the preparations. What an ICC Student must have to prepare for the month long training in Pedia:

1. First in the list is the bible: Nelson’s Pediatrics 19th Edition. 

Nelson Book Pediatrics 19th

It’s up to you if you will buy the book or just get an electronic copy (it’s illegal, isn’t it?). I don’t have the book, so yeah, you already know what I have. You really don’t have to read the book cover to cover (no one have ever done that I am pretty sure). According to the orientation slides I have read, we will only focus on the top 10 Ambulatory Morbidities in the PGH for Pediatrics. On what those are, we will still find out along the way. There will be a lot of Patient preceptorials and SGD’s right after that. So, it is pretty wise to have an electronic copy to sneak in and read some basic concepts on your case while waiting for your preceptor to arrive.

The original book costs around P5,000+ but you can buy it in a cheaper price in Recto (I found one arounf P4100) or in any of the fraternity/sorority book-sales.

Dr. Fe Del Mundo’s Textbook on Pediatrics and Child Health is also another option if you have the luxury of time and money. But it’s pretty hard to find a copy of it. It’s pretty old and I don’t when’s the last time they published a new set of copies. A lot of my friends recommend this though. Don’t expect me to give you a review of this one, haven’t read much on it. 

2. The “Red Book” aka Preventive Pediatric Health Care Handbook 7th Edition (2014) published by the Philippine Pediatric Society. Before our ICC rotations started we were asked if we wanted to purchase these beautiful thing, of course most of us bought their own personal copy. It’s pretty helpful I think, maybe until your own medical career in the future. It costs around P200 (I forgot the original price).

Red book philippine pediatrics 2014
The “Red Book”
Published by the Philippine Pediatric Society

 I have not read all the contents yet. Just scanned through them and I find it very useful because for once all the necessary charts and graphs I have been worried about are attached in the booklet! ^_^ Happiness! I mean, I no longer need to print a separate copy of them all.

Red book pediatrics content growth charts
Colored growth charts for girls
Red book pediatrics content Vaccine immunization child
Childhood Immunzation schedule
Red book pediatrics content
Preventive Pediatric Healthcare recommendations

And look! The book also comes with this Visual Acuity chart for kids 🙂
Wonder if I will be able to use this though

3. The other ICC essentials
We already talked about this in our separate post: The ICC Essentials #link#. Perhaps what would really be useful here are the measuring tapes to measure all those circumferences and lengths of growing limbs and parts of every child patient you meet in the wards.

Tausug pouch medical stuff medstudents
My ICC Pouch ^_^ with a touch of Tausug Piys

medical equipments ICC medstudent
My ICC Stash. Sorry it’s always messy.

 And with the special performance from these two:

4. Pediatric Stethoscope
This one is not really mandatory but very highly encouraged. You’ll, there are things that you can’t hear with your adult stethoscope and a Pedia Steth would really save your day.
Stethoscope for children medstudent
My new Pediatric Stethoscope ^_^

Finally I can use this Pedia Steth my beloved sister gave me 😀 Thanks Inn!

5. Sphyg wit Pedia Cuff
An attachable pedia or infant cuff for your aneroid sphyg will surely be handy. Do not expect to get an accurate BP of your infant patient using your adult cuff! You can buy these awesome things in Bambang (Medical Equipment Center—as I call that place) for about P400 a piece without the aneroid.
BP App, sphyg children pediatric infant
A Child-size Sphyg cuff would really be helpful.

I wonder if I missed anything else? Hmm. For now that would be the things we need in preparation for Pediatrics. Oh yes, I almost forgot this one:

6. An Approachable, child-friendly, non-monstrous face.
Have an approachable smiley faceTry to be as child-friendly as possible. Keep a smiling face whenever you approach a pedia patient. Most of the time they would be shy and scared on your first visit, but when they realized later on that you are harmless and you are there to help them, I am pretty sure the kids will like you and be more comfortable with you. If you are doing well, you would even receive a bonus: a heartfelt smile and “thank you, doc” and a cheerful wave after your stay with them.

Now that we are pretty much “prepared” for the training, what’s next? Simple: Enjoy your learning experience! 🙂

Personal Note: Ahmad, there are a lot of children in Pandami and Siasi and even Jolo who never really had seen any doctors in their whole lives! So you really have to learn a lot from your short stay here so that you can at least give them something in terms of service. And you love kids don’t you? Plus, this rotation will surely be important in your training if you plan on applying for an Off-campus Elective in Pediatrics in Zamboanga (or Sulu). Just do your best. And stop slacking around!

Salam Kasilasa!


The ICC Essentials

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)
Heya! Here we go again with the usual “I am sorry it took me so long to post here again” scenario which I believe I should already get rid of (-_-) Starting today! I never even have a “Date published” tags on my posts…so no one would really know how late I am. haha! But kidding aside, I think the dates really doesn’t matter anymore… If I am writing these experiences and maybe some tips for the next ICCs*, the order of each rotation would not matter: for every block (all 8 of them) have different schedules, and perhaps different experiences as well. So I will just write what I have in my journals, keep them short and concise as possible (which I am really poor at by the way), and hopefully pray that someone would stumble on this blog and read it. haha. 
Anyway, continuing our sharing of stories and learning experiences (?) as an ICC student… I see my calendar here that we are now in our 8th week as an ICC student. Cool! It’s December already and we have 2 more weeks to go for the first semester! Yeay!
Which reminds me, I still have a lot of “weeks”, I mean rotations to cover uuggggh! <(-_-)> oh well.
Back to our main topic for today: The ICC essentials. What is different with being an ICC Student or Junior Clerk is that you will now be more exposed to the patients. Most of your days will be spent not in the classrooms, but in the wards monitoring patients’ vital signs; in the Out-patient Department (OPD) interviewing new and follow-up patients; and if lucky or unlucky, you will also be left ALONE to do your directed physical examinations. (I emphasized the word “alone” because the past 2 years we have been used to doing things by group.) And with that big realizations comes the great need to have your own medical equipment and stuffs.
Here are the important MUST HAVES as an ICC Student:
My ICC stuffs (sorry for the quality, just used my phone here)

1) Your own Stethoscope — No need to explain why. You just don’t become a third year medical student without your own stethoscope

2) Aneroid Sphygmomanometer — (we call it “BP App”) Others prefer the digital one. Either way, it is important to have one anytime you go o duty. Just be sure you really know how to use them 🙂 If you are still not sure, better train with your classmates first. Or here’s a tip: ask your patient what’s their last BP before, with that you know where you are supposed to here the Korotkoffs 😉

3) Calculator — You will be asked to do a lot of computations: BMI, Expected Fetal weight, etc. If you are not a math whiz, better bring a calculator where ever you go. Keep it handy (not too big, you are not an accountant! And not too small that you have to use some ultra thin fiber to press on a single number!) These guys are also very helpful during exams.

4) Medical Tapes! (Micropore) — You can’t live in the wards without these! There are expensive ones (P130) and some fake cheap ones (P35) in Bambang. Buy as much as you can. You will eventually see how handy these things are: from taping IV Canulas to labeling your stuffs to even repairing ripped off papers, Micropores will sooner be your favorite thing in the world! (at least in medschool)

5) Measuring Tapes — Ever wonder when is the time that you will use those freebies that your seniors gave you during your freshie days? Well, this is it! Those handy, pull-and-tuck tape measures will surely be put to use in most rotations as OB, Pedia, Orthopedics, even in Ophthalmology!

6) Clipboard! — Same as above, you know you need them.

7) Paper and Pens — Oh come on! don’t tell me I have to explain this one?

OTHERS (you can borrow them from your friends, but it’s better to have one if you can)

1) Thermometer — for the constant monitoring duties. We have digital thermometers now (P50-P75) in Bambang.

2) Penlight — After your Neuro and Ophtha rotation, you are supposed to have your own penlight. But you can always borrow if you forgot to bring them 🙂

3) Neuro Hammer — Don’t forget to bring this one during ROR (Rhemua-Ortho-Rehab), Neuro and even in IM rotations.

4) Tourniquet — You will be asked to extract some blood for laboratories, or insert an IV Canula, or “line” the patient, and a tourniquet is an essential item for that. Yes, you can use your latex gloves if there are really none of these around. But I say it’s better to have one, it’s pretty cheap anyway (P15-20), and makes you look like an IV-lining expert.

5) Pulse Oxymeter — Not really required and it’s kinda expensive. But if you are pretty rich and you feel lazy counting those pulses by the clock, then perhaps this item is for you.

6) Handy Dsinfectants — Be it a 70% solution of Isopropyl Alcohol or a lemon-scented Alcogel, it’s up to you. If not, you can still find a lot of alcohols scattered around the hospital wards (you see them on their alcohol holders attached to the walls). And I am sure there is at least one of your classmates who have one hehe.

NOT REALLY REQUIRED (You can borrow from your friends in other year levels)
  • Ophthalmoscope –during Ophtha rotation, you will be expected to have at least 2 students sharing one Ophthalmoscope. It’s a good investment if you are really planning to proceed to Ophtha.
  • Otoscope — usually comes with the Ophthalmoscope. For ORL duties.
Tadaa! I think those are the essentials that every ICC must have (or at least have an idea of). Being an ICC Student they say is pretty “benign” compared to the Clerks, but I believe this is the year that we should never put to waste. We have to learn as much as we can in preparation for the hellish year we are about to endure next year 🙂 So, get as many patient as you can! Ask as much questions as you can! Learn how to do things in the wards, how things work, which paper to fill in, etc. 

Hmmm Hope this post will serve its purpose 🙂
Salaam! Logging out!
*In case you were wondering what those “ICCs” are… ICC stands for “Integrated Clinical Clerkship” which refers to the group of students in Learning Unit 5 (LU5 or 3rd year proper) of UP College of Medicine. It is the equivalent of “Junior Clerkship” in other Medical schools. 

LIMS: The Transcribers.

[Helpful for: All LUs/Year levels but not in all schools]
Assalamu Alaykum! (Greetings of Peace!)
Transcriptions or “transes” are the concise and summarized copies of the lectures by your professors. There should be some people who will do the dirty job of transcribing, and they are called the transcribers or in short: “Transers”
Your class will usually divide you into groups of transers with three members each (some schools will have only two) and you will be assigned to a scheduled lecture for you to transcribe. It is then your responsibility as the transers to get the necessary and significant information discussed in the lectures. You also have to do your best to persuade your lecturer to give you a copy of their presentations and handouts. Some professors are generous while others are just plain, nasty ones. So you have to be prepared if you have to start from scratch for the trans. But this (starting from scratch) does not happen very often as you will also be given a copy of the past transes where you can “pattern” your own transes.
But hey! DO NOT JUST COPY-PASTE THE PAST TRANS TO YOUR TRANS! All your classmates will hate this and you will eventually get the “Lazy Transers Award”. Just use the old trans as your guide, you can copy some parts of their trans but be sure to let it appear that you made some changes as well. Although you might get the same lecturer with the same topic and the same content from the past transes all throughout, you must as much as possible do some “revisions”. Add new notes discussed by your professors that were never mentioned in the past, and your group can decide if you will retain or delete those parts that were never mentioned by your professors (unless if he/she says “read the past transcriptions” which means it will appear in the exams).
As a group, you three must work together and divide the tasks equally. You have to agree first on how you divide the work: some would divide them by parts/pages while others divide it by “tasks” (revisions, formatting, final editing and uploading, printing and submission). Then you decide on the deadlines for each task so that you will be able to submit on time and avoid the sanctions.
All in all, a good team dynamics should play here. It will always be a pain if one of your group mates will not help in the transcribing especially if you are assigned in a very bad schedule—the last lecture before the exam. And because you will be grouped alphabetically according to your surnames, you really have no choice but to work with the ones next or before you. So you better get to know your trans-mates’ attitudes and skills, who is good at this and that, and who is more responsible and who is not. Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and try developing a good working chemistry. You really have to find ways–no matter what—to make your team work effectively. Each one of you must be able to help in transcribing and be responsible with his/her task without sacrificing the quality of your transes.
Well, you will get used to your transmates later on. You HAVE to get used to it somehow for you really have no choice. Haha. I am honestly blessed to have great transmates from the very beginning 🙂 Hi Meggie and Karl! 😀
 Salam Kasilasa!
Anakiluh, MD
For more posts under the “Life in Medschool Series” (LIMS) click here.

LIMS: The Transes.

[Helpful for: All LUs/Year levels but not in all schools]
 Assalamu Alaykum! (Greetings of Peace!)
We have our daily lectures, and we want a copy of the handouts and presentations by our lecturers as much as possible, but where do we get them? This is where the heroic term “Transcription” comes in handy.
The Transcriptions or shortly “Trans” (plural: Transes) are printed and/or electronic copies of the handouts, presentations, and other discussions in your past lectures. They are basically (and supposedly) the concise and summarized version of the whole lecture. These trances will always come in handy during exams so every medstudent must have a copy of these wherever they go (except the super nerd ones).
Transes are prepared by the assigned transcribers or “transers” (will be discussed on the next post) and it is their responsibility to get all the necessary and significant information from the lectures in their trans. Depending on the agreed schedule of deadlines of submissions by your class, the transes will be uploaded in your class’ online storage account or printed and be delivered to your respective transboxes.
[photo of transbox]
Should you Subscribe?
Usually, you will be given the choice if you want to subscribe to the printed transes or not. When you subscribe, the printed copies of the trans will be delivered into your transboxes after 1 or 2 days. But should you subscribe? Well it’s up to you of course, and it all depends on how effective these transes will be for you.
Some students prefer reading transes in paper. They would often say:
“We love the touch of paper wherein we can highlight and scribble some doodles, I mean, notes on them.”
“I can study better with printed transes than the e-copies in my i-pad/tablet. I get easily distracted when I have my ipad with me”
“Prints are better, you can keep them and send them as gifts to your future buddy :D”
[photo of trans]
Some students on the other hand would rather opt for the electronic copies instead. Their reasons? “Printed transes are not colored, we can’t identify which is which in them!”,
“Would rather have an online copy, it’s easier to search the terms”,
“You pay for the printed copies and they come in late! What the fumbles is that!”,
“Too many bills to pay, can’t afford another set of fees.”
“I just want to feel that I am doing something because I downloaded the e-copies (and never actually read them until 2 hours before the exam).”
There might be more undocumented reasons by the students but it all boil down to one thing: It’s all about your study preferences. Do you perform well reading printed than electronic copies? Then subscribe. Do you hate papers and you have a readily accessible internet? Then don’t subscribe just download the e-copies.
The Trans Quality  
You now have ideas about the transcriptions and you have finally decided whether to subscribe or not. Now you feel you are well prepared and ready to face any exams that will come your way. But wait, is that the right thing to do?
No. An important reminder to all medstudent is that “Transes are not sure-win measures to pass the exams” and “not all transes have good quality”. They may be helpful because they are summarized and only the important bullet-points are there, but you have to remember that it can never replace your real references: the medical books. Transes are also prone to many errors and corrections and also subjected to the transcribers quality of making the transes—believe me there will be a few Trash-trans that you will read. And so the best way to maximize your learning experience here is by doing the following:
1)      Read in advance the past transes from last year’s class (you will be given copies by your buddies);
2)      Attend your lectures, listen and take notes;
3)      Have a reference book with you to check the infos in the trans;
4)      Get those transers who do a poor job in transcribing (not really required)
That would be all for this topic 😀 I do hope you are enjoying your first few weeks in medschool! ;D Welcome to the club!
Salam kasilasa!
Anakiluh, MD

For more posts under the “Life in Medschool Series” (LIMS) click here.

LIMS: The Kodachrome Exams.

[Helpful for: LU3 and LU4 (1st and 2nd Year)]
Assalamu Alaykum! (Greetings of Peace!)
We will jump from the topic on “lectures” to one of the dreaded yet fun type of exams: the Kodachrome exams!
This was supposed to be in the later part but knowing the schedule of the exams is already near, I have to push this post up the schedule in hopes of it to be of use somehow. Disclaimer! I am not the best guy to give you these tips, but because no one is doing it, then what’s the trouble of doing it instead? Haha!
So what is a Kodachrome exam? This one goes back in time immemorial when medstudents are still using the real kodachrome machine where pictures of specimens (usually tissues) will be projected on a white screen. (In LU4, you will experience using a real kodachrome machine thru Dr. Dimacali’s lectures in pathology :D). Nowadays we are using the overhead LCD projectors with the ever-so-convenient MS Powerpoint presentations where digital copies of the specimens will be projected and the students will be asked to identify them or answer certain questions in a limited allotted time. The term “kodachrome” is still being used for these kinds of exams.
So how do you nail these exams? Here are some helpful tips:
1.       Never miss the Histology lectures!
Attend all your histology classes especially those by Dr. Mantaring. Just by attending her lectures, you will eventually feel like a genius who knows it all and you would never have to read the transes again. Nothing beats the experts in teaching you how to identify which is an epithelial tissue and which is not.
2.       Attend the Histology Reviews!
There will always be Histology reviews conducted especially for the LU3 students. The histo-review is usually conducted by the Medical Student Society (MSS) every year. This year’s first Histo-review was held last August 22 in BSLR-E and I hope the LU3s attended that one.
Exam Reviews are really helpful in giving you more ideas and tips on how to top or at least pass the exams. They would more often give you sample exam questions that you can try answering and see for yourself how ready you are for the exam. Never, ever miss the chance to attend any exam reviews. You will be really grateful to these guys later on when taking the exam.
3.       Read your books!
Refer to your Histology books (printed or electronic) and master all those seemingly similar images. They may look all the same to you, but try looking for “key points” in distinguishing which tissues you are looking at. Does it have more adipose, soft or skeletal tissues? Are there more mucous or serous layers? Are we looking at a keratinized or non-keratinized tissue? How do neutrophils differ from basophils, eosinophils and macrophages? Don’t rely on one image only, look for different images and see how you can distinguish them one from the other.
Of course, read the details in each image as well. There will be some questions in the exams that will require you to identify the function or the location where you can find these cells. Master them like how you master the faces and names of each pokemon and their powers. I’m serious!
4.       Review your notes/transes!
Same as your books, transes can also be handy. Important points are far easier to find in your transcriptions as they are already in summarized bullet form. I would prefer the online copies or colored printed copies because you could distinguish which is which (compared to photox copies which are terribly horrible).
5.       Test yourself in online sample quizzes.
If you still have some spare time, go online and find some student-friendly sites where you can test yourself in answering sample questions in histology. They are more often than not similar to what your professor will ask. Take note of your wrong answers and learn why you got it wrong and then immediately review your notes (unless if the topic was not included in the lectures).
6.       Pray.
Perhaps the most important one is this: Pray.
Our lives as medstudents are full of challenges and surprises. And there certain things you are not able to take control of. So first, do your part and study your lectures AND put your trust in God that He may make things easier for you during the exams. Do this every night before your exams and minutes before the exam starts, send a silent prayer, and start with Bismillah (In the name of Allah).
Now here’s what you should do DURING THE EXAM: 

1.       Stay focused.
Relax. Listen well to the instructions. Know how much time you have for each item. Don’t panic after knowing that you will be given only 30 seconds for each item. You have to stay focused all throughout the exam. Each item will only be shown once, so you have to maximize your limited time and focus on each item/question to identify or answer. 
2.       Find a good seat.
Do not sit in the back or the side-most part of the room! You will have a hard time identifying the image! DO NOT BE LATE so that you can choose where to sit. If you are free to sit anywhere, choose the 3rd or 4th seat from the front and a bit in the center and be sure that nothing is blocking you. But if you are arranged by surnames or student number, then you better hope and pray that you will have a good seat with a good view of the slides. If you are still unfortunate, then curse the seating arrangement. 
3.       Identify what you are looking at.
Upon your first view of the slide/image, immediately identify WHAT you are looking at. Is this a lung tissue? A skeletal tissue? A bone tissue? Or just your common adventitious tissues? For LU4/Patho students, is this a normal or an abnormal tissue? I usually do this before reading the question and it should only take you 3-7 seconds to decide. This will give you an idea where to find your answers. If it took you longer than that, then proceed to the question. Usually some questions will already tell you what tissue it is. 
4.       Read the questions carefully.
There are outright simple questions and there are also very hard ones. But the most errors we students commit are giving wrong answers because they read the questions wrong! Read the question twice; be sure that you really know what is being asked! There will be tricky questions with key terms as “EXCEPT”. Always read the questions carefully before answering.
5.       Believe in your first instinct.
This may not apply for all, but more often than not, your first answer will be the right one. After seeing the image and understanding the question well, you must already have a working answer. If your answer is among the choices, believe in your first instinct and choose that one.
6.        Cross out the choices.
If choices are provided, but your first answer is not among them, cross out the most farfetched answers. If there are two choices in your mind, weigh them in and choose the one closest to your first answer. If you are still not sure, take a mental note of which answers you have to choose from and return to this item later on. Remember you have only a limited time for each item, use your time wisely.
7.       Go back to your “undecided” items
If there are still time left after the last item, go back to your undecided items in #6. This is the time that you have to decide and choose among the two answers you have. Or just believe in your “guessing powers”.
Okay! I think this ends my “How to barely pass the Histo/Kodachrome Exam” tips haha. If you think something important is missing in this post, please don’t hesitate to inform me thru 
Goodluck on your exams guys!
Salam Kasilasa!
Anakiluh, MD
For more posts under the “Life in Medschool Series” (LIMS) click here.

==this is done by a non-professional blogger, so expect a lot of typo and grammar errors :D==

LIMS: Attend your Classes!

]Helpful for: All LUs/Year levels]
Assalamu Alaykum! (Greetings of Peace!)
Being a medstudent means attending to seemingly endless classes: from boring lectures to eye-popping histo-labs and neck-breaking cadaver dissections. What is the purpose of the word “student” anyway if you don’t attend those classes that will—ehem—prepare you in your future professional career? And so, as much as we lazy students want to skip all those classes, we cannot deny the fact that we really need them—badly need them.
But hey! Not all classes will be full of boring 100+ presentation slides; there will also be some cool professors with cool ideas to make their lectures livelier. Ever attended a class where you played games all throughout? How about a whole 3 hours of lecture while standing? Or just sitting back and watch a good movie? (Although I hate the “reflection papers” after those films). And how about professors that suddenly throw firecrackers inside the room to wake you up? Haha! You will experience them once in a while, only here in medschool. The idea here is you must attend your classes regularly! Not just for signing that attendance sheet and just doze off later on. Attend them so that you will learn and discover new things. Some may be not so interesting, but they will still be helpful.
There are some students who prefer reading the books and transcriptions (lecture notes) than attend their classes, while others would prefer attending their classes then review their notes. It’s all up to the student actually if he can really handle it that way. But for me, I believe attending the classes and listening to the experts during their lectures would really make a change. Missing a class and just reading the notes after means you will be missing the key points the lecturer might have highlighted in class the transcribers may have failed to include.
So the very first thing that a student in the Medical field should learn is that Medicine is a life-long process of education. You have to keep on learning and learning, study and discover new things. It never ends with the exams and the agonizing results. Our learning journey only stops when we finally breathe our last. (Meaning until the end of our lives).
And that, my friend is my advice: If you really want o survive in medschool, attend your classes regularly. There may be times that you have to miss them for some very, very good reason, but as much as possible avoid missing the important lectures. Believe me, I have missed a couple of lectures and I regret missing them. (Of course there will also be some exceptions here, but let’s not talk about them haha).
Salam kasilasa!
Anakiluh, MD

For more posts under the “Life in Medschool Series” (LIMS) click here.

LIMS: Your Classmates: Your Future Colleagues

[Helpful for: All LUs/Year levels]
Assalamu Alaykum! (Greetings of Peace!)
So you made it to the most prestigious Med-school in the country. Congratulations! And say, Alhamdulillah (All praise is due to Allah)! And now you are part of a class composed of the selected crèmes among the crèmes of the crops; you all came from brilliant pasts, young minds who had very amazing accomplishments, those who graduated with flying colors in their past academic career (be it in college or high school). And yes, believe it or not, you are now part of that team!
Yeah. That was too much praise I think. Not a good thing to do. Huhummm.
Being the most prestigious school with the highest standard and the hardest “way to enter”, you can expect no less from those who really qualified and got accepted in each class. They are usually the Laudes (Suma, Magna, etc.) from the famous schools around the country. There will even be some who came from abroad. There are also the young geniuses who skipped high-school and went straight to medschool: The 40 IntarMed Direct entrants. You will meet them every day in class, be amazed by them, and you would never even believe that you are part of the class (Well, at least that was how I felt then).
But hey, do not be intimidated (like me). You were there because you were chosen as well. You went through the same screening processes, and among the thousand great minds and souls who applied, only 160 were chosen for each class, and you are indeed one of them. So be thankful to Allah for that opportunity to grow and train in this institution. And never ever be arrogant.
Meet new friends from your class. Look for those who have the same dreams and aspirations as you. Find those whom you share a common interest. Believe me, these guys might be geniuses but they are still humans: they love to watch movies, Korean series, play guitar, draw, sing, dance or just do nothing but sleep. Just explore and you will surely find a lot of good buddies among them.
It might be hard to remember all their names in the beginning and you will end up confused who is who. But by the end of the year you will surely get by. Be open and learn new things with them. Your Class will be your team throughout your academic medical career. And they will also be your future colleagues when you become doctors one day. So start building your network now, start from your classmates, start from your colleagues.
After spending more than two years in Medschool, I have met a lot of new friends in my class. All of them are pretty awesome with their own unique stories and characters. I have worked with my group-mates for years and we already know each others’ strengths and weaknesses and we always try to help each other. This is indeed important in medschool as you will be indulged in so many group works, and having a good team dynamics is a crucial thing.
So, make it a mission to meet and know all the names and faces of your 159 classmates 🙂 You will always end up working with most of them in one of your future rounds somehow. And you never know, you might find that “special someone” among them. Haha.
Any suggestions? Email me. My new email address for non-professional, non-academic purposes is
Salam Kasilasa!
Anakiluh, MD

For more posts under the “Life in Medschool Series” (LIMS) click here.

Life in Medschool: The Series

Assalamu Alaykum!
This would serve as my introductory post for the next series of post I plan to work on. (Don’t ask me how I can find time to work with these given the fact that I am a medstudent. It’s a top secret 😀 )
So what is this all about?
Well, basically it’s what this blog is supposed to be. I know, I know, this blog has a wide variety of topics from personal stories to history of Sulu, to politics and even about a cat that gave birth (no, I did not publish that one). And the author is a medstudent! And there’s so few topics about medschool! So I decided to catch up and fill in the gaps or holes or whatever was missing here: My life in medschool.
(Note: Some aspiring applicants to medschool also kept bugging me to share life in medschool, so I am giving him/her this treat.)
Again, I am not an expert in writing. Not even in blogging: I do have lots of blogs with full of grammar and typo errors. I have long accepted those facts and so sorry to disappoint you guys 🙁 But in sha Allah (God willing) I will try my best to share some experiences I and some of my friends’ had in medschool: What to expect, how things work, How to prepare for exams, how to eat lunch secretly in class, how to keep your eyes open while actually dozing off on a boring lecture… and many more.
Those things that we could consider somehow significant and worth a post will be posted here. Something to inform those who are really planning to enroll medschool to already change their mind and save their hopes and dreams, I mean, no, erase erase… To give you guys an idea on how we, despite the pressure and everything, can still survive and be humans 😀 (Oh, I hope that one statement went well)
So, what would I expect from you guys? (Come on, let’s make it interactive, not just me talking here).
I hope some of you (who got lost in the world wide web) would share your ideas, post your comments below, or email me your suggestions or complaints, rest assured that we, my team (which is composed of a single person now typing these words here) will work on them. My new email address for non-professional, non-academic purposes is
By the way, all posts with “Life in Medschool” or LIMS will have a Tag-Title of “LIMS: Topic” Example: “LIMS: The Books you need”, etc. I will also include a short info if the post would be helpful for which learning unit (LU) or year level. For the list of future posts under this section, you can just click the tag: LIMS.
I am pretty excited for this, how about you ?
Have a great day ahead! Salam kasilasa!
Anakiluh, MD

And so the third year begins.

Assalamu Alaykum!
Alhamdulillah I am back! 😀 It’s been like, what, 5 months since my last post in this humble blog of mine? I already had fears that I would end up having a neglected blog that nobody would visit anymore. But Hey! After checking my stats, wow, mashaAllah! I still have 80 readers per day! ^_^ That is pretty many for me by the way haha.
So what’s new with our orphaned, Tausug, Muslim aspiring-to-be-doctor? Naah nothing much, aside from now being called a “Kuya” and referring himself as a not-yet LU5 student… (LU stands for “Learning Unit”, LU5 is equivalent to “Third year proper med” in other schools). Wait what? Anakiluh is already a third year student?
Hashtag unbelievable! Haha.
Really. I myself is still in this stage of “I still can’t believe this is happening!” situation. I just can’t believe that I am already a third year student and I am half-way there to the finish line! Yeah! (well we have to pass through inhumane, death-defying hardships before that, but let’s think about those later 🙂 
As I look back through the years that passed (just the past 2 years, I mean), it feels like so many happened in such short time! It feels like living a dream that wasn’t. I just can’t believe I am still here standing, alive, unharmed (yet), and still smiling (yet) and still hopeful (yet) and excited (again, yet) to achieve this wonderful dream of becoming a great doctor! 
The Class 2017 on their first day as LU5 students 🙂 @ Buenafe Hall, UPCM. Photo (c) Meggie Monzon
So what’s ahead of us now? What are we expecting this year?
I still don’t know for sure. Our classes just started last week and our consultants and professors (as well as our senior colleagues) are telling us this would be the most “benign” year so better make use of it doing self studies (*ehem* what did I just say? *ehem*). This year is the “calm before the storm” as we popularly say it… Although we don’t want to believe that it would be that too benign… come on, this is medschool, nothing is benign here. It’s all malignant!
The exciting thing that I am so much expecting this year, is the rotations to the different departments 😀 Although we will not yet be given pretty heavy works (not until next year upon entering the clerk slavery company), it is still exciting to go through the different departments and start feeling what it’s like to be a real doctor somehow. 
Also, we just said goodbye to Friday Exams! Enough with those weekly exams! (Thank you! Thank you so much for this!) NO MORE WEKLY EXAMS! Wooohooo! And welcome to the never-ending piles of paperworks! @[email protected] 
Oh well, there is really no space for complaints or regrets here…
nobody said medschool is an easy life. We chose this path and there is no turning back.
So for you guys still wanting to enroll in medschool. Don’t waste your life here, go find another things that would make the world better. Just kidding 😛
Okiedokie! Welcome to LU5 Ahmad!
Let’s do our best!
(Can you be more serious please? In life, and all?)
Salam Kasilasa,
Anakiluh, MD
(Sorry for this seemingly unorganized post 😛 Just missed blogging randomly)
And oh! Check out my posts in! => &Anakiluh
Join the site as well! It’s a pretty awesome site!

Life in Medschool: The Interviews

By Ahmad ibn Hajiri, UP College of Medicine Class 2017
It was February of 2012 when I came to Manila for the UPCM Applicants interview. I came all the way from Sulu just to attend the 2 sets of interviews in a day, and I can still remember then how anxious and nervous I was not knowing what to do… For me, the interviews in fact are among the hardest parts of the application to any medschool (well, aside from the NMAT). It’s the last bridge that will bring you to the doorsteps of your dream school or not. Alhamdulillah, upon receiving the white envelope containing my final acceptance as an official student of UPCM, it was indeed a one exhilarating kind of happiness! I still can’t believe that I passed and now here I am trying as much to learn and be a better doctor each day, in sha Allah.
Two years since then, some friends who are eyeing for the 140 slots in the college for the next roll of medstudents are asking me for advises and tips on how to nail the interviews. And so I made this “helpful” guide on passing the interviews in Medschool. The following guidelines are applicable (most of it, I hope) to all aspiring medstudents applying either for the Intarmed/direct or regular/lateral entrance or the Regionalization Program (RP) entrance; or even in any medschool they wanted to apply in.
The following were based on personal experiences of the author and some infos gathered after asking some random classmates about what they did during the interviews. They may or may not be applicable to your situation (so please don’t blame me if it didn’t work, hehe). And don’t hesitate to share this post, it might save some lives out there. Haha.

Rule #1: Smile

This is a general rule. Even how nervous you are upon entering the room, smile at your interviewer/s. Shake their hands and be courteous. At least a simple, “Good morning, sir” with a touch of your natural smile will make the start of your interview smoother. Don’t let them notice how terribly nervous you are that you could almost wet your underpants! Just Smile, there.

Rule # 2: Be confident but not arrogant

The best way to impress your interviewers is to let them know that you know the words you are saying; that you are confident that you can do this job. That you believe in your own capabilities. Speak fluently and confidently on your answers. Don’t hesitate, just go and say them (but of course with careful choices of words). But there’s always a limit to everything, so do not be too over-confident about yourself and your “achievements” in life that you become more arrogant without you noticing it. Just be cool yet humble. They want to know how much you believe in yourself, not on how much awards you had in your past life.

Rule # 3: Be honest in every way

Do not be surprised if they will ask you seemingly random, non-medical questions about you. A question as “Have you ever cheated at school?” and “Do you know any programs of the DOH?” might get you on a big dilemma. Should you tell them that you did cheat in school or impress them that you have never done such grievous crime? Should you try to impress them that you know what the DOH is doing just to be safe when in fact you really don’t?
The answer is simple: tell the truth! If you don’t know anything, say you don’t. If you did know something but just a little part of it, then say so. Don’t go beyond what you cannot defend. Surely, they will ask you to talk more about it, and the best way to avoid being trapped on your own lies is never to make one.  Be honest, it’s the best policy they say.

Rule # 4: Know yourself, in and out

A friend of mine said that the interview’s main purpose was to “gage how much the applicant knows about him or herself; It’s a game of Psychology, they want to know what you know about your own strengths and as well as your weaknesses.” And who knows more about yourself than (your right!) your good, old, buddy “self”? 
Know where you are really good at. Find out where you are still in need of improvements. Know your past mistakes and accept them as your own. Remember all the things that you learned in your life be it in your family or at school. How did you cope up with the stresses and problems that you met along the way? How did you deal with failures? And how do you see yourself in the future? These are just some questions they may ask about you. Again, be honest and tell them. Don’t be afraid to tell them that you once failed in class and tell them what you did that made you continue the fight. Tell what you learned after all those years that made you who you are today.  
Keep in mind that these people are not looking for persons with superhuman powers. They are looking for a strong-willed person who knows his/her strengths and weaknesses as well, someone who is willing to accept his/her own shortcomings but is willing to grow and be better. They want to know that you are capable of surviving the stressful, life-draining ordeals you are about to face in medschool.

Rule # 5: Know why you want to be a Doctor.

Of course, you can never, ever avoid the question of why are you there sitting in front of them, trying your best of ways to enter a life full of hardship, sleepless nights, uncertainties and stress? Why do you want to waste your life? Why go for more years of studying when you can already have a job and start your own family? Why not be a businessman and become a millionaire some day? Why be a doctor? Why?!?!?
I cannot assure you that a good, time-tested, copy-paste script of “because I want to save the humanity” answer is not the right one. It’s not even a wrong answer! All I can say is: look for the answer inside of your heart (naks). Just follow Rule #s 3 and 4: Be honest and know yourself and you will know why you are there in front of them. If you really have no answer than “to save a life”, then that’s great, tell them that! If you say you want to be “richer” (which does not happen all the time), then do so. If it was actually your parents who wanted you to become a doctor (which apparently many of us do), then tell them that, too. Just be honest. End of story.

Rule # 6: Pray. Pray. Pray.

Of course, there are things that are way beyond our control, and so we have to ask and seek help to the One who had control over all things. And so my last advice, and perhaps the most important one, is to Pray, pray, pray.
Pray before you enter the interviewing room. Say a prayer before you speak (for Muslims pls see the supplications below). Of course always start with “BISMILLAH!” And Pray after the interviews. Pray to Allah that He will give you what is best for you. That you can pass this interview if this will be good and be best for you, and if not then ask that He give you something better. A lot of things can be changed by a simple prayer 🙂
For Muslims, you can read the following supplications before you go for an interview (if you know a little Arabic I suggest you read the Arabic text):

“Bismillahir rahmaanir rahiym. Rabbiy Ishrahliy Sadriy, wa yassirliy amriy, wahlul ukdatam millisaaniy, yafqahuwna, qawliy.
Bismillahir rahmaanir rahiym. Rabbiy zidniy ilman, warzukniy fahman. Subhanaka laa ilma lana illa ma ‘allamtanaa, innaka antal aliymul hakiym.”

I hope this simple “guide” will you help you pass the interviews and reach your dream. Or at least be a little more confident in facing any interviews. It worked for me, and most of my classmates, so it might work for you, too. 🙂 God bless on your interviews!!!
Salam kasilasa!
-Ahmad a.k.a Anak Iluh

Pls visit my blog: Anak iluh, MD at; also you like my page at  you can PM me on my Page (anak iluh) if you have more questions J

Finding my way

BismillahMedschool had taught me a lot of things in life. Maybe some I learned listening to hours of lectures and Clinico-Pathologic Case presentations; some I gnawed through sleepless nights from pages of books and transcriptions reading, trying as mu…

Fridays are great

Assalamu Alaykum.It’s been a while since I last shared about life in Med-school… hope I could catch up with my schedule and write some of them here as the end of the year draws near…  Aside from Fridays being my favorite day, there is yet anot…

Anak iluh goes to Medical Student Summit

This year’s 8th Medical Student Summit or MSS was held last Nov 23-24 at University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila. Various sessions and plenaries about the “Victories of Philippine Medicine” were held and other events as Med Quiz Bowl, Social’s night …

Books over the Sembreak

Sembreak Series: part 2 of unknown number of parts.
October 26, 2013
It’s my second sembreak as a medstudent. Yup. I am already a year and a half done with medschool (and hundred more years to come. LOL). And As I usually don’t go home to my beloved homeland (Sulu) during sembreaks for a lot of reasons, I might as well spend the whole two weeks of freedom (and boredom) doing something worth remembering: read away from medicine-related things. I keep on telling myself that I should be productive this sembreak that I may not regret it (or die of boredom from it). After all what’s the purpose of calling it a “break” if you’ll not take a break? Haha.
 I spent the first week of this break on different things. 1) I spent a day rummaging my things and looking for unfinished books to read. Strolled around bookstores nearby and checked some interesting and really cheap books. 2) Also spent some time catching up on movies I failed to watch thanks to the weekly exams we had last sem. 3) Also tried working on my write-ups: my never-been-finish-and-yet-to-see-its-ending novel(s). Yeah, ambitious as I may be, I am still hopeful that I can finish some good part of it(them) this break In shaa Allah. 4) Also practicing with my camera, though I am still too lazy to go out and do a photowalk. And 5) I’m also reviewing my lectures last sem… I am now reading Harrison’s Internal Medicine 2 hours every day.
No, just kidding. The fifth one actually never happened. Not at all.
 Anyway, for the first post on this series, here’s the list of books I read over the weekend 🙂 Not in any order of importance or ratings.

Surgeons Do Not Cry by Dr. Ting Tiongco
It’s true that great treasures are rare to find. And this book is one of those treasures that all service-oriented Med-students should have. The problem is, it’s pretty hard to find a good bookstore having enough supplies of this copy. I have spent searching a great number of bookstore only to find out that they are already “out of stock”. In fact the copy I found was THE LAST COPY when I bought it! That’s how great this book is.

Written by a surgeon who hailed from Davao, the book shares about the author’s journey from being an Atenista to an “angas” tagalog-speaking med-student of UPCM to clerkship, to internship, then residency and finally towards becoming a full-pledged surgeon trying to serve the many under-served patients who cannot even afford their own meal. Along his ordeals of achieving that dream of becoming a doctor, he shares the different experiences he learned from the struggles of both physicians and patients alike in the majestic walls of Philippine General Hospital. The book is written like a journal; the reader could imagine what the author is writing as if he’s right there witnessing everything unfold in the eyes of the author himself. It was well written full of emotions (honestly, who would have thought doctors have emotions? LOL). Most of the entries talks about his patients, their problems not just about their medical conditions but also of their troubles outside the hospital. And of course their heroic doctors who are trying to help them. I could say that the book is indeed a must-read not just to med-students but to all service-minded people out there. Or if you are looking for something to read that will surely inspire you (and bring you to tears). 
Surgeons” is full of life’s teachings that we as busy, white-coat-people always tend to overlook. It is a living manifesto that even doctors, amidst their great skills and bright minds, can never act God. That even surgeonsget hurt. Even surgeons do have to cry sometimes.
It’s a 150 something page book and I finished it in 3 hours 🙂 This simply shows how I loved it.

The Many Ways of Being Muslim: Fiction by Muslim Filipinos Edited by Coeli Barry
Students learn from their teachers and masters. And an aspiring writer slash novelist should also learn and seek inspiration from those experienced writers, experts in their own fields. And what’s the best way to learn from them than read their pieces?

I first saw this anthology of different short stories written by Muslim authors from 1970s to early 2000s. When I first saw it in a bookstore, I grabbed it with dear yearning that: “Oh God, I should have this!” But as the usual scenario, I checked the price, checked my wallet, replaced the book on the shelf… and went home with a sad heart. No not that’s it’s too expensive. I just can’t afford it then haha. Oh well, Alhamdulillah a great opportunity came on September 2013 when I attended the 34th Manila International Book Fair held in SMX Pasay. I met this good old acquaintance and it’s half the price than the first time I saw it! So I grabbed the book and held it this time and never hesitated to finally get a copy.
“The Many Ways” is a collection of great short stories written my famous short story writers like Ibrahim Jubaira, Said K. Sadain Jr., and Mehol Sadain. Other writers include Calbi Asain, Noralyn Mustafa, Pearlsha Abubakar, Arifah Jamil, Elin Anisha Guro and Ms. Loren Lao whom their masterpieces are all worth the praise to be included in this anthology.
I enjoyed reading the entries by Ibrahim Jubaira the most as they are unique in its own way. It’s like reliving the 1970s days again. No doubt that he received those numerous awards and recognitions he had when we was still alive.
It’s also always a pleasure reading short stories with settings and characters you are familiar with. Talk about a dayang-dayang (princess) waiting at the astana’ for his groom-to-be that will may not come; or Jaafar, a poor young man searching for his purpose; or of Hamid and Al trying to settle whether it’s the western or the eastern knowledge that is far worth mastering; or of Macaodal coming home to Ranao as the only educated and full-pledged Engineer in their clan only to get into bigger trouble than he asked for? The 22 different short stories, written in different years, by different writers is indeed a great read. Reading through them is like riding on different jeepneys each stop; experiencing different stories each ride. It’s a mish-mash of colorful stories that showcases the artistic minds of the Muslims that are seldom heard nor read in popular writings. 
All of the stories were written in English, with some touch of Muslim culture. I wish years from now I could find another anthology of new age Muslim writers. And better yet if they are written in their own local language (Tausug, Meranao, Maguindanaon, Sinama, etc.) That would add points to their uniqueness and the worth of preserving the local dialects and promoting creative literatures as well.
The Many ways has 170+ pages. I started reading it last September but stopped about a fourth of the book remaining during the first week of October. Just finished reading it last October 24.
Below the Crying Mountain by Criselda Yabes
Just like “Surgeons”, this book is one of those I was “destined” to have. Here’s the story of how I got my own copy of this lovely novel.
I was doing my usual scan-the-titles-of-books in a nearby bookstore without any intention of buying any books at all. If I happened to find some interesting title, I would check its author, its content (summary at the back if available) then the price. I was scanning books in the ‘Philippine Literatures’ section, letting my finger slide through titles, when my eyes suddenly caught a very interesting title: “Below the Crying Mountain”. The title indeed hit me as I have known only one mountain having that famous namesake as the “crying mountain” in my whole life: Bud Tumantangis, the highest mountain throughout the Sulu archipelago. I stopped there and took the book. After reading the short synopsis at the back cover, confirming that it is really about my dear homeland, and after knowing that it’s from the UP Press, I hurriedly checked my wallet if I have brought enough money with me. After checking all my pockets for more coins to add, I counted a total of 250php, the exact price of the book! And it’s the last copy!
After some minutes of considerations whether to skip lunch or not buy the book, I finally decided to buy it.  And I’m happy that I did. Right after checking out the book from the cashier, I hurriedly removed the plastic covering and start reading it even before I went out of the bookstore. I finally went home that day and finished the book that same night. If there’s a good on my hand, I usually cannot sleep without finishing it first. And “Below the crying mountain” is indeed worth that praise.
 Below the Crying Mountain is a Non-fiction account of the uprising in the 1970s in Sulu hidden in a fictional character and story. It is a story within a story that makes it more unique. It also shares the author’s own personal quest, relating it to the main protagonist’s (Rosy Wright) story that gave birth to this novel. The author’s way of sharing the story was so realistic, so vivid that I could sense the emotions of each character; I could see the old buildings in Sulu in the 1970s that were destroyed during the “burning of Jolo” (which is also the climax of the story); I could even feel each event unfolding right before my eyes. The author’s interviews with the actual players in the story had shows its authenticity that this was not a fiction at all, but a real story that actually happened. No doubt that this masterpiece was awarded with the prestigious Gawad Likhaan: The UP Centennial Literary Prize Winner and was nominated for Man Asian Literary Prize in 2010. 
What I enjoyed most in the book is the accounts of one of the highlights of Sulu’s history: The Burning of Jolo in February 1974. It was one of those turning points that made a drastic change from what was Jolo before and what is Jolo now. To quote the author (rephrased): “It was then that the wall-clock in Plaza Tulay (a famous place in Jolo) stopped. As if time itself stopped there for Jolo.”
I was also amazed by the authors own account of the ever-neglected historical landmarks in Jolo and Zamboanga that I have been so familiar with: The Kawa-Kawa boulevard, Port Pilar, the Jolo Seaport and the old lighthouse (dearly referred as the “eye-fall tower” by the protagonists of the story), Masjid Tulay, the statues in the Sulu Hospital, the humble streets of Jolo, the famous Bud Datu, and of course, the crying mountain: Bud Tumantangis. This book also rekindled my interest in searching for the hidden history of my own hometown: some I have tried to search for and some of it I have already re-discovered. It was in fact my first encounter with the term “The Eye-Fall tower”, which led me to the adventure of searching for it myself. (Read my post about the eye-fall tower here)
I am now rereading the book for the third time. It’s a 162 page novel and indeed worth a read for those who have an interest in understanding what had happened during the 1970s insurgency and what that incident brought to the people below the crying mountain 🙂

There. That’s three of the I-don’t-know-how-many-more books I have read and still trying to read throughout the sembreak. I will supply and continue the second part of this post in shaa Allah.
Just a Disclaimer: All the books I have mentioned above are all worth reading and whatever I may have said about them are purely my own opinion; as how I see them and what I felt (emotionally) upon reading them. Yes, I do read with emotions, LOL. For I believe that’s one of the secrets in enjoying a good book. Let your mind flow and let your imagination go wild and try to feel what the author felt when writing his or her piece; try to imagine and capture what great message they are trying to convey. I may have mistakes in giving them a review, and I could never give them justice for my lack of skill and perhaps talent in writing. I am no good writer after all, just a mere beginner writer-novelist-wannabe. All I wanted to share here is how I loved their masterpiece, they have been a great inspiration to me, and I will cherish each of them throughout my life. In shaa Allah.
For now, Salam kasilasa!

-Anak Iluh

The Fastest two-months I ever had

Bismillah.It’s already July, and since the first day of classes this year, I am still amazed as how fast things are going on in my almost-messy-unorganized days as an LU4 (Learning Unit 4 or 2nd year Med) student here in UPCM. Since the past two months…

Summer Immersion in Siasi

the Island of Siasi with Bud Siasi on the background
Last summer I spent more than a week in Siasi, a smaller island in Sulu. I went there not to spend a wonderful vacation with my family, but to do something bigger, something greater: to conduct my first one-week community immersion!
As one of the Regionalization Program (RP) students in the college, we were required to return to our community every summer and conduct our own community immersions before the next school year begins. This is one of the requirements that we have to accomplish for us to be allowed to enroll for the next Learning Unit (or year level). And so, being one of the only two students (out of 160) representing ARMM in our batch, I chose Siasi, Sulu to be my immersion site for the next five years of my stay in Medschool (in shaa Allah), and perhaps until I become a licensed physician someday (Ameen).
Now, what did I do in my one-week stay in Siasi? I might not be able to tell all the things that I did in Siasi, so I will just include here my Schedule of activities during the immersion:
The Siasi Rural health unit

For one week, Alhamdulillah, I learned a lot of things that I never learned in the classroom. I was able to interact with the locals and learned directly from them what are the dominating concerns they have on their health. They were also eager to share what they know about diseases and medicine (especially traditional medicine) that I myself is fully unaware of. I visited the RHU everyday and see how the health workers do their job of serving the people. Through the FGDs (Focus-Group discussions) with the health workers and the community as well, I learned about the problems they face and how they try to solve and manage them. I was also fortunate to join one of the RHU and IPHO’s monthly community visits to Laminusa Island for the Malaria awareness program, where I observed and learned how hard it is to deliver health services in far-flung islands like Laminusa. Yes, the immersion lasted only for seven days, but what I learned in those seven days I spent in Siasi was worth more than a lifetime of my future career as a practicing physician someday: a doctor for the poor people in our community, for the Ummah, in shaa Allah!
This is indeed one of the main objectives of UPCM in creating RP: to let future health practitioners experience and appreciate the actual settings in the community. By then, they will realize the great need for great doctors in the community and in sha Allah they will aspire to fill in the vacant slots for “dedicated doctors serving the underserved” which is the sole vision of UPCM.
Until now, I will always remember what my field preceptor, Dr. Ejil A. Imlan said to me:

“The most important thing in serving the community is finding yourself LOVING what you are doing, putting your HEART in everything that you plan and do; all for the benefit of not just one person but the many… And always keeping in mind the VIPs in your profession: your patients who need you most…”

Me and my future boss: Dr. Imlan
Dr. Imlan is also the Municipal Health Officer of Siasi and one of the only three practicing doctors in the Municipality with a population of more than 80,000 people. (Imagine! That’s like one doctor for about every 27,000 people!)
Interviewing some locals
The Task force Laminusa: Siasi-RHU Team, IPHO-Malaria awareness team, some volunteers and me during the Community visit to Laminusa island. 
On our way to Laminusa island,  Siasi.
Listening to locals during the FGD with Community
on health behaviors and health-seeking pattern.

I am deeply thankful to our dean, Dr. Mejia, to my Adviser Dr. Abdullah, to the RPC and RSO family for properly preparing us before going out into the field, to my field preceptor Dr. Imlan, to Maam Nahla, To Maam Rose, to Hji. Satta Sampang for helping me in meeting the LGUs, to all of the Siasi-RHU Staff, to the Barangay kagawads and barangay health officers who helped me out, to my relatives in the community (hehe) and to all the locals in North Laud Siasi who welcomed me as a new member of their community (even just for a while) and for all the things that I learned in my one-week stay in Siasi.

In shaa Allah, in my second summer immersion next year I will return to Siasi and continue where I started. (How I hope by then, I would be able to invite some more friends and other Medical students to join me 🙂 Maybe some of you would like to help me out there. Just inform me ahead of schedule, hehe.

Until our next immersion!
For Siasi,

Anak iluh

First Day Challenge

“Ahmad! What were you thinking! Why did you decide to make your first 3 weeks in LU-4 in utter toxicity?!” Well, that was what I thought before the first day of my second year in Medicine started when I accepted the offer of becoming a Liaison Officer (LO) of our first subject/course for this year: HS202 Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Illness or BDI… They call this level as “HELL-U 4” because of the hellish experiences you students will experience compared to LU3 (freshmen year), and I already made my first week hellish than the rest of the class by being an LO. But as that first day as an LO came to an end, I finally realized why I accepted that challenge…
I wanted to try it. I know being an LO is not a good joke. You have to coordinate with the professors from different departments for their class schedules, announcements and exams. This first module will be composed of 5 different departments namely: Departments of Pathology, Parasitology, Microbiology, Psychiatry and Family Medicine and will last for 3 weeks. Yes, I am already killing myself now, to think that I would have to meet great doctors who never knew me from their past lives (I mean, past years) here in UP-Manila. I have to be persistent and patient with all the possible problems that may come, while being respectful to our great professors to keep things working so smoothly for the class. Worst of all, I will be representing the class to these departments. Anything that will go wrong from me and the class (my beloved class) will go down with me. Thus I also have to keep myself on the bright side of the day (or whatever it means). Being an LO is very new to me, and thus I wanted to experience it myself before everything gets worst at the end of the year… (After all, I know our Class’ Acad heads will help me along the way, right, Will and Kei? 🙂
I wanted to improve myself. I know I may not be the best man for this job. But in shaa Allah, I will try my best to accomplish my tasks. I always love challenging myself to become better than who I am before. I wanted to be better in managing things which I know I always failed to do in the past few years. I wanted to learn something new here that I may be able to use in my future career in shaa Allah; for my dream of becoming one of the best doctors for the Muslim Community. I wanted to improve my means of communicating and getting two different houses meet an agreement. I wanted to become a better leader: not someone I was before…
A lot of friends form the higher years had warned me of the challenges of this course (BDI) I am handling. I knew that this was one of the subjects that many students had a hard time passing in the finals. I am fully aware of them, and may Allah give me strength to face and overcome them all for my class. In shaa Allah, as much as I can do to help, I will never let my class suffer the same casualties. These are just part of the challenges that I knew we would face sooner or later. So better prepare for it sooner that wait for it to come at you by surprise… 
I hope and pray that this enthusiasm I have now will last until the end of my job as an LO. I hope and pray that being an LO will make me learn what I need to learn to be a better person for my people. I hope and pray that my intentions of accepting this responsibility will remain limited to the objectives of what is only necessary and will not go beyond what is needed. That everything will go fine and smoothly; that my class (UPCM Class 2017) will greatly benefit from it than the other way around. Ameen.
Reign Supreme!
-Anak Iluh

As I begin my 2nd yr in Medschool…

Alhamdulillah, another year in Medschool had just started. It’s June already and I still can’t believe that I am already done with my first year, and I am now starting my second year here in UP College of Medicine. Really, I am still grasping the truth that those were not dreams at all! Am I still dreaming?
The letter I received carrying the Good news Alhamdulillah.
I can still remember last year, some days before the results of the official List of students accepted to the UPCM will be released (these 160 guys and gals will later be known as the UPCM Class 2017). I was getting anxious and hopeless then, as days go by and I still haven’t received any confirmations from them. UPCM was the only Med-school I applied for (because I am so lazy working on another application papers) and most of the students who applied are all exceptional (and except for me). And due to the impending desperation then, I already started filling-up another application form from another Med-school just to be on the safer side of the road. Then Alhamdulillah, the great news finally arrived 🙂 
And now, a year after all those roller-coaster experience in the college, MashaAllah, I realized that indeed there are still a load of things I have to know before I can grab that dream of becoming a Doctor someday. Yes, I am done with the first year of struggling to survive (Alhamdulillah) and yet it still feels like I am just at the doorsteps of this bigger world I am about to enter… (So I better be really, really, really, really, prepared before going into that “dark” world. Hehe)
And so, before I enter the second year of hardships, there are a lot of people I wanted to acknowledge first and give my utmost gratitude and thanks. (I have already done this last year, but I just wanted to mention it again here… 🙂
First and foremost, to Allahu Subhanahu wa Taala. Who made things always possible midst all the little things that we have in this world. I am always grateful for every little thing that Allah had given us and my family. In accepting those prayers that are best for us, and changing those that might be bad for us. Unto you we worship, ad only unto you we ask for guidance and forgiveness. Ameen.
Next, I am deeply in debt to former Senator Santanina Rasul and her Family. She and the Rasuls had done so many great things to us fellow Tausugs (especially the Youths). From my High School days as one of their AAR Scholar, to my temporary employment as Regional Assistant of LIPAD (An NGO promoting adult literacy) and until to the very beginning of my application in UPCM, they never stopped believing that we can do something great amidst our little means. Indeed, they have moved mountains just to support us in pursuing our dreams, training us to become better and more service-oriented youths of Sulu… They instilled in us the idea that “the best way to express your love to your country, is to go back and serve the community.” Magsukul tuud Maam Nina for everything 🙂 In shaa Allah, I will always return to our humble place (Sulu) and serve the people of Sulu!

To my very first FAMILY in med-school, the Regionalization Student Organization or RSO with our very own Tatay, Dr. Abdel Jeffri Abdulla. Being a Regionalization Program (RP) Student is one thing I am never ever going to regret and something I am indeed thankful of. I am always happy every time I am with RSO (wweeeeeh drama na naman). Sa RP 2017 tsaka sa Exe-Comms last year, pasensya na kayo na palagi kong nabibigo mga expectations niyo sa akin last year, haha! Try ko bumawi this taym, in shaa Allah. Sobrang salamat sa lahat ng learning, laughter, and lakwatsa (immersions hehe). Let’s keep the spirit and shout: FOR THE NATION, THROUGH THE REGIONS!
Sa UP Manila-Association of Muslim Students (AMS), sa ibang MSAs ng ibang schools dito sa Manila, sa mga kapatid kong Muslims na nakilala ko dito, kelan ba next activity natin? Alhamdulillah, Allah na ang nagbigay daan na makilala ko kayo at hindi ako tuluyang mawala sa landas (naudhubillah). Mahirap man ang buhay para sa mga Muslim dito sa Manila, pero kung may mga kasama kang mga kapatid na may matibay na paninindigan at Iyman, mashaAllah, nothing is impossible! (With His help of course). Fasbiruw ya ikhwatul muslimiyn, fainnakum ‘alal haqq!  
Sa mga classmates, seatmates (back-seat boys), SGD-mates, Trans-mates, at Anatomates!!! Tsaka sa lahat ng naging partners ko sa mga group works natin (may group works ba ako? Hehe joke lang) kitakits next year! Haha. [parang extended Trans-greeting lang to…] Basta salamat din sa inyo. At first, I worried about being out-of-the-picture; that being with the ‘nerds’ of UPCM would make me feel hanging in the air (especially na 2 lang kaming Muslim at galing pa sa “other schools” haha). At ang laking “maling akala” pala. Akala ko puro aral lang alam ng mga taga-UP, hindi naman pala. Meron ngang hindi nag-aaral eh haha. Peace! I love you guys (cheesy)!  Basta, kahit may mga iba’t-ibang storya at mga buhay tayo, at kahit minsan na ako lang talaga ay umiiwas sa ibang activities natin (alam niyo naman na di ako pwede sa inuman mga pre), I am still proud to be part of this class… Class Twenty-Seventeen, Reign Supreme!
The Class 2017
To special friends who keep on cheering me up and believing that I can still go on (kahit sobrang bugbog na ako sa stress ng medskul), maraming-maraming salamat sa inyo. I may not be able to mention all your names here, but believe me, you are always in my heartfelt thanks (naks naman!) 
And most importantly (of course) I would not be able to survive my first year in Med-school with all those financial expenses and emotional stresses without my very beloved Family. Malaggu’ in pagsukul ku pa Tuhan pasal awn aku pamilya makasi, malasa, matuyu’ tumabang ha mga biya’ miskin-miskin, kulang-kabus biya’ kámu’ ini. Magsukul ha mga inaun iban amaun ku (di’ ta na kamu ngánan, adakala awn kalupahan ku hehe) ha pagtabang laung ha Ina’ ku kailu. Magsukul ha pagpautang kámu, hehe, In shaa Allah maka-puas da kami ha adlaw susungun (Ameen). Magsukul tuud ha duwa lingkatan magulang ku (hi Kakah Raiy iban hi Inn) naglugtu’ tuud isab nag-usaha, gimuwa’ hula nagbinsana’ sin baran, ha supaya lumuhay-luhay in pag-gastu sin pag-iskul namu’. OK na dih na kita magdrama, hehe, kayngatan niyu na yan.
And lastly, to my very beloved Inah. The only woman I have ever truly loved since the day I learn how to smile (don’t ask me anung fetal development stage yun, di ko na maalala ahaha). Words are not enough to show you how much we are grateful that Allah had given us such a loving, caring, very strong and good humored Mother like you (ayiieee nagpapa-sweet na naman ako). We love you inah! Misan dih namu’ na magkaiyan kaniyu verbally, we always wanted to see your smiles every day 🙂
Ayan. Balik eskwela na. 

Suysuy ha Wards 2: Pagkawa’ History

Kiyasulat: January 9, 2013
In manga bata’ iskul ha Medicine (Med-Student in short), mabilang na sila ha uwtan sin “mahinang na duktur” iban “bakas pa pasyente”. Bang awn hambuuk dán liyalabayan nila, yaun pa sila ha gi’tungan: wala pa nakaratung pa tudjuhun nila, sa’ wala pa isab nakalayu’ dayng ha tiyaykuran nila. Bukun pa sila manga duktur, di’ pa sila makaubat iban makadihil diagnosis sa’ awn na maniyu’-tiyu’ panghati nila ha pasalan sin manga indaginis-barapa sin pag-ubat. Pagká ba’gu ra isab sila nagtagna’ ha lalabayan sin “mahinang na duktur”, masi-masi pa yaun kanila in pamikilan sin manga pasyente; kaingatan nila bang mayta’ bihaini in paghinangun sin manga pasyente pasal bakas da isab sila didtu (laung nila, in kaibanan manga duktur kunu’ kalupahan nila na sin in sila manga pasyente ra isab tagna’…) In suysuy ku yari, hambuuk suysuy ha lawn pikilan sin hambuuk tau ha gi’tungan pa sin dán nasabbut.  
Ha Wards

Laung sin consultant namu’ ha 2nd Ward Work namu’ ha Neuro (amun hammis nakalabay yaun)

“If you have a very good history of the patient’s illness, you can already have a good diagnosis…”

 Unu ta’ in pagtawagun “History of patient’s illness” atawa HPI ini? Mayta’ kunu’ ini mahalga pa manga duktur, sambil misan waypa sila nagconduct physical exam (PE atawa check-up), salugay marayaw in HPI, maingat na nila in sakit sin tau?
Maray’ daran natu’ ra isab ini pagkalabayan, amun bang kita magpacheck-up na pa duktur, asubuhun kita sin manga pangasubu bihayni-bihadtu. Kamawmuhan panagasubu kátu’ in: “Mayta’kaw nagpacheck-up?”, “Unu in niyananam mu?”, “Hain in masakit?”, “Ka’nu pa timagna’ in sakit atawa hinglaw?”, “Unu in kiyaun mu?” iban “Unu in inum mu ubat?” Ini in pagtawagun HPI kaina, atawa ka “History Taking”, amun mangasubu in duktur ta ha habal sin unu tuud in jimatu mayta timagna’ in pag-ngiy’ sin parasahan sin pasyente, iban in pasyente isab hibayta’ niya pa duktur in manga yadtu.
Bang ta taliun biya’ manga simple pangasubu ra ini katan, biya’ da kaw dimá nag-isturi iban hambuuk bagay atawa kakilahan mu bihán. Pasal, subay tuwi’ bihadtu in dagbus sin pagdá mu magbissara iban pasyente bang kaw duktur. Pasal in kita niyu manga pasyente magpacheck-up, awn waktu maluman dumá magbissara, atawa ka malisu’ bihán, di’ hibayta’ in katan sin jimatu (amun mahinang sabab kulang in makawa’ sin duktur info amuna in hikasá’ sin pagdiagnose kaniya). Ampa mahalga’ ini. Bang kahallian da isab, di’ tuud manjari malawng in duktur pasal baran sin pasyente in magmula; way bilang magpa-chamba hadja pasal kabuhi’ na in malapay riy. (Sa’ syempre isab, in manga duktur manga manusiya’ da isab, magkalaung da…)

Kanda subay kunu’ awn pagtawagun “Good Rapport” sin duktur pa pasyente niya. Amun bang kaw dumá magbissara, hipakita’ mu tuud ha pasyente mu sin yaun kaw dumungug sin isturi niya háti’ maingat mu unu tuud in sakit niya; sin yaun kaw ha supaya makatabang kaniya, bukun manglawag pisita. Ha bihadtu istayl sin pagbissara sin duktur kaymu, tantu gumaan in “pakiramdam” nila, laung sin Tagalog; mauhay nila na hi-isturi katan. (Manga nurse in expert diy ha “rapport”, magpahindu’ mayan aku ha magulang ku. hehe).
Ha manga pasyente isab, muna-muna bunnal mahunit kita makarihil “tiwala” magtuy pa hambuuk tau ampa ta kiyakilahan, biya’ sin manga duktur natu’. Hikaruwa, awn waktu hitapuk natu’ atawa mamaylu kitaniyu pasal mabuga’ kitaniyu maingat sin “malala” na tuwi in sakit ta. Mabuga da isab kita amun gumastu tuud pasal sin manga laboratory tests, CT-Scan, Xray iban unu-unu pa yan hipahinang katu’ sin duktur.
Sa’ bang tantu mabaya’ da isab kita umuli’ na ha unu mayan in sakit ta, subay kita mahinang “cooperative”; sambungan ta bang unu in pangasubu sin jukup sambung. “Walang kulang, walang labis” laung nila. Pasal daindiy hadja ha pagsambung ta sin pangasubu nila ini, manjari na maingat magtuy bang unu in sabab mayta’ kaw nasakit. Adakala, gamman pa ini mahinang sabab di’ na kita gumastu tuud (magpa.Lab.test, etc.) Pag-ubus bang manjari, bang awn na kananaman ta bukun na kariasali magjatu pa baran ta; atawa awn niyananam ta mangiy’ parasahan, subay kita mag-uws-uws na magpakita’ pa duktur atawa pa barangay clinic (bang awn). Ha supaya mauhay kita kaubatan, in shaa Allah. Mahunit in subay amun mahunit na siya ubatan, ampa kita niyu magsusun ha ulihan.
Hangkanda isab tuwih mahlaga’ in pagtawagun “History of the Patient’s illness”. Bukun tuwi’ siya hát mag-Question-and-Answer in duktur iban pasyente, bat amuna ini in mabilang tagnaan sin pag-ubat sin sakit sin hambuuk manusiya’. Bunnal tuput Tuhan da in tag-ulinan sin kawasa ha pagpauli’ ha hambuuk manusiya’; tuput siya ra in makapauli’ ha sakit ta. Sa’ di’ yadtu jumatu bang wayruun parsababan hinangun natu’isab: subay ra isab magtabang-tabang in duktur iban pasyente ha mammayan kahinangan sabab sin umuli in sakit yaun, in shaa Allah.
Hangkanda subay ra isab tuud magtabang-tiyabangi in manga duktur iban sin manga pasyente ha pagpauli sin sakit, bukut hat ha hambuuk manusiya’ sa’ sambil na pa kaybanan ha raayat, In shaa Allah.
Daindiy ku na hundungan in suysuy ta, sambil ha susungun makapag-isturi2 ra balik, in shaa Allah.
Salam Kasilasa!
-Anak iluh

Ward Work 1

Bismillah.Yari aku naghihinang sin paper works namu’ para ha first Ward Works namu’ ha OS202: Clinical Neurology. Natali’ ku sumulat-sulat na sambil hawpu’ suysuy ha pasalan sin first ward work ko ha Philippine General Hospital…Hambuuk ha manga maray…