Category Archives: Medstudent

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 …

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!


A meeting with IMAN


Last Sunday evening I had another wonderful time meeting familiar faces in this rather new world I am now affiliated with: The world of Medicine. And what’s better? I was able to become a part of a growing ‘family’ of professionals with a two unifying ideologies: Medicine and Islam.

The Islamic Medical Association of the Philippines (IMAN Phil) is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 with the aim to create a massive network of Muslim Professionals and Specialists in the medical field, uniting them not just because they have a single faith (Islam) and profession (doctors), but with the single ideology of serving the ummah of this generation. You can check the website of IMAN here:

The dinner meeting I attended was nothing but a simple informal gathering, organized by IMAN to meet-and-greet the Muslim Medical students in the Manila area. Although only a few of us were able to attend (most of the invited were on duty), it was still a wonderful gathering. The members of the boards of IMAN present who organized this meeting were Dr. Naheeda Mustofa (Internal Medicine, Clinical Nutrition; St. Lukes) and Dr. Khasmin Ismael (Board and founder, Health for Mindanao). Both Muslimah doctors inspired us with their experiences in the medical field from being a Muslim medstudent to being doctors. Also present in the meeting was my dear uncle, Dr. Nelson Laja (Medical Oncology, UP PGH) who also shared great insights about how we can further improve our

Arabic Kitchen has this nice place where we can gather around, without chair or high tables. 🙂 Arabian style
 [photo from Dr. Mustofa]

The ever outnumbered male doctors (and soon to be)
 [photo from Dr. Mustofa]
We also talked about the Visions, Missions and goals of IMAN, the past activities they had, the challenges they experienced, and also the plans and activities the IMAN plans to have in the  future in sha Allah. IMAN emphasized the importance of involving the student body to better empower the future generation of doctors. They also assured the students that they can find help and support from IMAN if ever they need to. In fact, a number of IMAN’s future plans were directed in helping the medstudents like providing medical books they need during their academic career. We are hoping to strengthen the network of Muslim medical students not just in the capital region but in the whole Philippines as well in the future, in sha Allah.

We, the students and interns who attended the meeting were all enthusiastic and excited with the future activities IMAN have and in sha Allah hopefully we could participate actively in all of those planned activities. Looking forward to meeting new faces and members of this growing family I am happily affiliated with. Perhaps my dream of attending an authentic “Muslim Medical Students Summit” is not a farfetched dream after all 😀

May Allah make things easy for IMAN. Allahumma ameen.

You can check the IMAN website here: or visit the IMAN FB Page: #no link yet#

For more info you can contact IMAN Phil at

Salam Kasilasa!
-Anakiluh, MD

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