Practical Tips for Aspiring Medical Students

I am writing this now as a second year medical student in san beda university who just finished her 10 exams in 4 days with an upcoming 2 exams more that was just rescheduled to next saturday (yeeeey~).

As of now, i still have two case papers to write and one case presentation to prepare for and all are due on monday but i’ve been looking forward to making time to writing for non-acads stuff again so here goes.

1. Buy your most essential school supplies!

You need your weapon(s) to fight the battle. This means you should be armed with your sword and armor that will be only found at your favorite bookstore. My most prepared self would most likely be equipped with the following shopping list:

  • Continuous Printer (Mine’s a Brother Printer)
  • Bond Paper (Reams of them! To print your transes)
  • Highlightersss and other writing utensils (i wasn’t a fan of highlighters back in YL1 but multicolored highlighting came very handy for me in YL2)
  • Laptop or iPad/Tablet (this is a NEED because there are plenty of activities done with the use of technology nowadays)
  • Books [one perk was i got to call the classic authors by name as if we were close friends.. “ano nga ba yun yung sabi ni ‘Jun Q’?” (Jun Q stands for Junqueira hehehe twas just my thing so i can enjoy studying histology)]

2. Befriend upperclassmen and your classmates.

Medschool doesn’t have to be a time for isolation and self-discovery. Keep in touch with your upperclassmen (in san beda, we meet them during integration) and don’t hesitate to ask for tips and advice on handling academic and even non-academic problems. I’m sure your ates and kuyas will be very accommodating to you! trust me 😉 If you’re lucky, have a professor doctor as your mentor (mine’s from a different institution and she has helped me a LOT of times)

Also, don’t be afraid to go outside the scenery of your dorm room and study out with classmates in the library, coffee shops and co-working places of the city. Although, just make sure that they have the same priorities as you do since it could be very difficult to group study if no one in your group is prepared to do so. yes, it means that you need to study before meeting as a group 🙂

3. Work in harmony with almost everyone as much as you can.

This is a skill that you would learn with time as you interact with people and learn to work with them towards a common goal. In medschool, it’s usually working on case presentations and keeping the transcription system. Conflicts are inevitable but it doesn’t hurt to think twice about that message you’re just about to tweet. 🙂 Medicine will teach you humility.

4. Again with that last sentence, Humility. Keep it.

Only with humility that you will learn and humility will teach you how to be a very good doctor. You may be perfecting almost all exams now but this will not exempt you from facing challenges in other aspects like participating in small group discussions, doing the right procedure during OSCE or taking a very good history and neuro PE on a patient actor. We will all have our firsts but be willing to learn from these mistakes and be your better self next time around!

5. Do not give up, ever.

When you entered medicine, just make sure that you know ‘why you are studying medicine.’ Because i tell you that it’s very easy to lose sight of the goal when you’re in the darkness. They said that if you could imagine yourself being in another career path, it’s better if you don’t waste your blood, sweat and tears studying medicine. That’s why you need to tell yourself that you can’t see yourself doing anything else other than giving your entire young adulthood to Medicine and getting that MD plus all other fellowships to societies beside your name.

That’s all I have to share for now. If you have questions, feel free to comment below! I’ll be happy to help.

Also, if you have any suggestions on any topic you want me to write about, feel free to let me know!

Our Monday Habit during Biochemistry during YL1. I miss Group 8!! The Model Group!! 😁

Mine 😺


thank you 2017!

I LOVE this year. I may have said the same to all other years but 2017 was different.

I love the fact that I learned to love myself more and how I chose to face my fears and overcome them. No, I have not been that perfect daughter or classmate. But I was happy that I learned to prioritize myself and bring my constants and some of my best people enjoy the blessings I have been receiving.

God was right and stayed faithful to His promise. He said that it would be a year bringing me to higher places.

This year was a year full of overcoming.

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a princesa in palawan.

The opportunity to overcome had no timing. It may happen on that same morning of your board exam, that unexpected medical school acceptance call or your first biochem module exam.

It was a constant battle between myself and the things I am most passionate about. Most of the time, I would choose to face the consequences slash the tougher road. I discovered that facing the consequences was a lot less boring rather than running away from them. I saw how the hardest lessons I learned from the past was a gateway for me to shine brighter. That diamond paradigm? Oh that is real. The pain and pressure is WORTH IT. Trust me.

At first, I was afraid and very hesitant to share a part of me to people. I was always that reluctant because I don’t know if I could do it. I didn’t know if I was enough. But I was reminded how God healed me from my brokenness and that compelled me to still reach out to others despite of what I feel and what I fear; because the truth is, my Source is unlimited.

His unconditional Love is real. He never disappoints.

But you see, all of this didn’t come for free. It had a price attached to it that I was willing to pay. I had to die to myself first before I could ever taste the sweetness of His immeasurable grace. I gave up a lot of things which includes my pride, vanity and reputation among others. At the end of it, I saw how all of those things I used to do did not matter. Then I found myself happier. Finally I found joy.

Even though I first lost a lover then a friend every time before a big thing was going to happen, I gained a family that turned out to be more than enough for me to survive my first semester of my medicine 2.0. I’m really grateful. I aim to be a better me next year.

Thank you, 2017 ❤

p.s. it may not yet be new year’s eve. there’s still 15 days left. but i just feel sooooo grateful today i wanted to share it 😊

All Things New.

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Goodbye, past life.

I’ve been saying goodbye a little more often lately… and kind of getting used to it by now.

In the past year, I have encountered the most number of challenges than I have ever faced in my entire life in every aspect of it. I have always told God: “Hey, God, I’m in medical school. You can’t give this responsibility to me right now… I have my grades to attend to… I have a class to lead… I have my dreams to pursue. and hey, I’m doing this all for You.” But He was always there beside me gently telling me: “Trust Me.”

Over a million times He asked me to do just that.

I greatly expressed my love for 2015, until I experienced the second half of it. After everything, I felt like I have lost seven months of living to drowning, crying, hurting, pretending, lying and hiding.

But I thank Him because all of my successes and failures are not about me but about Him. I may not be where I am supposed to be now… but I sure am not where I used to be.

I think that it was really necessary for me to go through all of that beautiful mess to learn a lesson or two. Well actually, plenty.

Over these past months, I have sought God and asked Him relentlessly to help me understand why I had to go through all of the worst parts. As much as He wanted to use me to do great things for Him, He always cared about the condition of my heart.

I knew and felt that every time I come before Him in my quiet place, I tear open my heart to Him and expose all my fears, doubts, and worries which all were unending. I simply did not know how to trust Him. He knew that even if I told myself repeatedly that I do trust Him.

I somehow used to feel like when I was in the “promised land” I prayed for, I was left on my own. I was left to maintain it. At least, that was how I felt… which was not supposed to be the case. Truth is, God is with me, He is for me and He will never forsake me. Obviously, my fear and unbelief is caused by my lack of knowledge of who God was in the situations I were in.

Though I had a choice to blame myself or other people in complicating things for me. I personally believe that this was not an accident or a big mistake but a necessary battle for me to face. I pondered that if I did make the best decisions and successfully avoided the consequences of the bad ones, I will never experience the anointing God has prepared to give me and I will never experience first hand the revelation of His character and how He anoints me in the presence of my enemies (Psalm 23:5). The most important thing was I did not run away and hide in fear.

He changed both my mind and heart. He showed me my true value and worth. His love would never be replaced or equaled by a human. He reminded me of the identity and promises that He won for me on the cross which I don’t ever need to earn. He prepared me to be unashamed of my past because it is exactly where it should be… in the past.

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

Philippians 3:13-14 MSG

I am a daughter of promise and of the Most High and He calls me to walk worthy of the anointing He has given me.

 But now, God’s Message,
    the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
    the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
    all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
    trade the creation just for you.

Isaiah 43: 1-4 MSG

So I thank You, God, infinitely because He will give me new years to live, a new medical school, new responsibilities (wooooh!), new Christ-centered relationships, new desires, new promises, new achievements, new dreams, new revelations, new truths, new wealth, new wisdom, new courage, new strength, new anointing, new gifts, a new heart, and the list goes on and on…

Cheers! 💙

“The attacks against your life have much more to do with who you might be in the future than who you have been in the past.” – Lisa Bevere 

 

Not Forever 21

Dear Abba Father,

Ilang hours nalang, 22 years old na ako. Thank you po that you have worked in my life, especially my heart, intensely this past year. Sobrang thank you for teaching me a lot of things and doing great miracles for me. Thank you for setting me free from the fear of failure. Thank you for restoring my relationship with my family that I could now finally call Kuya  L, my ex-worst enemy, as one of my greatest friends. Thank you for reassuring me that I am going to be one of the best doctors the world would have someday because You still have a lot of pruning to do with her. Thank you for showing your love for me through someone that you used him to bless my life so abundantly especially when I was in my darkest place. Thank you for setting my heart on fire for my campus that I wasn’t ashamed to share Jesus. Thank you for reminding that I am accepted and I am enough in Your sight. Thank you for teaching me how to finally study Medicine. Thank you for exposing my interest in politics with the influence of Kuya K and Ate K. Thank you for giving me a chance to bless a classroom through vice-presidency and presidency. Thank you for the radiance of the mantle of leadership you have anointedIMG_3738.png me that it was effortless for me to be noticed by people to be identified as a leader. Thank you for letting me go to Singles Camp and remind me that I was commissioned and I need to be strong and courageous. Thank you for allowing me to volunteer in APEC, Discipleship 2016 and Kids Boot Camp as a Medic. Thank you for intensifying my heart towards Research and Community Development. Thank you for letting me meet amazing doctors I can look up to such as Dr. T, M, C, C, B, T, S, Y, etc. Thank you for giving me a chance to still make a disciple despite my busy schedule. Thank you for giving me one month to do nothing else but rest. Thank you for surrounding me with new great friends. Thank you for giving me a chance to enjoy life to the fullest in spite of the challenges I faced. Thank you for protecting me and saving me from a near death experience. Thank you for allowing me to find myself. Thank you for revealing yourself. Thank you for giving me numerous dreams with messages from you so you could speak to and change my innermost being. Thank you for igniting my passion to reach the next generation. Thank you for increasing my faith. Thank you for teaching me to depend on you. Thank you for using me to be someone who can finally testify about love. Thank you for hearing my prayers and collecting my tears through the nights that you accompanied me in agony. Thank you for patiently comforting me through the times that I was about to lose it. Thank you for allowing me to bloom to where you planted me. Thank you for empowering me to lose weight. Thank you for watching me shine in medical school recitations. Thank you for anointing me with the Spirit of Queen Esther. Thank you for letting me meet true friends. Thank you for allowing me to drink and empty my first bottle of beer. Thank you for blessing me with material things I never really asked but I needed badly. Thank you for using me to speak in front of future doctors in two events even though I know for myself that I was unqualified. Thank you for promising that I will soon soar on wings! Thank you for reminding me my value and worth in your kingdom. Thank you for strengthening me and encouraging me to fight the good fight of faith. Thank you for audibly speaking to me during my quiet times with you. Thank you for giving me songs in my spirit to sing to You. Thank you for the voice and opportunities you gave me to share to people what I have learned. Thank you for the grace that I worshipped you even though I was about to lose everything. Thank you for the giving me a servant heart. Thank you for my spiritual leaders, Ate K and Ate A, as they influenced me with godly truths. Thank you for R, J, V, G, R, L, and K that they were there for me to pray for me and believe with me. Thank you for Ate A and C to be there for me to listen to me. Thank you for loving me as I am. Thank you for healing and restoring me. Thank you for turning the dirty water I could offer into delicious wine. Thank you for rebuilding walls with me. Thank you for allowing me to walk through fire to refine me and securing me so I won’t burn. Thank you for making a way through the wilderness. Thank you for understanding me even though people couldn’t. Thank you for giving back to me what I have lost. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for making all things new for me. Thank you because my life is about you. I love you po.

Love,

M 💖

Kahit anong mangyari

Today marks the anniversary of a song i wrote entitled “Ikaw ang Dahilan.” It’s a song induced by my failure of entering into a certain medical school. It is about pursuing our dreams in life in the light of God’s purposes and promises.

Exactly a year ago, I asked God the same question I am asking now: “Tuloy pa ba?” (Will the dream You have given me still come to pass?”). This was the very reason why I wrote that song. I prayed and declared that whatever happens, I will believe what God told me since I met Him. At the end of it, God fulfilled ALL His promises.

However, I found believing a little bit harder nowadays. Maybe because it’s another level of faith. Maybe because this was completely out of my comfort zone. Maybe because I am magnifying my limitations more than magnifying God’s power. Or maybe because I am too human and not allowing grace to be at work.

I should believe.

But right now, I only pray that my heart be prepared to whatever is up ahead. My God-dream scares me too much, I’m not even sure if I could reach it. I should keep into my heart and mind that since it is a dream from God, it is a dream that He would fulfil.

By now, I shouldn’t even be doubting anymore after a year of witnessing the sovereignty and faithfulness of Jesus. So, I guess I just have to keep up with this fight of faith and believe that it is not yet too late. But if I do fail, I will still worship, trust and believe that He is faithful.

The future is uncertain but God is certain.

What my Tacloban homecoming last Christmas reminded me of

   

 

I have expressed prior to our flight to Tacloban City last December 20 that I really wasn’t ready to go back home. I don’t know, maybe it was my feeling and judgment again that back there, there wouldn’t be any internet connection or less places to explore or I would not be productive back there anyway. But going back home was the best thing that has ever happened to me in 2015.

My homecoming to Tacloban just reminded me of one thing: Inheritance.

Back home, I saw a lifeless one with apparently unused furnitures and kitchenwares and unopened doors. Even though a  lot has changed since we really lived there (like back when we were high school), I could still remember how that home took care and nurtured us. How that home protected my family in times of natural calamities and power cuts. How that home, the birthplace of my talents and dreams, comforted and encouraged me to pursue them. Seeing it lifeless for a moment broke my heart and God spoke to me: “This is what is waiting for you here. And this will wait for you until you are finished with what I am doing in your life in Manila.”

In my room, there were memories I have kept and hidden and once that year I had this chance of revisiting them. Recently, I have seen handwritten notes of lectures, poems and songs, photographs and gifts of my favorite people in life and my album collections on artists whose music I used to listen to.. I love my room. I think it is the safest place in Tacloban City except when there is a flying cockroach inside.

You see, it has always been in my heart since elementary to stay here in the Philippines and serve my countrymen. I would tell everyone from taxi drivers to my mom’s friends that whatever happens, I will stay.. and I’m immortalising it right now. haha.

The challenges I am currently facing here in Manila and my human self with all her worries and insecurities have this way of making me forget what God really has in store for me.

Anyhow, I loved this time of coming back to Tacloban because I actually felt like an adult since it was my first time to drink beer though I still had a big brother-guardian with me, hehe. Like Taylor Swift, I did wait until I was 21. 😉 Then I also had this episode of temptation to fall blindly in love. But I opt not to talk about that. 🙂

Mostly, I had a chance to “warm-up like the real race.” Since I wanted to follow the footsteps of my mom in her medical practice, I gave time to assist her and be her “clerk.” hehe.

Well, I know becoming a doctor is a complicated process but actually taking time to take this opportunity and serve my mom made things simpler for me.. and this way, God reassured me of His love by giving me this kind of privilege.

With everything that has happened to me in 2015, I had seen impossible things happen before me and testify that it was indeed God’s power that caused that. Though I witnessed His promises come into play, I have this feeling that God would soon expect so highly of me and I don’t know how would I keep up. But truth is, He doesn’t. Even until now, I could  not comprehend why He thinks like that, but I just know that He wants to provide everything so He could just fulfil the promises He gave.

And looking back to everything that has happened in Tacloban while we still stayed there, it made me realize on how far God has brought me and how He alone has provided for me. At the same time, reminded me of the pressure that I shouldn’t really own in the first place. I just know for myself and believe.. God will open these doors He wants me to open in the right time.

“As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you.”

Daniel 12:13

Going back home actually reminded me that God just simply loves me.

If We Just Knew

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I was not supposed to be here in the first place but I went anyway
The place was full of familiar faces so I chose to stay
It was a beer party and my first time to empty a drink
I considered I was 21 and for a moment ignored what others might think

They told me people who were drunk are the most honest souls
It was not I, but I see the bottles you kissed and kissed goodbye
That night you sat next to me and knocked on this door a long time ago I closed
I should’ve left, I should’ve known, I should have kept the chains on the door

Why did I bother answer when I can see who was on the other side?
I thought I was strong enough, I thought I could hide
Apparently I was tipsy and impulsive to decide
I did not notice I was beginning to die inside

Because in the very first place I protected you from me
How could I love someone when I couldn’t even love myself and my family?
If you personally knew me and all my insecurities,
I’m sure you would regret and forget our possibilities

Then I heard you overlooked your needs because I wouldn’t call or reply
Your loved one asked me, why did I have to take away your life?
Our teacher then told me, you changed when I said goodbye
I was young, I didn’t know what love is, what the heck, i sighed

If we just knew how the Author of love defined love
If we just knew how beautiful the love stories He writes
If we just knew how He taught us how to love
But we did not.. it was not the right time

My brother’s room takes me back to the night you used to call me
Your gift opened my eyes to your selflessness and your bravery
You’d told me I was beautiful like the flowers in bloom one sunny day
I’m sorry, I was not ready, I’m sorry I didn’t stay

I loved and sought love through the years since I heard from you
I wrote songs about love, but like then, I treasured more friends
The greatest love I met was Jesus and I knew He was serious
His death for love, actually taught me how to love radically

So why am I writing this poem in the first place?
Do I hope on getting back with you someday?
It’s up to Him if He cuts our dance to give me to you
But first, it’s up to you if you would like to know Him too

Because right now, I’m not anymore the person you knew
I learned so much about love a million times more compared to the time when I met you
A big brother taught me that to find a bf/gf, you must first learn to love your family
So I did, and let me tell you, for years it was a challenge for me

No, I’m not saying that I want to make things up or get back with you
I was told that it was not my role to protect nor pursue you
So I just choose to disown every false burden that I have
And let new things come and nurture all of what I still have

It was not your fault when we didn’t meet Wednesday
My sister told me that it was not a wise move to make, anyway
But I was eager and I really wanted to meet you
My best friend knew, but the God who loves me decided not to

Finally, I want to tell you she has a tweet saying she still loves you so
You know, love conquers all, why not fight for the love God blessed you, go
To end, I just simply want to tell you that I wish you well and I’m sorry
And that there is still more ahead for you than just your love story~

“Persevere.”

this memory back in 2010 kept lingering in my mind.

it was our recollection day and we had this Catholic priest as our minister whom i was astounded with because i can clearly discern that his spirit was pure and he had a genuine relationship with God as he also mentioned on living entirely dependent on God with regards most especially with provision of his basic needs.

i still practiced the sacrament of penance and reconciliation that time. so we had an opportunity to speak with him and be counselled by him. after confessing my sins, i still remember how he looked directly at my eyes and boldly told me: “Persevere. Please don’t forget to persevere because i know God has a great plan for you.”

i felt pressured hearing this because i wasn’t entirely sure if i was going to get anywhere that time. to start with, i am not qualified to be someone God will use to do great things. i mean, for me, to be someone who can do great things, you need to have great grades.. you have to be academically excellent. people i know who gets recognized were basically “academically excellent.”

but God constantly told me otherwise.

i have to say that what used to be my greatest insecurity were my grades. i suffered that insecurity for 4 cold college years. in those years, i was constantly compared to my brothers who were really achievers and people around me were more concerned about getting this certain number while my mentors would tell me “you are not your grades.”

so with all that things running through my head, i just decided to do what God wants me to do.. to constantly be led by Him and make decisions which would honor and glorify Him.

then there i found my true security in God. i was radically confident God was opening doors for me to grow in platforms of leadership in research, community development and ministry — the best memories i have in college were because of this.

the catch here is that people who opened these doors for me didn’t bother to look at my grades. they just looked at how i was willing to serve. in the end, they even thought i had a latin honor. but i don’t have one. i just have a great God whom i always run and cry to (haha).

but really, i have no regrets of the decisions that i made in college despite a time that i almost failed a subject (at least, i thought i was going to) because i was too busy. i tangibly felt God’s peace and protection during those seasons. i really saw how God also protected my grades to i would somehow be qualified to my dream medical school.

and in this walk with God, i feel that He wouldn’t let me remain stagnant in my faith especially at this time now i am in medschool.. because everytime, there is a new thing going on.. another challenge keeps coming up but God never lacked providing me abundant inspirations and my needs.

despite the uncertainties in life, i guess, it’s the reason we were called to live by faith and not by sight.. because perseverance simply means “fixing our eyes on the Grand Prize – Jesus Christ.”

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PLM-CM Medicine Week 2015

This is not about the events of Med Week. This is about what God spoke to me during Med Week.

For the past weeks, I have actually been grieving in front of God because I felt the weight of the responsibilities on my shoulders and the relationships that were put to risk. For days, I sought for understanding. Why am I in the middle of this [beautiful] mess?

I saw myself in the middle of possibilities and impossibilities. I am sure that my strength came from the Lord because until the last day of Medicine Week, I still could sing and eventually I lost my voice right after Medising. 

During the preparations and the process of Med Week, like I said, I was grieving in front of the Almighty Father because I’m not really sure if this would take me somewhere. I wanted to clear my mind up. I could not seem to understand how God would move. I felt inadequate to fulfill or even claim the plans He has for me.

I had no time to study for the long quizzes we have. People came to me for solutions. I would sit at one point and found myself bombarded with a lot of questions of “how?” Miraculously, I know the answer. (God, thank You for the wisdom). As an ESFJ, this is such a joy for me to do. It is a delight!! But later on, I would realize that I forgot to ask: How are you, Mine? 

This is why I need alone time because when I go out, I would forget my well-being unless I notice. I am mostly in “Selfless Mode.”

But I got this opportunity to speak with the student leader of all student leaders — the Student Council President. He wanted to tell me something about another agenda and I grabbed this chance to ask him a lot of things. I was honestly hungry for impartation. 

After our talk, I gained understanding. There really is hope. It is true that God will and can still use you EVEN THOUGH YOU LACK understanding, wisdom, credentials and anything else you think you need BECAUSE HE WILL FILL IN THE GAPS.
GOD does not call the qualified but He qualifies the called.

I really am telling God that PLM CM is my Promise Land and my heart grieves because I am fearful that I might have to leave it. But THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE. 

I feel at home. God’s presence is in PLM-CM and it is evident because God kept setting divine appointments for me. He keeps meeting my needs even though I don’t ask for them because I don’t really know them. I just needed understanding but God gave me more than understanding. He gave me PEACE and I claim it. 

I can say that I have friends who are professors and upperclass men and women who keeps inspiring me to do my best. 

I am humbled with God’s works. I am blessed in PLM-CM. Jesus, thank You. You are my ultimate inspiration.