Road to MD


How To Be A Medical Doctor In 6 Years (BS Human Biology Program)

About the BS Human Biology program

You may or may not know that my original pre-med course was BS Human Biology in De La Salle University Manila. For a little background, this is the official course description from the DLSU website.

The Bachelor of Science in Human Biology is a three-year program of De La Salle University main campus (DLSU-Taft) being offered in consortium with De La Salle University College of Medicine (DLSU-Med) of the DLSU Health Sciences Institute.

 

The program allows highly qualified students to obtain the Doctor of Medicine degree from DLSU-Med in just six (6) years. The first two-year courses will be taken at DLSU-Taft while the third year courses will be taken at DLSU-Med. The third year courses are the first year courses of the regular medicine proper students of the College. These will be taken together with the regular first year students of the DLSU-Med.

 

After obtaining the BS Human Biology degree, the graduate will be admitted into the DLSU-Med directly into the second year of medicine proper. A student thus obtains his Doctor of Medicine in only six (6) years.

The first two years are spent in De La Salle University Manila as an undergraduate student, and upon completion, students are accelerated straight to medical school in De La Salle Health Sciences Institute on their third year. When they finish this first year in med school (or “third year of college”), that’s the only time they get a college diploma (BS Human Biology). Then they continue to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year medicine as usual.

Wow! A shortcut to medicine? Sounds like a big advantage, yes. But of course there are pros and cons to everything, and in my experience, these are just some:

All About The BS Human Biology in DLSU – The Pros and Cons

(more…)


Seriously Considering Derma!

In this video, I’ll debunk a common misconception about derma, why I look up to dermatologists, and tell you if and why I may become a skin doctor myself in the future!

Aaaaand.. as per your request – I snuck in a little bonus. My skin care routine!! Hahaha it’s not even a routine as you’ll soon find out. I only have a few holy grail products, so if you’re lazy like me, you’ll find my recommendations for clear skin very helpful.


Intern In Charge: First two months as a PGI!

Hellooo! I just finished my first two months as a post-graduate medical intern. My first rotation was in Internal Medicine, which is possibly the most toxic in terms of patient volume and workload, but also the most high-yield in terms of learning and experience.

Our first complete picture during the orientation

Our first complete picture during the orientation. Also, our first decent picture wearing our white coats!

As you know, I’m doing my internship in the same hospital where I did my clerkship. We’re required to stay as a form of “return service” because we were partial scholars throughout med school. For PLM med students belonging to Category 1 and 2, take note of this special arrangement.

A part of me can’t help but feel that we’re missing out just because we’re still in the same hospital. It would have been interesting to see new cases, techniques, procedures, and insights on patient management. Some of our other classmates are lucky enough to be matched in national hospitals and specialty centers. The rest are enjoying the “culture shock” of being in a private medical institution.

For example, my boyfriend Noe is currently an intern at the Philippine General Hospital. It’s true that interns there act like clerks in terms of carry outs and workload, but it’s nothing a PLM-OMMC graduate would ever complain about. Perhaps I should have him write a guest post here. He has a lot more stories to tell. 🙂 (#KeepUp LOL)

Surprise visit on one of my duty nights at the emergency room. Haha :)

Surprise visit on one of my duty nights at the emergency room. Haha 🙂

Nonetheless, staying here has its own perks. It’s not just our newly renovated floors and the availability of more diagnostic facilities. (Um, we didn’t have a functional x-ray for most of my clerkship year.)

For one, we are allowed to really step up as interns, mainly because we are no longer clerks. Clerkship for me last year was the time to focus on history taking, proper physical examination, and mastering procedures such as inserting all sorts of tubes and extracting all sorts of fluids. Now, as interns, our focus should be on diagnosis, management, and supervising our clerks. We also get to do next-level procedures such as intubation, thoracentesis, lumbar taps, and more.

Undiagnosed case of tuberculosis with fluid accumulation in the left lung. Thoracentesis it is!

Undiagnosed case of tuberculosis with fluid accumulation in the left lung. Thoracentesis it is!

Sometimes, I can’t help but pause and feel weird that I’m at this stage of my training already. “Meee?? You trust that I can insert an IV line to our DOA patient the fastest? You’re handing me the laryngoscope as if I got this intubation down? You’re leaving me here to run this code? Meeee?”

I swear I felt the same way just as I was starting clerkship. (Read my first post HERE!)

Maybe it’s always going to be this way as I further my medical career. It will always be exciting as I see or do things for the first time. It will always be nerve wracking as I take on new responsibilities and fulfill higher expectations. But no matter what, I will always look back and be proud of how I survived every seemingly impossible task. All my entries in this blog serve as proof. Indeed, medicine is long, hard, and demanding – but every challenge just prepares you for the next.

Little by little, we become doctors.

im-rotation

P.S. Congratulations in advance to my former senior interns who just finished taking the Physician Licensure Exams. I have a really good feeling about this year. It’s time to bring back 100%! God willing, I’ll be in your place one year from now. 🙂


Clerkie Life: A Day in the Life of a Surgery Clerk

I asked my mom once, “Do you have any idea of what we actually do in the hospital as clerks?”

She guessed, “Went on rounds?”

Well, yes. We went on morning rounds with the residents. We also had teaching rounds with consultants. But really, has she never wondered why my white uniform turns brown every after duty, and how I still manage to sleep wearing them at the sight of my bed?

Gross, yes. But my mother had no idea.

Maybe you don’t, either. So using these pictures, let me share to you about my usual day as a clerk, specifically during my two-month Surgery rotation. Just read the captions. 🙂

Early Call Time

Clerks-On-Duty at the Emergency Room

After the conference and morning rounds, clerks on duty for the day first assume post at the emergency room. When there aren’t a lot of patients, we get to hang out and still have a lot of energy. Well, except for some…

Wards Clerk and SICU

Time to Scrub In!

Another clerk is assigned to scrub in on all emergency operations for the night. Ideally, the patient has to undergo anesthesia and internal medicine or pediatric clearance first, and the operation is scheduled during the day. These are called elective procedures, and the most common that I encountered was cholecystectomy, or removal of the gallbladder. The rest are emergency cases like appendicitis (with the risk of rupture), stab wounds, and gun shot wounds.

From Duty Is The Longest

In other departments, we get to rest or just do papers when we are from duty. It is only in Surgery where we are still in charge of all the carry outs in the wards during the day. Remember, the clerks on duty for that day are still in the emergency room and will only assume post at 5 pm.

That’s it! If you’re wondering, hmmm. I admit I don’t see myself as a surgeon in the future. I had a LOT of fun (probably the most fun my whole clerkship year) and I learned a lot of practical knowledge too. (Like, between two patients with appendicitis and ureter stones, which one would scream louder at the ER?) Still, I am not that excited about holding a scalpel or feeling lumps and bumps, unlike some of my other co-clerks. That’s how I know.

As much as I don’t want to limit myself with doubts or self-depreciating conclusions, I guess it’s nice to somehow limit my options. I just honestly don’t think I’m bad ass enough for Surgery! Hahaha.

My groupmates are probably thinking, “Finally, a specialization she’s not considering!” They say that before you even know which specialization you’ll take, you’ll know first which one you probably WON’T. I’m afraid I have an answer.

Goodbye, broken bones and joints protruding in all the wrong places.


List of Hospitals Available APMC Internship Matching 2016

apmc internship matching round 3

These are all the hospitals for APMC post-graduate medical internship, with the corresponding number of slots left for the third round of matching.

This was originally posted by Noel Bernardo, the national president of APMC Student Network.

apmc internship matching round 3

1. Ano ba talaga yung matching na yan? Paano nalalaman ilang slots?

At the start of each year, hospitals apply for a certain number of slots for internship. Depende sa laki ng hospital, manpower na kailangan, facilities na meron sila, at number of consultants na pwede magturo ng PGIs, doon nasesettle kung ilang slots yung meron. Kung ilan yung slots na maapprove, yun yung dami ng interns na matatanggap nila. The goal is as much as possible, all hospitals who applied for intern slots will be given the number of interns they applied for.

 

Usually, nagdadagdag eventually ng slots if the institution will send a request to APMC to accommodate additional interns. Pero hindi assured na bibigyan sila kaagad. Kasi kawawa naman yung hospitals na wala. For some hospitals naman kasi, sobrang crowded na ng interns, so di na talaga pwede dagdagan.

 

Everytime may matching, automatic na lahat ng isinulat mo sa 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice mo na hospital, isesend yung names mo sa kanila for deliberation. The hospitals will reply with a final list of interns na tatanggapin nila. If natanggap ka sa dalawa, doon ka papasok sa mas mataas mo na priority. With this, super walang sense yung ginagawa ng ibang incoming interns na pare-parehas yung 1st-3rd choice. Sayang yung chances mo na nakaapply ka sana simultaneously sa ibang hospitals. So please, wag na gawin ‘to for this round. Kaya marami pa ring unmatched ngayon eh, maling akala. 🙁

 

May forms sa APMC office. By tomorrow, nasend na din ng staff natin by courier lahat ng forms sa respective schools niyo, so pwede din naman na hintayin niyo nalang dyan if hindi kayo makakaluwas agad (for provincial schools). Kalma lang kayo dyan. 🙂

2. Kailan yung 3rd Matching?

Third round of matching started yesterday, May 23. So if wala ka pang hospital for internship, or if hindi mo pa nakita yung name mo sa first two rounds, wala kang choice kundi magapply for this round. Walang deadline yung 3rd matching, however, everytime umaabot sa certain number yung nagaapply for a certain hospital, sinesend na nila agad for processing and deliberation nung hospital na yun. So mas maaga ka mag-apply, mas malaki chance mo mapasok. For this round, our goal is to fill all slots per hospital as soon as possible

 

We received reports na may nagkakalat na: “natapos na yung 3rd matching and results are being encoded na”. Nope. Not true. Please stop spreading rumors like this. Sobrang inconvenient for everyone.

3. Paano magmatching for this round?

TWO options!

 

First option – Punta kayo ng APMC, tapos fill out ng forms ulit. Submit the following: Transcript of Records, passport size picture, and Certificate of Eligibility from your Dean na may rank niyo sa graduating batch. 🙂 So pagpunta niyo ng APMC, papipiliin kayo ng 1st-3rd choice na school. Regularly, sinesend na ng staff natin yung mga nagaapply pero hospital, so mas maaga kayo magapply, mas okay. If wala nang slots sa gusto niyo applyan, hindi tatanggapin ng staff natin yung application form niyo. Results will be published as soon as magreply yung bawat hospital. Hindi na isang bagsakan yung release ng results.

 

Second option – Punta kayo sa hospital na gusto niyo and apply as walk-in. Hindi lahat ng hospital tumatanggap ng walk-in, so confirm niyo nalang bago kayo pumunta. Each hospital, may kanya-kanyang set of requirements for walk-in. If sabihin nila na tanggap na kayo sa hospital nila, eh di happy! Hingi kayo ng certificate or letter of acceptance, tapos punta sa APMC para maprocess yung application niyo. Sure na pasok na kayo nun. Magcocoordinate nalang yung APMC sa hospital kung totoo ba na natanggap kayo.

4. Paano pag ayoko na sa kung saan ako namatch?

Pwede naman magparematch! 🙂 Punta lang sa APMC office personally! Okay?

 

Ang mangyayari, parang sasali ka sa third round of matching. If namatch ka sa gusto mo lipatan, automatic na iuunmatch ka nila sa dati mong napiling hospital.

 

Nakausap ko na din yung staff tapos nag-agree na sila sa arrangement ngayon… hindi mo kailangan magpaunmatch muna bago ka mag-apply sa lilipatan mo. That way, sure na back-up mo na yung hospital kung saan natanggap ka na dati. Wag na matakot na mag-endup na wala kang slot sa kahit anong hospital!


Good luck batchmates! Sana magkainternship hospital na kayo! 🙂

 

PS. Naglagay ako nung list ng hospitals na may additional slots pa. Minsan nadadagdagan yung tinatanggap, pero as of now, yan lang talaga. Wag muna umasa sa wala. :)) More than 500 pa ata yung wala pang internship hospital so good luck. If may questions pa, comment lang. 😀 Hindi pala nagrereflect sa numbers yung mga nawawalang slots tuwing tumatanggap yung schools ng walk-in. Minsan kasi hindi nila iniinform agad yung APMC office. Kunwari minsan nakalagay may 10 slots pa sa photo, pero tumanggap na pala sila ng 10 na walk-in… so pag tumawag kayo, sasabihin nila wala na. Confirm niyo nalang din through the phone yung data kung kaya. 🙂

 

PS ulit. May conference yung APMC bukas tapos matagal na na-set na sarado sila dapat (ONE day lang yung conference so bukas lang sila sarado, wag magpanic!). Pero dahil sa dami ng nag-aayos ng papers, nakausap na natin yung staff at pumayag silang magbukas nalang sila tomorrow… pero skeletal unit lang nagpapatakbo ng office. Magbaon ng pasensya if bukas kayo pupunta, for sure mahaba yung pila dahil konti lang yung nagaasikaso sa matching.

 

PS last na. Sorry sa cellphone ko lang tinype lahat ito. 🙁 Paumanhin sa typo at informal na tone. Huhu. Thanks! Ineedit edit ko siya paminsan pag may nakakairita akong word na ginamit hahahah sobrang conversational.

 

– Noel Bernardo, APMC Student Network National President


Clerkie Life: Didn’t Expect This From Derma

Of all my rotations, I can say I learned the MOST in derma, probably because I started from knowing close to nothing.

Why? We didn’t have a separate derma subject back in med school. The most that we covered was describing skin lesions during physical examination.

I honestly feel like I missed out on a lot! I think I would have really enjoyed Derma as a subject. Anyway.

Derma Is NOT Easy

In the out-patient department, we encountered many cases of scabies, carbuncles, and impetigo, which we previously learned how to manage in Community Medicine.

What makes dermatology complicated though is the secondary lesions that develop because the patient took too long doing self-management with “katinko” and “BL cream”.

Diagnosis is very difficult, in my opinion. A dermatologist should be comfortable to ask detailed and probing questions, and have excellent descriptive abilities to properly document the skin lesions.

derma rotation

Half the time, we were struggling to describe patients’ skin lesions using proper words that can be communicated precisely with other doctors. Half the time, we were sorting through old charts. Haha, very clerkie.

One time, I referred a patient for having wheals all over her abdomen, for which I thought anti-histamine would suffice. Upon further probing of my senior, it turns out the patient also had the itch on her buttocks, groin, and underarms, but was too embarrassed to consult about that. I guess I was too embarrassed to ask myself. Wrong move. I missed the classic “circle of hebra”. The patient’s allergic reaction was due to her scabies!

Procedures, Procedures!

A lot of people think that dermas only do cosmetic procedures like facials, removal of comedones, injecting botox, etcetera. People seem to forget that there’s also a surgical aspect in dermatology!

I got to assist (or umm take pictures haha) on the day our residents did free surgical procedures on all sorts of bumps and lumps.

My favorite was this cute chubby skin tag. It was successfully removed in less than five minutes, using a neat technique that I intend to try myself one day.

derma skin tag

Other skin tags are kind of icky, but this one is very cute! Hahaha!

They put a needle horizontally through the base of the skin tag, and made a quick incision under and against that needle to remove the whole mass. It left a nice, straight cut which was closed with one stitch. So neat.

Part Physician, Part Counselor

Skin conditions, being external manifestations of disease, can really affect the mental well-being of patients. I know this from experience.

Of all my siblings, I am the only one who didn’t outgrow my skin asthma condition. I’ve always had very problematic and sensitive skin. I regretfully triggered my skin asthma last September when I mindlessly snacked on lots of fried chicken skin. It hasn’t been fully controlled ever since. Notice why I almost never wear short shorts? 🙁

Now think of teenagers with severe acne vulgaris, or middle-aged women newly diagnosed with psoriasis.

derma psoriasis nails

Nails of my psor patient. “Describe the PE findings on the nails, doctora…” *croo croo*

A dermatologist should understand that skin disease may have more of an effect on a patient’s psyches than diabetes, hypertension, or other internal conditions with no obvious symptoms. I learned that dermas should take the time to understand how the patient feels about the disease, because this will also help in evaluating the effects of treatment.

If I were to choose derma one day, my motivation would be because I know what it’s like to have difficult skin, and it would be fulfilling to help others deal with their (usually and hopefully) benign condition. Not to mention the intellectual stimulation, patient interaction, and of course, the weekends off!

Dr. Pimple Popper Though

You’ve probably heard about Dr. Sandra Lee, the internet’s favorite pimple popper. I bet you didn’t expect this from derma either!