September 04, 2004

The Promise of Internal Life

My hiatus as a certified bum has officially ended. Today, I rejoined my co-interns in their daily grind at the San Juan de Dios Hospital. It's a feeling of anticipation (because of the new things I'll discover in the course of my training) and dread (because of the level of responsibility being expected at this time). Being in this profession is never routine work. Every patient presents a new page for learning. There is no flowchart to follow, just instincts and gutfeel. There is no assembly-line management, but case-to-case basis. It's indeed both a sense of wonder and dread when you restart internship. I kept asking myself, "Do I have what it takes to become a good doctor?" I pray to God to grant me the strength and endurance to master and apply all that I have.

My rotation (since I was on LOA) was a toss-up between Rehab Med and Radio. Both were pretty benign areas and one has the luxury to go home and sleep at the comfort of a bed. I was placed in the Rehab Medicine department where most of the patients there were post-CVDs (stroke) and people who have back pains due to work. The center looked like an air-conditioned work-out gym but instead of trainors, you have PTs and OTs as your gym buddy. I was surprised to note that there were a lot of seamen (no pun intended) who have lower back pains which according to my consultant was due to their occupation of lifting heavy equipment. What else were there? Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, stroke, stroke and more stroke. It's depressing to see people get sick, but what can I do? It's the fact of life, the circle of birth and death. And perhaps with physical therapy, it's not only their body that's being healed, but also their hurt and frustrations whose handicaps have incapacitated them from leading a full life. As they say, time heals all wounds, and perhaps in this way, we can help chip in.

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