30 May

How I journeyed Residency training.

Exactly 3 days after the Physician Licensure Exam in February 2014, The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) released the list of 425 passers out of 815.

All these numbers were a blur when I learned the news. The last memory I had was the text message I sent to my Ma saying, “I’m catching the 4:50pm trip fast craft. I’m going home.” The exam was scheduled to end at 5pm but it was too hard and draining that I gave up overthinking my answers. I decided to pass my paper thirty minutes before the time. I rode a taxi going to Cebu Port, bought a ticket, entered the boat and closed my eyes.

Then, the 3-day shutdown followed. I disconnected from my friends. All I did was sleep, eat, take care of my kids, pray, hear the mass then sleep again. Sometimes I catch myself staring blankly into the thin air. Though most of the time I cry desperately for God to make a miracle and make me pass my exam.

August 2013, I gave birth to Phil, my second-born. I was dedicated to exclusively give him breast milk. So when the review started, I had to go home every weekend to deliver my stored breast milk to my 2-month old son. That means that every two hours in between reviews I had to extract milk. Thanks to my godmother from Germany, she brought me a durable automated breast pump, which made milk extraction and storage comfortable. I got used to taking care of my kids that during the review I had to deal with missing my family every single day! I couldn’t bear leaving my family again if I fail the Board Exam… so help me GOD!!!

I saw my Papa at the garage jumping up and down while calling me to go outside. My husband, Jay, was on the other line. You know, I live in a town where mobile phone reception is poor. We had to go outside for us to hear the other line well. “Hello?” I asked. “You passed.” Jay said. “Are you sure?” I countered. Jay might be hallucinating or maybe he was careless and looked at the names of takers instead of passer. “Google it yourself,” he responded.


Jay was right! I passed. END OF STORY.

End of story? No! It was just the beginning of the story. Majority, if not all Medicine students think that the finish line of Med (-icine) School is passing the Board Exam. Even after taking the exam, the most common prayer that reaches heaven is, “God, I don’t usually pray, but please, just this once, let me pass this exam. Please. Please. Please.” If heaven could tally all the please, it would sum up to the days you spent sleeping in your study time! Then the news came that you passed! You feel so pumped up that you immediately visited the nearest bookstore and ordered the largest stamp that writes the most coveted letters after your name – M.D.

Contrary to the common knowledge, passing the Board Exam is just the first lap. You won the first lap! You hear the cheering of the crowd. The name “Doctor” sounds sweetly before your name. Your family initiated a Thanksgiving party. You were happily shaking hands with the visitors when a relatively suddenly asks you, “So what’s your plan? Where are you planning to train? Which specialization?”

All the blood from your face drained and was replaced by cold sweat. “Uh, I will still have to think about it.”

I was certain I would be in OB-GYN. For several years since I got married, I have been advocating Billing’s Ovulation Method as a form of Natural Family Planning. I have been working for the church, doing talks about these topics. I had to be credible, so I decided to be trained in OB-GYN.

How do you choose the specialization you will be training? You can ask friends who were ahead of you for guidance. I will not take it against you if you ask which ones have good financial compensation? Or, like what I did, you can ask God. What do you think is His mission for you? Which specialization can you serve Him better? Ask, pray and listen on what He has to say. Remember that the specialization you will choose will become the life you will live forever. Choose it wisely.

It was already mid-day that I received the requirements needed for Residency training. I gathered all my documents and prepared my credentials. I made sure it was complete and palatable.

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