As I asked to be absent today because of a swollen-as-hell uvula, I am posting again. It is nearly the end of my pre-residency period, thankfully shorter than the 10 week every-other-day 24-hour duty I had to endure last year. Without pay.
What occupies my mind right now is a lot of ifs. Sure, this drastic career change is what I always wanted (and me being absent absolutely kills me right now), but I have to deal with a lot of uncertainty.
I have to work for my medical clearance, and soon. Or else I wouldn't be hired at all. A lot of prerequisites preclude this.
I have a lot of expenses (as usual - what is new?) and still no source of income for the next two months.
I have to return to Manila one month after coming home for a required orientation. Of course I'll use this to plan my efforts in obtaining medical clearance around this date. Problem is, would I have a place to stay? My brods have so far been gracious enough to let me crash their pad, but as rotations change and they spend more time in the pad, even the sofa may not be spared.
But I worry too much. Well at least I don't have the same worries about my career as some well-meaning friends have put forward.
"The program you're entering has almost non-existent learning." Sure, tell that to my previous program, where the learning exercises are mostly ego trips and humiliation sessions.
"You may turn into one of them." Apparently a reference to the manner my seniors conduct themselves. Hell, if they had easy Ward work time chatting with nurses... but I am getting ahead of myself.
"The program in the other hospital is more appealing..." No comment. They pre-judge the program without even seeing that of the other hospitals.
And the clincher: "Why not reconsider your decision?"
To all my friends, I have spent at least 8 months in a traditional specialty, with all the politics and frustrations that are requirements for working in a government hospital. And everytime I contemplated a career change, I always thought about the times I spent in my old haunts. Where did I enjoy staying? Definitely not Ward 7. Wards 1/3 and 2/4 are out of the question because of my less than stellar academic record. And I did not want to return to Wards 9 and 11. Not ever.
Even if I had to endure the heat, the lack of sleep, and the excitement of a mass casualty 30 minutes before you are off duty, I immensely enjoyed my ER experience.
Perhaps my girlfriend Joy sums it up quite nicely when I told her I might not be hired because of the delays in my medical clearance: "I would have liked for you to stay here, but that's your career choice, and you are happy with your decision."
Maybe in the future, three years from now, I'd be writing to the medical school in Iloilo, sending them my credentials as a believable trainor of Basic and Advanced Life Support to medical students.