LBBERSAMIN’S MAR [15-05]:Of Names and Titles

Medical Anecdotal Report
Indexing Title: LBBERSAMIN’S MAR [15-05]
MAR Title: Of Names and Titles

Date of Medical Observation: May 2015
Tag: Maintaining the esteem essential for service in public

Category: Professiona/Ethical– Reinforcement


It was during the last week of May when I went back to my province to spearhead a medical/surgical mission I had coordinated together with my family that I came into a realization of what I had long desired. We had setup this mission of support for the residents of our province and as a method of conveying our family’s service for the people. It was a two-day mission unto which we had the medical consultations on the first day and the surgical services on the second which entailed the minor procedures. On the first day of the mission, I came about a 75-year-old male patient who had a surgical consult with me. As I greeted him in welcome, I asked him the reason for his consult. I also asked for his forgiveness as he had waited for almost two hours before he was seen. He gave me a simple smile and responded his understanding of this predicament. He even recalled the time when my grandfather was still alive, and was a doctor of our province then. People had said before that he was a doctor for the poor and that he was eager to help those in need. People in our province also attributed this practice to his name and then to my father and uncles and that helping became easy for them because of him. After hearing this, I then responded that “Yes, I knew that of my grandfather and his sons”. I then went on to ask about his complaint. He said he had a mass the size of a one peso coin in his chest and on his right forearm. As I examined both lesions, I noted that these were epidermal inclusion cysts and that a minor surgery procedure would suffice in treatment. After the examination, I explained to him that an excision of the mass would most likely be the cure of this lesion. He told me that ever since he heard of this surgical mission in the local radio he had the intent of going.  He also said that he spent a portion of his money riding a jeep and motorcycle after travelling almost three mountains just to have this consult. “Awan ti kwarta ko doctor” (I have no money doctor), as he referred to the thought that he would be paying a fee for my service. I explained to him that no fee would be needed for my services and that I would help him. I also explained to him that this was what my grandfather did as a doctor in our province. I then went on to do the procedure as I saw my patient’s satisfaction after this. I gave him my instructions for wound care and told him that his follow-up would be after a week for the removal of sutures. As I escorted him out the door, I shook his hand and said my well wishes for him. He smiled again and thanked me. As this had transpired, I glanced upon the line of people outside the clinic waiting for their turn in consult. In my mind I knew that the day was still long. In my mind, I knew I was tired. But I had that energy to continue then. Looking back to where it all began, of my name and title; of where I went in training, I was happy.

(Physical, Professional/Ethical, Psychosocial)
(Discovery, Stimulus, Reinforcement)

Back then, we as medical students dream about the specialties we are going to take and where we want to be successful. We dream and aspire to be the best in what we want to do and if everything plays out, hope to get rich doing what we want. During residency, we get to have the realization of that dream we so ever longed for. We get that degree of respect for mastering our craft in our field of profession. When we graduate, we will all carry our name and title we would have gained from what we learned and the skill endowed to us by our mentors. As we enter our residency, we are full of promise and energy in service. Other than what our families had taught us to be, we from our ideals even before stepping into this taxing preparations of becoming a surgeon. But through the training we have and in the environment we are in, we should feel fortunate enough that we are blessed with so much. Blessed that we are able to handle our patients and invest in them as their doctor. We learn so many things in life through our residency training that may equip us with our practice. What goes beyond this realization is in our hands. But more so than building our name and title, our success should not be measured by the full skill we have and the money we earn through this craft. More than the knowledge and skill in surgery that we attain, we also learn to serve with humility to the needy. We learn to be tedious and holistic in our approach to our underprivileged patients. We learn to be compassionate doctors. More than our ability to serve, we carry the name of our fathers. We carry the name of our training institution. I am happy that other than our family’s prominence in public service, I am also taught of the holistic approach of a general surgeon in our institution. Other than my name and title, what I gain from my family and our training here would bring us to what we want to be known for.  At that point, I will be “Dr. Lucas Bersamin, a compassionate General Surgeon; and a Graduate of the Department of Surgery of the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center”. This is how I would measure success and bring esteem to where I came from.

ROJoson’s Notes (17jan4):

Congratulations!  You are well-trained by your family and by the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center!  Continue to fly high!


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