Monday, May 01, 2006

Personal Statement

My mom is a general practitioner, and as such, she knows almost everyone living in the small town I grew up in. Most of her patients are farmers who are not able to pay for her services in cash, so they prefer to pay in kind - live chickens, freshly picked vegetables, eggs, or whatever they have. The pharmacy we tried to run went bankrupt in no time because of the trading system that went on. But my mom didn't mind that. She enjoyed serving the community and the community loved her back.

Dealing with people has always been a natural instinct for me. My ability to connect easily with all types of patients, from small children, to the mentally ill, to the frail elderly has always served me well. There are difficult ones,occasionally, but I manage to earn their trust eventually, something which I believe is the most important aspect in a patient-doctor relationship.

While doing my Pediatrics rotation in the out patient department one day, I heard my name being called out as the next patient for a well baby visit. Thinking this was a prank, I checked out the chart myself. Surprisingly, it really had Baby Boy DUKE written on it. A mother smiled at me carrying her month-old baby and told me she named him after the intern who took very good care of her when she delivered her son. I was flattered. Just a month ago, this woman was my patient. Today, it was her son I was attending to.

Every year, my hometown produces at least 10 new doctors. When I earned my medical degree, there were all kinds of specialists available. After graduation, I participated in various medical missions to underserved communities while deciding on what field to pursue. I vowed to keep an open mind regarding residency selection to see what the various medical and surgical fields were like, and I realized that being a general practitioner allowed me to reach out to a greater number of people who needed medical attention. Moonlighting in ERs and OPD clinics helped me retain my basic sciences and did not limit my views to a certain specialty. I realized that I enjoy interacting with children as much as delivering them. I enjoy caring for men as much as women. I find my most rewarding days to be those when I am able to follow up with a patient I have already seen before.

I believe that a family practitioner cares for people through the course of their lives. He cares for the entire family in both health and sickness, thus developing a unique understanding of each person's values and beliefs. To copy someone's words, "This physician cares for families throughout the community and thus better understand each individual's role in society. These relationships form the fabric of family medicine and allow the family practitioner, the expert in common diseases, to provide comprehensive, holistic medical care."

Nothing compares to the feeling of breaking the news to a father about his son being born, or that of a little girl who stares at you with amazement after her earache disappears, or that of a father coming to you with all three sons in tow for circumcision. When a man returns to your clinic for another try despite his failures to quit smoking, you become as engaged as he is in helping him succeed. Indeed these simple situations are the ones that make the practice of medicine worthwhile.

I smile at the thought of being referred to by people as their 'family doctor' as much as there are 'family lawyers' and 'family dentists'. I smile at my desire to educate everybody on the adverse effects of smoking and drinking. I smile at the challenge of a difficult diagnosis and racking my brains out. A career in family practice will offer me all of these on a daily basis. I believe that this is my calling.

And if eggs, live chickens, and vegetables will be all I get, I guess the next thing to learn is how to cook.


my personal statement submitted to 14 hospitals i applied to during the 2006 US residency match.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

kung san ka masaya suportahan taka Ü


4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kung san ka masaya suportahan taka Ü


4:56 AM  
Blogger tin-tin said...

wala ako masabi...

fulfillment, a very wonderful feeling :)

9:48 AM  
Blogger atticus said...

->"...I guess the next thing to learn is how to cook."

ay, di ko kaya iyan. (i did cook sinigang for me last night and i'm still alive, and i thank The Big Boss Up There for the miracle).

kaya ka pala nakuha, galing ng essay! sometimes i wish you're not leaving, but i do understand why you have to do it. i just wish you'd be back.

by the way, i am not david and i'm not 5.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous snglguy said...

Duke, if ever you get tired of playing doctor/family physician, you can always turn to writing. That was a very good essay, bro. :-)

2:45 PM  
Blogger Rudy man said...

ang danda doc, galeng! at ang passion mo at ang essay na to. idol!

3:41 PM  
Anonymous gypsy said...

hmmm... walang credit sa editor??


6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



8:26 PM  
Blogger duke said...

ian. salamat. sige suportahan mo ko. penge pera. wala na ako pamasahe bumalik dun eh. akin na pera. bilis. support! support!

tin-tin. tenkyu. fulfillment. di pa ako fulfilled. :) tagal pa ata yun. hehehe.

atticus. di din ako mrunong magluto eh. experimento lahat. hehehe. i'm leaving. but i'll be back. ayoko din umalis. natatakot ako maginggles ulet duon. hahahaha.

snglguy. thank you, but that esaay drained me. hahaha. kelangan dumugo tenga ko at ilong muna before i come up with something like that. i wrote that in november of 2005 and reading it again now, i don't think i like it as much as i did months ago. makes me cringe now.

rudyman. huy gumagaling ka magsulat tae ka! hahahaha. salamat. di ko masyadong gusto yang personal statement kong yan but it took me two weeks to write kse wala talaga ako masabi.

gypsy. salamat sa pag-edit ng aking personal statement! hhahahahaha!

redel. *bow*

2:11 AM  
Anonymous jey said...

my sis is a gp. she recently set up her clinic right beside our botika. and she is very happy with all the melons, watermelons, mangoes (indian, apple and ripe), tilapia she receives from her patients in our town.

9:33 AM  
Blogger f.r.i.e.d.w.a.t.e.r. said...

yung doctor ko sa LB, binigyan ko lang ng pandesal at mantekilya, ok na. ayaw niya ako pagbayarin kasi kaibigan naman daw ako. toxic daw akong patient kasi text ako ng text sa kanya about my condition, pero tulad mo paalis na din siya, training sa Australia, sana lang bumalik siya. sana bumalik ka din.

duke, sa isteyts, di ka nila bibigyan ng manok, gulay, itlog atbp. at wala dun na magpapangalan sa 'yo dahil natulungan mo (eh papano pala kung sinabi ng nanay na "i named him after his dad." yari ka!)

anyway, kung saan ka man, gudlak dude! :)

9:53 AM  
Blogger teripotz said...

Well said :)

Balik ka dito ha..papagamot pa ako sayo ng topak ko sa ulo. Teka, kaya mo bang gumamot nun? Lolz.

Magandang araw po ^_^

12:52 PM  
Blogger meigh said...

wah, dumugo ilong ko sa pagbabasa nun! pero ang ganda, ang ganda-ganda. kapani-paniwala! hehe, joke lang. keep the passion doc! Godbless sa career mo =)

2:25 PM  
Anonymous AbsTabs said...

yup, indeed, very well written...also, this has a very much different tone to it then what the author is really feeling... nyahahaha...miss ya duke! --- mean it.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous miwa said...

your entries are always well written and succinct. what a delight to read this beautiful and heartfelt piece. we need more doctors like you.

good luck. :)

1:28 PM  
Blogger Tani said...

Dr. Don Duks, ang galing mo talaga. Na-miss tuloy kita.. Kaya ako nag-blog kasi ikaw idol ko sa pagbblog. :) You should submit something from this blog sa Reader's Digest. No wonder tanggap ka sa residency matching.. You've won them over with your essay alone! Kung may panel interview pa you probably would have given them a full blast of your charms. :D Sarap nga no'n -- na matawag na family doctor...

3:34 PM  
Blogger duke said...

jey. that's nice. at least di sya magugutom. hehe. pede ka din humingi. i'm sure may balato yan.

friedchicken. waaaa! lagot tayo nyan kung i named him after his dad ang sinabi. wahahahahaha! babalik din ako. etong DOH eh pinapabalik kami. buwiset. hahahaha. buwiset talaga. hay buhay.

teripotz. wala nang gamot yan. tsk tsk. magpaexorcise ka na lang. wakekeke.

meight. salamat. kapanipaniwala ba? weh, kaya naloko ko silang lahat! buwahahahahaha. dinugu din ilung ku dyan.

abstabs. hehehe. like i said, that was written more than 5 months ago. people change. hahahaha! well most of it still holds true pa naman eh. langya ka!
labas tayo!

miwa. natuwa naman ako mashado sa sinabi mo. wakekekeke. (ano pala ibig sabihen nung succinct? dinugu ilung ku dun) hahahah.

tanicyte. congrats at may blog ka na din! parang binarayan kita para sabihin lahat ng yan dito sa blog ko ah. hehehe. mahirap kse makipagkumpetensya kaya dapat gandahan daw yung personal statement. yung intarbyu ko? sows, kung alam mo lang ang pagpapacute ko! tae. tae talaga.

actually, gusto ko maging isang mayor! tapos kukurakot ako nang kukukrakot! tapos mayaman na ako. tapos pati pamilya ko mayaman na din. tapos lagi ako nakaerkon. yun lang. simple lang naman mga pangarap natin sa buhay. tae.

5:39 AM  
Anonymous jey said...

kaya sobrang busog ako whenever i'm home for the weekends.:)

11:16 AM  
Blogger kero said...

mahirap maghanap ng bagay o gagawin na you'd be passionate about. mabuti ikaw, nahanap mo na.
kaya sa mga panahon na bwisit ka na sa pag residency, basahin mo uli tong essay mo. =)
atsaka duke, wag mo kalilimutan, size 7 ang shoe size ko. =P

10:02 PM  
Blogger Toe said...

That was a wonderful personal statement. I'm sure that you're applications will get accepted. I'm so glad you visited my blog so that I was able to discover your blog... your entries are very well-written.

8:36 AM  
Blogger gwapo_na_baktin said...

ei pare. salamat sa reply mo.

i thought i could forward this essay to my good cousin who is still an intern in PGH. it is a great read and it could very well be a young blood material too.

continue to be driven, be passionate sa ginagawa mo.

at yung driving lessons that i recently took - dali lang yun compared sa board exams. ; )


8:37 AM  
Blogger the caterpillar said...

wow, doc. mabuhay ka! bumalik ka, ha? isipin mo ang eggs, live chickens, vegetables na para sa 'yo and the babies who will be named after you. hehehe...

(part ng real name ko variant ng name ng doktora na nagpa-anak sa mama ko. show of gratitude ng parents ko. naisip ko ngayon lang na siguro gaya mo, flattered din siya.)

10:26 PM  
Blogger duke said...

jey. pakabusog ka!!

kero. kala mo lang nahanap ko na pero hindi pa! niwala ka naman dun. wahahahaha! nyok nyok nyok.

toe. why, thank you! yea, i already got accepted but i doubt it was because of that personal statement. wahahaha! hope to see more of you here. :)

guwapo_na_baktin. sure you could do that. i doubt tho that he'll be inspired once he passes the boards and goes on with his life. hahahaha. jaded. let's still hope everything turns out alright for the country's doctors.

the_caterpillar. mabuhay tayo!! hehe. talaga? name mo pinaglaruan ng magulang mo? hahaha! sana maganda yung kinalabasan. actually, naiinis ako dun sa nanay na nagbigay ng pangalan ko sa anak nya! dalwa kse yung first name ko, e kinopya nya buong two first names ko! biro mo yun?? ako lang dati ang may ganung pangalan sa buong mundo, ngayon dalawa na kami!! waaaaaaaa!! naiinis ako talaga sa nanay na yun. grrrrrrr!!!

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hated your essay. it was too boring and so well-constructed to please the american capitalist. jooooooke! hahahaha! at least i got your attention di ba? its just that everyone's saying the same thing...which i more than agree to what they have said. we do need more doctors like you. sana hindi ka muna kunin ni lord. i'm definitely gonna link you up. looking forward to more of your entries. Share ko lang ang aking favorite quote from Dr. Martin Luther King: "Every man has the capacity for greatness. Not fame, but greatness--for greatness is determined by service."

from Bridget Jones is A Man

8:28 PM  
Blogger Lene said...

Hello Duke! Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment! =)

I would like to link you up, will that be OK?

will visit here from now on. nice meeting you in the blogging world! =)

6:47 PM  
Blogger the caterpillar said...

ah, hindi na unique ang name mo. maasar ka nga. as for my name, variant lang naman ng pangalan ng doktora ang second part ng real name ko. oo, maganda naman ang kinalabasan. magaling kasi mga magulang ko magbigay ng pangalan. next time, palayaw mo na lang kaya ibigay mo, baka di mo na lang mamamalayan, isang baranggay na pala ng mga babies ang pinangalanan after you. buti nga hindi kinopya pati surname mo. bwahahaha... naku, lagot pagnagkataon!

9:13 PM  
Blogger Somnambulist Nocturnal said...

i think we get fulfillment in our respective fields when we think of vocation rather than job or career. =) yours is a great vocation, doc!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Obi Macapuno said...

that was some nice read. mag writer ka na lang. hehe.

12:24 AM  
Blogger faye clarice said...

wow.. very inspiring.. well done.:) you know even the greatest artists or writers hate their own pieces.. you might cringe at it but from my point of view it's pretty darn brilliant.. and apparently the people who matched you loved it too.:) looking forward to your future stories.

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good thing there are md's who pursue Fam Med careers. I hope you're gonna be a GP who will change community not a GP who will be counting patient he sees in a day. My unsolicited advice for you sir is.. dont forget to refer whenever you are in doubt. I just knew of many inadequacies of Family Physicians in the states mostly Indians.

11:26 AM  
Blogger duke said...

bridgetjones. you're a man??! hehhe.yup, you got my attention. sana nga di muna ako kunin ni Lord. hehehe. dami pa nating pangarap sa buhay buhay. sure, link me up all you want. and drop by often too. :) cya around.

arglene. hello! nice to see you here. yea, you may link me up. thanks for dropping by. hope to see more of you here.

the_caterpillar. ah basta. inis pa din ako sa nanay nun. di man lang nagpaalam. kainis kainis. o sya sya, maganda na pangalan mo. hehehe.

somnambulistnocturnal. hanglalim naman. nag-isip pa ako ng pede ko sabihin, at ang pede ko sabihin sa comment mo ay , yes. yun lang. vocation. naks. pero where's the moneyyy??!! show me the money!!! buwahahahah.

obi_macapuno. hmmm, wala eh, nadrain na ako nang husto dyan. dalwang linggo ako di makapagsulat pagkatapos nyan. parang pawis at dugo ata puhunan ko dyan sa pasulat sulat na yan. hahahahaah. wag na magsulat....unless..may pera ba dyan? waahahahahah!

fayeclarise. bumalik ka na ba skul? balik ka na. buti naman nainspire ka sa sulat ko. pero wag mo mashado pansinin yun kse di naman ata nila pinansin yun talaga eh. pag binabasa ko talaga nandidiri ako. wahahahaa. how's your dad...oh, and belated happy mothers' day. i read your post. hope you are ok. :)

anymous m.d. hello, welcome to my blog. thank you for the advice. it is well taken. i still believe that doctors will always want what is best for their patients, and will always refer out whenever necessary.

5:45 AM  
Blogger sam said...

wow ang ganda ng essay.
galingan mo dun doc duke ha! tapos balik ka dito. sana maging family doctor ka din namin hehehe... mwah!

1:00 PM  

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