the would-be intern

an intern is someone who is almost there but not yet, a fluffy cake without the icing, a diamond in the rough. in any field, this means that the intern has the potential to be great, only he or she will need a little more time to get to an acceptable polish.

aah, this notion of being accepted, isn't this the root of discrimination? if a person does not act appropriate to social norms, whether in aspects pertaining to socio-economic background, gender, or otherwise, then will he or she not be deemed acceptable? as a thriving civilization, we humans have devised ways and means to provide structure to the wandering lifestyle of the nomads - to the benefit and detriment of human individuality. we built schools, governments, businesses & corporations, laws & constitutions, fastfood chains & malls, banks & sketchy investment funds.

this internship, then, is just but a minute construct in the grand scheme of the things, a seemingly inconsequential event in the universe, a blip in Earth's 4.5-billion-year timeline.

but for a single medical student who has finished clerkship, this thing called internship is a momentous step towards that M.D. license. so yes, it may just be a machination to provide structure to the medical profession, to obtain a certain polish before acceptance to a respected group in society. but to this wide-eyed medical apprentice, internship is the necessary process to figure out what it wants to do for the rest of his life, while being thrown into the realities of the healthcare system like a hapless child thrown into the sea by his expectant parents thinking that their child has already learned to swim after using salbabida (rubber rings) for that one year called clerkship.

welcome to reality: the smell of hot damp air of a resource-limited public hospital in summer weather. why does pgh seeminlgy get more than a thousand consults per day?  why do patients expect lab fees & medicines to be free? if the illness is that bad, then why only now? why do i get patients as far as Samar, Catandanues, or Misamis? why is this ancient-looking suction machine not even working, & why is it even here?

outside the hospital, a thousand more questions abound. where do i go from here? will i be a clinician? a teacher? an NGO worker? a researcher? a government employee? is the salary adequate? will i be able to save for my nest egg? a hospital doctor, after all, is just another blue-collared worker in a white coat that lives by the tagline: no work, no pay.

of course, one couldn't escape non-medical mysteries as well. why is it called barbers' cut? why is mcdonald's giving away free mcmuffins to rich people? why end #G2B when it has phenomenal tv ratings? where the heck is Malaysian Airlines flight 370? will i ever see snow in the Philippines?

seems like most of these questions will find their respective resolutions in time, and so for now i bid myself to commit to patience and perseverance for one more year, to claim that elusive MD title, and to get a real paid job so that i, as kuya (eldest brother), can help with my parents' finances & siblings' education.

it hasn't even started, but already i can't wait to end my internship. to my past, present, and future brave colleagues in this healthcare system, may the odds be ever in our favour.