“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love.”
― Mother Teresa, A Simple Path: Mother Teresa
From the words of Mother Teresa, becoming a doctor is more than what meets the eye. The profession we chose to be in does not merely require us a brain that works. More importantly, it requires us a heart that serves. Yes, too cliché you may say.
Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine hands us a privilege given to a few and it is a true blessing to be part of this few. This medical school may not be your “typical” medical school. It may shy away from the traditional medical education of having hectic schedules, frantic deadlines and hardcore demands. But what makes it a hard find is its heart ― a heart that willingly goes to grassroots to make the unwanted wanted and the unloved loved.
In the hopes of staying true to its brand of producing a new breed of doctors, the AdZU-SOM sends its students to far-flung underserved areas within the Zamboanga Peninsula every year. Students learn to be with the community in finding and eventually solving problems affecting their health. As of writing, I finally had a first-hand taste of this kind of philosophy. We just finished our first month-long community exposure at Barangay Sinai, Sergio Osmeña, Zamboanga del Norte.
At the end of the day, I can smile and happily say that we are on the road to becoming not only good doctors, but good people for others and for God. That’s Medicine, the Ateneo de Zamboanga Way.
Fatima Erika Ayessa R. Ingkoh