Tag Archives: feari

Back and forth? More like back and fourth.

This exposure is our 4th at Sinai, thus the title.

Lots of plans have been ironed out. Many activities were supposed to be done for this fourth exposure. However, it has been cut short to two weeks due to the martial law declaration in Mindanao after the Marawi incident.

However, it is still a joy to be back. Our stay was cut short, yes. But the memories with the people of Sinai only adds up every single time. As part of our implementation, our focus for this exposure on the Malnutrition problem on the barangay continues.

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#WhenInBukid: Continuing the journey

How time flies. The first semester of our second year in the medical school has ended just like that. It feels like yesterday when I entered this adventure of a lifetime.

The end of another semester in the academic arena signals another month to be spent outside the comforts of the city, in our second home: Sergio Osmeña, Zamboanga del Norte. I think about it and it thrills me – how amazing it is to be of hope to others again.

This third exposure felt different. Slowly, we have built friendships in this place. Coming back to Sinai is something I really look forward to this time. We may be away from our families, but seeing people we have not seen for a few months now gives me a sense of comfort by itself.

It was November 11, 2016 when we arrived. We started our exposure by rebuilding our rapport with the people in the barangay. It was great to feel at home in Sinai. There went the children outside our house We met Auntie Mercy, Ma’am Lilian and Ma’am Myerna again. Of course it was nice seeing “Kap” flashing his warmest smile, as if a father welcoming his children back. Indeed we are back, we are really back. Perhaps the hardest challenge we have to do for this exposure is beginning our implementation. We had to plan for it well. We need not to fail the people of Sinai.

Pairs were assigned per community health problem. From our Zumba sessions every other day to our daycare coloring activities on the basic food groups, to our seminars on Solid Waste Management, and then our mass animal vaccination: everything seems to be worth it, most especially after a simple “thank you Doc” from a middle-aged woman. There are many days when we may seem tired from all the planning and preparations but upon seeing the response from people, it all makes sense. We are here for reasons we may not fully understand but the sense of fulfillment this whole experience is providing us with gives me strength to move forward.

So far, we have a good start and I’m glad to say that this is only the beginning.

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Still flying

If there is one thing that I have learned from my med school experience so far, it is that there is always joy in contentment. A typical med student would ask how but the kind of med student our school envisions me to be exactly knows how.

Entering medical school, you expect spending anatomy over some cadaver,  figuring biochemical processes at cellular level or doing some kind of a reading spree with Guyton and Harrison over summer. ‘Lo and behold, my medical school does more than that! Every after semester, we are brought to far-flung disadvantaged communities in the Zamboanga peninsula. Not to experiment on cadavers, but to meet people. Not to figure out biochemical processes, but to have a glimpse of reality. Not to spend time with thick medical books, but to take time in realizing life. Yes, this is Medicine, the Ateneo de Zamboanga way.

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Away from the comfort zone

[com·fort zone] noun. a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress

Travelling miles away from home, we are still blessed to be part of this great learning experience. Upon setting foot at Barangay Sinai, the mere sound of people calling us “Doc” is music to the ears. It is both a privilege and a responsibility which cannot be traded for anything else. It keeps us going and further reminds us how big of a job we have in hand. We may be away from our families but being with people who consider us family is more than enough.

Choosing the Ateneo way of medical schooling means having to leave home and being away from our comfort zones more often than not. At first, it honestly was a constant battle of comfort versus service. Yet in the end, we have to remind ourselves that the beginning is always the hardest.

Fatima Erika Ayessa R. Ingkoh

Batch 2020

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Medicine: The Ateneo de Zamboanga way

“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 TeresaA 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.

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Fatima Erika Ayessa R. Ingkoh

Batch 2020

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