Growing up, whenever I was asked by people what I wanted to become in the future, I’d always say “Doctor” either because a.) people expect you to have careers with titles; or b.) it was just easy to say. Whatever the main reason was, at an early age, I was already exposed to the thought that being a doctor is a good career for anyone and it has that sense of nobility that comes along with it. All my yearbooks even have “To become a Pediatrician” plastered on its “Future Career” part – and yes, both gradeschool, and highschool. So maybe, I have come to a decision at an early age of the career I’d want to pursue, but it took me awhile to figure out if being a “Doctor” per se is the whole person I’d want to become.
It started during my Values Education class way back in third year. I can no longer remember the specific topic we were discussing – I don’t even remember if I was even listening – but I remember all too well that before the class ended, our teacher shared a story she recently experienced herself. It happened a few months ago, I remember her saying. She was rushed at the nearest public hospital because of a very high fever and chills. Upon arriving, they were told to wait in line to see the doctor. So they waited. She felt so sick, that time but according to her, she wasn’t sick enough to not notice the poor girl beside them. From the looks of it, she was suffering already but the nurses won’t tend to her just because the family cannot afford to pay a down payment for the hospital fees and was just asked to wait if there will be a slot that’ll free up in the charity wards. To keep the long story short, my teacher (then a student), had to watch the poor girl die with her own eyes just because she cannot pay. I don’t know why, but this story really got into me. And at that moment, the seemingly perfect world I was living at was tainted. From all the comforts I have, it has never occurred to me that there are actually a lot of people not living (in all sense of the word) until that point. It was my first ever exposure as to how unfairly bureaucratic the society we’re living at is. And somehow, it etched my whole being and made me realize that improving the healthcare system of this country is one of the missions I have in this world.
Gazillions of tests, entrance exams, failures and successes afterwards, I indeed found myself in Medicine School. It wasn’t a smooth-sailing ride, but I am already at the point wherein I have accepted the fact that whatever experience I had in the past led me to this very place. And what can I say, I have never been any happier with learning and taking the high road to my dream career. I guess we each have all our reasons and means as to why we end up in a certain place. One’s certainty isn’t just the measure/gauge as to why one pursues and finishes Medicine. From all that I have experienced, passion, dedication and commitment will always be the solid foundation of it all. So I guess for me, it all started with just a dream and ended up being my life’s reality.