Year two!!!

I planned to make an entry for my first week of school I was swamped with requirements and I was trying to stretch my last few days of vacation so here I am, writing about my first 2 weeks of second year instead.

I twisted my ankle on the way to school during the first day so I am still limping. What a great way to start the school year πŸ˜‚. Day 2 was no different, we were all so tired already. You can easily distinguish us second years with the first years. Yes we still have the same uniform but we looked very tired while they looked fresh. They also looked so excited. How I wished that we felt that way. We were so stressed and scared especially for Pathology. And with that, I would like to “orient” you on my second year, first semester subjects, or at least try to explain it πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

Med 1 – Clinical medicine

– this is where we will learn how to do a physical examination and proper history taking. I’m excited but kinda scared for this subject. Excited because we finally have our stethoscope and other physical examination equipment!!! My stethoscope’s color is plum and it looks so beautiful πŸ˜πŸ’œ I had it engraved so that if someone accidentally grabs it during duty, they know it’s mine πŸ˜‚

Anyway, back to the subject, we will be given “patients” (with ” ” because they aren’t really sick but we need people who will act as patients) who we will be examining and it’s kinda scary but again exciting because we are no longer just reading/studying but now we are really one step closer to being a doctor. We have to act like a doctor, be a doctor. Checking blood pressures, taking temperatures, interviewing, and etc. There’s so many things we need to memorize, questions that are needed to ask from the patients, in order for us to diagnose properly what the patient’s problem.


– one of the deadliest subject. This is where we learn the how’s of a disease, in a molecular way. A patient had a heart attack? How did it happened? Where did it start? What was the state of the cell/DNA/etc before, during, and after it had happened? As for our laboratory, it was slightly easier for me since the lesions (manifestations??? of disease) in the tissues are very distinguishable unlike in the normal tissues where everything looked like pink smears/circle for me. πŸ˜…

I can’t find the exact meme but this is actually so true:

I’m able to identify the type of cell injury thus able to identify the cause/disease and the organ. That’s kinda a big achievement on my part so yay! πŸ’•

Surgery 1

– I thought at first this was only about where to cut or how to cut but!!! it turns out it wasn’t just that. Since our first topic was surgical oncology, statistics were discussed, there were also about the causes, how to stage properly, types of surgery done for checking/confirming if the tumor is cancerous or not, types of surgery for removing tumors, AND how to tell the patient about their state like what stage is it, or the pros and cons of the surgery, what they should expect after the surgery, and even what type of medication can they eat/drink. I really don’t want to be a surgeon because I don’t like gory stuff but I was surprised that I’m kind off enjoying our surgery class. Hopefully I’ll love this subject (and all my subjects) till the end of second year πŸ˜…

Psychiatry 2

– We still haven’t had our class here but I think this subject is self explanatory??? I’m excited for this because if you know me personally, I’m kinda a magnet for those people who have or are struggling with their mental health. A classmate told me that he thinks I’ll be a good psychiatrist or even just a counselor because, after talking to me about their problems, it felt like a heavy burden was lifted from them(????). His words, not mine πŸ˜… I don’t think psychiatrist and counselor is the same πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ but whether or not I become a psychiatrist, I really want to learn so I can understand, encourage, and help people in their journey.

Pediatrics 1

– I’m also excited for this because this is really my first choice of specialty. So pediatrics actually has 3 “stages”. Infant, young/elementary age, and teenage. So I guess this is also a self explanatory subject??? πŸ˜‚ I really want to be a pedia, then maybe I’ll take a second specialty–psychiatry. But we’ll see what happens in the next…3 years? if I’ll be taking my residency in Pediatrics 😌


– medicine!!!! medicine like drugs πŸ˜‚ this is another “oh” moment for me. I thought we would just memorize the type/generic name of medicine and as to what disease/sickness it is for, but oh my, we also need to learn how to calculate the appropriate dosage for the appropriate age/weight/etc of the patient. Pharmacology is also where we study the different interactions of each drug. All I can say is that there is a lot of memorization in this subject 😨😭

Oh! Last Thursday we were taught on how to write prescriptions. It was a lot more that just writing the medicines but this is where the calculations were applied. It was kinda confusing but very exciting because again, we felt like doctors already πŸ’•


– as the name implies, the study of parasites and its effects on the body and what are the manifestations when a person is infected. The laboratory was a nightmare for me. I thought histology and pathology was already hard but this is harder. All I can see are…dirt πŸ˜‚ here’s an example: there’s a small, shiny looking microbe/parasite there at the end of the pointer. Good news is that some are bigger looking so it is actually easier to identify them.


– like Parasitology, it is the study of microscopic pathogens which causes disease (???) we haven’t had our laboratory here yet but from what I saw, we will be taught here how to prepare stained slides. So I guess it’ll be exciting??? πŸ˜‚

* I would love to explain Parasitology and Microbiology more but I am still “lost” in those subjects πŸ˜… hopefully by the end of this month, I understand more about the subjects πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

So there you go, my subjects for the first half of my second year. If I remember correctly, all are yearly/annual subjects except for Parasitology and Psychiatry, which will be replaced with Physiological Obstetrics and Family Medicine 2 next semester.

I hope to enjoy, learn, motivated, and just be excited for second year even though all doctors and interns have said that this is the hardest year in medschool 😨 but as always, lalaban para sa bayan πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ’• kaya? Kakayanin with God’s help and your prayers. πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ™πŸ»


πŸ’œ Issa Gan


June 30, 2018 | Realizations/Ramblings

(I suck at title making πŸ˜‚)

I’m on vacation! Can you believe it? As Kuya Bong of B1G North Edsa told me last saturday: “may bakasyon pala ang mga med students?“. I’m savoring my vacation because this coming school year will be soooooooooo bloody. But honestly, 8 daysΒ palang, I’m already so bored. I’m even contemplating on learning how to make homemade noodles. Hand-pulled noodles to be exact.

I was supposed to study in advance but the promo boards’ list of students who are promoted to second year have not been posted yet. I did my best…? But of course, the fear is still there. We are/I am still over thinking. Over thinking that what we/I did is not enough. What if becoming a doctor is not my calling? Have I wasted my time and my family’s money? I tried to be optimistic and think that almost all medical students feel this way too. I tried to analyze and I discovered my fear and what might be the reason why I feel this way. I am scared that I didn’t learn enough, that I may be the reason why someone will die, that instead of helping, I make the situation worse. So…since I’m kinda not doing anything this vacation, I really prayed and looked for more reason why I’m studying medicine. If you have read my other entries, I think I have ranted/complained on how hard med school is, that is why I always say to those who ask me for advice regarding med school, “you better make sure you love it because it is really really really hard.”

This week is also our prayer and fasting at church. To cut the long story short, I prayed that God will change my view of studying medicine. I admit that I have been studying just for the sake of passing and just…studying, ya know. I was not able to appreciate the wonderful creation of God, our body.

For to have been thought about, born in God’s thought and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking

-George MacDonald

I prayed that God will change my heart because it makes studying lighter. Imagine thinking or feeling excited to study because you know how precious every single person/body is instead of thinking “I have so many things to read and memorize. I feel like my head is going to explode.”Β I pray that God will always remind me of my purpose too. Not for the money (#ParaSaPera) but always for the people (#ParaSaBayan). And as always, God has a perfect timing. He uses people to continuously encourage you, even in the moments where you feel you don’t need one.

And for today’s entry (naks), He sent me another blessing and since I will be a future doctor, let’s now practice patient privacy (naks # 2) and not name drop. This person (you know who you are, I love you bebe 🌸) from my fanmily (hey yo ADN fam ❀️) asked my about a certain medical condition. I can’t remember if I have written about it but in our first year, all we study is the normal bodily functions and all the diseases are taught/tackled in second year, then management or making the “abnormal” back to “normal” during our third year then we handle patients during our fourth year. Anyway, back to this person. Patient/Person Z (oh diba, practice practice na hehe) is asking about a certain medical condition and I told her that I haven’t encountered it yet. She messaged me again later that day and told me that after we study about it, I’ll explain it to her and enlighten her. Going back to the doctor for follow up can be a scary thing, even I didn’t go back to my cardio for a follow up…last 2010? or 2009? I also talked to another person whose son has a condition and even with the thorough explanation of the doctor, the son doesn’t want to go back for a follow up. I believe that there is no coincidence, God has something to teach me. I also fear that one day, my patients might not come back to me for a follow up because they might be scared or they didn’t really understand the way I explain things to them and while I am typing this right now, I suddenly realized that God has answered my prayer or in the proccess/middle of answering it! I prayed before that I may become a compassionate doctor. You see, after years of being “eaten” by books, we sometimes forget that our patient the person, not the disease (if that made sense plus mas magandang pakinggan pala ang “magpalamon sa libro” HAHAHA!) But if we, as future doctors, practice compassion, I think we will be able to help or influence people more. I believe that a doctor’s job is beyond curing the disease of the patient but also to inspire each to be a better person, in every way possible. Not only was I inspired to study harder next year (because of my friend), but I was touched and happy that God sent me someone to show me that I can be trusted as a future doctor. Our conversation might be just a “small thing” for others but it meant so much to me. Again, this goes back to my fear of not being enough for my future patients but God will truly never let you down.

I thought that the best feeling I can feel as a medical student is to be called “doctor” even though we are not YET doctors, but I was wrong. I think being able to feel trusted as a future doctor is the best.

I hope this entry made sense to you, whoever reads this.

This week has been wonderful because He gave me a clear vision of my purpose again. I am forever grateful for the people He sends me.

I pray thatΒ this will be my constant “state” for the rest of 2018, and maybe even beyond.


Issa Gan πŸ’œ

What Medical School Taught Me: Year 1

Hello! So here’s what I learned in my first year in Medical School. Kinda scattered/all over the place but yeah…hope this will help you! ☺️

Learning-turned-How-To-Survive-Med-School πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

  1. It doesn’t matter what your pre-med is. It is true that some courses will give you an “edge” in medschool but honestly it doesn’t. Of course you’ll have a harder time understanding some terms if your premed is not from the “sciences” but aside from that, whatever your course is, you’ll still have a hard time because medicine is a whole new world. (If this even makes sense).
  2. Have mental breaks.
  3. Have short acad/study breaks. Study for 1 hr straight then have a 10-minute break. Just make sure after the break, you return to studying, okay?
  4. Go out with non-Med friends for a breather.
  5. Do anything non-Med/Acad related once in a while.
  6. Not everyone is your friend. Choose your peers wisely. Choose those who study to learn. Choose those who will help or accompany you to the top and not drag you down. Choose those who will encourage you. Choose those who believe in you.
  7. Do not be selfish. Remember that your classmates will be your future colleague.
  8. You have to want it (MD).
  9. You really have to want it.
  10. Sleep is important. Sleep so that your mind can think, process, and absorb. Sleep so that you can function properly the following day. What is the use of not sleeping to finish studying if you’ll be sleepy and “toasted” the following day? — Dra. Surio

  11. Study smart. Learn to discern what is “good/nice to know” vs “need to know”. Focus on the “need to know”. Medicine is hard because of the amount of this you need to memorize and understand, so studying only what you “need to know” will actually save you time. — Dr. Gironella

  12. “Study to learn, not to pass because if you learn, you’ll surely pass.” –Dra. Surio.

  13. Enjoy and love studying. It will help studying less miserable.
  14. Youtube will be your best friend because there are times where you’ll actually learn or remember better if you can visualize it.
  15. Know what study habit is effective to you and stick to it. Everyone has a different study habit. For me, writing notes during lecture AND/OR transcribing the lecture is very much effective. Tiring but effective.
  16. Mnemonics will be your bbf πŸ˜πŸ˜‚, especially in gross anatomy.
  17. Always bring at least 2 subjects anywhere you go. I got this from an anon twitter account (@maartistmd i think, or @sabinidok). You’ll never know when and where you’ll be “in the zone” to study. Why 2 subject? So that you’ll not get “bored” or “burned out”. What I usually do, I bring 1 subject only BUT 2 materials, book/notes and laboratory manual to answer. Once I can’t absorb anything anymore, I try to answer or label (for histology and gross anatomy) photos/models to “relax” my mind.
  18. Another tip I got from the twitterverse: Study at your “peek time”. In my case, I absorb and actually learn at around 10PM-4AM, sometimes until 5AM. What do I do then before 10PM? I sleep. I sometimes catch up with my non-med friends, I relax. Why? Because I know I won’t absorb or learn anything before 10PM, so why would I waste my time? This was my routine during my pre-med but I don’t know why I didn’t continue this in med school πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ.
  19. Download a “white noise” playlist if you have a cluttered mind like I do. This helped me focus on studying. This is what I usually listen to:
  20. Have a planner. Schedule everything so that you won’t be shocked with the subject the following day or with the load you have. Plan ahead, especially your study load. Follow the planner. Do not procrastinate.
  21. As much as planning your whole week ahead is important, learn to focus (after planning for the week) on the now. This is helpful especially for people like me who tend to panic/stress about the amount of things you need to do or finish. Do this for your mental well being.
  22. Be disciplined. This is what I need to re-learn every week πŸ˜…. Study hard so that you can party harder in the future. Be disciplined enough to be focused on studying (I don’t even understand this sentence ✌🏻). Remember, this will be worth it.
  23. Remember why you are doing this. For the people. Think about all the people/patients you’ll be able to help in the future. Do it for them.
  24. Another thing I need to ALWAYS remember– BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. First step in succeeding is believing. If other people believe in you capability, you should too. They see something in you that’s why they believe.
  25. Most importantly, pray and get in line with God. You’ll never succeed without Him. Always remember that, Issa (and whoever is reading this).

God bless, future Doctor πŸ’•


Issa Gan πŸ’œ

Lalaban, Klarissa Elaine.

March 11, 2018. Sunday.

Before anything else, I want to make things clear. My family is supportive of my dream to become a doctor. It’s just that I feel that they are not 100% supportive.

I was asked by my uncle (the one financing my med school) about my grades in med school. I honestly can’t say that I’m not sure if I’ll pass 2 of my subjects. Like divine interventionΒ nalang talaga pag-asa nun. So I explained to him the “outright pass”, “outright fail”, and “remeds” system. (I want to explain them right now but I still have to study. I just need to let this out, thus another blog post.) If I will rank all my subjects from the one that I struggle the most to “I know I’ll pass this one, I just need to maintain my grade” subject, this will be it:

  1. Gross Anatomy
  2. Physiology
  3. Histology/Microscopic Anatomy
  4. Biochemistry
  5. Family Medicine//Bioethics (these 2 subjects have the same ranking).

You see, I really have a hard time memorizing. Gross Anatomy requires us to memorize and understand EVERYTHING. I’m not even exaggerating. All the blood supply, blood drainage, parts/grooves/indentations of each bone, every segment of an organ…basically every small detail of the human body. Then for Physiology, the twin of Anatomy, it will explain every “part” of human anatomy. I do understand and appreciate Anatomy and Physiology, it is truly amazing, but for whatever reason, I can’t seem to memorize them all.Β Anyway, I just told my uncle that I’m struggling with Physiology and Anatomy, for the reason stated above. He then asked me after what my plans are if I passed. I told him that I want to see my friends whom I haven’t seen in a long time (because med school), I want to go to the beach. Then he asked me what if I failed and have to take remeds. I just said “I don’t know.” because I honestly don’t know if he is willing to finance my remeds but I didn’t mean that I didn’t want to continue med school. (I know, it’s my fault that I wasn’t specific.) It is hard and hell-ish but I do really love to study about the human body, or even studying in general. But you know what he said? “You did your best, if you fail, business it is.” You see, if I didn’t enter med school, I would be either starting my own business or slowly taking over some family businesses, since no one in my family is “business-minded” enough or want to do business and because this is a “bigger issue” *another blog entry*Β Jusko, ang daldal ko hanggang dito.

Again. My family is very supportive but there are moments where they’ll say “sana wala ka sa med school para kasama ka sa *insert ganap here*.”Β To me, that is very demotivating. I love going out, seeing new places, experiencing new stuffs, but right now all I need is people who will sayΒ “Aral ka lang jan, once you graduate, tsaka tayo mag *insert ganap here*. I really need people who’ll encourage me fully and not demotivate/discourage me. I can sense it even though it is very subtle.

Such a simple thing but let’s makeΒ kulay. I think this affected me so much because deep down, I doubt myself. I thinkslightly believe that I won’t make it. That my brain cannot survive med school. That my mental and physical state can’t cope with my dreams. That I won’t be able to achieve my dream. That I won’t achieve anything at all. That I’ll forever be an average.

You are too smart to NOT be in health sciences/sciences but too dumb for higher health sciences/hardcore sciences.

But you know,Β iba talaga ang Diyos.

I silently cried to God. I asked Him what I needed to do, even though I knew what I had to do. I have to fully trust Him of my future. I want to but as of now, I’m struggling on how to. He also reminded me that I am more than an average, that it is the devil that fed me these lies for years, and that I let that consume me, destroy my self-confidence.

For to have been thought about, born in God’s thought and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking. — George MacDonald.

At hindi pa talaga tapos ang Diyos,

He sent me someone, let’s call her blessing because she is truly a blessing. Nah,Β pangalanan na natin. He sent me Faye Tolosa. (check out her blog y’all. ). She said the words that I always say to encourage people, the words I knew by heart, the words I hold onto but forget at times.

God is there for you. Anumang pagkukulang mo, kaya niyang punuan.Β 

“But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.” – 2 Timothy 4:17

Sa mga pagkakataon na hindi mo na kaya, ok lang. Kasi kaya ni Lord yan. Pwedeng sumuko. Isuko mo lang sa Lord. He gotchu.

Then she said something that made me cry. Again, these are the word I say AND hear, the words I knew by heart, but for the first time (I don’t even know why), I felt it. I felt that it was real. I felt how genuine it is. THAT made me cry.

I am praying for you.

I hope you find comfort in the thought na someone in this corner of the world is really praying for you.

If you know me personally, you know that there are a lot of people praying for me. But why did this have more impact? I guess I feel like the people around me are not praying for me wholeheartedly. This may be just lies that the devil is feeding me again, I don’t know for sure. But why? Why do I feel like this? Because I know a lot of people were affected when I entered med school. I gave up so many things and I am thinking every single day if it was worth it. And honestly, people around me making me feel that this is not worth it. Except for a few people my “true” support group, my ADN Family. They never fail to encourage me. They always remind me that this will be all worth it, to rest or have a small break, that I can do it. They even call me “Doc Elaine” already, even though I am just at the first step on becoming a doctor. It may seem small but the impact is really big for me.

At the start, if you asked me why I wanted to entered med school (pending blog ha ha ha), I would say that I wanted to help those who can’t afford some medical procedures and such. Almost 7 months in, I learned that I wanted so much more. I still want to help the poor, but now it seems more clear as to how. I want to do medical missions. IΒ slightly want to be a “doctor to the barrio” (if you don’t know what that is, ask google.) I want to earn lots of money so that I can buy or give out free medications and “needs” while in medical missions. But mostly, I wanted to give back. For now, all I can offer for the people I close to my heart is myself. The promise that I will be here to listen no matter what. But in the future, I want to be able to help them as a doctor. The one who will help them manage their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I’ve been thinking about this several times and tonight, I feel like this solidified for me (if that makes sense.)

So, I will fight.

I will fight for my dream.

I will fight for the people close to my heart.

I will fight for my future patients.

I will fight.

now, back to studying General Senses because tomorrow/later is already monday and monday is for Physiology Unit Tests.


Issa Gan πŸ’œ

How to help a Medical Student 1.0

Hi Beshie/Bebe/Mumshie,

How to help a medical student 1.0 (1.0 kasi year 1 palang HAHAHA char first part lang muna kasi for sure dadami pa to)

This is a request to our non-medical student/doctor friends.

This post contains MY opinions only. This does not reflect the opinions of my fellow medical students.

1. Be understanding of our schedule.

We don’t hold our time anymore. Two weeks before any gala, we might be available but our schedule is not really fixed or final until the day before. Heck, our schedule sometimes changes just a few minutes before our class. Believe us when we say we really want to go or attend, pagod rin naman kaming school-dorm/bahay-school. Minsan nga “free” kami eh, but most of the time that only means na we have time to rest or study for the next subject (NEXT SUBJECT NOT NEXT TOPIC HAHAHUHU). We really want to go out and have an “acad rest” but ganun talaga ang buhay medisina, walang “pahinga”.

2. Be encouraging.

Sometimes all we need to hear is “kaya mo yan” or “kakayanin mo yan“. Stop with the “kinayanan mo nga ung *insert pre-med* mo eh! ‘Yan pa kaya?” It’s not that we (or I) don’t appreciate that but medicine is a whole new level. It is true. No matter what your pre-med course is, medicine will never be easy enough for you.

Hinga lang,
Laban lang.
-Maine Mendoza

You know, that is by far the most encouraging thing yet so “general” quote that I have heard. We study SO MANY THINGS and as humans, we do get overwhelmed and honestly, breathing for a while (like just breath) then being encouraged (ourselves or each other) to fight fight fight sometimes does the trick.

3. Pray for us/them.

Do you realize that we are going to be responsible for so many lives?

Student, you do not study to pass the test. You study to prepare for the day when you are the only thing between a patient and the grave. – Mark Reid

Pray for us. We really need it.

yan palang muna.

This part is very personal and does not apply to all medical students.

I have a rule. No matter how busy or tired I am, whenever a friend, family, or co-ADN (hi bebes) needs someone to talk to, I’m always available. Syempre, minsan nasa class ako or nasa exam, but aside from that, I’m always here for you. If it is important to you, then it is important to me. I may not have the right answers but I promise to always listen.

Issa πŸ’œ