Leaving a legacy for the rest of the Matias aspiring doctors to follow that there is beauty in teamwork with the power of solidarity, four future doctors vied for this year’s national Clinico-Pathologic Conference (CPC) case competition in the recently concluded 52nd Association of Philippine Medical Colleges (APMC) National Convention held at De La Salle Health Sciences Institute College of Medicine, Dasmariñas City, Cavite last February 5-11, 2019.
Distinctively known as the gems of MHAM, this year’s CPC team was composed of third year students Raven R. Sarande and Gem I. Rodriquez together with medical clerks Jo-Arabelle B. Stribbles and Athena Mae L. Ibon who bagged the first runner up award paralleled to their impressive delivery during the 7th APMC-SN Visayas Regional Convention CPC tilt late last year.
MHAM Biochemistry Department faculty and CPC adviser, Dr. Vanessa Fajardo-Nery, also graced the MHAM gems’ endeavor in the national scene and assisted their needs.
The CPC case competition on its 4th national caucus was participated by APMC member schools whose students showed competence, excellence and supremacy in the field of Medicine. A competition among future physicians wherein presenters are given actual cases of patients to come up with their own diagnosis, the CPC teams will defend the diagnosis before the panel.
Although the clues may be very subtle or may be pretty obvious at times, there shall be no communication between the competitors and mentors before the competition since the sole purpose of the CPC is for the contenders to solve the unknown case. The panel of judges reveals the final diagnosis and explains the reason for the same, and will judge on how well the competitors are able to defend the diagnosis with the basis of the discussion of the presented case.
According to Athena Mae Loquellano Ibon who served as the main presenter, the MHAM team was the first presentor among participating APMC member schools who competed the CPC tilt on its year 4 gathering.
Presenting their complete and clear structured abstract with current evidence about the topic and overall purpose, the MHAM gems successfully presented their diagnosis on septic shock secondary to aspiration pneumonia, central due to cerebellopontine mass probably malignant T/C lung adenocarcinoma. Despite the fact that they didn’t make it to land on the top as winners, the quarantine period made them valued their friendship and sense of belongingness as a family.
“As a graduating student-scholar, bringing MHAM in the APMC national competition, is my last stride as a maven of this institution. For me, the APMC NATCON is an avenue that could bring cohesion among medical institutions nationwide. We were once told that we were just a school in that old church lot; but truly, MHAM is one humble body of aspiring doctors who can accomplish equally as the rest”, Ibon said.
Being the batch president of Nexus, there is a myriad of afterthoughts in her mind on how this year goes. Although a woman, her masculine traits are more dominant and realized that the more they get closer to the most coveted goal of being a full-pledge doctor in few months time, the demand gets higher for the former MHAM Honors Society president.
“In my first year of being a student-scholar, I first landed in a national competition comprised of prestige schools of the country with the best handpicked students from their flock. Beyond my expectation, MHAM was able to garner the gold. Last year, I took the burden to represent the institution again in the Clinicopathological case competition. We were brave enough to conclude with a very brave neoplastic diagnosis on a neurologic case. Our team received compliments from the jurors which lightened our hearts. My only prayer this time was to never put our school’s name. We were the only one that differed among the schools and by then, my heart became tachycardic. Then, it halted. Evening came, then we were announced to qualify for the nationals. My afterthoughts on this, is to always believe in the power of teamwork and in instinct. Lastly, is to hold on to your faith that everything else is in control, no matter how exhausted we may be. Nothing is impossible in the world of a believer”, she added.
Branded as a woman of substance and positively influential to the rest of the student-leaders where selflessness is the most important value that she have ever learned, Athena will forever treasure each signifying moment in her medical journey together with the very important people who have been part of her great contributions in MHAM. Forever grateful, she expressed her undying indebtedness to Quality Assurance Director, Dr. Chamberlaine Agtuca Jr., who served as their CPC mentor and adviser for life.
“In few months time, a new page will be flipped and a new step will be taken into as we graduate as doctors. One thing I’d forever miss in MHAM is the special relationship I have with my CPC teams. For me, their company is a little heaven on earth. Second, is being mother to a flock of 256. For me, it’s a one of a kind task where I have to forego of thoughts of giving up, or when I have to fight and be firm because of people putting on their trust on things placed on your palm. Definitely, what I’d miss is the relationship I have built through time with some special people who remain close to my heart and the art of endurance to withstand and to forget being human”, cited the goal-bounded Nexus president.
Looking back, she could recount on how much she wanted to reecho that it’s not at all times that they are being measured by numbers but by emotional quotient which counts the most and she want to encourage other students that even if they fail, what counts the most is how they become and how much determination and spirit they put in, until they finish the journey. “I feel a deep sense of responsibility with a tinge of pressure on how I can manage my time and on how I can bring upon what is expected of a president. Like at all times, I am always selfless about things, I always try the best that I can for the greater benefit of others. I just hope and pray that each and every clerk will not cease to keep their determination burning until we all become certified instruments of life. Along the way, there will always be hurdles and testing points that will hone us in bringing about the very best in us. My message for everyone is just that, no matter how headstrong life gets, as long as you know how to bow down and kneel, nothing will ever go wrong. MHAM clerks are known to work like carabaos. Funny it may seem, but yes, it’s true for most. It could more likely be attributed to the intensive training we have that began in school where time was never for ourselves. Where everyone is new, what places Matias at edge in terms of clinical skills, was perhaps the simultaneous workshops that were catered to us prior to our send off to battle. Thanks to our dean, Dr. Maria Socorro Manaloto and chief of clinics, Dr. Axel Elises for taking stride to provide this for us. It is not something we would brag of, but I could say that we were blessed to have one. Many doctors would test you to the waters, and gladly, our clerks would respond proactively and complete the task. What is more beautiful about this is that we are able to teach and help other clerks as well”, she concluded.
Gracing the national convention’s ADLAW: Fostering Mental Health in Medical Education theme, the MHAM team was headed by the College Dean, Dr. Ma. Socorro Manaloto; Chief of Clinics, Dr. Axel Elises; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Chairperson, Dr. Marilou Viray; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology Chairperson, Dr. Donny Jay Yu; Department of Physiology Chairperson, Dr. Rainelda Veloso; Psychiatry Section Head, Dr. Emma Mendoza; Surgery Department faculty, Dr. Ted Marcerey Gallo; and General Pathology Department faculty members, Dr. Abelardo Alera and Dr. Jan Michael Lao who represented the MHAM faculty-delegates during the 3-day gathering among the throng of medical practitioners in the country.
In addition, representing MHAM with the common bond as Matias student-delegates include Gio Paolo Plete of Insignis, Claudette Somorostro of Vitalis, Resiliere’s William Tiu Jr., Bryan Jay Carlo Paña, Athena Marie Anog, Pauline Ashley Robins, Carol Tobes, Andrea Marie Tortugo, Nohah Radiamoda and Nexus’ Mark Joseph Villo and Mel Karl Sabal.
Gio Paolo Plete, Claudette Somorostro, Carol Tobes and Mark Joseph Villo also vied for the national quiz bee competition which was one of the highlights of the annual convention.
A rewarding venue for aspiring doctors nationwide to show their development and competency in the medical field, the APMC national convention also serves as a fulfilling experience among medical students to value their lifetime commitment and passion to become God’s instruments of healing, equipped with the heart to serve with meaning and purpose. (Ana Liza Abao)