Summer is here and for third year students, that means Manila Affiliation. Here is where we stay in a hotel for one month, rotating to a different affiliated hospital per week. For my batch, there were only four hospitals – Philippine Orthopedic Center, National Center for Mental Health, San Juan de Dios Hospital and Hospicio de San Jose where we had our duties. The week before leaving was a hectic one. Exams were moved earlier for our batch since we were leaving 1 month before holy week. For the research subject alone, we were bombarded by tasks for our defense. Two weeks earlier it was declared that we were going to have our defense in Manila but 3 days prior to leaving, the CIs suddenly declared that we were going to defend it the day before leaving. Thus, for two days, we scrambled to polish the research, double checking it, then triple checking before finally printing it to produce copies for our panelists. It was a good thing that we were fully finished with the paper itself. Thus, hours before leaving Naga, we successfully defended our paper and were marked free to join the affiliation.
We left early Friday morning and arrived in our hotel a bit past 9 pm. We were first called for a meeting where the staff explained the rules and regulations of the hotel as well as the CIs told us our schedule for the day. Even though we were only going to have an orientation from the different affiliated hospitals, I couldn’t sleep. Maybe it was being in a new environment, or being with roommates in one room. It was a good thing that in our room all five of us were group mates, thus no one will be left behind during duties. So what I did was I ironed my uniforms, all of them, though they were ironed prior to being kept in the luggage. OC, I know, but with that, I slept around 1am and woke up at 4am since we were scheduled to leave at 6:30 and there was one bathroom to be shared by all five of us. Since I only take 10 minutes to bathe, they ordered me to be the first one in the bathroom every morning.
Our first stop was in Hospicio de San Jose, an institution located in its own island (I’ll elaborate on this later). We were given a tour around the buildings and its surroundings. We traveled to San Juan de Dios Hospital next. It was a large, private hospital where we will conduct our clinical duties. We did not have our orientation in POC and NCMH until later during our first day of duty.