Saturday, February 22, 2014

Just Like Going On Ikot

Having amassed loads of advice on how to go about establishing private practice, I've distilled the major schools of thought on practice building into two:

1. That you should commit to one hospital and stick to it. It doesn't matter if you go for months on end with zero patients, your commitment and pure visibility in that hospital will eventually pay off. 

2. That you should commit to as many hospitals and clinics as possible, and in due time just shed them off one by one as your practice picks up, ie, spread yourself as thinly as possible.

The basic disadvantage of #1 is you would get bored to tears. Back in 1st year med school a family medicine consultant narrated to us her travails during her first few months as a new consultant--to sum it all up: she has read all the Daniel Steele's and Sidney Sheldons in existence. On the other hand, a consultant has told me the basic disadvantage of #2. Succinctly: pwede kang masagasaan sa kalsada any time.

I have taken the #2 approach. It proved to be fun, taking public transport from one clinic to another, which are sometimes several towns apart, occasionally going to Manila and QC for some teaching gigs, Batangas for another clinic, and even the far reaches of Sta. Cruz for a possible government hospital employment. I felt once again like a UP student boarding the Ikot jeep to go from one subject to the next, minus the stamina.

For six days a week I would jump from one place to another, never mind that most of the time this would lead to a financial status of not even zero, but NEGATIVE. As Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Alanis Whore has stated, days can now be defined as either “positive balance” or “negative balance”. Still, I’ve been fairly content with just having set tasks and goals for the day. Everything was a fine and dandy until just a few months into it pure kapaguran crept in, along with a powerful virus I’ve surely caught from that girl who’s been sneezing like hell inside the van a few days ago.

For all its commonness the lowly URTI is really such a downer. I haven’t had a bronchial asthma attack in two years, but the horrible URTI virus has triggered an attack. While breathing through constricted lungs and clutching my neck for overdramatization I shuffled through my things for my old Ventolin inhaler. As soon as I saw it I puffed 3 puffs which provided immediate relief. I’ve had persistent asthma for years back then so I’ve learned to suck the hell out of that inhaler. And then I realized—I haven’t used this in years, what if it’s already expired? I checked the label: Expiration-April 2013. AHAHAHAHAHAH! Well it worked, so who cares. Then I realized—I haven’t used this in years, what if the mouthpiece….

And then finally I saw it clearly: the mouthpiece was encrusted with my 2-year old whitish-brownish saliva. I could be growing fungus balls in my lungs right now.