GBC Medical Mission: Bringing Healing to Body and Soul

6:34:00 AM

Grace Bible Church Medical Mission

Last Sunday, before the vesper service at Grace Bible Church ends it was announced that there will be a medical mission on October 10, 2014. Pastor Caloy Novisteros also asked the congregation to pray for the preparations and for more medical doctors to join the medical mission. After the service I talked to Pastor Caloy and I said I’ll invite our alumni in Agape Christian Fellowship who are now doctors. I posted an announcement in Agape Facebook group. Kuya (Dr.) JC Tayag responded and told me that he’s free on October 10 and he can join the medical mission.

I bought this book at a discounted price from the booth of C&E during MIBF 2015.

I asked Kuya JC if I can observe him during the medical mission so I can learn patient interaction. So I was really looking forward to this medical mission because I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from the experience. Also, the day before was our lecture and laboratory examination in Head and Neck module in UPCM. The night before the medical mission, I tried to read Bates’ Guide in Physical Examination and History Taking. I read it so that I can have an idea how to interact with patients.

October 10, 2015. I woke up at 6AM in the morning. I was a bit sleepy and tired because of consecutive sleepless night reviewing for Head and Neck exam. Also Friday night was the acquaintance party of our class. After taking a bath, I went to Cityland because Kuya JC was there and his mom drove us to Grace Bible church. When we arrived at GBC, there were already patients in queue. I met Dr. Karie, a pediatrician practicing in the remote province of Isabela. I also met again Dr. Addie who is my friend and churchmate when I was still attending DCBC in UP Diliman. I also met an ophthalmologist and a general physician preparing to work as a missionary doctor. We also have pharmacists and dentists from Centro Escolar University. And of course, the whole GBC community was there to assist and to share the Gospel to the patients.

Kuya JC while signing the prescription for our pedia patient.

Kuya JC and Dr. Karie taught me a lot during the medical mission. It was actually a crash course in patient interaction, good drug prescription, drug dosage computation and getting vital signs (i.e. heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure) using sphygmomanometer. Funny because I was not using the stethoscope properly. That’s the reason why I can’t hear the pulsations properly. Kuya JC taught me the proper way of using it.  

Learned how to use sphygmomanomete and MIMS for drug dosage computation.

Most of our patients are children with cough, fever and colds. Most of the patients are siblings or cousins living under one roof. Infectious diseases are easily transmitted to family members living in the same house. We encountered a patient with several enlarged lymph nodes and "bumps" on his head and the mother said that he had "sipon" coming out of his ears. Kuya JC suspected chronic otitis media with secondary bacterial infection. We had no otorhinolaryngologist on the team, so Kuya JC advised the mother of the patient to see an ORL. One patient was a baby with erythematous maculopapular lesions on the face with a little crusting on the patient's eyebrows. Dr. JC and Dr. Karie thought it did not fit the typical appearance of seborrheic dermatitis. They asked the mother of the patient to see a pediatric dermatologist to better manage the case.

Dr. Karie interviewing the uncle of pediatric patients with cough and fever

Although most of the children had simple coughs and colds, Dr. JC and Dr. Karie saw that one little boy had Pediatric Community Acquired Pneumonia. His breathing was fast and there were some subcostal retractions. Thankfully, he could still be managed on an out-patient basis when Dr. Karie evaluated him. 

Doctors for the Ophthalmology and Dental Examination

I remember one of our patients who is a 60+-year old woman. She said she’s living alone. Although under maintenance, she still had a high BP. She brought her BP diary with her and there were recordings of as high as 170/100. When we saw her, her BP was at 160/90 but she was asymptomatic. Another patient was a 59-year old MMDA officer. He went to the medical mission for teeth extraction. But when we checked his BP, it was 170/110 and he was feeling a little dizzy. This was a case of hypertensive urgency. Of course, Dr. JC did not allow him to undergo teeth extraction. Because his BP was too high, we asked him to rest for a while. The patient forgot to bring his maintenance medication and the only medicines we had were those from the donations. After a few minutes of rest, his BP was slightly lower at 170/100. Dr. JC asked me to give him 100 mg metoprolol orally (because it was the best choice among the drugs we had) and to monitor his blood pressure for the next hour. This was my first “clinical duty”. I monitored his BP every 15 minutes. After an hour, it went down to 160/90 and the patient was feeling better. Dr. JC and Dr. Mida, one of the senior doctors in charge of the mission, allowed him to go home and rest.

Thank you Grace Bible Church for the devotional and Christian books

We ended the medical mission with a short fellowship and prayer time. We thanked the Lord for providing for this medical mission. According to Pastor Caloy, the church has been praying for this event for a long time. And this was an answered prayer for our church. We thanked God for all the doctors and dentists, the church members and for all the patients. I am sure that this ministry became a pleasing and sweet aroma to God’s throne. We thank the Lord for all the people who came to know the Lord through this ministry. After the event, Ate Damples gave us devotionals as a token of appreciation joining the medical mission. She also gave us free Christian books before we went home.

My fervent thanks to everyone in the team especially Kuya JC who taught me a lot medical stuff.  I didn’t know that you also like literature. Thank you for sharing your literary works. I will read all of them this week. Thanks to Dr. Karie, I was inspired by your passion in serving the people in the province of Isabela. To Dr. Addie, thank you for updates and conversation. Thank you for sharing your experiences after the medical school. I was inspired by how God is directing you right now to the place where you can glorify him most.

It was a very tiring day but I learned a lot from this experience. I learned about the art of medicine. I experienced the fulfillment that doctors get when patients thank them for healing them. This experience inspired me to persevere in my academics and study well for my future patients. Aside from my family, my future patients are also my inspiration. When I feel so tired in medical education, I’ll just remind myself of the very reason why I entered medical school, that is to be able to help patients and bring God’s healing power to the sick. When my exam grades are not satisfactory, when I am drowned with a lot of school works, I will cling on to these reasons. And of course, I will always draw strength from my God. I will ask help from Him because my God is an ever-present help. He is sovereign and always in control.

One thing that I learned during this medical mission is that medicine is a bit boring inside the classroom. I don't fully appreciate the lessons when the professors discuss them in class. But medicine is exciting when you are already in the field seeing patients. It feels so great when you already apply everything that you've learned in class. There's still a long way to go before I can get my diploma and license as a medical doctor. To my future patients, wait until I get my MD-PhD degree. I am so excited to see you. I promise to study well and be a good five-star physician. Till then.

Thank you for reading. God bless you.

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