No turning back! Burn the ships!

4:11:00 AM

Just this afternoon, Dr. Eric Paolo Banzuela, co-author of IM Platinum and founder of Topnotch Med Board Prep, gave an inspirational talk to the medical students who attended the 5th Association of Philippine Medical Colleges - Student Network Regional Convention in Cebu Doctors' University.

He shared about the things medical graduates can do after medical school. He shared that there are more to medicine than just being a good doctor. I don't have the data but in my own honest opinion, majority of medical students aim to enter into a residency program and become a specialist after graduation. Personally, this is my original plan after finishing MD-PhD program. IM residency, medical oncology fellowhsip and post-doctoral fellowship abroad. But Dr. Banzuela helped me realize that there are so many things that I can do after medical school aside from clinical practice and research.

Entrepreneurship. Dr. Banzuela's story of success in Topnotch inspired me to continue my passion in teaching and business. I love teaching and I also need money for medical school. So before entering medical school last 2014, I started a small tutorial center in our town in Bataan for grade school and high school students to help me save money for my medical education. Back then, I was thinking that my credentials as UP graduate will be good enough to encourage parents to enroll their kids to my tutorial center. There are no other tutorial centers in our town during that time. I started with less than ten students and I used the money that I saved from working as student assistant and tutor during my last semester in UP Diliman to convert my bedroom into a tutorial room. I am thankful to the Lord that the tutorial center continues to offer service and help to students in our town. We already have around 35 students and we employ around 6 teachers and students teachers in our tutorial center.

Dr. Banzuela also inspired us to do the things that will make us happy and treasure our relationships with other people. A lot of people think that money and wealth is a good measure of success and happiness of a person. Dr. Banzuela shared that it is actually human relationships that make people happy. No one succeeds by himself. Our success was not achieved alone. Dr. Banzuela reminded us to always give back to everyone who helped us: our parents, family, friends and etc. At the end of the day, money will just be a paper or a piece of round coin. As doctors, we may not become very rich but we will never go hungry if we become doctors. We will gain respect from the community and we will get the privilege of saving lives. 

Lastly, Dr. Banzuela shared the story of Caesar's army. Julius Caesar and his army set out to conquer England. It was far from their homeland Rome. He brought limited number of soldiers and they need to defeat thousand of enemy. I believe that during that time, his soldiers are hesitant and discouraged because of the great number of enemies from England. Caesar made a daring move, he burned their ships so that the solider will be left with no other option than to stay and conquer the land. Otherwise, they will have to die. As long as the ships are there, the soldiers will always have the option to retreat and accept defeat. Caesar did that to make his soldiers realize that defeat is not an option. They came to England to conquer and stay. 

Just like in medicine, if you want to be a doctor, leave yourself with no other option but to become a doctor. Burn your ships and conquer medicine. I need to leave all the hesitations and hindrances behind and face medicine with my head up high. I need to exert more effort and study harder to be the best physician that I can be. I am excited to all the great things that are about to happen in my life. I know that I need to burn all my ships and instill in my mind that defeat is not an option and I have to conquer every land where God leads me.

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  1. Hello Doc! :) I am glad I found your blog through APMC in Visayas. I just want you to know that I am reading it. :)

    1. Hi Doc! Thanks for reading my blog. Did you attend the Reg Con in Debu Doctors' University?

    2. Yes yes, I did! I really wanted to approach you and greet you personally but I was shy. :)

    3. Sayang. Tapos I didnt attend the socials night cause Im super tired and I have an early flight to catch the next day. Hindi ko namaximize ang time to make new friends during the convention. Although may nakilala naman akong new friends.

    4. I didn't join the social night din kasi it is late na. I just want to go home lang after the last day. Hehe.

    5. I didn't join the social night din kasi it is late na. I just want to go home lang after the last day. Hehe.


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