Community immersion is a requirement every summer for us, Regionalization Program medical students. Sometimes, I consider it a hassle because I always have a hard time dealing with people especially because I am not yet a doctor, I have a self-confidence problem. But doing my immersion tests my self-confidence and communication skills with key persons of our town and barangay. I did my immersion with Vince, a barangay-mate from Class 2015. I found out that working with another med student is much better than working alone. I can brainstorm with him or have suggestions from him. What I may forget along the way may be reminded by my immersion co-worker.
Public health lectures were not included in my immersion this year. I omitted conducting lectures for I want a directed immersion for next year. We used the survey and the FGD to have a good grasp of what is really needed in the community. I did not pursue to have a clinical posting in RHU, because I am not yet confident with my clinical skills. Add to that the lack of supervision from the busy MHO. One mistake that I have learned is being insensitive with the welfare of other workers. I almost forgot to let my BHW have a snack after several hours of surveying.
Like I said, immersion is a hassle for me. Little did I know that it trains me to become a 5-star physician. After all, I am a medical student training to become a doctor. Immersion trains me to become a physician by teaching me how to deal with potential patients and letting me review diseases that I have already learned in the past two years. Immersion trains me to become a leader as I try to lead our barangay health care providers into what is more needed to be dealt with. Immersion trains me to become a social mobilizer as I mobilize the barangay officials. Immersion trains me to become a researcher as I analyze the results of the survey and the morbidity and mortality reports. Immersion trains me to become an educator as some individuals I encounter ask about their conditions.
The whole immersion experience helps us become better doctors. We are also able to identify fields of specialization that are both necessary to the community and of medical interest to us. Lastly, it enhances the rapport with the BHW’s, RM’s, RN’s and a fellow future MD.
My immersion next year will be based on the outcome of the survey and FGD. Lectures and handouts will be provided. Proper assessment of comprehension will follow each lecture. The incoming health data of 2011 will also be analyzed.
Anticipated plans for next year include an early communication with key persons involved and having alternate plans/schedules when there is a typhoon coming.