The absence explained: the journey to becoming a medical doctor

I looked at my previous posts and the last one I made was nearly a year ago. I’ve clearly put anime on the back-burner, but it’s for a very legitimate reason: the physician licensure examination began two weeks ago. There are a few things more important to me than anime, but being a licensed doctor is a lot more important than writing anime articles (for now).

I'm actually a doctor now.

I’m actually a doctor now.

In all honesty, I didn’t care much about medical school. That was primarily the reason that I was able to produce articles during the time period between 2009 and 2012. I stopped writing because I had to deal with menial work during my year in clerkship. The work was not only physically draining, however, but also mentally exhausting. At certain unlucky instances I would not have sleep for 40 hours; and particularly benign duties (24 hours long, plus 12 more hours of post-duty work) would allow me three hours of troubled sleep. I didn’t have time to watch anime, or be productive whenever I got home at the end of a 36-hour shift; and I would sleep early the next day in preparation for another 36-hour shift.

When I finally graduated in medical school I decided to properly prepare for the boards. I may not have had the passion for medicine as most of my peers, but I had enough responsibility to stick by my decision, which was to become a medical doctor, and I was going to be a medical doctor out of gratitude for a damn fine father. Gratitude is miles different from love, however: even now, I still honestly cannot say I love medicine.

I got my backlog of classic novels out of the way during the first two months of my post-graduate internship, and then started to prepare for the licensure examinations as rigorously as I knew how, which was to read as many reviewers as I possibly could with my spare time from duty. I had that much to catch-up to: all those barely passing marks came to bite me in the back, and I had ‘studied’ medicine for four years without really learning anything much. I’d say I cruised through it, rather than really studied it. I wrote a lot of articles about anime, and wrote pretty consistently because I spent time doing things other than studying. I could have passed as a part-time writer, DotA player, and overall bum, but not as zealous medical student. That description was for my classmates.

In the ten months I had left prior to graduating as a post-graduate intern (or PGI), I slowly culled the classics and literary reading from my backlog and kept on adding medical reviewers. This determination reached its apex during January through April this year, where I would read reviewers every spare time I had in between duties. My parents also acquiesced in enrolling me in a review center, just to bolster my chances of becoming a medical doctor.

The reader may think it quite queer for someone to be so determined at something one does not really love: I think this can be explained by my personality quirk which is the possession of an intense fear of failure. I think I am a serious person for the most part because I have this fear, as I don’t want to disappoint myself and others important to me.

When the formal review started, another four months passed with nothing more than reading through the different subjects. The breaks I allowed myself were: first, between five to six hours of sleep; and second, occasional excursions to the nearby mall for some novel food.

I could not allot any time for anime during all this time, and the reasons why are now quite obvious.

The results of the licensure examinations came out yesterday, and I am now a licensed physician. It’s time to start writing about anime once more. 🙂

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7 Responses to “The absence explained: the journey to becoming a medical doctor”

  1. Servando Adan Gomez Says:

    I have to say sir you were person I found way after the prime posting of the majority of your articles. It was actually during the summer that I actually turned to finally watch Toradora and to fall in love with the character Ami Kawashima that lead me here to your blog. I indeed found your articles to be very incisive and intellectual while also helping me find the closure i needed after watching the show. I assume that the age I am right now (25) was very similar to where you were when you first watching Toradora and it really spoke me.

    I’m watching now thanks to you (albeit very slowly) Honey and Clover though i do wish to start on Tatami Galaxy. I really hope to see more of your work in the future as I have yet to find a another blogger that so much of the same taste and degree of respect that i have for the medium as you do if not more so.

    Awaiting patiently for whatever article you may post next,
    Servando Adan Gomez.

  2. hayase Says:


    I also haven’t been active around lately, though looks like I made it in time on this post of yours.

    >I still honestly cannot say I love medicine.

    But now that you’re licensed, why don’t you give it a try? If you try and you find you don’t really like it, you can try another profession. So while you’re working you should save your money (at least 10% of your salary). When you want to try other endeavours you have the financial capacity to do so. Even now I dream of doing stuff but don’t have the $$$ for it. As you work you can achieve financial independence to the stuff you really like. 🙂

    This is just my take and note this is from someone who didn’t consider taking up medicine because she hates memorizing 😛

  3. Ryan A Says:

    Personality quirk or not, your journey appears with a stoic vein, and I find your persistence through these years very respectable. Dedicating so much time without loving the subject, in my opinion, is more beautiful than not.

    As usual, I look forward to whatever you may write.


  4. Michael R Says:


  5. Ariel R Says:

    Congratulations. I have been an avid reader of yours for going on 3 years now. I’m happy to see that you’re accomplishing what you set out to accomplish!

    Looking forward to your next article~

  6. Angelus Says:

    I don’t visit here all that often these days, but I just dropped by on the off chance, and I’m glad that I did.

    Many congratulations, Michael, I wish you every success in your career as a doctor!

  7. Ashley Says:

    I am in the same boat as you; in medicine, not doing it because I love it, but because my family have given up a lot to put me through it and have faith in my abilities when I don’t really have faith in myself. I actually have an exam in a few hours; I’m in my second last year. I hope you write in this blog again soon 😀

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