toni

“Hindi naman sila yoong reason kung bakit ka mag-dodoktor eh,” was the line that inspired Toni Calderon from the trials she faced when she went through her first year of medical school. Quiet, pensive and talented Marie Antonette Calderon was, like most of us, shocked when she first went to St. Luke’s. She says she felt like all students were considered intelligent in St. Luke’s and it was sometimes intimidating. The feeling of not belonging even sprang up at times when she got to comparing herself among students who are, most if not all, overachievers and born leaders. Toni says she even got to a point where she questioned herself whether becoming a doctor was really her calling. Self-doubt proved to be one of her greatest demons in first year. However, all of that changed when her friend told her about how she had a different reason for going to medical school. She realized that there is no need to compare yourself and make yourself worry about how everybody seems to be smarter than you are. Studying medicine is your journey and you have your own reason for going to medical school. Each one has uniqueness inherent within and it is of no use to compare oneself with other people. This is what got Toni inspired. She realized that she had her family as her main reason and drive for going to medical school and although it was difficult to adjust, she was able to pull through. After all, people come out stronger from their greatest tribulations and obstacles. Toni says, “From ‘di ko kaya ‘to – may reason ako kung bakit nag-med.” Perhaps it is when we know the “why” that the “how” comes and unfolds with less difficulty.