To kyo or not to kyo?

Sorry, I had to do it. And technically, it’s going to be Nobeoka, and not Tokyo. What?

A couple of days ago, I received a call from a friend. The medical school where we graduated from offered to send us to Nobeoka as part of an academic collaboration with one the schools there. We’re supposed to interact with Japanese students who plan to take up medicine in the Philippines, converse with them, and orient them on what that life would most likely be like. It’s an extremely generous offer. They’ll be shouldering all our expenses except for food, although they’ll be giving us monthly stipends which should cover that. Basically, if I don’t live excessively, I’m getting a three month trip to Japan for free. So why is there even a debate?

The three months that this trip will take will be the period for pre-residency, which I’ve already postponed for a year. I don’t regret taking a gap year (and I will detail my travels someday), but I was kind of planning to proceed with my medical career this year. However, I haven’t decided on what specialization to take (I’ve narrowed it down to Internal Medicine, ENT, and Pediatrics), and I definitely am not emotionally prepared. Plus, I kind of have an extra year because of Human Biology .

As my folks pointed out, although I’m technically not delayed, my batchmates will still be ahead of me, and I should give consideration to that timeline. That’s the only thing that nags at me, really, because that is one advantage that I don’t wish to give up. But, in the grand scheme of things, twenty years from now, what’s a year’s delay? Residency will always be there when I return, but this opportunity won’t be. Travelling, particularly to a foreign country, is an education in itself. I think I’ll regret not going much more than I’ll regret delaying residency. And I have always, always wanted to go to Japan. I’m so excited that I even used conjunctions to begin sentences. And allowed run-ons.

To kyo! 🙂


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