It was midnight.

After dropping Maan off at her dorm across Taft, I was walking back to Rob when I passed by the PGH-OPD (Out Patient Department) gate in Faura. I chanced upon an elderly couple, both around the age of 65 maybe, asking something to the guard on duty:

“Boss, saan yung pila ng oh-pee-deh?” the man asked.

“Dito ho ba yung pila ng oh-peh-deh?” his wife assumed.

It was quarter past twelve, midnight.

And they were the only ones there.

I kept on walking, and never followed what had transpired from their inquiry to the guard. I know for a fact that the line for the OPD starts there, right where they were. But it was midnight; they weren’t supposed to be there until 5am, when the line usually starts. The OPD opens not until 8am.

Out of curiosity, just to see if they did fall in line (or start the line for that matter), I looked back at them…and I saw two people, seated in front of the gate.

They fell in line.

+++

We will not be starting at the OPD until our 3rd year. It is at this year that we’ll be given partial responsibility (at least 1/5 of the praise/blame) to our patients. Patients who have too mild a-case to be admitted in the PGH wards. Patients who have traveled from every part of the country just to be serviced by the nation’s top doctors for free. Patients who have waited in line just to be included in the doctor’s patient list. Patients who sleep on the side walk of Faura, just to be the first in line. Patients whom we, as third year medical students, will practice history taking, physical examination, and diagnosing upon.

Will we be worth it? Will we be worth their time?