Being a doctor in a nutshell

I'm guessing this post would be helpful to a lot of aspiring doctors in the Philippines. If you are contemplating of going into med school, here are a few stuff you need to know: (Note that I am a prospective med student myself, and these information are what I have gathered first hand--thus far that is)

A. BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN
This would be the most important pointer I could give anyone. Signing up for med school ambivalent is no gift to your parents or to yourself. ONLY fill out that application once you are absolutely sure that you want to study for another five years (after finishing up you pre med), and endure the rigorous education and training required of a doctor. It is no secret that med education in the Philippines dehydrates pockets, wallets, bank accounts and piggy banks.

B. RESEARCH
Most of the data I know came from researching, reading forums, and more reading. As I have I said before, it is better to go through this head on, than half blind. Know what you are getting yourself into. Doctors in the Philippines do not really earn gazillions in one sitting. Why would a lot of them study Nursing instead? Some even say that being a doctor is almost an act of charity. Know the real face of medicine in the Philippines, then decide with outmost rationality.

The website I have found most helpful would be:
Pinoy MD (Read their forums)

C. BE PREPARED
Medicine is not just a course you apply for then play handy dandy afterward. Unless you are intelligent enough to get into INTARMED (UP's Medicine program which shortens the normal length of med education by two years), then you must know that to enter medicine, you must pass the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) after finishing your pre med course of four years. Most reputable med schools require a cut off percentile--which many place at 90. Thus you cannot just be accepted immediately. Also, a lot schools place importance on your grades. A hefty load of singkos won't bid well for you.

The NMAT is given every April and December. So if you really want to get a headstart, take it around April (of the preceeding year you are planning to enroll). Also most med schools stop accepting applications by January. If you are procrastinating like me, you can try FEU-NRMF and ST. LUKE'S, since they are the only ones who accept 'to follow' NMAT results. Note however that your application would be second priority since you would be handing in you result late (I will be taking my NMAT this April--same year I am trying to apply). You must still hand all the requirements by January though, to ensure that you will be slated for the upcoming school year. UP College of Medicine only accepts NMAT results one year from the upcoming school year. Which means that if you are graduating, you must have taken it in your third year.

See this website for the NMAT: Center for Educational Measurement

MED SCHOOLS in MANILA:
UP College of Medicine
FEU Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation
St. Luke's College of Medicine- William H. Quasha
UE Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center
Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health
University of Santo Tomas
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Medicine
Perpetual Help College of Medicine
(**Please tell me if the links are broken)

These are what I have gathered in my prelude journey to med school. I would add more info once I become a bona fide med student. Wish me luck on this 'healing' path I have chosen.

Related post:
To be or not to be a doctor

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi there! i'm lav, also an M.D.-wanna-be. What you wrote are absolutely true. Once,my sister who is a nurse talked to a resident pediatrician about my plans of pursuing medicine. The pediatrician repeatedly told my ate to tell me to think a thousand times before I plunge into med. I did. I brushed the med thoughts aside and tried to build new and more "glamorous" dreams. However, the medicine dream haunted me. The farther I ran away, the more that my being longed for it. So, two years after I got my BS Degree, here I am waiting for the NMAT results. Finally.
Wish you best of luck. =)

Aubrey said...

Hi Lav. It is really quite comforting to know that there are other people who also feel the way I do. :) Iniisip ko na lang when I'm old and reminiscing on my life, I would be happy to remember that I lived for something else, bigger and more fulfilling than money. As I said in my other comment, ang pera kinikita, fulfillment hindi.

Well maybe hindi nakakain ang fulfillment, but it is what makes you smile before you go to bed at night. *Really being melodramatic here haha*

I sincerely wish you the best also. Our country needs us. :) At sana lumabas na nga ang NMAT result.

Anonymous said...

hi there! i think i saw the segment in bulaga where you were in. =D anyway, congrats for an outstanding NMAT score =). haven't got mine yet * fingers crossed =)* oh, you can email me sometime (that is if you still have time to do that while studying med hehe). lav_lime17@yahoo.com.. and nice blog by the way =) God bless you.

Czarinah said...

Your blog rocks! It got everything I ever needed! wishing you the best...

Anonymous said...

Hi Aubrey

this is a great site, i enjoyed reading it.

the reason why i found this site is because i am trying to go for a career change.

I am currently an IT consultant but since I was a child, I have always wanted to be a doctor. Parent decisions and finances were the barriers back then.

So here am I, stuck with IT. Its really hard when you are not really interested with what you are doing. I dont get a sense of fulfillment since I think I am not really being productive here at work. The IT stuff just cant get into my head, its like its just going through me. Unlike medical stuff, its like im drinking water, absorbing everything and learning from what i read and see. I actually have siblings who are nurses and I really wish that i took up nursing instead. would have made my path shorter :)

At the end of the day I still wish that I was an MD.

So now that I am going to have a chance at a better future, I am now considering medicine. This time, the barrier is time, cause I am already 27 and I know it will be a long time to study.. So I dont know if I should still go for it.

Anyway, good luck!

Mark said...

Hi Dra :)
I hope you dont mind if i repost this entry in my blog -- i very much agree with everything you mentioned

God Bless

Macky

nikki_rose said...

hello there!

i'm glad that i found your blogsite... grabe! sobrang helpful talaga nito sa akin. kasi i am still in the stage whether i'm gonna continue to take up medicine. but then, i finally decided to pursue this career. malay mo in the near future, we're gonna meet someday as doctors na. :)

i learned so many insights from your site. thanks talga!

Aubrey said...

Hi Nikki, that was really thoughtful of you to say. :) Sana nga we see each other in the future as colleagues na. God bless to us!

Anonymous said...

Hi aubrey, i'm Rosan a fellow RN. I've been reading your blog since i decided to take up med. I want to apply in PLMCM but i have lacking units. 5 units in Biochem and 2 units in Physics. They said that i need to take these subjects this semester. But i couldn't find any affordable school offering those subjects this sem aside from UE manila. However, their tuition fee plus the miscellaneous is very expensive. I cannot afford it. Do i really need to take these subjects this sem to be able to take MCAT or can i take it next sem? I forgot to ask about it in PLMCM. I really need an answer. Please respond aubrey.. Please..

BTW, your blog is very inspirational..
Thanks!

Aubrey said...

Hi Rosan. You would really NEED to take those units before you are admitted to PLM-CM. Unlike before, students are now thoroughly segregated between those who have deficiencies and those who don't. I cannot even begin to describe how much of an ordeal it was for me to get into PLM because of my lacking units. Check it out with other schools also like PCHS, PCU and CCP. God bless.

Anonymous said...

hey aubrey! i just wanna ask if you know some schools who permit Medicine students to wear pants/slacks instead of skirts? for girls that is. 'cause i really really want to wear those, it's more comfortable. thanks :)

krysteenjavier said...

i love you for this. another MD wanna be in here. hey, may I just ask. what reviewer did you review for the NMAT exam (aside from HS books)? you said that MSA reviewer is a bit difficult than on the actual exam? thanks and goodluck future MD.

shin-neh said...

hello. I just want to clarify: if I took the April exam that means I can't enroll to just any school on the same year because not all are accepting 'to follow' results? The results of NMAT is valid for 1 or 2 years?

Helena said...

Hi Miss Aubrey! I am also a Registered Nurse now and wants to pursue med school. Do we (nurses) still need to enroll extra units of physics and chem prior to med school?