Friday, February 26, 2010

Medical Schools in the Philippines Part One

At present, I'm trying to enter into a medical school here in my hometown, the Philippines. Due to my indecisiveness, I have resulted in writing this blog, which would showcase the advantages and disadvantages of the top 8 medical schools in Metro Manila (well I have been receiving some comments on this, I apologize). The information gathered here are collaborated materials I have obtained from the medical forums that I have read, interviews from my friends in those respective schools, reputation of the schools and inputs from my friends and relatives.

I am doing this at present due to the need to DECIDE quickly when the results arrive in March 2010. Chances are, when I show such indecisiveness, my parents would choose for me. This is the one thing I'm trying to avoid. I feel that this should be my choice since it would be my own stepping stone in my career as I start anew in life.

Let's start on the four known schools in the country (UST, UP, FEU and UERM)

First on my list is the University of Santo Tomas :

University of Santo Tomas
  • There is such PRESTIGE when you enter this medical school
  • For the past three years, their medical students have dominated the board exam by occupying six positions in the Philippine Licensure Examination (Their August 2009 results were impressive by occupying the first three positions)
  • As a UP student, this would be a new environment for me, which can help me grow as an individual
  • I get to have new friends and meet new people
  • It's very accessible to my place 
  • You become a COMPASSIONATE doctor due to a catholic setting (according to their propaganda)
  • The facilities and equipments are very much modern
  • Their Network among the alumni are very wide and impressive as they are scattered in the hospitals in the country as well as in other countries abroad.
  •  There are more parking spaces :)  

  • They don't use a Problem-based Learning (PBL) curriculum but rather an integrated one, more geared towards the traditional curriculum.  How is "Problem Based Learning" different from other forms of learning? A simplistic distinction might be that in ‘traditional’ curricula teachers tend to start by providing information, and then expect students to use the information to solve problems. In a problem- based approach to learning, the problem comes first. Students both define the problem and gather information to explore it. Working in self-directed groups, students thus take an active and systematic approach to defining and exploring a research problem. They are not expected to reach the ‘right’ answer. There may not be right answers. The technique is characterized by the juxtaposition of individual and collective analytical work, combining team-based exploration and synthesis with individual research and analysis.
  • Given such circumstances that they do not use the PBL method, the students are considered "SPOONFED", due to this I fear that I might lose my UP IDENTITY which is to become independent
  • They say that a lot of their students who go to the Philippine General Hospital  (PGH) for their post graduate internship (PGI) cannot cope with the pressure and demands given by the massive amount of patients that many of these interns drop out from PGH (please, someone confirm this. thank you). <-- "hear-say"
  • The campus is jam-packed with other undergraduates of the university and I find it not conducive for learning. There's a massive crowd everywhere.

Second to it is the University of the Philippines:

University of the Philippines
  • You get the HIGHEST FORM OF PRESTIGE when you enter this medical school
  • This is the BEST MEDICAL SCHOOL in the Philippines (Sabi nila. Is this TRUE?)
  • They use a Problem-based Learning (PBL) curriculum and mixed with traditional (I duno, someone please confirm).
  • Network among the alumni and in the hospitals in the country and abroad are very wide and impressive

  • They have a SCHOLARSHIP CONTRACT for three years, which states (Article III, Sections 6 and 8) that the student after graduation will pledge to the RETURN SERVICE AGREEMENT in which he/she would not be allowed to practice in private institutions in Metro Manila (if outside, pwede) and that master degree programs such as nursing, PhD and etc. are not considered as return service. There should be service involved (Someone please confirm if you can take your specialization courses while honoring the return service agreement. Thank you.)
  • Since I am a graduate of the University of the Philippines and the Philippine Science High School Main Campus, the CROWD is the SAME. More or less, there are few new faces. Same atmosphere, same people, and same everything..... can anyone grow as an individual given those same circumstances?
  • Some say that the medical students and doctors are ARROGANT (since they are the BEST of the BEST) and lack COMPASSION in treating their patients (I don't know if this is really true).
  • It is NON-SECTARIAN (government) (What are the views of the students and doctors on religion? hmmm... I duno).

Third is the Far Eastern University
(I'm already accepted, check my name here :p )

Far Eastern University
  • FEU uses a mixed traditional and PBL program, which means aside from the usual lecture, students will be presented a clinical case, in which they have to study, and incorporate the basic medical sciences and clinical sciences to come up with a diagnosis, intervention, treatment, etc; this however is more leaned to the traditional curriculum (uses traditional style of teaching, which means it's the usual lecture, quizzes, exams, didactic, etc.)
  • As a UP student, this would be a new environment for me, which can help me grow as an individual
  • You become a COMPASSIONATE doctor due to a catholic setting (That's what they say)
  • The facilities and equipments are quite okay
  • Their Network among the alumni are very wide and impressive as they are scattered in the hospitals in the country as well as in other countries abroad.
  •  There are more parking spaces :)  

  • It is in FAR-VIEW. Hassle.
  • Given such circumstances that they do not use a pure PBL method, the students are considered SPOONFED, due to this I fear that I might lose my UP IDENTITY which is to become independent
  • They say that a lot of their students who go to the Philippine General Hospital  (PGH) for their post graduate internship (PGI) cannot cope with the pressure and demands given by the massive amount of patients that many of these interns drop out from PGH (please, someone confirm this. thank you).
  • FEU was known to be a "strainer" or "weeder" school wherein it used to be that only 1/4 of each batch (around 150) graduate. They have fewer incoming students lately (around 215-230) but  this doesn't mean that it will be easier to graduate. They say that you must make sure that you're among the top 100 academic ranking and you'll be safe. They use to be a big weeder since they used to accept a lot of first years (300-400) knowing they can only accommodate only a few by their clerkships (about 150). With less applicants nowadays, they say that there's a possibility of not kicking out a lot of students (it's financial suicide on their part) during their first 2 years knowing they will need a certain number of students. Most likely, the failing students will get some form of remedials or just delay some of them (I got this on a medical forum, please please confirm. I am not sure.)
  • They start at 7am (daw ha. someone confirm.)

Fourth on the list is the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERMMMC):

University of the East

  • UERM uses PBL
    • Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered instructional strategy in which students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences. It was pioneered and used extensively at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada as well as the Monterrey Institute of Technology ITESM. The Materials department at Queen Mary, University of London was the first Materials department in the UK to introduce PBL.
    • Accordingly, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their group and organize and direct the learning process with support from a tutor or instructor. Advocates of PBL claim it can be used to enhance content knowledge and foster the development of communication, problem-solving, and self-directed learning skill.
    • Characteristics of PBL are:
      • Learning is driven by challenging, open-ended problems
      • Students work in small collaborative groups.
      • Teachers take on the role as "facilitators" of learning. 
  • If your from UP, most of those who did not make it to PGH are here so the atmosphere and people are most likely the same (closer to the UP System).
  • Training is suited for PGH internship (according to a lot of people I know, as compared to other medical schools, confirm if in doubt :p )
  • The students made it to the top 10 places in the Philippine Licensure examination (They top the board exams last February 2009)
  • High Board passing rate
  • PBL training is suited for mastery in the USMLE (US Medical licensure examination)
  • Makes you think critically (imagine the PBL curriculum as one of the doctors who work for Dr. House... :p )
  • Accessible to my house

  • Environment is like UP ("kanya-kanya" or survival of the fittest)
  • Not as prestigious as UP and UST
  • As a UP student, you do not change your environment (factor for growth? u decide)
  • The crowd has familiar faces in UP diliman (I duno if this is good or bad, it's just that a wonderful new fresh start is good, right? Duno.)
  • Less Parking SPACES
  • It floods in UERM (Ondoy made UERM in the headlines ;p )

I will be posting the blog entry for the next four medical schools some time later next week. I still have to research on them. Likewise if there are things that I have said above which aren't true about your medical school, SORRY. It was never my intention to offend anyone. I only placed them there using the input that I got from the medical forums so I honestly don't know if it's true. Please I do highly recommend that you guys correct me if I am wrong in any aspect. Thanks all :) And I hope that by doing this, I get enlighten to know where I should be.

I am at the crossroads of my life. I am about to make a very important decision that will change my entire life.

Please bear with me on this. Thanks :)


  1. My thoughts: As I came from UP as well, I have the utmost bias on this subject. I admire the effort and time you have dedicated on deciding which school to go to. Aside from UP, which you mention you are appealing for reconsideration, are you qualified to enroll in the rest of the schools on your list? That might help trim down the options for one.

    If you really are praying and hoping to be reconsidered for a spot in UPCM you might want to remove your doubts as to the worthiness of getting into their program. (hehe just in case anyone from the appeals board came across this blog). And your thought on arrograce and lack of compassion is not a function or even a direct result going into a particular school but of the individual per se. Its not as if your still in pre-school/ formative years that people or the particular atmosphere will definitely form/change you. You're a grown up now. It all depends on you. This is where the screening process comes into play. This is all up to you. On another note I don't think its arrogance but rather pride that these doctors have that rubs others in the wrong way and comes across as arrogance.

    Oh well, as i mentioned, you can sense my bias. Good luck with your decision-making. Whatever happens the education you get from any school is just a piece of the bigger puzzle. A lot of things come into play to make you the best doctor you can be. Experience, practice, researches, etc. Acquaint yourself with a lot of information and studies, keep abreast with new medicine etc and always always surround yourself with great people and you will do great! =)

  2. Yeah. I realized that I should remove that note on UPCM. Hahahahahhaha :) My apologies :)Yes, I realized that they might see that. Sorry again :)

    I was just told that they are indeed arrogant, so I honestly don't know :) But I think that some of the people who honestly say that are hung-up with the school. I duno :)

    Thanks so much :)I hope you well also :)
    Good luck :)

  3. hoy ange, ano na naman to?haha. at ung return of service kasama dun ung residency, wag kang magalala FYI di same ung environment gaga, campus pa lang ibang iba na.saka ung mga tao rin haha. at arrogant ba kami?hmm...UP the best! wala yun sa boards dude hahaha :P hulaan mo kung sino ko HAHAHA

  4. arrogant daw. lol. kilala kita, dalawang taon kitang pinagtiisan :) LOL.

    hahahaha.... maswerte ka at intarmed ka. HASSLE MAG APPLY FOR MED SCHOOL. hassle. kung alam ko lang, nagsikap ako sa pisay.

    Bahala na baks... sana nga matanggap appeal ko.

    alam ko.UP is UP. yaan mo... gagalingan ko sa med school para makapag intern ako jan.

    ayoko kita makita ng apat na taon eh. HAHAHAHA

  5. takte. cool ka na pala. nag "dude" ka na.

    iba na tlga ang med school. lol. :) peace bro :)

  6. hey I stumbled on this blog site because I myself is an incoming freshmen and is deciding where to go, still choosing between dlsu-hsi, uerm and ust. my friend told me who's from pgh na its not in the school nasa student yan like you said all of them has its own pro's and cons. right now im thinking of uerm bec of PBL and dlsu-hsi because of their facilities. goodluck with ur choice :)

  7. I have been visiting various blogs for my term papers writing research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with in valuable information... Regards

  8. Thank you. I will do so :) Just caught with graduation and medical school enrollment procedures. I will update this blog very soon. :) I appreciate that someone like you can use the data that I present in this simple blog site of mine. Once again, thanks :)

  9. Hellow anonymous. I am off to UERM :) I like the integrated PBL better than UST. Yes I know, it's in the student and not on the school. So goodluck to both us :) Good luck also with your decision. :) See you when I do :) Ingatz :)

  10. Your blog is quite useful. I'm also a UPian and I'm interested in entering a medical school so update me if you'll do great in UERM. Goodluck.


  11. no problemo :) i will be updating my blog site with all the guidelines for a pre-med student :) Take care and goodluck too :)

  12. There's no such thing as perfect school. universities and colleges have there specialty. good for you that you first researched what is best for you. the important is we learn and be prepared for our future.

  13. MCU..not being bias bt ul know how good dis scul is once u enroll..were neither traditional nor pbl..we use da modified innovative curriculum.facilities are good..sulit ang 94000 tuition.gudluck

  14. thanks for commenting. :) yes i know I am being bias. I realized now that the medical school does not matter. What matters most is that we are doctors in the end :) Thank you again :)

  15. I'd been googling for relevant information re: PBL, it's success stories. I stumbled upon this blog. this is good.

    I am from UP, too. Had identity conflict after UP since teaching in traditional environment (Non-UP) is very difficult for me.

    But thanks to Global Filipino Teachers training, I am back to PBL. PBL makes a lot of sense for me since it prepares us to deal with real life. versatility

    board exam is just the door to real life. living inside the room of real life is more important than just passing through the door.

    wanted to learn more 'bout applicability of PBL in public high schools (used to traditional 'spoonfeeding' way)

  16. In reality, it doesn't really matter whether you graduated from a prestigious school or not. Most of the time, patients do not really care where you got your diploma or even bother to ask if you got high grades. (F** G**'* S***!). It all boils down to "being able to treat a patient". If do study medicine, please study hard to become the best doctor! - Study not for grades, because sometimes numbers can be misleading. Godbless ANJ.

  17. Hi. I came across your blog when I was looking up other options for med school. I'm a Thomasian who's looking or alternatives in case I don't get in. I'm actually considering UERM, so how is it there?

  18. hello planning to enter UP nxt year.but then i have no info on their application schedule..wala sa site nila.i tried calling but they cant be contacted.just hoping some1 could help me.thnx.

  19. i just wanna ask what school has the least tuition fee?i'm planning to go to med skul but i think i lack finance,.tnx,.God bless

  20. Hey guys, I didn't know that this blog entry would interest many. Anyways, I chose UERM :) My reasons on choosing it would be in my succeeding blog entries.

    I apologize for the internet black out. I've been busy :)

    Oh for that anonymous user, thanks for taking the time to insult my grammar. HAHAHA. Nah, seriously thanks. Usually when I blog, I don't read it after to edit the grammar and stuff. I guess you gave me another reason to edit it first before publishing it. :) Sorry again. :)

  21. hey anj. UERM uses the best features of the traditional and PBL methods of teaching. There's didactic lectures, independent laboratory sessions and small group conferences/plenary. Various forums are in the form of role playing and portfolios allow you to express your artistic side. UERM teaches Research Methods starting the first year of med. In UERMMMCI, you can be a 5-star Physician- a CLINICIAN, EDUCATOR, SOCIAL MOBILIZER, ADMINISTRATOR, and RESEARCHER.

    1. Hello Anonymous, Yup I KNOW. That is why I decided to go to UERM :)

    2. I'm on my third year :)

  22. Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila - College of Medicine!

    1. yeah i know... ive been wanting to write/blog on that, but don't have the time. hehe. sorry. :)

  23. sUper dooper mahirap po ba ang MeDicine?? Thanks! I'm planning to take up medicine :D

    1. To be frank, it's easy but what's hard is the chunk of knowledge you have to MEMORIZE in a span of 1 to 2 weeks. Just be focused, determined, patient and I am sure you'll make it! Med ka! Masaya :)

  24. I missed the deadline for application in UST, and I'm afraid I wouldn't get into UP. :( I had just submitted my requirements for UERM last week, and I'm currently taking care of my FEU requirements. :) That leaves me with only two choices from your top 4 (considering I get accepted to both (keeping my fingers crossed!)) I also graduated from Philippine Science High School, and graduating this coming April from UP. At this point,after reading your blog, I think I'm close to making up my mind. :) But, I must ask first, how is it there? :)

  25. hi! FEU-NRMF, hindi nag spoon feed. believe me. You even have to read 3 reference books before you can answer a question.

  26. Thanks for posting this. It was a great help :)

  27. you want to really feel that you're in Med school... GO to CIM! the best of the best of the best... PBL all the way :)