A Dream Goal or just A Wish? (An update on my previous post: the road taken)

In the world of Medicine (here in the Philippines in particular), the past 2-3 months can be considered the glorious/celebration season. This is because it is during these months that clerkships and internships end and graduations happen. Also, for many others, now is the  “enjoy while you can” season, the time when they prapare (apprehensively?) for the first day of classes in their chosen medical institution. The preparation period can be both exciting and frightening… well, it depends on how you “condition” yourself. I can still vividly remember the feeling…

Around two years ago, I wrote about this topic because a daughter of someone I know (among many curious ones) asked me about Medicine because she wanted to pursue it. Today, I am writing again because hours ago I learned that that someone’s daughter has just enjoyed her first day as a medical student. Although the financial aspect of this field is obviously not an issue in their family, it took years before that daughter finally enrol. I assumed they prepared well. 

How does one prepare for Medical School? As implicated in my previous post, there is no concrete formula. You (by that I mean the whole family) just have to plan and prepare really well… in every important aspect. Yes, that should be done because to be a doctor is not just a simple goal. It is a dream, a very special goal for the most deserving one. Remember, a goal without a plan or a preparation is just a wish. (You may browse and read my previous post: The road taken. https://drmrsnanay.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/the-road-taken/.)

For those with limited financial resources, what can be done to prepare well? A good news was announced weeks ago: Free tuition is being offered to 8 State Universities in the country. These are the University of Northern Philippines, Mariano Marcos State University, Cagayan State University, Bicol University, West Visayas State University, University of the Philippines Manila School of Health Sciences in Leyte, Mindanao State University and University of the Philippines-Manila. 

Of course, this privilege does not come easy. An aspiring medical student need to pass the admission requirements of the program and the specific state university. This will include NMAT score (like in UP, it is a common knowledge during our time that they’re strict -and specific?- with the NMAT score requirement. The WVSU is similarly strict too) among many requirements. This is quite an assistance for every doctor-to-be. However, fees beyond the tuition is not included in the program. (Again, estimates were stated in the previous related blog.) This should be put into consideratoon too.

Again, to be a Doctor is not just an ambition – it is a calling. The one who is the most deserving will become one. 🙂

Decide well. Prepare more. Do your best. Pray for guidance too. 🙂


Below are updates on tuition fees (as of SY 2015): *taken from myfinancemd.com

From Kim (2nd Year Medical Student): University of East Ramon Magsaysay: Tuition fee is not 85K++ but Php 125,000-135,000.
From Thomas: University of Santo Thomas
UST Tuition

123k/semester for 1st year

121k/semester for 2nd year

120k/semester for 3rd year

200k/school year for 4th year
From Kathleen: Cebu Doctor’s University, it’s around 60,000-70,000.
From Noel: Angeles University MacArthur Highway, Angeles City, Tuition fee is around Php 90,000++
From Erick James: Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila
1st year – 3rd year: 75,000++
4th year: 140,000++
 From Miel: Ateneo School of Medicine: 127,000-132,000 ++
From Beth: Davao Medical School Foundation: 97,000++
From Jasmine: Cebu Institute of Medicine: 100,000++




atbph ツ

Life is a beautiful journey consisting of many chapters and editions. At the moment, I am being sentimental as I think about the fact that today a very special chapter will be ending *hopefully only temporarily* — my “almost 4”-year stay (employment*) at Balibago Polyclinic and Hospital Inc. (BPH). It was supposed to be only a “reliever” (short-term) opportunity which extended and extended… until this day, my last duty day.

I can clearly remember the happenings of my first day. It was at the OPD building where I first entered (instead of the ER); I got toured around the hospital by the NOD (mam B, my tour guide) as instructed by THE ROD (doc A); I got introduced later on to THE owner, Dra. Alibudbud-Ramirez when she entered the ER. It was truly a special day as it marked the beginning of a memorable journey, a happy, lesson-filled adventure.

Being at BPH feels like being a member of a big, happy and loud (literally) family. 🙂 I gained great friends (mga maiingay, may mejo kitikiti, may mahinhin din, may mejo matatakaw, may mejo matitigas ulo, may mejo lng sensitive, may mga mejo palakwento about all aspects, as in “all” hehe at may mejo “assuming”,hehe – but ALL I appreciate and love) , I found mentors, had advisers and a counselor (momi B) – and got to advise some (like Jul..na?hehe), met colleagues and got to treat and help treat patients of varying (from the mildest to the most complicated) illnesses – thanks to our very effective and helpful attendings and super efficient staff (yes, I have always been proud of you 🙂 ). I learned a lot. Also, a lot of very special personal “beginnings” and “milestones” happened while at BPH too. I too got to practice my patience and perseverance more.

Time flies fast indeed. Four years passed so swiftly that I have not actually noticed that I have been at BPH for that long. Those 4 years were “siksik liglig at umaapaw ” with happy memories. It had not actually fully sunk in yet when I started writing this, but is beginning to sink in now and I am starting to feel sad that I am actually leaving – for now.

I’d like to express my sincerest and heartfelt PASASALAMAT to DRA. and family for the opportunity, to sir Jun, to the APs and to the whole BPH family. The friendship, warmth and love that you have shared with me will always be treasured.

After my last duty today (til tomorrow), it’s time to say my “temporary” goodbye… I will definitely see you again! I love you all and will surely miss you *pwera biro*. 🙂 ♥



the road taken

Again, someone asks about Medicine, particularly this question, “I wish to be a doctor; what should I expect?”

I have been asked that question (in different forms of questioning) for the Nth time by anyone – by someone who has just graduated from high school, one who is graduating from college, and, even by some parents who wish their child to be a physician. Everytime, I’d smile. I don’t really know what to tell them exactly. All I know is that pursuing Medicine as a profession is truly challenging. One must expect all kinds of demands to be asked from oneself – physical, mental, emotional and financial demands. There will be a lot of reading and endless studying and reviewing. Pesosesoses will be spent. Oftentimes, even your spiritual life will be affected -it will either be shaken or will be awakened.



It must be put to mind, however, that every experience of each doctor differs from one another, one’s advice may not be the same as another’s. Hence, to be safe, one should expect anything prior to entering any college of Medicine.

(For the more detailed answer to this question, I attached herewith a compilation of answers for the same question).

little doctor  When I was still in my preschool years, I would always say, “I dream to be a doctor someday” (in Karay-a). As years go by, that dream shifted into wishing to be a teacher, and, when I was about to graduate in high school, I decided to be an accountant. Then I felt the “calling”. That was right after high school graduation. It was during that time that I began my (and my family’s) journey to make myself a doctor.  Since that first day I decided to BE A DOCTOR, I kissed that “CPA” dream goodbye and I prepared very well. My family – especially my loving, hardworking and supportive parents – prepared well too, in all aspects. My brothers, with my eldest brother’s family helped me a lot as well. My aunts, uncles and cousins cheered me on. I was filled with inspiration, determination and motivation throughout college (preMed) years. No matter how complex the application process was, I never uttered even a word of complaint until that day when I finally got enrolled and started with my (Medicine) first year classes…

When my life as a medical student officially started, all the tiredness and stressess of the whole process caught up with me. I began to doubt my decision and even thought of quitting but simply couldn’t. Everything about Medicine had become bittersweet since then but many beautiful things happened too. I found great friends during med years. I even had the chance to work for 2 years alongside Medicine and met great people who became my close friends too. In short, what I had was a rollercoaster journey but it was all worth it – truly worth it.

one happy doctor now :) (imagetakenfromthenet)

one happy doctor now 🙂

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Therefore, this is my personal conclusion: Because College of Medicine is not an “easy” world to trudge into, expect that 100% preparedness (in every aspect, as mentioned above), 110% focus and 120% perseverance, plus plus plus will be expected from everyone. Yes, there will be “draining” times, but, there will be “fun” times too.

Also, as noted from the “compilation”, don’t just think of yourself only when you decide, think of your family as well because they will be affected by your decision too.

A doctor-professor reminded us during our freshman year of this, “In medicine, many are called but few are chosen.” That I have never forgotten. It is very true.

At the end of the day, it is not “how much you want” to be a doctor that will make you become one, rather, the “how prepared you are mentally, physically, emotionally and financially” and “how much you will persevere” are the ones that truly matter.

May God bless us po in everyhing we do.

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If you have been thinking about medical education or know someone who does, or if you are simply curious about it, read on… and you may share this with others too.

What to Expect in Medical School?

(a compilation of thoughts, advices and important “must knows” from different sources)

So, are you prepared to start your journey to one of the most rigorous academic training known to man?” Every year, someone drops out, another fails out, and yet another is left back. This will be the reality for pretty much all medical school classes. The question is: how do you prevent yourself from being among the casualties?” Be prepared, be very prepared even before taking the first step into this field of education.

“The number one reason why students do poorly or even fail out is because of overconfidence. They think that medical school will be like college. But when you are in medical school, unless you have a photographic memory or had previous exposure to the materials/medical-related field, you will be spending a TON of time studying. There will be times when you can go out and have fun, but it will be sparse compared to the college party days.

As a medical school student, expect to spend 60 hours studying per week or more. That averages out to a little more than 8.5 hours a day. And if you go to class, which can go from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, that is already over 8 hours right there. And most people study way past 5:00 PM. Hence, most people study over 8 hours a day.

Do you want to know what the sad part is? Even after 60 hours of studying, there is even more you could study to feel more prepared for the exams. No matter how much you prepare, you will always feel inadequate. This pertains even more for classes which are taught by researchers, who are overall very poor teachers. You will be bombarded with tiny details. Some of them are even testable. A lot of people say learning in medical school is akin to drinking from a fire hydrant.”

So, be ready for this.

Of course, everything in College of Medicine starts with an NMAT, the National Medical Admission Test. It is basically a test of how much knowledge you have learned and stored throughout your years of studying (The higher the NMAT score, the higher the chance of getting into a top public/government medical school and other top private schools). Hence, this is very important too.

As one advances to a higher level, life as a medical student becomes more complicated and difficult, so everybody must be more than prepared in all aspects… mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.

Yes, financial aspect of medicine should not be left out, particularly, prior to leaping into the world of medicine. It is a vital part of decision making as the cost of this course is not so light to everybody’s pocket – hence, can truly affect not only the aspirant’s comfort and needs,his/her family’s too.

One filipino med student says, “At my school, its P96,000 per semester for people born in the Philippines and an increases of about P5,000 per semester.” Another says, “Tuition is the very least monetary expense of a medical career. Depending upon your vision & degree of commitment, the personal losses can also be significant. Now if all you want is a career at a mall, that tuition & your talent are wasted. How many UST, UP, ADMU grads had that plan from the outset? I wonder.”

The above statement was further explained as “aspiring med students should realize that they should have a long term plan after med school, or else they might end up being frustrated and miserable expecting too much after graduation. They might realize that the “invesment” is not worth it afterall because after they graduate it is still a long way to go. ”

What follows is the list of tution fees as of 2011(of private schools) and the expected average expenses as of same year (other schools compared as of 2011), respectively.

University of Santo Tomas (tuition only)     Faculty of Medicine & Surgery

P101,748.00to 197,064/Sem ;                     P203,496 to 394,128/Year

Ateneo De Manila University (tuition only) SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH (ASMPH)


St. Luke’s College of Medicine – around P110,000-120,000 per sem for first year; P220,000-P240,000 per year

As of 2011, here are average medical education expenses (tuition plus plus) *the schools compared are UP, PLM (not manila-born), etc. other than the private schools mentioned above:

Tuition fee:

P40,000 – P60,000/sem (first year only)

P80,000 – P120,000/year (first year only)

*expect an increase per year

*x 3 years  


P10,000-P15,000/year plus plus

P40,000-P60,000/4years plus plus


at least P2,000/wk x 4wks x 5months/sem

at least P40,000/sem x 2sem x 4years  


Atleast P10,000/year x 4years  

Boarding house/dorm fees:

P3,000-P5,000/month x12mos P36,000-P60,000/year x4years  

Clerkship fee (4th year) :

atleast P100,000 – P150,000/year

Approximate total expenses (As 0f 2011):  

atleast P216,000- P285,000/year x 3years         (atleast P648,000 – P855,000 in 3years)


atleast P100,000-P150,000 in 4th year

****postgraduate (5th year) fees, boarding house and personal allowances, review fees are not yet included in this approximate computation****


As you have been given an overview of what MEDLife is all about, you can now make your conclusion that can help you or someone you know make a decision.

Are you ready mentally? emotionally? physically?

Are you and your family ready financially?

If you answer yes to every question, after a complete and sincere analysis, then you are ready to start your journey in Medicine.

However, if there is doubt or uncertainty, then decide carefully and wisely. Pray too.

Being a Doctor of Medicine is a noble profession, as well as every other profession we decide to pursue -as long as we put our hearts in every thing we do and offer our 100% dedication too.

In deciding, do not just think of yourself, but most importantly, think of your family too. Will your decision help them? or will it cause them trouble/hurt them?

In everything you do, do your best.

May God bless everyody.


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UST tuition only SY 2015 is at around *P250,000/year for first year only

(other private schools’ tuition fees are more or less this amount too)

PLM tuition fee SY 2015-2016 (if not manila born/paying) is at around *P60,000/semester plus Medfund of P5,000 to 12,000 depending on family income

(other public schools’ tuition fees are more or less this amount too)

*these are tuition fees only. Other fees such as miscellaneous fees, book/material fees, dorm/bording fees, etc are not yet included*

*above tuition-fee related information are taken from different anonymous sources. For official information / figures, please contact the institutions.