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filipino med schools

Discussion in 'China and Eastern Asia' started by wendigo, Mar 7, 2003.

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  1. waray

    waray New Member

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    addendum:
    st louis u- is a good one too...got a frnd who had inetrnship there. bagiuo is a nice place, not hot as in manila. nice place to stay for the weekend.

    traffic and heat is terrible in manila/QC.

    there are dormitories, apartment, condos, townhouses for rent near st lukes, uerm, ust...just walking distance....feu is in the ubelt, so more crowded there. i dont have anything agaisnt fatima, got a friend who grad and several others who transferred there from other schools. but the ones i mentioned are good in my perspective.

    from what i found out, no matter which school one comes from, what really matters is the whole person per se, how u deal with everything, attitude, intelligence.


    goodluck!!!
    :rolleyes:
  2. waray

    waray New Member

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    CIM in cebu is good too....got friends whos grad there and are having residency her.e in US nowadays.

    cebu doc, i heard its good, more expensive i heard, facilities good.....dont know much from its grads though.
  3. wendigo

    wendigo Junior Member

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    thanks for the suggestion :) I've heard horror stories of traffic in manila and how some have gone to the extreme of buying another car with odd or even-numbered
    plates so they r able to drive into the city every day of the week.... thought that was insane! :eek:

    btw, spartan doc - sorry for the late reply, had a busy week. i'll send u an e after my biochem exam tomorrow :(.. sorry about that..

    and thank u all for the responses :)
  4. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    The traffic in the Philippines is notoriously bad. Some students wake up at 4-5 am just to get to school by 7am. And if it happens to be raining that day, you can look to add 2 more hours to your commute sometimes. But you will find that the longer you live there, you get used to it as a way of life. It always seems that many places are 1 1/2- 2 hours away and you just have to accept that.

    But as far as what your plans should be for your test day, the time you wake up and leave depend on how far you are staying from St. Pauls (I don't even know where this is, but it may be in the university belt) and what day the test is given. If the test is given on a saturday, traffic is not as bad as during the week.

    One more thing, there is color coding in the Philippines, (plates ending with an odd number one day, plates ending on an even number another day). many of the affluent circumvent this by having a large selection of cars to drive any day of the week.

    But as an IMG living in the Philippines, you may not have to deal with this daily. Most IMGs live in apartments or dormitories close to school, thus eliminating the hassel with traffic to get to school. But come friday and saturday nights, when they blow off steam hanging out in Makati, or Malate (All work and no play will make you a horribly neurotic and out of touch doctor) they may spend much of the night in traffic.
  5. wendigo

    wendigo Junior Member

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    IndianMedic,

    Are you the guy who emailed me a while ago?? so have you decided which schools u're gonna apply to? :)

    Spanish??? Never heard of this one before.. :p well, I'd have to say that languages aint my strong suit either. but I seriously doubt you need spanish for US residency.

    I know. I had similar experience. very frustrating :( I had a hard time tracking down the correct number for NMAT registration too. I had to try all the numbers fellow SNDers gave me b4 I could find a person who was able to answer my questions. (Dont worry. I've got it sorted out.)
  6. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    As a medical student in the philippines, you must wear uniform. It is completely white, but distinctly different from the ones that nurses and medical technicians wear. In fact, as you progress through medical student, your uniform will change. A button down shirt and white pants for first and second year. A v-neck for third year students, and a round neck for fourth year students. With each new uniform comes more prestige and responsibility. A few good things about the uniform, it is pretty light weight, so it keeps you relatively cool, and where ever you walk, you will be granted respect from those around you. Bad things, gets dirty really fast, and it makes you stand out to would be robbers.

    I didn't buy any Phil health insurance, and do not know anyone that did.

    The electricity in the Philippines is poor. You can predict one thing for sure though, if it is raining, there will most likely be a "blackout" (Filipinos call them "brownouts") somewhere in your area. Because of this, I suggest that every new student there always have a charged emergency lamp on hand and extra candles, and also canned food to eat in case the power is out for a couple of days. Professors will not usually cancel an important exam just because the power was out the night before.

    Internet access is very, very, very slow, you can try to get broadband, but not every area has it, and it is extremely expensive. I used internet cards, they were a little faster, and easier than getting service from any particular host out there. (it was too much of a hassel to get their software)

    Your professors will be very different from those here in the US. Respect is very important in the Philippines, always call them Dr. so and so, and never answer back or challenge them in public. Doing so may cost you your grade. If you feel the need to confront a professor, do so in private, where no one else will hear you. The professors though, value their foreign students for the most part. Some will treat you better than the filipino students, because the foreign students are often a little more mature and dedicated to school than some of there classmates. Others professors will hate you no matter what you do, just because you are a foreigner. Just be prepared to face both of these possibilities.

    As far as eating out in public. You will most likely get a mild gastroenteritis at first, no matter what you do. Your body will be facing different microbes than they are used to, which may upset your normal flora in your GI system. But after a while, you will get used to it. Besides, some of the food from the vendors on the side of the street, is so good, you would be punishing yourself for not trying it.

    I do suggest though that you update your vaccinations. Get your Hepatitis A shot, (I got Hep A from there), get the three hep B shots ( you might accidently stick yourself 4th year). There is also a typhoid vaccine. Many people do not usually get this, but it is an option.

    As far as wearing a mask in public, go ahead if that is what you really want. But if you live there, you will be exposed to the pollution the entire 4 years, so unless you wear the mask the entire 4 years, you will be exposed. Thus preventing yourself from being exposed for one week as you take your exams and tour schools seems pointless to me.

    One more thing about Filipino culture. Standing out is frowned upon. Wearing a mask will offend those that live there. Your future classmates have been exposed to pollution their entire lives, and when they see your disgust toward their country, they will be less friendly to you and less likely to help you. Creating a positive relationship with your classmates is very important to your academic survival, as is making a successful cultural transition.

    Also, always keep this in mind... The Philippines is a third world country, Compared to many other countries, it is much more polluted, very poor, very hot, the traffic is horrendous, flooding occurs often, electricity supply varies, crime is high, and the cultural rules are different. Please be aware of this, and realize that no matter how much you complain, the problems will not go away. They were there when you got there, and they will be there and most likely be a little worse when you leave.

    If and when you choose to go there, you are choosing to trade your "modern conveniences" to pursue your dream. So once you get there, please try to be respectful of your classmates there. That is their country, and it is the only way they know. Filipinos are very proud of their country, and despite the lack of modern conveniences, there is much to love. The food, the people, the culture, the natural beauty of the provinces, the slower pace of life, and the strong family ties, just to name a few.

    Okay, sorry about that tangent. Living in the Philippines for 4 years grew on me and I wanted to defend it a little. Anyway as far as gyms, there are very few large national chains. They just opened a Golds Gym in makati and there is a Slimmers World in some of the malls. But these are pretty far from most medical schools. The local gyms are your best bet, but unfortunately few are air conditioned. So if you do plan to work out, expect to do so in temperatures in the mid to high 80's with 75% humidity. (get ready to sweat big time)

    And one last thing...knowing Spanish is not a necessary to obtain a residency position in the United States. What matters most is your academic performance, your USMLE scores, and your ability to interview well. Knowing more than 1 language is very helpful, and may give you a leg up when you apply for jobs. But for residency, speaking English proficiently is of utmost importance.

    Thats my 2 cents, hope it helps. I suggest you hear other opinions before making your final judgement, this is all my personal opinion only. Buyers beware. ;)
  7. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Hi Indian Medic,
    I do not know the background of the person that emailed you and I don't know what level of training he was referring to. But I personally do not feel that the training that I received in the Philippines was shallow at all. I completed medical school there, so my comments extend only up to 4th year.

    I think that the way they teach and test the basic sciences could be improved. They rely on brute memorization, and test you on so many little pointless facts, that some students lose sight of the "big" picture, thus they may be a little slow at making the clinical correlations at first.

    But I do believe that there teaching is effective, just look at the number of Filipino grads that come to the US and perform well in their residency training. I have heard from many program directors that I interviewed with that they valued Filipino residents because of their level of knowledge, their clinical expertise and their willingness to work hard.

    During the 4th year of clerkship, where students spend their entire time in the hospital, they get much more hands on clinical experience than many of their US counterparts. Some Filipino medical students get to actually handle deliveries, take active roles in surgeries, and of course can do all the scutwork with the best of them (blood draws, insertions, etc. Of course some say you can teach a monkey to do surgery, but it takes a true doctor to decide when to do the surgery. But I feel that the clinical experience students get in the Philippines provides the opportunity to develop confidence and competence in their abilities. You can't get this simply by watching or reading about it.

    Lastly, I did some clinical rotations in the US, and found that I compared quite favorably with the US medical students that I rotated with.

    People study medicine in the Philippines for various reasons. I went because I had too much fun in college and ruined my GPA. So I went to the Philippines with the intent to work hard and redeem myself. If you go there with this intention your education in the Philippines will not be shallow. You get back whatever you put in.
  8. chilipino

    chilipino Junior Member

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    I'm Fil-Am, and I just wanted to find out more about St. Luke's. Like if there are any affordable apartments, dorms, nearby? How much are they? Will it be difficult to make friends if you are a foreigner? Also, about the 5 year cirriculum...is the last year of internship optional? I also wanted to find out more about clerkships and how/when to go about applying for them? Thanks.
  9. ivyleague22ny

    ivyleague22ny Member

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    I did medical missions in the Philppines and I can
    definitely attest to the difficulties of the adjusting
    to the weather, the pollution, the blatant political corruption,
    the culture difference, and the "sir/maam/Dr./Dra." complex
    with your superiors.

    I was just wondering after gaining a US college education, why do Americans choose to endure 4 years of that by attending med school in the Philippines, when you are NOT guaranteed a residency in the US?

    While I assume the tuition is cheaper, I was suprised
    when I heard that you must pay an upfront cash "donation"
    of "$6000 -15000." If it's a donation, why is it required?

    Why not pursue a D.O. degree or go to St. George's
    or Ross in the Carribean, where you have a better chance of matching and you don't have to come up with that ridiculous
    amount of a "donation"?

    To those Fil-Am pre-meds still pondering on where to go after college with a not so great undergrad record, let me just assure you that it's not the end of the world and you can still go to med school in the US (I was able to and would be happy to help you, too, just let me know)

    :)












    :) :)
  10. chilipino

    chilipino Junior Member

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    dear ivyleague22ny,
    I am currently on the waiting list at 2 DO schools, but as the process goes...i'm not guarenteed that i will have a place for the entering class of 2003. This is my second year attempt to get into a school here in the US. I am already 23 years old, and would truly like to start on my career. everthing i have done, has been geared towards medicine...however, it just seems like an uphill battle in terms of getting into a school here. I have heard of a few successful IMGs, and I hope to be able to be one also. I'm debating of whether to just start this year at a medical school in the PI or just reapply for a third time here in the US. What do you think? However, if you have any words of advice, I would truly appreciate them. Thanks.
  11. ivyleague22ny

    ivyleague22ny Member

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    hey chilipino,

    if you've already reached "wait-list" status at med schools,
    then it shows that you do have what it takes to enter
    med school in the US, since the admissions committee knows
    you're qualified, it's just they have limited space.

    May 15 just passed, when all accepted students
    were suppose to choose their schools (i know that's the case
    for AMCAS), meaning each med school should have more
    vacancies as accepted students give up their spots....hence,
    I would recommend that you contact the 2 schools you were wait-listed at and let them know in writing and by phone that you
    still have a vested interest in their school for this fall 2003.
    for X, Y, Z reasons (a particular program you liked, the students,
    the faculty you met, etc.) and perhaps list any new accomplishments you've made since you applied.

    Since you will be spending the rest of your life pursuing
    a career you love (medicine), I really don't think 1 more year
    is a waste of time....I know people who got in after their 3rd try and they were already 28+....you're only 23, so you still have time
    to get into med school in the US. also $$ wise, you can
    continue to work and save lots more money....overall,
    i think it's worth it to apply again here in the US rather than
    going to the Philippines and coming up with that $10000+ cash donation up front and getting all 6 copies of those "duly notarized good moral certificates of clearance from the Philippine police and the Mother Superior of Our Lady of Infinite Misery Convent.

    Also should you decide to apply for the 3rd time, list
    a brief list of your credentials on each time you applied
    and see where you where you can significantly improve more:

    e.g. analyze where you can 'significantly' improve
    in your application the third time by seeing where
    you didn't improve much on your 2nd try:

    - did you apply with the same GPA 2nd time (maybe improve
    GPA by taking a few more upper division bio classes at
    a well regarded university)
    - did you apply w/o a significant increase on your MCAT
    score (e.g. 25-->26 only?...any individual section score that
    could have improved more?)
    - were your LOR's at most mediocre? how was your DO
    recommendation letter? how was your pre-med committee
    letter? were they submitted well ahead of time?
    - on your personal statement, does it sound canned?
    did you back up your reasons for wanting to pursue
    medicine with concrete examples, such as a particular
    patient you've encountered or other profound experiences?
    - on your interview, did you briefly sum up all the reasons why
    you deserve a spot in their class at the end? did you show
    enthusiasm in your interview even if the interviewer seemed
    apathetic? did you respond to each snotty remark from
    your interviewer with a positive response and a smile :)?
    - did u submit your AMCAS/AACOMAS late in august and your
    secondaries in novemeber, when you could have submitted
    them much earlier (june for primaries, aug/sept for secondaries)
    - what schools did you apply to? for MD, did you only apply
    to top schools or schools with too many applicants....do your
    math and apply for med schools that accepts >10% of total
    applicants or for schools where less than 2500 apply....for DO,
    did you only apply for PCOM, Western, Touro with many
    applicants and not at the ones with less applicants such as
    Pikeville or West Virginia?


    or better yet, call the med schools you didn't get accepted to and ask them directly how you can improve your credentials....if the schools are nice and happy to advise you, then that's a sign you should apply for that school again.....on your secondary, say that you appreciated that they took the time to help you out..
    .......if they're rude and tell you you to get a life, then that's a sign that you should NOT apply for them.

    well hope this helps and if you need more help, feel
    free to let me know or e-mail me directly.

    good luck!
  12. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Chilipino:
    Before you consider attending medical school in the Philippines, I really think you should exhaust all of your options here first. Ivy League gave some very good advice of how to try to improve your application.

    I do understand your concern, one of the main reasons why I went to medical school in the Philippines was because I felt I was wasting my time waiting trying to get into medical school here. I only tried once, got waitlisted but was ultimately denied. I then went to the Philippines.

    The education I received in the Philippines was very good, and very cheap, and in the end all worked out. But certain doors are closed a little tighter for IMG's, (residency positions in more lucrative specialties, positions in more presitgious hospitals.) Plus there is always the stigma that IMG's initially feel when they start residency.

    So if you really think you have the chance to get in here, and If you really think you can improve your application by the next application cycle, I would encourage you to try one more time. Waiting for one more year then getting into a school in the US would be well worth the wait and save you from the years of uncertainty that US-IMGs face as they try to come back home for residency training.

    To IvyLeague

    "Why not pursue a D.O. degree or go to St. George's
    or Ross in the Carribean, where you have a better chance of matching and you don't have to come up with that ridiculous
    amount of a "donation"?"

    If I had the chance at a DO degree over a MD from a foreign school, and wished to practice medicine in the US. I would choose the D.O. I see the DO degree and the MD as equivalent, and it is obvious that US grads have better opportunities for US residencies compared to grads from foreign schools.

    But if I would definitely choose the Philippine school over any other foreign medical school for the following reasons.

    1) The Philippines is cheaper. Yes there is a donation of 6K-10K, but then each semester is 1K (at least it was when I went) or maybe 1.5K now. But this adds up to 12K in tuition for the entire 4 years, or a total of 22K including donation. Don't the Caribbean schools cost this much for just 1 year?

    Also, many of the Philippine schools are eligible for Federal loans for the US citizens. (just as the carribean schools are)

    2) Where did you get the idea that Philippine grads that are US-IMGs have less success with the match compared to grads from the Carribean?

    Philippine grads that are US-IMG's have a very high percentage of success in obtaining residency positions on their first try (>95%). (I polled UE, UST, FEU, Fatima, La Salle, and St. Lukes Fil-Ams) Sadly, the percentage is much lower for Philippine grads without US citizenship.

    3) The Carribean has humid tropical weather, political corruption, and coming from the US, you will undoubtedly experience a cultural difference as well.

    4) I chose the Philippines because I am Filipino, I felt I would be more comfortable in a culture I was more familiar with and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to learn medicine and gain a personal perspective on the courntry where my parents were raised.

    The Carribean schools do have several strengths when compared to their Philippine counterparts:

    One of which is that only your first 2 years are spent on the Island, then all of your clinical rotations are done in US hospitals. This gives you the opportunities for more letters of rec from US doctors, and gives you a more direct experience with the US health care system.

    As a Philippine student, you will have the opportunities to do your clinical rotations in the US also, but you must write to programs on your own during your 3rd year to obtain applications. The carribean students have much more assistance from their school in obtaining clinical rotations.


    My point is this. Attending medical school in a foreign country as a US citizen should be your last resort, exhaust your options here first. But should you choose to go abroad, the medical schools in the Philippines offer a great bargain with a high quality education. Consider them as just one of many options, but one that can compare favorably with other foreign medical schools.
  13. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    The Philippines is extremely hot and humid. But most schools will have air conditioned classrooms. FEU didn't at first, which made for some very sweaty test papers. And while I learned to deal with the heat eventually, I was usually always the most sweaty person in the room. (Not a pretty picture at all)

    Most of your questions there are MCQ, with some Fill in the Blanks. But are they usually single jump question, i.e. question-recall- answer. The USMLE uses double and tiriple jump style questions, question-recall, correlate, answer. Many of the schools in the Philippines are trying to incorporate some problem based facets into their curriculum, so students may start to see questions more similar to the USMLE format.

    As for furniture, I just bought it from local businesses, the palengke (neighborhood marketplace) from SM, or ACE hardware. I got functional, non stylish, but cheap furniture. I didn't see the point in buying really nice stuff since I would only be there for 4 years.

    Budget, I got by with 500 dollars a month. This took care of monthly rent( shared an apartment, but had my room to myself), utiliities, cable, internet, food (shared groceries and eating out 3-4 times a week), entertainment (drinking, with a trip somewhere every couple of months), fare for public transportation and also included a monthly salary for a maid. This proved sufficient for a modest, comfortable lifestyle with some extras and I was still able to save a couple of thousand pesos per month. Many of my friends went out a lot more, had car payments, better furniture and led a more lavish lifestyle and spent maybe 200-300 dollars more.

    As far as books, like I stated in a post earlier, just buy your books there. There are International versions of the US books that have the same paper quality and same information, only cheaper. Then there are all of the "xeroxed" copy books. The paper quality isn't as good, but all the info is the same. You will save a lot of money using these books. Then, when you are "made" and are working as a doctor you can buy the US versions of your favorite textbooks.
  14. chilipino

    chilipino Junior Member

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    Thank you all for your advice. I know I have a lot to think about. Ivyleague and Spartan Doc, all your advice was truly helpful. Your input too IndianMedic ;)
  15. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    My maid was full time, and lived with me. I had 4 apartment mates, each with our own room. But we shared the maid, and split the cost for food and other household items. We paid the maid 4000 pesos per month, but she got free room and board from us. (she also got to free cable TV, and air cond, so she had a pretty good deal). The 4000 was what most live-in maids are paid, so while it may seem unfair, that was the going rate at the time.

    We also had bottled water, the tap water in the Philippines isn't the safest to be drinking from. Especially come rainy season when the water supply may be contaminated with line breaks.

    Classes start at 7 or 8 am, then go until 4-5, sometimes 6 pm; some schools have classes on saturday. Attendance is mandatory and checked before the start of every class. So you will spend most of your day your first 3 years in a classroom. You will usually have "shifting" exams 4-5 days of the week, so essentially every day. These are like chapter exams. They require lots of memorization, so you will go home after class, eat dinner. Then depending on your level of commitment and ability to pick up the material, will study anywhere for a few hours to longer. Every 6 weeks come major exams where you can expect to study deep into the night.


    Your 4th year clerkship you will work from 7-5 everyday and usually be on call every 3 days, but some rotations will require to go on call every other day. Bottom line, you will be expected to work 100+ hour weeks, with no days off. You may sometimes get to work half day on saturday or sunday. There are no restrictions on time in the hospital in the Philippines, so be ready to work hard. Many of the government hospitals that you will rotate to are not air conditioned, so be prepared to sweat a lot. But I guarantee, if you are willing to work hard, you will learn a lot and get a chance to practice a lot of skills.

    As far as the competitive nature of Filipinos. It really depends on the make up of your class and which school you go to. But for the most part, the filipino students that will go on to graduate in 4 years are very intelligent, very competitive, and very driven. The medical technology graduates in your class, have been exposed to many of the classes med students see the first 2 years. Thus they tend to excel and set the curve really high. (Some seem to have close to photographic memory because the educational system in the Philippines selects to build this trait.) This high curve will impact the passing rate and thus make it more difficult for everyone else. During lab practicals, some students may even sabotage the station once they are done. This is the exception rather than the rule, but the competition is cut throat. The number of students that start first year and go on to graduate is very low. Thus it is essential to try to get along with your classmates. The med techs can help you, as they seems to have the uncanny ability to study the high yield material that will be tested.


    As far as candles. I don't know who you are talking to, but candles are everywhere, don't believe all that you hear. And please try to have some common sense in regards to your questions. I understand that you may never have been there before, but c'mon.

    In regards to your budget: don't forget to budget money for entertainment, you will need to release some steam after a hard week of exams


    to Chilipino:

    Good luck to you on your decision. I know that it is a difficult decision to make. I made the decision to go because I felt that I didn't want to waste another year. I wanted to start medical school as soon as I could, so that I could get through and get on with the more important things in life (i.e. getting married and starting a family) But going to a foreign school is a long, hard road. There is no guarantee that you will graduate, many foreign students drop out due to social and academic reasons. And even when you do, there is no guarantee that you will be able to come back and practice. That is the risk that you take by going to a foreign school. Take care
  16. chilipino

    chilipino Junior Member

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    Hi everyone,
    The reason I put up my first post was because I've already been accepted to school in the Philippines. I've thought long and hard about what I should do, and I think i've decided to just attend the Philippines this year b/c I too want to be able to get married and have a family one day. Since I was a late applicant, I have been accepted to St. Luke's, Fatima, and De La Salle. Of these three options, which do you guys think would prepare me best for the USMLE and towards gaining a residency here in the US? Any advice would be trul appreciated.
  17. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Chilipino:
    Congratulations on making your decision, I know it must of taken a lot of soul searching.

    Let me say one thing, I don't think that any school will prepare you for the USMLE better than another. The focus of every medical school in the Philippines is to prepare their students to pass the Philippine board, which is quite different in style and format. The Phiippine board tests your ability to recall, while the USMLE tests the ability to recall and analyze.

    That said, some schools have better passing rates for the USMLE compared to others. I don't know the passing rates for the USMLE for those schools you got admitted to, but I will summarize my opinions about those schools you have to choose from.

    St. Lukes- The curriculum is 5 years, and this is mandatory. The hospital is beautiful, with the newest technology, and good teachers. It is located in Metro Manila, and is in an area that is quite crowded with lots of traffic (but then again, all places in the Philippines are). bottom line, the school has a pretty good reputation. I am not sure how many fil-ams they have, but the students I met from there seemed to know their stuff.

    The fifth year is hard to swallow for me, given the fact that a fil-am doesn't really need the extra year. The 5th year will give you the ability to apply to California for residency, and it will give you extra clinical experience that is valuable. I am from California, and would have loved to do residency here, but the competition is tough, and I wanted to start residency anywhere, as soon as I could. So I felt I could better utilize the year to pass exams and try to get into residency in the US, (Again, I had that mental timeline pushing me).

    De La Salle- I don't know very much about their program. But the students I did meet from there all seemed pretty prepared and were very proud of their school. The school is in Cavite though, which is pretty far from everything. There is probably less traffic, but also less to do (if you are interested in extra curriular things). By extra curricular, I don't just mean bars, and nightlife. But also there aren't as many malls to go to, or restaurants to eat at. You can't study all the time, and you might get home sick, so having things like they have in the US, such as a big mall, or a starbucks, helped ease the homesickness for me.

    Fatima- They have a lot of Fil-ams and other foreigners there, and they have do have some clerkships arranged for you to do in the US, if you are willing to pay for it. (They are pretty expensive if you go through the Fatima though) I went to FEU, and we have a lot of the same teachers that Fatima has. You will get a good mix of students there, there will be the really smart students who excel and finish in 4 years. But there will also be a lot of students from other schools who transferred to Fatima for a variety of reasons (some students go to Fatima cuz they were kicked out from other schools). But I have friends that went to Fatima, and they also seemed pretty prepared.

    So based on this, I would choose St. Lukes first, and let me tell you why. The students I met from there seem very proud of their teachers, and I don't here too many complaints about people being kicked out and such. Also, they have a pretty good reputation.

    I would choose De La salle next- the only reason why I didn't rank this first is location. Cavite is in the middle of nowwhere, and I don't like that. I want the option to have malls, hotels, bookstores and other fun things clsoe by me, just in case I need to be somewhere else for a while. As a med student, you may not really have the time to enjoy this stuff, but having the option always gave me some comfort. I know this sounds superficial, but I felel that these little lifestyle things are important in creating a more comfortable and modern living environment.

    Lastly I would choose Fatima. My main reason is this, they share the same teachers as FEU. And while I can proudly say that FEU taught me very much, I feel that it was pure torture the entire way through. I am not too sure about their system at Fatima, but given the fact that we share the same teachers, the sytem is also most likely the same. They probably admit lots of students, then as each year passes by, they cut out those with poor grades. This creates an atmosphere of extreme stress and tension. My grades were always pretty good, so I was never in danger of being cut. But seeing my friends get left back was even more painful and made my success bittersweet. So if Fatima is anything similar to FEU, I could not in good conscience recommend it to you.

    Please take this info with a grain of salt though, as I am not completely familiar with these programs, most of my opinions were made from friends that attended these institutions.

    As far as the USMLE is concerned, and getting you into residency. Your success on the USMLE is mainly dependent upon you and not on the school you choose (Of course some schools like UP will have more students pass the USMLE, but that is mainly due to the intellectual caliber of the students that go to that particular school, rather than the program itself) . All the curriculums in the Philippines are basically the same. When choosing a school, try to get a sense of the the academic and social atmosphere of the school. (try to contact students from each school to describe their institutions.) Then go where you feel the most comfortable.

    As far as preparation for residency, St. Lukes and De La Salle, usually will have most of their clerkship rotations at their respective hosptials. So you will most likely have more busy work, and more theoretical lectures. Fatima does a lot of their rotations in government hospitals, thus you will get lots of hands on experience. You will do things many students in the US do not get a chance to do, and you may see some obscure cases.

    As I stated in a previous post, to get clerkships you must apply near the end of your 3rd year. Fatima wil help you arrange some. Check with St. Lukes and DLS if they allow thier students to do rotations in the US.

    The school year is starting soon, so you probably will be leaving soon. Good luck to you. Study hard, and go to the Philippines with an open mind and good humor. Study hard not just to pass your exams, but to learn it and understand it. Keep the big picture in mind, and you will maintain your sanity and you will make it through.
  18. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Indian Medic,

    Sorry, the comment was made with the intent of humor, not a personal attack.

    But I celebrated my birthday and the birthdays of my friends there for 4 years, and not once did we ever have trouble finding birthday candles. But, everyones experience in the Philippines will be unique. If that is your greatest concern about going to the Philippines for medical school, then you are one lucky person. :)
  19. NYGirl12

    NYGirl12 Senior Member

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    :laugh: first of all, birthday candles are available in a lot of places...supermarkets, party shops (which are located in almost every block in some areas), cake shops, etc... and yeah, celebrating birthdays is a major filipino custom... :)
  20. NYGirl12

    NYGirl12 Senior Member

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    there's a gold's gym in makati which is really new and the facilities are great there... there's also slimmer's world, a favorite of many.
  21. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Indian medic,
    Poking fun about the Filipino people and their cultural practices is not a particular good way of endearing yourself to others. And I don't see the logic behind your argument. Just because some Americans have a particular belief, gives you the excuse to say the wrong things? I am truly second guessing your common sense now. ;)

    Chilipino,

    I talked to some of my classmates about the schools that you got accepted at. De La Salle is far from Manila, but not so far that you are stuck with nothing else to do. There is the LRT (light rail transit, whihc is public transporation) that you can take into Makati. Makati is where a lot of businesses have their headquarters, and also where a lot of tourists hang out. And they have a pretty good repuation. So I would choose De La Salle over St. Lukes. The main reason being that I would not want a mandatory 5th year.

    Hope this helps, good luck in your decision.
  22. Spartan Doc,

    Firstly, I am not poking fun at anything Filipino. When I said "wrong things" - is meant that "some Americans say the wrong things"

    Do be more sensitive and realise that an outside who may not know much about the country may say things that may be incorrect, as a Filipino, I think it would be right for you to correct me rather than say stuff like doubting my common sense.

    Unfortunately, not every foreigner, who has never been to the country, will know about every single thing about the Philippines. It's a new experience, imagining studying in Nepal/rural China and finding out that they even have stuff we take for granted in developed nations.

    I have met Filipino nurses who are truly nice people and that is a reflection of what I have of their country, where they come from.

    Hope I didn't offend anyone?

    Toodles :)
  23. NYGirl12

    NYGirl12 Senior Member

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    I'm sure you are. :cool:
  24. chilipino

    chilipino Junior Member

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    Dear SpartanDoc,
    Thank you so much for asking around in regards to my choices. I considered all the things you listed for each school (eg. the 5 years @St. Luke's, being far from the city @ DLS, etc.) and came to the same conclusion as you. I think De La Salle would be the best option for me, too. That's great news, that there's a light train rail available to Makati. I'm set to start in the next couple weeks. Thank you again for all your advice. But I don't think this is the last time i'll be asking advice from you.
  25. markfreak

    markfreak Member

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    hi chilipino,

    yes there are commuter trains that pass thru Makati (MRT & LRT) but they don't go thru Cavite. But there are plans to extend LRT to Cavite... but you have to wait for, maybe 4-5 years from now. (http://www.lrta.gov.ph/index.htm)

    anyway, good luck on your studies. i'm also starting my 1st yr med in san beda this june.

    spartan doc, i enjoy reading ur reviews. ;)
  26. markfreak

    markfreak Member

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    SpartanDoc,

    my mom kept asking me how much she should set aside for my books & equipment (1st year, 1st sem).

    how much did u spend for these?

    :confused:
  27. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Hi Mark Freak,

    If you are planning to buy your books in the US, which I do not recommend, then plan on setting aside 500 dollars just for books. If you plan on buying them in the Philippines, about 250 dollars should be more than sufficient.

    I would give you a list that I recommend for first year, but each medical school uses different books over others, so contact the school and get a list from them.

    I posted this earlier, but I do recommend that you get the First Aid for the USMLE, Step 1. They have a list of reviewers that you can use for your basic scicences. These are extremely helpful and provide high yield material to review.
  28. markfreak

    markfreak Member

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    Hi IndianMedic. Yes, it's true the phone company (PLDT) charges cheaper internet rate (PhP 0.25/minute). But, it's still cheaper to get a prepaid internet card. A PhP 250 card gives you 60 hours (internet). You can buy those in 7-11 outlets and major bookstores.

    You need to wake up early for the NMAT since the tests starts at 7AM (I think!). Try to be there at least an hour before it starts. Traffic is light on Sundays; no need to worry. If you want, you can just take a cab. If you live in Makati, it'll probably cost you PhP 50-60 (US$1.12). From Quezon City to the testing site (in DLSU-CSB Manila, Taft Ave), maybe around PhP 150 (US$ 2.80).

    About what u just described in the LRT, that happens during rush hour on weekdays, not on weekends. If I were to compare the rush hour in Tokyo subway, its not that bad. You'll be fine.;)

    Hope that helps.



    SpartanDoc, thanks a lot! I wonder how much should I set aside for the equipment (stethoscope, etc.)
  29. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    MarkFreak,
    I don't know where you are currently residing, but it is a little cheaper to buy the higher quality medical equipment in the US (meaning Cardio stethescopes, ophthalmoscopes and otoscopes). But you will not usually need any medical equipment until your second year of school. That is when most students get their opportunities to interact with patients. But I have no experience with the curriculum of San Beda, so check with them.

    But if you are already there in the Philiippines, and feel the need to buy your stuff now ( It is pretty exciting to be starting med school) Then you could get by with buying your equipment from Bam Bang (it s off the LRT, or close to Jose Reyes Medical Center on Taft Ave, I believe)

    I am not advertising for any specific company, but I liked the Littman Classic II, it is not too expensive there, and will serve you well. Plus it is what many students use. I don't suggest a cardio stethescope during medical school there, as many students get their stuff stolen during their 4th year clerkships. It should run you between 40-50 dollars there.

    You really don't need a high end BP cuff either, as these get easily misplaced. They should run you around 10-15 bucks there.
    You will also need a penlight, and a neuro fork. These won't cost more than 5 bucks each (unless you get a maglight penlight, those are more expensive).

    Ophthalmascopes and Otoscopes are not a necessity, but are nice to have. These will run 100 dollars each, sometimes more.
    Again, you do not usually need these until second year, but if you get excited, go for it.

    Indian medic:

    Don't worry about it, everything is all in good fun, and I didn't mean to strike you too hard. Keep asking questions, and I will try to keep answering. I will be starting residency near the end of June, so ask your questions now. I may not have much time answer them once I start.

    As far as the LRT on a Sunday morning? Usually not a big problem at all, especially early in the morning. It s the weekday traffic to the airport that you should worry about.

    Take care everyone, and for all of you students that have just started, or are starting medical school in the Philippines this year, Good luck to you all. Study hard, play hard, and remember that an optimistic and open mind will lead you far.
  30. markfreak

    markfreak Member

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    Hi! Thanks for the info. I'm residing here in the Phil. I'm excited to buy those stuff, but I'm not enthusiastic about going to school everyday. :D

    San Beda puts emphasis on clinical exposure (according to the Asst. Dean). That's why as early as 1st yr 1st sem, we already have Intro to Clinics course.

    Thanks again. Good luck on your residency. :)
  31. cdee

    cdee New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm planning to go to med school in the Philippines next year (taking the NMAT this december). Any suggestions which school is good? Pros and cons, stuff like that.
    If there's anyone from UST or UE, I'd really like your honest opinions cos these two schools are the ones I'm really looking at.

    :)
    Cat

    P.S. Your comments on the other topics have been really informative. Thanks!
  32. ispic

    ispic Get there!

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    Wow guys,

    This thread has been bringing back lots of memories of the time I spent in the Philippines, and makes me miss it that much more and want to return :(

    Anyways, congrats to Chilipino for coming to a descision on where to pursue your medical studies :clap: :clap: :clap:

    My question involves 4th year rotations, if anyone has any info, pls help. I have been looking at the AMSA site for suggestions on doing an away rotation during 4th year and I was wondering if any of the students/physicians that have been posting on this thread have some information on the Visayas programs, mainly in Cebu. I realize that it might be more of a "rural" experience than the urban medicine exposure that Manila has to offer, but although I am comfortable speaking Tagalog or Cebuano, I would rather see what Cebu has to offer, besides, it would give me time to visit Leyte on a weekend or two, where I have some close friends :)

    Do these rotations provide a decent clinical experince? Are they set up so that I might be able to perform a lot of tasks, within my scope of practice? Finally, I know that this might be a sticking point for some of you, so plase excuse my candor in advance, but are the foreign students (primarily from the US) looked upon with a little bit of suspicion and will I have a difficult time explaining to them that my real reasons for coming there to do a rotation are sincere and altruistic, since I know that the majority of medical students here in the US view anything outside the mainland as "third rate". Its really sad to have to justify this to all the jerks here, but a physician is the same everywhere you go, last I checked the human body does not change from one country to another :)

    I am actually really looking foward to this opportunity ever since I left the Philippines, and would appreciate any imput. Thanks in advance :)
  33. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Ispic,

    The rotations in the Philippines provide excellent clinical experience. You will have the opportunity to try procedures that many medical students in the US would not be offered. And keep in mind that the scope of practice for student physicians in the Philippines is a little broader than here in the US, as the patients are less likely to file lawsuits.

    If you do in fact go there, you may have some trouble at first gaining the trust of your supervising residents and attendings. The patients will trust you right away, but the doctors you work with may feel insecure by your presence initially. But since you speak Tagalog and Cebuano fluently, you may have an easier time gaining their friendship. Once you gain this, you will basically get a chance to try any procedure you want to (within reason of course)

    I have never had any direct clinical experience in Cebu, but I participated in medical missions in the rural areas of Luzon, and they proved to be the one of the most fulfilling experiences. The opportunity to interact with people that rarely had doctors was great. Most of the people were so grateful just to have us there, it reminded me of why I became a doctor in the first place.

    If you know any doctors practicing in the Philippines associated with a medical school there, or know of any doctors here in the US that go to the Philippines for medical missions, they might also be able to help you set up a rotation.
  34. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Indian Medic

    The third year in the philippines is not truly a clinical year. You still spend most of your time in the classroom for lectures on the clinical subjects. thus there are no 3rd year clerkships.

    Doing your entire fourth year in the US has plenty of positives and negatives:

    The positives, good letters of reference, good chance to gain experience in the US healthcare system, will make you more eligible for a wider number of residency programs (some require 1-12 months of experience in the US.

    The negatives: depending on the school that you choose, it is difficult to arrange for 12 contiguous months of clerkships. In fact some schools require you to do at least 3 months of clerkship at the school.
    Some programs in the states require your core clerkships (i.e. medicine, surgery, ob/gyne, pediatrics to be done at your medical school)

    But it is not impossible, you will just have to be very organized, and must start applying for clerkship positions in the middle of your third year. Some schools like Fatima will help you obtain a few months of clerkship. But the majority will require you to do all of the footwork and go through lots of red tape.

    Also, some programs will require you to purchase your own medical malpractice insurance, this will cost you up to 1000 dollars per year. Other programs will allow you to purchase it through the school at a much lower price.

    I did just 1 month of clerkship in the US while some of my friends did 6-9 months of clerkship. My clerkship was in Internal Medicine, because that was the specialty that I wanted. I feel it is most important to obtain clerkships in the specialty you want in the US. Then, any other specialties you can get are just an extra added bonus.

    But in comparing my clerkship with friends who went to US medical schools, I found that I got more practical experience in OB/Gyne and surgery compared to my friends here. I knew I would never practice surgery or OB/gyne in the US, so I chose to stay in the Philippines, where I got to do A LOT of deliveries, and got to do lots surgical procedures. (I chose the once in a lifetime experience over the letters of reference)

    As for me, I have matched in a Internal Medicine-Categorical position, in a University Hospital in the Western US. My USMLE scores were in the mid 80's for both Step 1 and Step 2, I had 1 month of clerkship in the US and also hold a Masters degree. I didn't take step 3, because I am a US citizen and did not require it to get into residency.
  35. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    I have a masters in public health from a US university. (I lived my whole life in the US until I went to medical school in the Philippines.)

    If you really want to finish your PhD, then I suggest you finish it before you go to medical school. Medical school is extremely time consuming, and I found it challenging. You may not have weekends free to pursue another academic challenges outside of medicine.

    Any extra degrees can augment your residency application. It all depends on what specialty you want and how you see yourself practicing medicine in the future. With a business degree and medical degree, you will be a hot commodity for health care management and policy formation. If this floats your boat, then go for it. We need more doctors willing to take part in policy formation and health care advocacy.
  36. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Cdee,

    Since no one has replied to you yet, I will give it a shot.

    Both schools are really good and you will not go wrong choosing any of them. I was all set to go to UE, but 5 years ago, there was some concern in regards to the financial stability of the school. So I chose to go somewhere else. But I think UE has now stabilized and is no longer in jeopardy of closing.

    UST teachers are very good, and the school has a great reputation of preparing their students very well academically. After UP, they probably send over more of their students to the US than any other school. Their alumni organization in the US is pretty strong.

    Many of the UE teachers come from UP, (the most recognized medcial school in the Philippines) so they too are taught very very well. There have been a small number of Fil-Ams over the past 4 years (6-10), so although their alumni organization in the US is pretty strong, most of the active members are much older.

    It goes without saying that a strong, active alumni association can be beneficial when it comes time for residency applications. Programs that currently have residents from your prospective medical school may be more willing to grant you an interview. Also the alumni are a good way of finding out more info about a specific program.

    I was personally more impressed with UST. But you can't go wrong either way. Good luck on your decision. Don't worry about the NMAT, its not hard at all and really does not predict how you will do in medical school anyway.
  37. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    My timeline for when I took my exams is posted on page 2, post 5 on this thread
  38. ispic

    ispic Get there!

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    Hi Spartan,

    A big salamat for the advice, I'll definitely start looking into it next summer. Thks again :)
  39. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    Its important to have a basic understanding in elementary biostats and epi, as it will be covered briefly on the USMLE. But, your community and family med classes in the Philippines will cover these ( they don't do that great of a job though). I didn't find the MPH very hard, i enjoyed all of the classes tremendously, but I am a nerd at heart thats why.

    As far as your traveling intinerary, it would probably be easier just to get a cab straight to wherever you want to go. Especially since you will have luggage. The LRT has lots of people ready to rob you if given the chance, so I wouldn't advise getting on there with all of your stuff. A little misdirection and you could easily kiss good bye something valuable. Set aside 20-30 dollars just for this. It could be cheaper, but given the fact that you are new to country, and don't know anyone there. Safety is probably more important than saving a few bucks. Then once you get rid of your luggage, you can jump on the LRT to your hearts content.

    You probably don't want to wear shorts in the provinces because you will get bitten by all the mosquitoes. Many people there wear shorts, and you will not offend them if you do. Some people bring OFF! lotion to prevent some bites.

    You can get visiting clerkships at SUNY Downstate, Albany medcial college, Baylor medical college, mayo clinic, and UC irvine. There are others out there, you just have to really work to find them. Things may change by the time you go to clerkship though, so talk to the older Fil-Ams at the medical school you attend, they may help you when you get there.

    I bought some books from Goodwill. Also once you start school, there will be people that go around selling the copied versions of books. There aren't too many second hand books of the current versions, as you will need your books to reference as you go through school. But if you can find them and like using them, go for it.
  40. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    You can ship your stuff using LBC or DHL, but these companies can take a really long time. It gets pretty expensive to ship it there express.

    I brought a laptop and some clothes. Nothing else. I figured I would spend most of my time in uniform, so there was little use in bringing lots of clothes. I tend to be a minimalist though. Everything fit in 2 balikbayan boxes. Everything else, bed, desklamp, etc. I bought there.

    No books from the US. You will need an anatomy atlas (Netter), and a Histology atlas (These are a little harder to find in the Philippines though but you can find them there.) Then get the school recommended textsbooks from there. The review books you will want to use are in First Aid for the USMLE, step 1. They rate review books, I suggest you purchase the "A" rated books in each subject. I don't suggest you purchasing Kaplan notes until you are ready to take your exams. These are improved each year, so you only need the most current version.

    The best way to study for your USMLE's is to study hard for each of your classes and doing well in the exams. Learn, DO NOT SIMPLY MEMORIZE. Passing your classes will be hard enough, so concentrate on learning and understanding the material.

    Medical students get bombarded with exams, and get trapped trying to memorize just to pass. If you can be organized, and study each day, you will be fine. Always keep in mind the big picture when you learn. ( try to understand how each class fits together) If you do this, and it is actually a lot tougher than it sounds. You will be able to ace your classes and your exams.

    I have known many students that go to the Philippines and study for each of their exams as if they are preparing themselves for the USMLE. Many of these students did not pass their classes. Like I have said in previous posts, the material may be the same, but the manner in which it is tested is quite different. You must become proficient at the Philippine style of testing and the US style of testing to be successful. So be careful. First things first, pass the class, then take the USMLEs.
  41. jabrin99

    jabrin99 Junior Member

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    hello, how does one exactly apply to medical schools in the philippines?? I sent my registration fee to this man in nyc...and it has been two weeks with no reply...:confused: ....and what is the best way to contact the medical schools?
  42. jabrin99

    jabrin99 Junior Member

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    Thanks Indianmedic, your info helps! Goodluck to your own endeavors!:)
  43. r3d

    r3d Junior Member

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    wow! i didnt know a lot of peeps wanna study here in the phil. yeah those are very good schools you've mentioned.:) but UP and CIM always gets top on the board exams.
  44. JDENTHOPEFULL

    JDENTHOPEFULL Member

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  45. jabrin99

    jabrin99 Junior Member

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    hello...maybe someone can help me again....is the NMATequal to the MCAT in difficulty??...and if anyone has taken it...how did you prepare??
  46. Spartan Doc

    Spartan Doc Jedi Knight

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    The NMAT does not even compare to the MCAT as far as difficulty and predicting success in medical school. I took both and while I found the MCAT challenging, I found the NMAT a joke in comparison. The NMAT is very easy and I would not stress out about it. Most of the people that I knew did not even review for it, they just went in and took it. I did not review for a single subject and scored in the 98th percentile. And while I did graduate from Medical school, most people would not describe me to be a genius in any way.

    If you have taken your biology prerequisites, you will do fine in the biology part. That is probably the most challenging. The math part is very basic and if you have done any math classes in college you should be fine, the analytical part requires no preparation.

    If you are one to worry, when you register for the NMAT, you will receive a practice booklet. Just go through the practice questions enclosed in there. If you still feel the need to prepare, go over some Bio stuff and use material that students use to prepare for the Bio section in the MCAT.

    And for those still wondering about which medical school to enroll in. Please keep this in mind. A school may have high Philippine Board passing rates, but that does not necessarily translate to success when coming back to the US. UP, UST, FEU, Fatima, UE, DLS, St. Lukes send a lot of people back to the US for residency training. They are known here, and when you are applying for residency spots, if a program director has had success with previous residents from your school, they may be more willing to take a chance on you.

    The medical school in Cebu is a great medical school, with high passing rates for the Philippine boards, but they do not send a high percentage of their graduates to the US for training. Thus you may be at a disadvantage when you come back here. This will be due to the fact that you may not have people ahead of you that have had the experience of trying to obtain residency here.

    Good luck to all of you.
  47. markfreak

    markfreak Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Messages:
    43
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Hi IndianMedic,

    For me, MSA in not a good source for review in preparation for NMAT. I bought this book they published--an NMAT reviewer. It was too difficult compared to the actual test I had two years ago. If I were you, just try to read your Biology, Organic Chemistry, Sociology/Social Science books.

    PhP 80,000 is too much. I spent around PhP 16,000 for books alone this semester. Better buy Color Atlas of Human Anatomy by Rohen. It's unavailable here in Manila. I just ordered a copy of it from amazon.com. This book will surely help you in your gross anatomy lab. It has photos of the real thing. It'll definitely help you in your lab quizes.

    About the question you asked a month ago about san beda, the class for this year is around 121. Everyday, classes start at 8AM and ends at 5PM (Mon-Fri). There will be days when we have to meet on Saturday mornings for the clinics. I was told that San Beda med students are the earliest to have exposure on clinics. Other schools expose their students to patients on 2nd-3rd yrs. About the possible rotations in U.S., I still don't know if San Beda will allow such thing.

    Still looking for an accomodation near Pedro Gil? There's a nice hotel beside a mall in Pedro Gil. Manila Midtown Hotel.

    http://www.manila.the-hotels.com/manila-midtown-hotel.htm

    http://www.philippineshotels.net/hotels-manila/manila-midtown/index.php3

    http://reserve.accommodationspecial...WN HOTEL&LKF=MGD&Dest=MNL&LANG=en&Return=Prev

    Hope this info helps. :)
  48. markfreak

    markfreak Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Messages:
    43
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Hi! I doubt if you could already enroll by December. Enrollment season usually starts by March. But try it anyway.

    Phil society is homophobic. Follow the advice of your friend's mom. You'll be fine if you this.

    A local TV network cancelled that soap a few years ago. Too bad. :laugh:

    Good luck! :)
  49. markfreak

    markfreak Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Messages:
    43
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    good. where are you planning to enroll then?

    :)
  50. Doctor Wyldstyle

    Doctor Wyldstyle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2001
    Messages:
    492
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    Hey Spartan or any fil-ams who've studied in the philippines,

    How much Tagalog do you really need to know? Did you know any before you went? If not, did you learn or master whatever knowledge you had?

    Also, if you are pretty americanized, how bad is the culture shock for lets say a early 20's fil-am from los angeles? Just curious, i have a cousin that may be applying.

    Thanks,
    wyldstyle2000
    Saint Louis U med

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