Jul 21, 2010
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi guys.. I'm a fresh graduate of the Nursing curriculum, but I still want to pursue my Medical career. I'm about to take my NMAT exam on December My parents actually wants me to enroll in De La Salle Health Sciences Institute. I was wondering if you could give me any feedback about the said school. I myself really want to enter La Salle. So please do your opinion about it. My second choice is actually either FEU or UST.:)
 
Nov 15, 2015
1
1
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Since I searched SDN when I first applied to DLSHSI for med school and it was hard to find solid information on it, I'm writing this post to anyone else considering DLSHSI, as if I was writing to myself. I seriously wish someone had done the same for me.

I'm in the middle of 2nd year for medical school and I regret staying at DLSHSI. The problem with Americans (can't speak for anyone else) is that if we have expectations, we want them filled. So I came into DLSHSI with the wrong expectations. If you have your heart set out for any medical school, make sure you go with the right expectations.

Yes, we can all expect TB, malaria, dengue, hot weather, air pollution, etc. but there are some things you might take for granted when leaving the US of A.

1. Fast Internet: we need internet to watch youtube videos, download lectures, read medical journals, collaborate with people, and use FACEBOOK. Internet is unreliable and it doesn't work when you need it most. It just throws you off your rhythm. Sometimes teachers will post homework at midnight and expect it done the next day, but what can you do if your internet didn't work that day? And no one cares or makes exceptions for that. You can pay for better internet, but it's nothing compared to what you can get in the US (assuming you are from an area covered by the big ISPs)

2. FACEBOOK: I have no idea about other schools, just that this school uses Facebook for everything. Everything is student run, notes and lecture ppts are shared online through Facebook. The problem is Facebook wasn't really designed for sharing, so it can get irritating. And one of the reasons Facebook is used is because the school doesn't have a school site where you can download things directly from the school, like Blackboard. They use Moodle, which is just sad, and it isn't even used often.

3. Classes are taught in English: not true. The important classes are taught in English, but you will encounter teachers who think it should be your life's priority to learn Tagalog. So they want you to learn Tagalog in a medical lecture-where you are learning medical information for the first time, in Tagalog. Congratulations if you know Tagalog, but if you do not, seriously reconsider going abroad to a school that "teachers in English". You do not want to learn radiology basics, cardiology and pulmonary basics in Tagalog. You simply do not want it. And your groupmates will speak in Tagalog and may be insensitive (or sensitive) to the fact that you have no idea what they are saying; you can't give input and you feel like you're wasting time if you ask them to translate everything. Some of your classmates will feel it is a waste of time and not even bother translating even if you ask them directly. Which is really irksome, because I always thought medicine was about collaborating with colleagues and working together for the better good. It's not. It's a dog-eat-dog world. And even though group work is not really core for your learning, you are at a disadvantage, because when you could be learning something and adding it to your knowledge, your time is being used less efficiently, because you are not gaining as much as you could be were you in a group where everyone spoke the same language.

You're really on your own for learning Tagalog, which you will have to use in the hospital. Honestly, how often do you encounter patients in the US who only speak Tagalog and do not have English-speaking family members? On a less important note, we have assignments where you are expected to do commercial videos, dance, since. There is a college-wide beauty pageant, broadway production, that they make sound required - you get extra credit points somehow at the end of the year. Honestly, why would I spend my time on this stuff that doesn't add to me being a doctor? I could just as well spend that time doing something more valuable to me as an individual. Just a taste of how different it is from the States.

4. Illnesses: Try to avoid hospitalizations as much as possible.

5. No Amazon: Your Amazon prime membership is worthless here. You can have them deliver, but it will be a high shipping fee. You may end up relying on the family friend of a classmate who is coming to the Philippines and beg them to bring you stuff in their Balikbayan box. This sucks if you decide you want a different textbook not on the school list...because textbooks are not readily available here. You'll have to illegally download books if it is available.

6. Exercise: My time in med school has been the most unhealthy period in my life. I miss my gym with its beautiful equipment, free weights, classes, and pool. There is a pool here, but you have to pay 50 pesos (about a dollar) every time you swim and you have to work around the schedule of undergrads who have swimming classes pretty much all day. There is also a gym here, but it's for undergrads only. Med students pay the most in tuition btw. Go figure.

7. Food: definitely cheaper here than in the US, but if you want imported foods from the US, like fresh milk or orange juice, you will be paying 2-3x the cost. One box of Florida's Natural is $6-7. They don't sell fresh juices here and hardly fresh milk. They have this boxed milk that doesn't need refrigeration which is what the rest of the world uses. So I guess Americans truly are spoiled and I'm not sorry for it. I think it is fine, if you live in a house and someone is cooking for you, but otherwise you have to work a little bit harder and be a little bit more creative if you want to maintain a healthy diet here.

8. Distance: I knew that distance was something to expect. I'm not the type of person to get homesick. We have the internet, so you can make calls using Facetime, Viber, Skype, etc. However, there are things that you will miss that you might have been able to attend if you were in the States or even the Caribbean, like weddings or funerals. I do not miss my family being here for me, I miss being there for my family. That is something that can be overlooked.

9. Good as your word: I always felt that if a person said they were going to do something, that they would do it; You ought to trust that person to do it. And if that person ended up not doing it, you just labeled them a "flake". If something is advertised and it ended up being misleading, you could always claim, "false advertisement", then the institution would meet whatever they claim to do because otherwise, they would lose credibility. In the Philippines, it's a different world. If a person says they will do something, I would say most of the time, they won't do it. And if you read say a piece of paper handed out by your school, they may or may not do it, it really depends on what the institution wants to do. America is more-or-less a country of Law and Order. There is law here, but it's not always followed, and there is order, but not really. I guess everything could be worse....but at the same time, it could be better. Also, America is very-consumer -oriented: If there is something that can be fixed or improved to make a service better, people voice their opinions and then companies listen to what their customers say. It's not like that here. (And I'm using companies for an analogy I will not spell out for you).

My view is probably skewed, because America is really diverse. I may have just come from a smaller community where people value doing what's right, credibility, diversity, honesty, having opinions, equality, etc.

10. I was told this already, but I took it for granted: PHILIPPINE SCHOOLS PREPARE YOU FOR PHILIPPINE BOARDS. I cannot stress this more. You may say, like I did once upon a time, I can prepare for the USMLE on my own and I will pass. Fine. Sure. Go ahead. It will not be easy doing it on your own. You will have a limited number of people you can ask questions or get that feeling of "support", because most people are taking the Philippine boards. You do not want to mess around with the USMLE. Life in med school is not fun and games. Do not be over confident in yourself. Take every precaution to ensure that you will succeed. Yes, Americans make it back to the US, but why put yourself through the extra stress of trying to figure out if what they are teaching you in class is important for USMLE? In the US, I am assuming whatever they are teaching is close to what you will need to know for USMLE - maybe I'm wrong. You will have to put in extra time and effort compared to your American counterparts to prepare for the USMLE. It's stressful as it is, add that on top of a curriculum that is not geared for USMLE, you're in a foreign country where you have less resources.

11. Less Resources: access to medical journals, class lectures/ppts. Say you wanted a subscription to a medical journal. If you were in the US, A) your school has a subscription B) you get a student discount. This is unavailable to you because you are in a foreign school that doesn't like to spend money. I also was watching a youtube video of some American student who had just finished med school and was showing off their notes, and I thought to myself, so their school just gives out notes, ppts, and pdfs? DLSHSI is not consistent with giving out lecture ppts, pdfs, physical hard copies. Some teachers do, some don't. There are some ppts that upperclassmen were able to get and most of the time they are unchanged from the last 3-4 years, but it really throws you off if there are changes, and you are making notes on top of old lectures. Then they give you the ppt after class. AFTER class. You can't take your own notes on the most up to date lectures, because they DO NOT give it to you before class. Students have asked and asked, and the school just ignores them. For me, I feel that the school has been working against me, instead of with me to help me succeed. And that is never a good thing. And sometimes it isn't even right after class, sometimes it's the weekend before an exam, or never - even though they said they would - which did happen, because I heard the teacher say they would when reviewing my recording(see #9). So if your strategy to succeed in med school was to be organized, please throw that out the window.

12. Rotations: You should already know this, but you will have less access to rotations in the US. Med schools in the US rely on established networks they have with hospitals. This school doesn't have any networks available - maybe they do, but I haven't heard of anyone recently taking advantage of it. Most people do Americlerkships where you pay a lot of money to be placed OR you can do your own research, but basically you have NO SUPPORT from this school. You have to do everything on your own, and you say now, "yea I can do it". Yes, you can, but it will take up time or money.

13. Residency: I haven't gotten to this point yet, so my opinion is less valuable. The only point I have in mind here, is USMLE score. The only way to have doors open up for you is to have high scores of the USMLE, because this is where you can prove yourself and where you have the most control. See #10.

14. There is discrimination, not politically-correct things done by teachers (American politics, because again every country has its own perceptions, values, culture), teachers can talk down to students - which I NEVER saw in America, but I guess I read about it. Actually, I often think of the Civil Rights Movement, and I think, Is this why they taught us that stuff over and over in high school? So we could recognize discrimination when it happens again? If you are white, you will most likely be left alone. If you are part Filipino and you do not speak Tagalog, you will be discriminated - and I use this word to mean they will treat you different from other students because you do not speak Tagalog. Why should you put up with this when you are in med school? You don't need this. Although, I suppose there may be issues with non-whites in predominately white schools in the US. So would you like to be discriminated by brown people or white people? Yeah yeah, Filipinos say they are hospitable, blah blah. I feel more comfortable around poor people who speak limited English, than rich people who speak English and harass me into learning Tagalog. You can say, well you are in the Philippines, what did you expect? I expected classes to be taught in English, because that's what they told me at my interview. See #9.

In conclusion: There is always a silver lining and you can always insist your cup is half full. If you can afford it, go to school in the States or even the Caribbean. It will do wonders for your psyche. You can always say you want to return to your roots, like I once did, but it comes at a high cost - just so you know. Growing up in a Filipino community in the US, I was surrounded by Filipino culture and I did not have to deal with being a minority. Most of my friends are just ethnically diverse - I have a little bit of everything :) but I have cousins who are more into the Fil-Am culture, and if you are thinking it's the same - it's not. I think it is even looked down on here. I am more familiar with Filipino culture than I would ever have been had I never come here for medical school. Not everything is beautiful - you see the good and the bad, and you have a more realistic view of who you are and where you stand.

I understand it's hard if you haven't been in med school, because you can't see into the future. I'm giving my opinion not to bash the school, but to help someone else out there who might benefit from my point of view, which varies from other Fil-Ams here.

If you are a Fil-Am, you may be pressured by your family to consider school in the Philippines, because Filipino doctors are good, classes are taught in English, and it's affordable.
1) There are good and not good Filipino doctors - and get ready for some of them to talk down at you and lecture you - it's the culture.
2) If you have done your undergrad training in the US, you will have to adjust to how things are taught here: rote memorization, sentence structures are in English, but it's different and you can word things better for yourself to understand, and their approach to teaching is different. I do not mean to be offensive, but if I were to get a lecture ppt from some American teacher and then from a Filipino teacher, I personally would understand and retain more from the American teacher, just because how they understand things is what I am accustomed to. You might say this isn't a big deal, but it matters in med school, where time is gold.
3) Yes, it is affordable. Can't remember exact numbers, but all four years is about one year in the US. Something ridiculously cheap. You need to consider, are all the problems you are going to deal less than 60k*3? There is also traveling cost, the cost of time to deal with paperwork - especially if you do not have any Filipino blood you will have to do visa work during med school, the cost of not being able to fly home in a jiffy. And there are also the fees you have to pay to the PI government and the school. There is also the cost of rotations - you most likely won't get the rotations you want, and you'll pay a lot of money for some company to pair you up with available rotations.

For me, it was appealing to go to school in the Philippines because it was very affordable and I won't have loans to pay off in the future. I would have gone to the Caribbean if the cost wasn't as high, but now going through all that I have, I would rather go there and be surrounded by people who think like me, who have the same goals as me. If I could go back in time and reapply to US schools: Yes I would. If the Philippines is your absolute only choice, then make sure to leave behind your expectations, stay focused on your goals, and make sure the school you want to attend is recognized by the US.

You will have to say you graduated from ____ school. Make sure you can be proud of whatever school you graduate from.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kurotoki
Apr 13, 2018
1
0
Hi! I’m planning on applying at DLSHSI this month but I’m still waiting for my NMAT percentile. May I know if DLSHSI is strict on their admissions? I really want to study there this school year.
 
About the Ads