Hello, lurking reader! This is my first blog post since third year medical school and I’m so excited to write again. My previous ones are in my Tumblr account (nikkirdipine.tumblr.com) but they are unorganized. This time, I want to really write even just for myself, thus this new site (that I can [really] edit and manage). I had a thought of just becoming YouTuber but I really don’t like to talk so let’s just leave my YouTube account for dance and travel videos.
Since posting my National Medical Achievement Test (NMAT) tips on Tumblr, a lot of people have been messaging me everything medical-related. I have been busy since my junior internship (clerkship), so I have unread messages which are three years back. I’ll answer their questions here for those who are willing to know but I’ll segregate them into different posts.
Overview on Med Journey
For those who did not know, I graduated in the University of Santo Tomas (UST) with the degrees Bachelor of Science major in Nursing and Doctor of Medicine. Initially, I was uncertain if I would go to UST for Nursing because the interview result was still pending, so to be safe, I already paid the confirmation in De La Salle University Manila (DLSU-M) with my first choice program, Bachelor of Science in Biology. After a few days, thankfully, the interview result came out and I immediately confirmed my enrollment in UST. During the USTET though, I was thinking of switching Medical Technology and Nursing to first choice and second choice of program, respectively. Instead, I stuck to what I applied initially.
I am a probinsyana myself, and I was in culture shock even with just stepping in a large campus as UST. Some of the people lined up for our Nursing interview had soaring grades of 95 to 99 only, and I thought I was already an overachiever. Some were even speaking in straight English talking to their parents. I thought I was kind of hopeless, knowing that these people are also earning their place in a quota program. Nursing is just one of the few programs in UST which require an interview when you pass the UST Entrance Test (USTET), others do not. Therefore, I have to wait longer to know if I will have a college to study in on June! Nevertheless, it was all worth it.
Senior year in college came, and it was time to choose a medical school! But first, NMAT (and oh, the Philippine Nursing Licensure Examination). I took it several times just to improve my percentile rank. There were only two schools I applied in: UST and University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH). The latter one was because my dad just convinced me to try, but I know I won’t be able to. My first choice was really UST, and I was accepted! My medical journey will be in another post though so look out for it!
It’s Not The School; It’s You
QUESTION: “Hello! I’m an aspiring med student and dream school ko po ang UST. I graduated nursing sa Mindanao, willing naman ang parents ko to support me. I heard na mahirap daw makapasok sa kanila lalo na ang mga outsiders at hinde manilenyo. And nakita ko po sa site nila na ang application ay around, Oct 15-Nov 15 pero sa Nov 24 pa po ako mag take ng NMAT. Plus waiting for the results, mga around Mid december pa ako makaka submit ng application. Pwede pa kaya yan? Or am I too late? 😦 thank you”
It is a challenge to be able to enter medical school in UST, especially if you will be competing with the rest of the UST pre-medical students who have an advantage, no doubt. During my time, the website said that 75% of accepted applicants will be taken from the students who took their undergraduate program in UST.  The rest are reserved for those who graduated from other schools as well as the for the foreign students. The NMAT percentile rank needed in UST was at least 75. Imagine all those criteria, and sadly, there are those who get in because they know people in the administration or the so-called “backers.” This is a piece of advice my dad always tells me: Get in by your own because in the future, you will rely on your own. It’s true, especially in the medical field when you make choices on your patient and when you take the boards. Don’t be afraid to try even if you only have 25% chance of getting in just because of where you previously studied. It’s not the school; it’s you.
With the NMAT results, UST can wait for your immediate December result (“to follow”), as long as you give them the other requirements. That’s what I did before, so it’s not too late. For example, the requirements for medical school is 15th November 2017, you can still give your December 2017 results as a follow-up.
When giving requirements, UST Medicine asks you to give certificates of extracurricular activities (of leadership, civic or volunteer work). Provide them with some as much as possible, especially if you are active in your pre-medical school days. It is a plus, trust me. They want a medical student who is not just purely good in academics, but is also talented and community-oriented.
For more information, visit http://medadmission.ust.edu.ph/
Good luck and see you on the other side!