Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ORIENTATION FOR M.D. WANNABEES (pre-med courses to take)

(I wrote this several years ago. I guess 2007...when I was in Med School...
but I didn't publish it. It was boring and too long. This was my view few years back. Oh well. 
Now I am about to take my diplomate boards. I'll publish this trash anyway. Haha! 
Sorry for the wrong grammar.)

What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a doctor. I heard that countless times. I've watched children in TV saying those words, worst, I uttered the same famous answer gazillion times. Fortunately, I became one. But not fully pledged, still have to pass the physician boards. I really just want to rest. What the heck. This blog is for the aspiring doctors, seeking a mini orientation. I am the lone doctor in our family, my father is a lawyer, and I have to take it all from experience. What I wrote down here, is from my experience, thus it may vary from person to person, and I apologize if the facts(?) I typed here are distorted and influenced by my alzheimeric memory.

One of the shortcuts in taking medicine is becoming one of the top 50 UPCAT passers in the country. UPCAT, University of the Philippines College Admission Test. Yep, I took it in 1998. Surprise. I am not in the top 50. But I passed! If the applicants in the top 50 had indicated in their application forms that they have interest in this so called "for the service of humanity" course, they automatically set to be screened and the top 40 out of this 50 are in the INTARMED program. I think you have 2 years for the pre med subjects, and 4 years for the med proper. so if you're 16 (highschool life, I remember it kay saya), plus 6 years, wow, a 22 year old doctor (granting you passed all of your subjects and clinical rotations). You have the biggest advantage, youth. One of my mottos in my medical endeavor is to " finish the f*cking degree in medicine at the shortest time possible".

Okay so, you did not pass UPCAT, or you passed UPCAT, but did not qualify in the INTARMED program, you have to choose a pre-med course. What are they?
B.S. (its bachelor of science, not the you know what) Medical Technology, hmm. You'll be a century ahead in microbiology, clinical pathology, and microbiology (century huh? you'll have a background, at least, i think those are the right words, oh man, Im having a nose bleed). In UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, those are second year subjects (yeah, I took medicine at the ROYAL AND PONTIFICAL, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, UST, roarrr!!!wtf!!!). 
How about physical therapy and occupational therapy? These courses would definitely give you edge at human anatomy, physiology, neuroanatomy, neurology and rehabilitaion medicine. Drawbacks? its a 5 year course, quota (in UP and UST, I passed the USTET also, P.T. course, but I opted to study in UP Los Banos), and I think they have a required summer courses, so much for that two months summer break.

Pharmacy, an edge in pharmacology, Microbiology, an edge in that bug and virus infested subject, micro and parasitology. Nutrition, an advantage in biochemistry  and nutrition. Chemistry, self-explanatory. Subjects in medicine that has the same name with your damn course, will give you an advantage, you took it four years, in medicine its gonna be one year or less.

 How about nursing? Well, according to my fraternity brods, BS Nursing would have an edge in the clinical stuffs, as you will be exposed to patients, procedures  and the hospital life, of course, as a nursing student, but still, you get to observe, medical clerks (pleaase, they are 4th year medical students, they are the workhorse of the medical team, and the lowest life form in the hospital, that's what they say in UST), medical interns (mostly are post-graduate, meaning they graduated first and earned the M.D., because some med schools like UST offers a 4 year curriculum, then you're off to go and decide for yourself where you want to experience one of the most enjoyable phase in your medical training , internship), residents (licensed physicians in training in their chosen fields who reside at the hospital...), and sometimes fellows (doctors who are in subspecialty training and consultants (the gods). I think, they also rotate via clinical subjects, so they make "dampi" or maybe immerse themselves a little in the bowl of medical knowledge.  Drawbacks? well, oversupply of nurses maybe? magmemed ka nga di ba?!


My course, B.S. Biology, ahhhh, the study of life (actually I shifted from veterinary medicine, hello? its six years, don't take dentistry and the likes). As for me, I took zoology as a major, so i have a decent background in animal physiology, comparative anatomy, parasitology, biochemistry, but trust me, in medicine, the discussions are more detailed, deeper, and annoying (haha!) than college subjects. This course is really an advantage , if you're really pursuing medicine. Its easy to be admitted at UP or any other university using this course (comparing it to other courses), its really interesting. If you study, you can have nice grades, or GWA, you can impress everybody, and enjoy college life at its best. Drawbacks? ahmm, just take medicine after biology, ayt? There aren't so many biology jobs out there. Plant biology...has no connection to medicine whatsoever.

But it all boils down to NMAT, the National Medical Application Test. All aspiring doctor wannabees must take this exam. You must satisfy certain amount of  specific subject units (e.g comparative anatomy, 9(?) units of physics, or 12(?) units of of chemistry, sorry i forgot, i took this exam 7-8 years ago) whatever course you are in.I repeat, whatever pre med course you're in, you and your fellow applicants must satisfy the required units of certain pre med subjects in your pre med course. All NMAT applicants must pass the comparative anatomy subject and other required subject courses, ergo, you all have the basic knowledge that would help you  to ambulate a step closer to the M.D. Degree.

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