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I’ve been a student in UV-GCM during a strange time.  I started during my 3rd year coming from another medical school in Cebu. Renovations and changes were being made in the school’s structures and staff, and a worldwide pandemic affected us as we were about to end the school year, ending our 3rd year earlier than usual. Nevertheless, I could say that I’ve had my best medical school experiences in this institution — too many in fact to put in this article without drawing my message too long.

To start off, the facilities have been very accommodating, given that renovations were going on. I’ve made many friends with similar goals to become a doctor in the library, which was open late into the night. I would find myself staying after our classes to study (or at least try to), often with my classmates, confident that the restrooms are clean with working bidets. We would then grab a drink or a bite afterwards in the many cafeterias and fast food restaurants available around the facility. As an avid and self-proclaimed foodie, it was a joy for me to find out that there are many flavors to suit my palate, often a walk away from our classrooms. The international community in our institution brought with them food from their hometown — Indian food in one restaurant, Thai in the next one, Singaporean dishes outside next to the good old Jollibee. Of course, Filipino favorites are still available in our favorite hangout spot: Brgy. Atis.

As for our classes, it may not always be smooth sailing, but I know that my groupmates and classmates have my back. I would often be made the group leader — usually against my own volition, but this made me into a better leader, physician, and ultimately, a better person. Now during the pandemic, online classes may have dulled our skills, but our Doctors made sure to teach us with whatever modalities are available to us. As of the time of writing this article, we have not yet seen any real world patients, but I feel confident in my skills in presenting myself in front of an audience of Doctors and fellow clerks.

With regards to the recent developments in school, I had actually gone back to get a new ID made, and I was surprised to see that the renovations have been going smoothly. There is now a huge parking area on the side of the building that will hold a large number of vehicles. The school didn’t previously have one and we would just park wherever our car fits, which was honestly an eyesore when you look out from the balconies of the building. Now what you would see is a sprawling area of trees and landscaping with an area outside with chairs where the bust of some important person was. I’m not really sure what you call it (Theatre maybe? My friend and I joked that maybe it was a coliseum for blood sport of sorts).

            To end my article, I will give a message to all aspiring medical students. It doesn’t matter where you end up for your studies. Heaven knows how much I wanted to get into UST — mostly for continuity from my college days, but also because of my perception of its medical school, but as our Dr. Nielo from our Pedia rotation would always say, we are all studying the same books. At the end of the day, it is our effort and determination that spells our success in this field, not how high our NMAT scores are. The road will be long and arduous, often littered with more failures than success, most likely for a lifetime. If you are looking for a field where success, fame, glory, and wealth is guaranteed, please look elsewhere. Save yourself and your family the time and money. But if the vocation truly calls out to you, to help your fellowmen, to build a better society, to put a smile back on a person’s face after being ailed for so long, for the hardest but most fulfilling four years of your life, then welcome to the Medicine Community and UV-GCM is ready to take you in with open arms.

Catan, Nicolo Lisandro L.
4th year Medical Student
Team Leader – 4A AY 2020-2021