I am a first year MD student at GCM and I must admit there was huge uncertainty in front of me when I started in August 2020. The Coronavirus is just around the corner and we need to attend classes at home. Nevertheless, GCM has been so considerate with our needs. Of course, everything has to be done online — enrollment, registration, classes, and exams. But the good thing about being in GCM is the schedule of classes. We do not have to attend different classes in a day since the subjects are offered one at a time, over a certain number of weeks. Each subject has a chairperson who openly and warmly caters to our needs and concerns and the professors take turns delivering classes of their expertise. Everything in class is about helping the students — to learn, to achieve life skills, and to develop as a clinician and professional. The inclusion of non-curricular activities such as e-Intramurals, Students’ Day, and Election of Officers give us a feeling of balance between study and play. In terms of teaching-learning modality, there are inevitable glitches in the learning management system every now and then, but the college ascertains that our concerns are being attended promptly by the department concerned (e.g. IT, SASC, Accounting, Academics). Also, our block is composed of a mixture of nationalities (Filipino, Thai, Indian, Somalian, among others) and this is something new for me which also brought the color of being a GCM student. I am the head team leader of the block and though I find it challenging sometimes to talk to them, I believe studying with these people is really a worthwhile experience. To be honest, I am so excited to meet all my blockmates soon. I think it is going to be a memorable learning journey hopefully to start this August 2021.
To be honest, I have not gone to GCM lately but the last time I went there, I saw remarkable developments. Physically, I saw how the administration has invested to make the school environment classy but conducive to learning. The laboratories and classrooms are at par with international standards. There are ongoing infrastructural developments as well, including the hospital. I strongly believe every medical student deserves such advancements. I am confident that in time for face-to-face classes, the campus is going to be one world-class college of medicine. In terms of academics, I am very positive with the knowledge that the college has invested in getting highly qualified faculty members and learning facilities far beyond minimum standards. I think that when these two important aspects — learning environment and academics, are satisfied to a higher level, the students would become more productive and determined to excel. This is of utmost significance especially that the school envisions producing topnotchers in the local board examination as well as maintaining its standard of quality in providing competitive medical education to our international students. Pursuing medical education is rock hard. For me it is like getting yourself stuck in a needle hole. But we must all remember: Why did we enroll in the first place? To the medical students, our success in this journey lies in five Ps: The first is passion to heal and help others. If we make our passion our profession, we will never get tired of achieving our goals. Feasibly, work becomes play. The second is perseverance in studying. Medical education, admittedly, is about reading and understanding books. It takes tons of diligence and determination to get the concepts internalized and pass nerve-wracking examinations. The third one is proper guidance from the professors. Perhaps the very reason why we enrol is to learn and this is the essence of our professors’ existence. While we can study independently, there is no substitute for learning from real experts. The fourth of them is practice competently. Medicine is about saving lives. What we learn in school, we practice in different settings. But what is vital is to make sure that we practice with competence. The confidence of our clients in our healing abilities lies in our competence to apply theories into practice. Lastly and by far extremely valuable is prayers — really a lot of this. I do not think I have to explain this further. But in everything we do, we should put God first and He will crown our efforts with success.
Joel B. Serad Head Team Leader – 1-A 1st Year Medical Student GCM Scholar AY 2020-2021