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Studying at universities in the Philippines Part2

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I was admitted by Southwestern University School of medicine and was about to start studying there. I took last NMAT and got 72 percentiles only 2 months after studying for it. I wanted to be a businessman(Dream comes true). I wanted to be a lawyer(A bitter memory of broken heart). Now it’s the time to be a doctor!

When I was a kid

 I have been good at mathematics and science since I was a 1st grade student. My math skill and logical ability have helped me a lot since I was very small. Therefore, my parents expected a lot about my future like ‘He can be a doctor’. But I never thought about being a doctor in Japan because my parents are not. 

Actually, when I was a teenager, I was very suffering from asthma and going hospital to get some medicine. Doctors were never useful to me because I did not recover well from my sickness. That is why I never thought about being a doctor. I should have thought about that but nothing is late. I can be a doctor even from now.

Medical schools in Japan

All Japanese know that it’s very difficult for us to be a doctor. We have two ways to be a doctor, having very rich family(doctor) or super smart.

Actually, the tuition fees gap between public medical schools and private ones are so huge that kids from ordinary family can’t think about going to private medical schools in Japan. Most of private medical schools ask us to pay above 2 million pesos for annual tuition which are 10 times as much as the tuition of public ones.

On the other hand, being accepted by public medical schools is very difficult for us. Thinking about percentile, I think that we need 90 percentile at least to be accepted by them. For example, my university(Osaka university) has prestigious medical school that we need almost 99 percentile(it’s not a joke). 

If I had chosen to be a doctor, I would not have been accepted by my university. I might have studied at a countryside public university because it was possible for me to pass the entrance exam. 

Medical schools in the Philippines

The big difference between medical schools in Japan and ones in Philippines is that medical schools here are professional schools that we can only proceed after getting bachelor degree. Therefore, so many medicine students have different backgrounds and experience. One more difference is that we can start studying there as long as we have bachelor degrees but it’s very difficult for them to finish and pass a board exam.

For foreigners, the regulation would be looser and looser because the government try make the Philippines internationalize. In fact, there is not law which profibit foreigners being doctors but still only local people can take a board exam like a bar exam. However, compared to being a lawyer, the government would allow us to be a doctor. This is a bit confusing thing that the practical work can not catch up with the regulation.

About NMAT taking experience

It would be very difficult for Japanese to take a good score for NMAT because of English skills. My English is okay but I got only 357 for Verbal and the worst one was Biology(295…..cry) that I never studied before. Thanks to my math and logical skills(IQ?), I got 72 percentiles which is a very safe score to study at medical schools here. Even CIM(Cebu Institute of Medicine) ask us to get only 60 percentiles to accept us. Some people can not get a good score because they are not good at Mathematics and Physics. We need to prepare for science subjects but Aptitude subjects such as verbal and IQ parts are difficult to be improved. We should be very careful about time management that is the most important for NMAT.

After I took it, I realized that if we finish Pre-medicine course such as nursing and medical technology, that would be very helpful for us to get good scores for NMAT. If you finish Pre-medicine course such as nursing and medical technology, you should get good scores for science subjects. Unfortunately, my bachelor is Economics and it does not work well for NMAT. I guess I need to study more Biology to get higher score like 90 percentiles.

Why medical school?

I am a type of person who always want to challenge to more difficult and different things. My business was stable and I left my responsibilities to my managers. 

I did not know whether I am good at doing some medical things(operations?). But as usual, I just had a confidence that I can survive at a medical school. I was accepted, joined orientation and met a lot of classmates. I thought that my new life would start….

Business or Personal achievement?

When I was about to study, I realized that I would underestimate about studying medicine. Many people say that studying medicine is 5-10 times more difficult than studying for bachelor. I was still a businessman who own multi-companies. I just thought oh my good, I can’t work anymore. I told to my managers that I can’t work for next 4 years.

Fortunately or unfortunately, a business owner whom I asked to sell seemed to sell their business at that time. They asked me to visit them on weekdays when I would have classrooms for medicine(The acquisition was done last year).

I really really wanted to continue to study there. But which should I prioritize business or personal achievement? As long as I am still a owner of business, I should choose my business. I withdrew all subjects before taking first classess. At that time, I still didn’t give up studying there from this year again. I give up now…..

Part time student or full time student

Law schools here mostly offer their courses to business people who have jobs but medical schools do not. After all, it’s 100% impossible for busy businessmen to study at universities, especially medical schools as full time students.

I tried to be a full time student but my companies had so many problems at that time that I thought I shouldn’t think about that again.

I might be able to help people to make my business bigger and stable although I can’t help people as a doctor.

I might have no chance to study in the Philippines but will try to find my ideal course again not only in the Philippines but also in other countries.

Thanks for reading all.

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Hide Fujiki

Managing Director Living in Cebu since 2013. Bachelor of Economics from Osaka University(1993) MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business(2015).

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