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Thread: Our Lady of Fatima and Medical School in the Philippines

  1. #1
    Lena213 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Our Lady of Fatima and Medical School in the Philippines

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    A word to those attending Filipino Medical schools.

    Year 1, 2 and 3, count on at 40-60 lecture hours/week with mandatory attendance.

    Each year gets progressively more time consuming and difficult.

    If your objective is to be graded on your USMLE readieness and have your 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations all setup for you - go to the whatever Caribbean medical school and stay away from Filipino medical school, the schools could care less about your country's board exams.

    Filipino medical school is hard knocks doctor training. The only thing you have will have time for is passing and perhaps squeezing in USMLE prep. Forget about research, getting published, rotations during your 3rd year back in the US.

    The larger schools cater to international students a little more so than others, though you do a pay a fee: donation fee, international student fee, whatever you want to call it. Unv of Fatima in particular has a very large contingent of international students, with a big subset of which are Americans - with a 'special' semesteral schedule that starts in September and ends in late June. University of East Ramon and University of Santo Tomas are probably the two other schools with the biggest international students contingent. But beware, if you aren't in the top half, odds are you are going to repeating a school year at least once. This is common for local students in the Philippines as it is for international students.

    Whatever you've read about paying for summer classes or removal exams and you'll automatically pass. This is completely false, even at Fatima, a LOT of students get held back every year or dismissed from Philippine Medical schools, including Fatima - if you don't know your stuff - repeat or transfer.

    This is how it is for local medical students and foreign medical students.

    If you don't preform up to par during the school year, you will have the chance for removals. But don't expect special treatment because you've paid an extra fee or are paying higher tuition. The only thing you're paying for is getting help with your student visa, you're in same competitive system of survival of the fittest as local Filipino medical students. Know your stuff, repeat or quit.

    Also, there will be absolutely zero incentive for USMLE prep or getting you ready for the boards by year 2 by the school - the professors could care less. Of course you do work hard and take it on time, it is a badge of merit. But very few do.

    By the same token, you'll be using same text books Guyton, Harpers, Katzung, Robbins, etc. as just about every other medical school in the world. Shelf exams can be brutal, but if you know your stuff, you know your stuff - and the Philippine Medical schools do base their curriculums around the gold standard US medical school text books used by USMLE centric medical schools. Though local exam questions you will see are simplistic vignettes and there are no 2-tier style USMLE style questions, so in that regard it's more about memorizing in volume. The expectation is that you will have memorized and understand the concepts of the requisite text or manuals verbatim, but not too much USMLE style problem solving

    Every bit of the high yield stuff you'll see in First Aid will be covered to some degree. Let me put it this way if 75% of everything you need to know' to be ready for USMLE questions, slash that to 50% in the Philippines - but you won't have time to make up the remainder unless you start early.

    Filipino medical schools stick to their curriculum of becoming ready for the Philippines board exam and a praticing doctor by the time you graduate, as is expected of every Filipino medical school graduate. So don't expect some sort of modified schedule because you are from out of the country.


    Year 1, Anatomy, Physio, Biochem, Histology (8 hours/week each) and some other classes depending on the school. Attendance is mandatory. Recording not allowed.

    Year 2, you will be studying along with Pathology and Pharmacology and numerous other electives, Obsetrics, Surgery, Pediaterics and Internal Medicine. You'll also be doing work with mock patients starting year 2.

    Year 3 isn't a 'sit back and exhale time my basic science years are over' like the typical US Allopathic or Carribean - it goes up a notch; this is the 'welcome to Filipino Medical' year. No rotations with 2 hour lectures a day - expect 40-60 yours/week in lectures and lot of time in your school's teaching hospital. The volume of material get's larger and summer and winter breaks are shrunk to a few weeks.

    Year 4 are called internship year - 11-15 months straight, many blocks of 7 days/week, rotating to different Filipino hospitals. Gold standard hospitals that are brilliant, by the book, insured, wealthy paitents and world class physicians and then some low income government hospitals where you are the among the lowest part of the staff in a crowded underserved hospital. In low income, if the attending trusts you enough, you could find yourself, doing sutures all day, hands-on assisting in surgeries, delivering babies. If not, expect to be treated like garbage. No lovely seminars by a visiting professor promoting or picking out electives for rotations.

    The amount of first hand clinical experience and knowledge you will have gained is comparable to a residency - but don't expect US medical school residency match directors to care. They could care less.
    ----------------------------------------

    Needless to say, if you are attending a Filipino medical school, if you are sure you are passing (basically if you are in the upper 50% of your class), then use every bitty free time for board prep, otherwise you simply won't have time to for a proper board for the steps till after you graduate.

    A typical post allopathic 2nd year USMLE Step 1 passer would stand little chance at passing Filipino board exam which is administered after graduation. Similarly, the average Filipino board passer would not fare as well applying basic science concepts on 2-tier, 3-tier style questions of USMLE Step 1.

  2. #2
    Drgeosprint is offline Member 514 points
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    Meh......in my class the promo board just met...out of 52 students 8 were outright promoted to third year. As far as taking the USMLE.....like anything...YOU have to do it yourself..........so study and prepare yourself for the boards. If you think anyone is going to hold your hand and take the test for you then join the 44 of my fellow students who have to take remedial and removal exams. There is no short cut. Just hard work.......whether you go to a Carribean school or stick with Philippino schools...I guarantee you have to do the work.

    What the Philippines offer is a chance....to become a doctor, and at price much less than other places. (DEBT MATTERS) According to some of my fellow foreign students who transferred from the Carribean (St. Geo, Ross ad nauseam) they too see the fallacy of the myth that is the Carribean. Marketing is better, than here and places like Ross and St Geo have guaranteed rotations....but at what price??? If you pay a company around 35k you too have a guarantee.....I see no sense in paying the big Carribes hundred of thousands of dollars for something I can get for much, much less..........Frankly, as a foreigner here in the Philippines you are NOT at the center of their universe. Nor are in the Carribean. But you do the work...you get the brass ring....so...If you want it come and get it.....! You can do this.......

  3. #3
    sss2g2 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    It really is not that bad as long as you are consistent with your scores and scoring in a decent range. Board studying is a whole different issue altogether. You have to find time to study for the boards on your own time. Some students are primarily studying for the boards and using that knowledge to score well in their curriculum here in the Philippines.

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    saumya is offline Newbie 510 points
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    hi i am planning to join fatima for the year 2014....i am an Indian student and i will finish my bachelors in physiotherapy by april next year....
    i am considering fatima and univ of perpetal help....i would really appreciate if anybody could tell me which is better.....as money is also an issue i would like to know the cost difference as well...

    thanx in advance

  5. #5
    Drgeosprint is offline Member 514 points
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    Okay...what is better? What is better is pretty subjective...I can outline some differences but if this is better or not really depends on you......Perpetual is an easier uni academically...it runs around 2,000 US less than Fatima per year.....This year the entire first floor of the school (Perpetual) was flooded due to typhoon.......Perpetual has far less foreign students than Fatima. With all schools in the Manila area there is a foreign fee associated with attending the school. Perpetual does not have that fee. When/if you get to clerkships, Perpetual due to their ahem..."activities" have been restricted in what hospitals there students can work in. Yes, it does make a difference....

    If you have specific criteria or needs write about it....Also if cost is an issue I personally would go to Cebu....and check out the Universities there......much much less expensive, good education, large foreign student population and the quality of life is better.....but tha is just my opinion, plus my knowledge of all three regions.....
    Best of luck to you!

  6. #6
    saumya is offline Newbie 510 points
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    greetings,

    i am quite thankful to u drgeosprint for your last reply....although i must admit it has left me rather confused....according to what i was told by some consultancies here in India cebu region wasn't big on their list. But that can also be due to their tie ups with some specific colleges they were encouraging me to consider like fatima and perpetual....i would like to know weather you are a student of any Philippine medical college or university and if yes which one.
    i would really like some assistance in deciding a college...and every body so far has given me a biased opinion.i also want to know if there are any other colleges besides fatima that let students take their nmat after admission and arrival in philippines.

    thanks

  7. #7
    Drgeosprint is offline Member 514 points
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    As far as I am aware Fatima is the only school that you can go to prior to the NMAT.
    I am a full time student at Fatima.
    Headhunting agencies have a "deal" with the colleges to recruit students. They do not have anymore pull than someone who just shows up and enrolls. If you want someone to hold your hand...then that is what you are paying for.
    Cebu colleges have a large Indian student population. Perpetual does not. Fatima may have 15-20 students from India.
    Do yourself a huge favor, come to the Philippines and check it out for yourself. You are going to spend a lot of time, money and tears here. Make the "right " investment.
    If you do make it to Fatima they will let you sit in a few classes and just get a feel for the college.

    Any requirements that they have for enrollment can be done cheaper and easier when you are here......that includes visas, NMAT, etc.....
    Feel free to keep asking questions........you need to understand fully what you are getting into.

  8. #8
    saumya is offline Newbie 510 points
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    okay, so here are a few questions that i have:
    1)i can't come to Philippines before admissions because i am physiotherapy student here,i will finish my course by april next year and want to get enrolled there by june or whichever session i can get after April so is there any possibility of the admission process getting completed from here?
    2)i will probably be taking loans to cover my cost of education so i would like to know if any colleges offer scholarships.
    3)i am seriously considering Fatima because they will let me take nmat after my admission so since you are a student there i would like your opinion about the college...how it would be for an indian student...how much is the total fee for first year and of combined 4 years...??

    i am sorry for bothering you with what may appear as stupid questions,but i just want to get in a medical college so bad right now...

    thanks for your assistance....

  9. #9
    Drgeosprint is offline Member 514 points
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    If you want to enroll by June...then it is with the regular class (local) students) not the foreign class. Foreign class starts in September.

    Not many people, who are not filipino do well in that section. There are some huge cultural differences that you would have to deal with on a daily basis....for four years.....Do you speak tagalog? Yes they CAN speak english but they chose not to...they will NOT talk to you ....something about nosebleeds....their way of saying they are not going to have conversation with you.
    Yes they do have scholarships, but NOT for foreigners.....

    It is a short process to get accepted once you are here....I knew within two days.....so do not get hung up about doing it in your country.......A monumental waste of time.......

    the foreign classes are very accepting of anyone regardless where they are from.....it is just the way it is.....the cost for foreigners is 3,500 per sem. 2 sems per year for four years.....+ plus the "donation" fee (not voluntary)

    They are not stupid questions, however because you have never been here, you do not understand how things are done in this country.....same as if I visited your country....I would be totally lost.......

    good luck and feel free to ask more!

  10. #10
    Niveditha Balakrishnan is offline Newbie 510 points
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    hi saumya,ds a medical advisor frm india..i ll really tell u dat our lady fatima is a best university wen u compare with perpetual help..cost for prepetual is rs.22lak including all expenses boarding lodging,tuition fee and other expenses..and for our lady fatima it ll be around rs.25lak. perpetual help is 5yrs and fatima university is 6yrs and fatima university is one of t universities in philippines with lot of international students..for further details contact +918695664706

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