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Thread: The Truth About Our Lady of Fatima

  1. #1
    GiChel2017's Avatar
    GiChel2017 is offline Newbie 512 points
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    The Truth About Our Lady of Fatima

    I write this message to warn all incoming first year American students. Don't do it!

    And if you recently finished your first or second year - get out, these will be the only classes that can possibly transfer in to other graduate programs. Save yourself the time and heartache.

    I graduated from Fatima a few years ago with a Doctor of Medicine. Afterwards I spent the next year and a half prepping and I did well on USMLE Step 1, Step 2CK and Step 2CS. I applied for every residency that was international friendly via the match program for two years. I was not given a single interview, nor were my classmates from what I had heard.

    I spent the following year working at as a practical nurse with insurmountable loans, applying to jobs and other graduate schools and I finally got in to a Physician's Assistant program recently and feel like I have new lease on my medical aspirations.

    The one thing I am happy about is my experience and the great friends I made, nothing else. I graduated from a batch of students that was 45 students strong, most of them Americans. None of them us are licensed physicians, maybe 10 of us actually took the USMLE exams not that it's mattered. I wouldn't even put M.D. behind my name.

    Here is how the place works

    You have a bachelor's degree, you're willing to pay a donation fee, you're willing to pay 200% greater than Filipino student tuition and you are in, spproved, you're in medical school, yah!

    During first year, you join an eager group of international students, all planning on taking the USMLE. Then it begins, long hours of mundane lectures sprinkled with some awful laboratories. You take 1-3 daily exams called shifting exams. Then comprehensive exams. If you have the right connections, which you or your peers will develop, you'll find the best sources to procure exam copies. After the school year is over (this time of year), 50% of the students find out they have to take 'remedials' over the summer. You pay a fee and they cram a few topics on each subject in to as little time as possible and everyone passes.

    Some students are able to over this remedial phase either by academic performance or by other means (connections, money, back-door deals). And they continue to do so throughout their medical school lives and from what I gather this sort of thing is still happening.

    2nd year starts. So you move on, you start 2nd year with longer, more mundane lectures, same as the first year. At the end of the year, now a full 75-85% of the students find they are in remedial classes and spend that following summer taking remedial classes. Remedial or no remedial, all us eager first year students had no intention of taking USMLE anymore because we simply didn't have the education to pass the exam. And the few that thought they were ready in my batch, were not permitted to take the exam. Everyone ponies up to pay their remedial fees, school makes more money, we move on to third year.

    3rd year get's more clinically oriented, but very specialized, more in a block format. Some are reasonable, some are verbatim sample copies, some are impossibly difficult, some are for sale. School year ends, 75%-85% of the students pony up for remedials, schools gets more money, on to the final year.

    4th year some students pay big money to (both the school and to clerkship companies) to take rotations in the US that they set up via clerkship agencies. I chose to my 4th year in the Philippines. I did get a lot of clinical experience and I feel I became a proficient clinician during my 4th year. Nonetheless, 4th year in the Philippines is like a year long fraternity hell week. 72 hour shifts, unsanitary conditions, very limited quality control in hospitals, no organized structure, hell year. And the school will find some creative ways to get a few more thousand dollars out of many before you are allowed to pay the very large graduation fee.

    Graduation time, everyone pays a large graduation fee and gets a Doctor of Medicine degree. A lovely group of speeches about how you are the doctors of tomorrow and a lovely ceremony.

    After that, you are home free, study like a mad-woman to do well on the USMLEs, or like most of my former classmates, try for a few months and never take the exam. In my case, never failed a class, I passed the USMLE one exam at a time and was not able to match.

    So I qualified somehow to take the practical nursing exam, and worked for the last 2 years in major university hospital, a blood bank and as a researcher certainly not enough to make payments on the loans I had taken.

    Light at the end of the tunnel - I recently begun a graduate program in the U.S. that has all the qualities a medical institution should have, it's the polar opposite of Our Lady of Fatima. Not technology or a clear path to licensing, but instructors and staff that care about the future of their students. It's not medical school, but it trumps everything that Our Lady of Fatima had to offer.

    I stay in touch with my classmates from Fatima and we were recently talking to a current student, Fatima College of Medicine has not changed one bit. They don't care about you while you are in school, they are profiteers and after you've graduated you are total fodder that the registrar wants nothing to do with.

    I'm still in tears that I got in to a program I did after Fatima hell.

    If you've read this and you plan to enroll in Fatima or are enrolled and plan to continue beyond your first year, that's what you can expect.
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  2. #11
    Mass Effect is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by medic101 View Post
    Hey Gichel, I'm sorry you are having such a bad time post grad and residency matching. What year did you graduate so I'm curious if I know you or have met you before? I know it's tough but you shouldn't have used an agency in the first place since IT is possible to match into a program with using a middle man. Second of all, which states did you apply into? If you've been applying to programs in california, I am telling you right now, you are wasting your money. Cali is a no IMG zone. Beggars cant be choosers, when we signed to go to an international medical school, we knew what we were getting ourselves into. suburban hospitals in boondocks states has a higher chance of IMG acceptance rate. I know a couple of people who matched from fatima, but it has been a long time.

    I am not defending Fatima and I can understand your annoyance towards the school. I had my few shares of aggravation as well. I never failed any courses and never really utilized the remedial removal path, but I know several that have. I think its roughly 5000 pesos or 120 dollars for the exam currently. Still shady though but cant really do anything about it. Currently there are a lot of strong students graduating this year and the next and would be interesting to see the match rate for fatima for the upcoming years.

    If you could PM me your name FB or yahoo etc, I would love to talk to you, just to see whats going why you are having trouble matching.

    Currently with the batch I am in 2014, a lot of the students took the USMLE since it is now required for us to do so, although not sure about the grades a lot have passed. Furthermore, 70 percent of us are rotating in the US, some of which are extending in order to try to apply to california. each state requires specific amount of clerkship than others. Anyways looking forward to hearing from you.
    Hey medic101,

    I'm sure you've graduated by now but would like to ask you a few questions. Is it best to PM you?

  3. #12
    sss2g2 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Update: 2 people matched this year.

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    Mass Effect is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Thanks for the update sss2g2. Do you know what specialties and whether these students rotated in the states?

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    sss2g2 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Both internal medicine I believe. One in Ohio. One from the special class and one from local class.

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    sss2g2 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I think one of them did most of their rotations in the states. At least the majority. Not too sure about the person from the local class.

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    billnyescienceguy is offline Newbie 511 points
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    I think the most important thing you need to understand about Philippine Medical School system is it's NOT MEANT TO PREPARE YOU FOR THE USMLE. You need to go into the system understanding their sole purpose is to pass PI Local Boards, not USMLE. I matched into Anesthesiology from a Philippine Medical School with Steps >230s. I think the lectures were boring and repetitive, but I also built a very strong foundation that once I started studying for the steps I was able to understand concepts well since I had built my knowledge foundation reading those books.

    In fact I'd say majority of people I know that applied ended up matching, although most of them were from UP/UST/UERM/San Beda with >230s on steps (most >240-250).

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    Mass Effect is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by billnyescienceguy View Post
    I think the most important thing you need to understand about Philippine Medical School system is it's NOT MEANT TO PREPARE YOU FOR THE USMLE. You need to go into the system understanding their sole purpose is to pass PI Local Boards, not USMLE. I matched into Anesthesiology from a Philippine Medical School with Steps >230s. I think the lectures were boring and repetitive, but I also built a very strong foundation that once I started studying for the steps I was able to understand concepts well since I had built my knowledge foundation reading those books.

    In fact I'd say majority of people I know that applied ended up matching, although most of them were from UP/UST/UERM/San Beda with >230s on steps (most >240-250).
    You've done very well for yourself. If you don't mind, can you share more about your experience? Like how you prepared for the USMLE outside of class and when you took it (ie during medical school or shortly after graduation, etc). Also, were you able to interview at multiple programs before Matching? Was your school supportive in helping you get ECFMG-certified in time?

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    billnyescienceguy is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Beda was a nightmare with anything USMLE related, in fact I couldn't take Step 1 after 2nd year since they were so delayed in paperwork scheduling that I was back in the Philippines after I was able to schedule a test date which was already locked for the US. You can't move locations once you initially select a zone (IE Asia, US).

    A lot of us don't go to the US, and the ones that do are in the top of the class. I'm not a native, but I ended up in graduating in the top 20 of my class.

    I prepared after graduating using all the standard materials. I interviewed at >10 anesthesia programs and ended up matching at a good university based program in a location that I'm very happy with. The school is not supportive with ECFMG or any USMLE matter as they just don't understand the process very well. It's not that they don't care, although there was an admin who said "He doesn't care about any US based stuff since there aren't enough of us." That person was removed from admin role, but they're still unfortunately teaching at the school with their toxic personality.

    I had to everything myself, BUT they are very responsive if you walk them through it. The secretaries and medicine register at Beda are absolutely amazing and very caring.
    Last edited by billnyescienceguy; 07-02-2015 at 09:24 PM.

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    Casey Burridge is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Hi there,

    I am relatively new here and I am in great need of information about applying to Filipino medical schools. I want to apply for 2016. I would like to know:
    1. What are some good schools with reasonable tuition fees? What are the tuition fees in general?
    2. How do you apply to these schools? What agency is best to use?
    3. Can you apply direct? I have tried looking on school websites but man there is a lot of info lacking!
    4. Can you apply being a high school graduate. I heard schools offer a 2 year accelerated Bsc for high school grads, is this still a thing?

    Please someone help!

    Thank you!!

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    magnificentstars is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    Thank you for sharing. My boss' daughter is currently studying there so I guess I can check with her also.

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