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New York college student wants to go to medical school in the Philippines

Thread: New York college student wants to go to medical school in the Philippines

Tags: application, manila, medical school, philippines, ust/up
  1. thechipmanifesto said:

    New York college student wants to attend medical school in the Philippines

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Some things about myself:

    My name's Kevin. I'm currently an undergraduate freshman in the City College of New York with an intended major in Biology. My current GPA is 3.385. I know I can bring it up (and will definitely strive to). Also, I am a Filipino citizen by birth (fluent in Tagalog) and I currently hold a Permanent Resident (Green Card) status here in New York.

    Although it is a reason, my potentially low GPA is not the primary reason I want to attend medical school in the Philippines. Even if I was accepted into a medical school here in New York, I would still choose a Phil. med school over it. Why? Because I personally feel it would be a much more enriching experience. I am also planning to practice medicine in the Philippines so being there prior practice would make things easier. Yes, I am really serious and passionate about this!

    My dream schools are UP and UST. I know they have some pretty high standards considering that they're all the way up there in the echelon of medical schools in the Philippines BUT, I have a right to dream don't I? Hahaha . So outside my dream...I am considering Fatima, St. Luke's, Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila (I heard this is also a hard school to get into), and FEU.

    **Notice that I only identified schools near Manila, but I am not completely shutting my options to Manila. I really just prefer Manila.**

    I have A LOT of questions, so it'll be GREATLY appreciated if anyone can provide me with some guidance, suggestions, and insight. Please!

    Here are my questions and concerns:

    1) Is it really worth it to get a Dual Citizenship before applying to medical school? I know that if you're a Filipino citizen you can avoid being slapped with a huge “donation fee” but I don't know if that will be the same for dual citizens. Are there any other advantages/disadvantages that I should be aware about?

    2) For the NMAT, what minimum percentile score will give me a good chance of admission? Am I correct in my knowledge that UP and UST require a minimum score of 90 and 65 respectively? How about the other schools I mentioned before? Also, do any of the schools I mentioned consider the NMAT only as a simple formality?

    3) When should I take the NMAT and does anyone know a website that has free sample questions from past exams? Tips and other websites for it would be great!

    4) Do the medical schools look for extracurricular activities, work, and medical experience (i.e. hospital volunteering)? If so, are they significant factors to be considered?

    5) Would it be wise to room and board in Manila despite me having the option to travel back and forth from my family's house in Rodriguez, Montalban?

    I have more questions in my mind but those are the ones that I'm really curious about right now.

    Again, any help will be greatly appreciated. Maraming salamat in advance !
    Last edited by thechipmanifesto; 01-04-2011 at 09:10 AM.
     
  2. cowboybuboy said:
    1) Is it really worth it to get a Dual Citizenship before applying to medical school? I know that if you're a Filipino citizen you can avoid being slapped with a huge “donation fee” but I don't know if that will be the same for dual citizens. Are there any other advantages/disadvantages that I should be aware about?
    ---You do not need to get a dual citizenship status as you're not a citizen of the United States. You mentioned green card, therefore, you're an immigrant, not a citizen. Just show them your birth cert, and you should be fine. I don't see any advantages or disadvantages in your case as you plan on practicing in the PI later on.

    2) For the NMAT, what minimum percentile score will give me a good chance of admission? Am I correct in my knowledge that UP and UST require a minimum score of 90 and 65 respectively? How about the other schools I mentioned before? Also, do any of the schools I mentioned consider the NMAT only as a simple formality?
    Score high to get your chances better. UP and PLM will definitely look at it. Although schools like Fatima would not even require it in your first year.

    3) When should I take the NMAT and does anyone know a website that has free sample questions from past exams? Tips and other websites for it would be great!
    Can't answer this one as I will be taking NMAT in my first year. It will all depend on where you want to go.

    4) Do the medical schools look for extracurricular activities, work, and medical experience (i.e. hospital volunteering)? If so, are they significant factors to be considered?
    Most won't. Only US has this kind of thing.

    5) Would it be wise to room and board in Manila despite me having the option to travel back and forth from my family's house in Rodriguez, Montalban?
    Depends where you're going to study. However, for me, Montalban is far. It's a preference question. I used to commute from Novaliches to PLM. But I don't think Nova is as far as Montalban. Either way, it's hell to commute even then.
     
  3. thechipmanifesto said:
    Hi cowboybuboy, thanks for the response!

    -You are right, I am an immigrant right now. I should have mentioned in my first post that I am also planning to undergo naturalization to become a U.S. citizen after my freshman year and then apply for dual citizenship.

    My situation is confusing and me not being very knowledgeable of all these legalities does not help either. I still want to practice medicine in the Philippines but I also don't want to let go of the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen. I was wondering if there would be a difference in the way I apply as a Filipino citizen compared to applying as a dual citizen. If I am a dual citizen, would a birth certificate still suffice?

    Also ,whichever way I apply though, I haven't done my undergraduate studies in the Philippines. Will I be considered as a foreign applicant and be filling out a foreign application since I did my studies outside PI?

    -That's very interesting about Fatima. I wish you good luck in the NMAT and in Fatima (I'm assuming you're going there)! Haha, I'm kind of jealous. I have a long way to go!

    -When you said “Most won't”, would you happen to know the schools that do take into account that kind of background information?

    -You're also right about the commute. Getting room and board will be a likely decision if I do get accepted into any of the med schools I apply to.

    Thank you for responding again .
     
  4. trauma said:
    I've commuted 1 hour each way during med school and it's a giant waste of time if you can avoid it. Those accumulated extra hours of sleep and studying will add up and it took a toll on my body. I cannot afford it at that time to go on dorm except for internship (free).
    Don't worry about the citizenship issue as you are still on PR level and it would not be an issue later.
    The only thing I warn you is that many schools will still consider you a foreign-grad. ASK the administration which one will exempt you from the foreign fee. Since you are fluent in Tagalog, your case is different as you will thrive in any school. In your case go for the schools that you like in the Metro Manila Area that will waive the foreign fee. When they said most will not consider extracurriculars, they mean that Philippine medical school admissions are for the most part numbers based (shocking for a US student) except for those requiring interviews like UP.
    A lot will depend on your NMAT score although except for a few schools with high NMAT cutoff (UP & St. Luke's at 90, UST is not clear but 80 plus will do it, UERM at 70), most have low or no cutoff. The difficulty with PLM is not their NMAT cutoff but their very strict subject requirements (proper amount of credits for some science subjects w/ lab). They also give priority to Manila residents but they accept applicants from all over. They only give the NMAT once a year in the US and twice a year in the Philippines. Your best bet will be taking it in November 2011 and apply for 2012 schooyear if you are graduating that year. Take the NMAT the year before you are about to graduate unless you prefer Fatima (if this is your route go to Fatima as a local to avoid extra fees).
     
  5. doctorcpal said:

    Donation issue

    One item to add here is that if you finish your pre-med outside of the Philippines - you are considered a non-philippine trained candidate - and you are asked to give your donation. Cebu and I think Dumaguete (Silliman U) are not asking for donation - you can check on that, but Manila schools all ask for this(last time I checked).
     
  6. thechipmanifesto said:
    Quote Originally Posted by trauma View Post
    I've commuted 1 hour each way during med school and it's a giant waste of time if you can avoid it. Those accumulated extra hours of sleep and studying will add up and it took a toll on my body. I cannot afford it at that time to go on dorm except for internship (free).
    Don't worry about the citizenship issue as you are still on PR level and it would not be an issue later.
    The only thing I warn you is that many schools will still consider you a foreign-grad. ASK the administration which one will exempt you from the foreign fee. Since you are fluent in Tagalog, your case is different as you will thrive in any school. In your case go for the schools that you like in the Metro Manila Area that will waive the foreign fee. When they said most will not consider extracurriculars, they mean that Philippine medical school admissions are for the most part numbers based (shocking for a US student) except for those requiring interviews like UP.
    A lot will depend on your NMAT score although except for a few schools with high NMAT cutoff (UP & St. Luke's at 90, UST is not clear but 80 plus will do it, UERM at 70), most have low or no cutoff. The difficulty with PLM is not their NMAT cutoff but their very strict subject requirements (proper amount of credits for some science subjects w/ lab). They also give priority to Manila residents but they accept applicants from all over. They only give the NMAT once a year in the US and twice a year in the Philippines. Your best bet will be taking it in November 2011 and apply for 2012 schooyear if you are graduating that year. Take the NMAT the year before you are about to graduate unless you prefer Fatima (if this is your route go to Fatima as a local to avoid extra fees).
    Hi trauma.

    I already commute an hour and a half both ways for college so I can somewhat relate when you mentioned the wasted hours accumulating and taking a toll on your body. I realized, it was kind of silly for me to ask if it'd be wise for me to room and board when I knew in the back of my head that I'm going to have to (I guess I just didn't want to add it to my of list finances haha).

    For my citizenship status: what if I still become a U.S. citizen then a dual citizen? I'm thinking if I'm a dual citizen, the U.S. can provide me with a federal grant to help me finance med school in the Philippines. Do you know if that is possible?

    Although the foreign fee is a real bummer, I don't want it to be the determinant of which med schools I apply to. For example, if UP and UST do ask for foreign fees, my family will find a way to get those fees paid since I wouldn't pass an opportunity to be in any of those schools.

    When you said that UP requires an interview, are you confirming that they do look for extracurricular activities or did you mean that it would be nice to say in the interview that you participated in extracurricular activities? How about UST, PLM, and UERM specifically? Do you know if they look for extracurriculars as well? The reason I'm so concerned about this is because I still want to aim for the top schools in the Philippines (recalling the quote “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” Hahaha) and want to maximize my chance of admission. I mean, I am looking to still do extracurriculars nonetheless (and I have done so in the past also) but it makes me curious in how much impact it will have on my application.

    As for PLM, I'm looking at their website and you are right—they are very strict about subject requirements! What's also interesting is that their website lists as one of their criteria for admission that I must also pass the MCAT along with the NMAT. I thought the MCAT was exclusive to the U.S. only. Interesting. Can you give me a clarification on that?

    As for the NMAT, since I am planning to graduate 2014 I will likely take it in 2013 (maybe in 2012 also just to get the feeling of it). I'm very fortunate to be in New York since I heard they only administer the NMAT in New York and one other state.

    Thanks for the response trauma!
    Last edited by thechipmanifesto; 01-07-2011 at 10:07 PM.
     
  7. thechipmanifesto said:
    Quote Originally Posted by doctorcpal View Post
    One item to add here is that if you finish your pre-med outside of the Philippines - you are considered a non-philippine trained candidate - and you are asked to give your donation. Cebu and I think Dumaguete (Silliman U) are not asking for donation - you can check on that, but Manila schools all ask for this(last time I checked).

    Oh wow, then I was wrong in thinking that as long as I am a Filipino citizen I will be waived from the donation fees.

    Aside from UP, UST, PLM, and UERM...can you give me any recommendations on other med schools to look into more in the Manila area? Also, would you happen to know the exact donation fees the Manila schools will ask for?

    Thanks doctorcpal!
     
  8. pr0j3ktm said:
    fatima has $6k donation...but it can be paid in installments.
     
  9. cowboybuboy said:
    Quote Originally Posted by thechipmanifesto View Post
    Oh wow, then I was wrong in thinking that as long as I am a Filipino citizen I will be waived from the donation fees.

    Aside from UP, UST, PLM, and UERM...can you give me any recommendations on other med schools to look into more in the Manila area? Also, would you happen to know the exact donation fees the Manila schools will ask for?

    Thanks doctorcpal!
    Not necessarily. If you enroll in the local program in Fatima, you should be able to waive the foreign fee. I inquired about it as I graduated here in the US for my doctorate. The rep said that as long as I enroll in the local program, it should not matter. Of course, he wants me to enroll in the "special class" for US rotations which is not even guaranteed.

    If I were you, I'd finish everything first before even scouting for med schools. It's easier if you're done with your undergrad.
    Also, the only ones who are interested in graduating from popular schools are the ones who will be practicing in the PI. If you're not interested in practicing in the PI (long term), don't pick schools based on the name. Nobody cares about it here in the US.

    Honestly, with my experience in graduating from Fatima, working here in the US, and graduating with my doctorate, I don't think there's a significant advantage from graduating from UST, UP, PLM, etc. Also, I was at PLM my first 2 years of PT and did NOT like it. So, I transferred.

    Good luck!
     
  10. trauma said:
    Quote Originally Posted by thechipmanifesto View Post
    Hi trauma.

    I already commute an hour and a half both ways for college so I can somewhat relate when you mentioned the wasted hours accumulating and taking a toll on your body. I realized, it was kind of silly for me to ask if it'd be wise for me to room and board when I knew in the back of my head that I'm going to have to (I guess I just didn't want to add it to my of list finances haha).

    For my citizenship status: what if I still become a U.S. citizen then a dual citizen? I'm thinking if I'm a dual citizen, the U.S. can provide me with a federal grant to help me finance med school in the Philippines. Do you know if that is possible?

    Although the foreign fee is a real bummer, I don't want it to be the determinant of which med schools I apply to. For example, if UP and UST do ask for foreign fees, my family will find a way to get those fees paid since I wouldn't pass an opportunity to be in any of those schools.

    When you said that UP requires an interview, are you confirming that they do look for extracurricular activities or did you mean that it would be nice to say in the interview that you participated in extracurricular activities? How about UST, PLM, and UERM specifically? Do you know if they look for extracurriculars as well? The reason I'm so concerned about this is because I still want to aim for the top schools in the Philippines (recalling the quote “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” Hahaha) and want to maximize my chance of admission. I mean, I am looking to still do extracurriculars nonetheless (and I have done so in the past also) but it makes me curious in how much impact it will have on my application.

    As for PLM, I'm looking at their website and you are right—they are very strict about subject requirements! What's also interesting is that their website lists as one of their criteria for admission that I must also pass the MCAT along with the NMAT. I thought the MCAT was exclusive to the U.S. only. Interesting. Can you give me a clarification on that?

    As for the NMAT, since I am planning to graduate 2014 I will likely take it in 2013 (maybe in 2012 also just to get the feeling of it). I'm very fortunate to be in New York since I heard they only administer the NMAT in New York and one other state.

    Thanks for the response trauma!
    I thought even a green card holder can avail of US loans? Either way, only Fatima is qualified for Title IV loans. Other schools are not setup for these loans.
    As for waiver of foreign fees, the only schools i have heard waiving near the Metro Manila area is DLSU-HSC (La Salle) and maybe FEU. As most people here will say, UP and UST does not have any advantage if you practice outside the Philippines. The UP interview is the avenue where you can expound on your extracurricular activities. Bad news for you, but BEWARE of even applying to UP if you are considering leaving the country. They now have a return of service agreement and you will be required to do your residency in PGH or any government hospitals. This started 2 years ago. PLM used to have this return of service agreement but changes in city administrations abolished that. The MCAT of PLM is NOT the same MCAT in the USA. It's probably closer to NMAT and not as hard as the MCAT in the USA.
    Another bad news, your information about NMAT is also outdated. They stopped giving it other than than LA site since a few years ago. 2 years ago they still give it in Chicago and few years earlier, in NY.
     
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