My University is a very holistic educational institution, transforming student’s well being spiritual, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. As the oldest Catholic University in Southeast Asia with reputable professors and globally competitive curriculum, I would definitely recommend it to other students.View more
This is the main factor that pushed me to choose UST-FMS in the end. When you look at the number of passers vs. the non-passers for the boards, you’ll see that UST produces the most number of doctors (among the well-known schools). This fact continues to amaze me because it shows that UST-FMS is capable of turning an ordinary person to someone extraordinary after four years of training.
Con # 1: Major adjustment for non-UST graduates. If you’re a social butterfly, then this wouldn’t be a con for you at all. But if you’re a bit socially-challenged like me, I think that one of the biggest obstacles in med school is finding friends. It takes effort and time especially if you’re surrounded by people who’ve known each other from undergrad. Being one out of the four UPCN students that enrolled in UST, it wasn’t very easy for me to adjust. Good thing I ended up in the same subsection with one of my former batchmates, which made the matter of making new friends less pressing. But do not let this can hinder you! In time, I was able to adjust and make new friends (thank God!).
Pro # 2: Excellent Faculty. Majority of the faculty members really “do their thing”. Meaning, most of them are really good at what they teach. Though there are a few here and there, who left me unimpressed. Nonetheless, I can assure you that most of our lectures, lab sessions, and SGDs, are handled well; and you will really learn a lot especially from the really intellectual teachers. Most of the faculty members and staff are approachable, too! Matters can be brought out into the open and inquiries are entertained. One thing I really appreciated about the departments is that they promptly posted the answer key after each and every quiz/exam. What’s more is that when you disagree about a certain answer, you can approach the departments with a letter for clarification, and if you are able to provide evidence (usually from the reference textbooks) then they will change/ consider the answer. My favorite so far is our faculty for physiology because they really handle the subject well. Almost all the concepts are more or less retained because they have this course structure that encourages repetition for reinforcement. For instance, for one topic, we have one short quiz, one figure-review quiz, a lab session (depending on the topic), a long exam, and a shifting exam.
Con # 2: Some Treat Us Like Children. We have this “attitude” component in our grade, which is more or less used to elicit good behavior. We get penalized for being absent (unexcused), for leaving the room dirty, and stuff like that. While I recognize that this comes with good intent from the faculty, I hate being treated like a child. The use of external reinforcement (grades) is too elementary for me. Aren’t we old enough to be trusted to have the maturity and innate drive to do the right things? Nonetheless, you’ll be surprised to see that even if you are already in grad school, some people just really don’t mature enough. There are students who still tend to be noisy during class, be ruthless and inconsiderate… you get the point. I just take refuge in this fact that some people really need this “attitude” thing to behave well.
Pro # 3: Good Facilities. The first thing that struck me during my first week in med school was that each and every room in UST-FMS had projectors and Mac computers for the lectures! I can assure you that the state of the facilities in the school somehow compensates for the BIG tuition fee. As an example, let me point out that we have a Medical Informatics Center where you can do research work using TOUCH SCREEN computers! Like other schools, we also have a library, auditoriums, a classroom, some chairs… you get the point. We also have access to the other facilities of the whole university. And just to add, we have a good “outside” environment too!! Nothing beats walking along lover’s lane, breathing (somewhat) fresh air, and basking in that university feel. If there’s one complaint I have about our building, it’s that the med cafe is too small for the student population and the food is too expensive!!! But this is saved by the fact that Dapitan (the haven of cheap street food and canteens) is just a few steps away from UST. With only 40 or so pesos, you have a hearty meal of sisig/buttered chicken/adobo/name-it-you-got-it. Haha. You just really need to look for the “safe” carinderias which serve clean food.
Con # 3: Student Population. Our batch is composed of 500+ individuals which is a tad bit too many for me. Although the classrooms are able to accommodate us all, I think that 100+ students under one wing are too much. There are a select-few classrooms that I find “unconducive” for learning, because of its size and layout. But generally, it’s A-Ok. It just sometimes bothers me that we are so many. I think that our batch, in particular, went a little over the limit of the number of students allowed. Not sure, though. So I guess if you learn well in a small class, and you find yourself unwilling/unable to adjust to a HUGE class, then UST isn’t the school for you.
Pro and Con # 4: Pseudo-Traditional “Spoonfeeding” Curriculum. The general view about UST is that it has a traditional curriculum, focused more on the theoretical aspect with lectures and exams. This is mostly true because as compared to other med schools, we are really battered with consecutive quizzes and exams to evaluate our learning. But actually, it’s not wholly traditional! There is also a PBL aspect incorporated into the curriculum in the form of SGDs, lab conferences, and the SCOFYL (you’ll know what this is soon enough! And personally, I prefer this pseudo-traditional approach. I think that one needs to really understand the theories before applying them. The UST curriculum gives us that, as evidenced by the high board passing rate. I have heard that our graduates also do well in their clerkships/internships/ residencies. Another issue about the school’s curriculum is the spoon-feeding. I will not deny this. Coming from UP, I readily observed that UST definitely spoon-feeds in the sense that almost everything is prepared for us. Almost all departments are fond of giving hand-outs (which are very useful, if I may add). But really, other than this, you’re on your own. At the end of the day, it all boils down to how much a student is willing to take in and study. The only con I see with the curriculum is that it is somewhat conducive to the G.C. (aka grade conscious) culture. Which, in my opinion, shouldn’t be the case. Studying should be driven by learning and not solely by high grades. But that’s just me generalizing and being ideal. It all really depends on what kind of student you want to be! To be honest, I’m also guilty of being grade-hungry sometimes, but I really make a conscious effort not to. And because I’m sleeeeeeepy and out of ideas, I’ll just leave this post at this point and add to the list in the following days. I hope that this little guide helps you come up with the best decision! Just always remember that med school should fit you perfectly like a velvet glove. Go to a school that you know you will love, because when things got tough (academically), having a good school environment and school pride will be one of the major factors that will push you to finish med.View more