THREE students from Cebu topped the 2018 Medical Technology Board Exam last Sept. 22-23, 2018.
Velez College graduates Chris Jeram Lara and Justin Riley Lam placed 7th and 9th with scores of 90.40 percent and 89.80 percent, respectively, while Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) graduate Joanna Labajo Canen, placed 8th with an 89.90 percent score.
Lara, from Dipolog City, shared how hard it was for him to survive his degree program especially since it was not really his choice, since his passion is in filmmaking.
“Taking up a course that is far from your heart is a struggle, but I learned to love it (eventually) especially when you are surrounded with people who make it more bearable,” said Lara.
With his Pomodoro technique, in which he studies from six to eight hours every day, with his prayers and Netflix, he was able to overcome the pressure and anxiety, and eventually earned the seventh spot.
Lara told SunStar that the phrase “One hundred percent lang jud, Lord” became his mantra because according to him, “success is sweeter if it is shared with the whole batch.”
Unlike Lara who once did not want to take up Med Tech, Lam, another topnotcher from Velez College, said being a medical technology student was fun, “from learning the different skills and knowledge to become a medtech, as well as the opportunity as a medical technologist intern.”
He said preparing for the board exam was hard.
“I am currently a medical student in CIM (Cebu Institute of Medicine), so I could only give so much time to studying for the boards,” said Lam.
For Lam, the exam was challenging.
“The words I kept on telling myself were that I should keep on going,” he said.
“I’ve gone too far to stop and give up,” he added.
Meanwhile, Canen, the 20-year-old CDU graduate who hails from Iligan City, admitted that her medtech life was a constant juggle of academic and social life. Despite the number of exams she had in a week, she still managed to go out with her friends.
Canen admitted that she was diagnosed with depression months before the board examination.
“Days before the exam, I had countless breakdowns. I even wanted to back out a week prior to the boards,” said Canen.
It was hard for Canen to trust herself and her capabilities.
“Every time I studied, there’s always that thought that I couldn’t make it,” said Canen.
Canen told SunStar Cebu that she had a hard time during the examination. After the first day, she cried and lost her energy to study for the exam the following day.
“I just prayed and offered everything to God, knowing that He wouldn’t leave me,” she added.
The exams she took every day during her college days helped Canen mold her study habit.
“I’m a crammer, actually. That’s why I was really nervous about the boards since we are given few months to study and I’m not used to that,” said Canen.
All the challenges Canen battled did not stop her from making it to the list of topnotchers of the September 2018 Medical Technology Board Examination.
“Now that I finally have three letters after my name, I’ll be focusing on my search for medical schools,” said Canen.
All the three topnotchers are planning to pursue and finish their medical school studies.
As of now, Lam’s plan is to finish his studies and become a doctor, while Lara plans to work as a medical technologist before studying medicine starts.
Cebu Doctors’ University has achieved the 100 percent passing rate since 2011, said Clark Dipay, CDU Head of Student Affairs.
Meanwhile, Velez College ranked as the top performing school with 100 percent passing rate, with 175 exam takers.
Velez College had last achieved the 100 percent passing rate last 2012, said Ariel Valle, Velez College Registrar.
“We are aiming to continue this dignity and culture that batch 2018 had made,” Valle said. (JERRA MAE LIBREA & MARY RUTH MALINAO, USJ-R INTERNS)