AFTER having low scores when she was still in medical school motivated Hannah Leian Tan to challenge herself to be better allowing her to place 10th in the Physician Licensure Examination in October 2022.

“I remember early on during our first year I was called out in front of the entire batch for having a low score in one of our exams. Nakakapit ra gyod (I barely passed the exams). Admittedly, I didn't study very well because I was still adjusting to life as a medical student. Na-ulaw gud ko oy (I was really embarrassed at that time), but I took it as a challenge to better myself,” Tan said in an interview with SunStar Davao on November 13, 2022.

Tan finished her Medical Laboratory Science program at San Pedro College in Davao City and took up Medicine at the Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF). She said she has been dreaming to become a doctor or physician someday because she wants to help others.

“I want to be a doctor because I want to help my family. There was a time when my grandparents kept coming in and out of the hospital, and there wasn't much I could do. I didn't understand what was going on and I thought to myself that maybe I could've prevented this if I had helped them take better care of themselves. They're the ones I think about whenever I don't feel like giving my all,” Tan said.

But Tan said it was not an easy journey for her in medical school. There were times she felt “burned out” but it was never in her mind to quit.

She added that she sometimes feels guilty at home because she’s not contributing anything to their household considering that she is always studying.

“Instead of having a job and contributing to the household, I was out here with my books and highlighters so I can't imagine that it's easy for parents of medical students to keep supporting us far into adulthood. I owe it to my family to never give up. They keep me motivated,” Tan said.

Tan said her seniors, who shared their knowledge in their chosen profession, have also helped her in preparing for their licensure exam.

“I did what everybody else did. I tried to take advantage of any teachings my seniors could impart to me during our internship and correlated my experiences with the review notes. It was definitely a challenge trying to get as much clinical experience when person-to-person interactions were limited for everyone's safety,” she said.

Tan said she was grateful to those whom she worked with during her internship days.

“I'm so grateful to all the doctors, fellow med students, and other healthcare personnel I was able to work with during our internship because they helped create this environment of learning,” she said.

After passing the licensure exam, Tan said she doesn't have concrete plans yet.

Meanwhile, she advises future medical students and those who will take the licensure examination soon that they should always think of the reason why they have started their journey in medical school.

“I still have a lot to learn, but I know that everyone is motivated by something or someone so just keep thinking about why you're doing this when times get tough, and always pray and trust in God's plans for you,” Tan said. KSD