SHE was a born achiever.

Topping the August 2010 Physician Licensure Exam was probably just another feather on her cap, but for Chitra Deepak Punjabi, she never expected it.

"A lot of people expected me to top the [Medical] board but it was terribly hard, and I thought it was impossible. I still don't want to look at the results. It was an incredible shock," she said after learning she topped the exams.

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It wasn't just a stroke of luck, or another chance encounter, as the 27-year-old Baguio girl as she calls herself, has been a salutatorian in high school at Don Bosco High School and cum laude at Saint Louis University where she took up Medical Technology.

Then as a Dr. Prem Manchanda scholar, she pursued her dreams of becoming a full-pledged Physician at the University of Santo Tomas where she graduated as summa cum laude.

With achievements in her belt, Punjabi remained humble as she shared her preparation for the board exams.

"After my internship, I went back UST for review and that was for a month then, the remaining 2 to 3 months, I went for self review."

Self-reviewing she said was a tedious process with many things to memorize and procedures to digest.

But for Punjabi, it has always been a dream to become a doctor.

"I can't explain it. Even if I say I want to help people hindi lang dapat yun yung reason ko, because there are so many ways of helping people."

But she said she chose medicine because she discovered how medicine transforms people.

"The practice brings out the best in you, and that really must have been why God wanted me to become a doctor," she added.

After taking her oath, Punjabi adds "I'm choosing between Emergency Medicine or Internal Medicine as my field of specialization. I've always loved IM because it's very mind stimulating, and in emergency medicine, it's as if, whatever [case] comes your way, you can handle it."

As a tip for future Medical Board takers, she added there are no shortcuts to passing or even topping it.

"Napakahirap ng board talaga, you have to do the work. But I've discovered, whatever happens halos hindi mo hawak, si God talaga ang magsasabi niyan so pray, pray, pray. And as an advice, future board examinees should ask everyone to pray for you. I think it's the only thing that got me here," she shared.

The daughter of Deepak and Usha Punjabi shared the secret to her achievements.

"I love learning new things, I've always been fond of the classroom setting and it's where I see myself in the future and that is probably in teaching. I guess, I'm a geek lang talaga," she adds.

Punjabi is part of the 1,597 new doctors out of 2,300 who passed the Physician Licensure Examination given by the Board of Medicine in the cities of Manila, Cebu and Davao this August 2010, the Professional regulation Commission reported.

The results were released in three working days from the last day of examinations where she received a rating of 89.42 percent.

The PRC announced the registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Card (ID) and Certificate of Registration will start on Monday, August 23, 2010 but not later than August 27, 2010.

The oath taking ceremony of the successful examinees will be held at at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila on September 5.