Three years after she contributed an exceptional feat for being the first placer among the ten highest places in the February 2015 Physician Licensure Examination, Dr. Venil Lovely Estella Bolambao visited her Alma Mater on the occasion of a get-together and luncheon meeting of the MHAM Scholars Society (MHASSo) at the Physiology and Biochemistry Laboratory last March 4, 2018.
Driven by her most promising childhood dream of becoming a doctor apart from being enamored by an American weekly dramedy tv series entitled Doogie Howser, MD, today, Dr. Lovely is no longer stayed-up-to-date for the full episodes as she is now portraying in real life of being a doctor and a senior resident for Internal Medicine at Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu City.
Gracing the event in her most compelling intent to impart her knowledge to the aspiring doctors, Dr. Bolambao was also greeted with a simple birthday bash as she celebrated her natal day together with another celebrant, junior student-scholar, Pat Hamilton Abella.
A full scholar recipient under the founder’s scholarship grant, Dr. Bolambao shared her personal insights with valuable advices to twenty-eight scholars who attended the 3-hour gathering.
“I was tasked to hopefully inspire you with a short talk on things I could advice you on. First and foremost all of us should develop a study habit in order to survive in the medical school especially in residency and I really encourage you to always read your notes”, Dr. Bolambao said.
She also added that students should create a goal and to aim high like a seed of dream to top the board examination in order to give glory to the school.
“We have to love our school and always have the attitude to share your blessings to others. Respect your elders and mentors because for me, medicine is hierarchy where we can get lessons of life in general from them. Reward yourself from the things you have accomplished with a ‘me time’. If you feel down don’t be discouraged because you only lost the battle but not the war. We are not perfect and it is okay to not to be perfect but just try out to do whatever you want to make yourself better, just get over it and get life”, she added.
Recalling her experiences during her student days, the 1st placer reminded the scholars to help one another and be a support to fellow students. “Do not pull others down and avoid crab mentality. Make quality friends and always remember that God will not give you something if you won’t be able to conquer so just do your best and surrender everything to Him”, said the Top 1.
Unknown to many, this MHAM former scholar also developed a life of prayer as she brought everything into prayer with her favorite bible verse in Romans 8:31 which says, If God is with us, who can be against us? Such inspiring passage made her feel so calm during the PLE days and in every challenge along the way.
In addition, Dr. Pe also urged the scholars to include in their prayers for the MHAM graduates who took the March 2018 Physician Licensure Examination with the institution’s objective to get at least a little bit higher than the national passing rate as MHAM aims to be a PAASCU-accredited school. As expected, another scholar-alumnus made history as MHAM consistently produced board placers in the recent PLE.
Having been inspired from the uplifting words and encouragement from a former Matias scholar who once was a dreamer, the scholars were also tasked to express their favorable suggestions, plans and reflections into writing as their output of the day.
Meanwhile 25-year old junior student, Pat Hamilton Abella has proven to those who believe in his capacity that excellence can be a package as he is holding the title of Mr. MHAM 2017 apart from being an academic scholar. Having been blessed with both singing and dancing skills, this aspiring doctor expressed his gratitude for the gift of life and for the blessing to be part of the MHAM Scholars Society.
“We are here gathered to express our present struggles and failures from the past days and Dr. Pe gave us the opportunity to express our feelings. Being a third year student it is indeed a big challenge not just about study habits but also on how to be able to handle time management in the midst of challenging case presentations and written reports”, said the birthday celebrant in an interview.
Over the years, MHAM offers scholarship grants to deserving students upon the recommendation of the Committee on Scholarship and the College Dean with the approval of the Board of Trustees. Current College Registrar and Chairperson of the Committee on Scholarship, Dr. Luditha Lumapat-Pe takes pride of its scholarship grants being offered for the academic year 2017-2018 which includes the Don Matias H. Aznar Scholarship (DMAS) and the MHAM Alumni Scholarship (MAS).
“This is just a get-together to check on how our scholars are doing with regards to their studies. This is also to make a follow up on what their projects and plans are for this year and the succeeding year for the incoming scholars as well as those scholars who will be leaving the institution as they will soon become our alumni-scholars”, Dr. Pe said in an interview.
Currently there are seventeen freshmen students who are DMAS recipients. DMAS grant is offered as an entry point for graduates with latin honors with a full tuition fee coverage excluding miscellaneous and other fees to the grantees.
The MAS, on the other hand, caters tuition fee discount to deserving students but are financially challenged upon recommendation and thorough evaluation from the committee. At present, three students were conferred to the said grant through the benevolent and generous graduates both here and abroad catered through the MHAM Alumni Relations and Services.
In a separate interview with the February 2015 PLE 1st placer who just won the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) Regional Quiz Bowl Competition, Dr. Bolambao divulged that seeing the current scholars with Dr. Pe brought back memories of what they used to do as student-scholars.
“I’d like to hope that I had given a bit of inspiration to our students and my coming here is another way of seeing them and sharing to them the big picture of how it is in the real world. As students sometimes we just care more about grades, about passing, about topping the exams but my goal of coming here is to impart to them that apart from that there is a world out there involving patients and involving failures sometimes. They just have to do their best, read and continue to give glory to the school”, said the alumna-topnotcher.
Reaping the harvest of what she sowed in life with competence and commitment as a dedicated internist, this MHAM topnotcher never have to stop learning and leaping as she vied for the National Quiz Bowl Competition among Internal Medicine physicians in the country. To complete the league, Dr. Bolambao battled with the brains in the American College of Physicians (ACP) Quiz Bowl Cup in New Orleans, Los Angeles, USA last April 19 to 21 during the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting 2018.
Well-facilitated by the MHAM Scholars Society President, Athena Mae L. Ibon, the meeting of scholars ended with a hearty lunch and a take-home message that being unstoppable in chasing their dreams and in believing that anything is always possible is an enduring factor for success.
Having been inspired by the presence and encouraging message from the alumna-topnotcher, the MHAM scholars are now challenged to believe in themselves and to keep being motivated in the face of typical challenges as student-scholars. As the institution’s treasures is in its scholars, to date, the MHAM Scholars Society as an organization is trying to bring forth its goal to facilitate and help other students by allotting hours with them as study-buddies. Envisioned to become globally competent and morally-grounded physicians in the local and global community, these scholars are the very hope to consistently produce graduate-topnotchers among the mavens of the field. (Ana Liza Abao)