DILIGENCE and grit helped Jude Philip Pozon Cebrecus in performing very well in the recently concluded September 2021 Physician Licensure Examination (PLE).
With a rating of 87.83 percent, the 25-year-old Cebrecus of Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM) snagged the first spot along with Maria Inez Benedicto of West Visayas State University-La Paz.
Cebrecus said he was “genuinely” surprised by the results.
“The feeling still hasn’t fully sunk in yet. I really wasn’t expecting to top the board exams since we only had a very limited time allotted for intensive review and we had physical duties in the hospital early on in the year, so I wasn’t able to really review then,” Cebrecus told SunStar Cebu.
The other Cebu’s pride was Kirk Louie Umali Amandoron, also a graduate of CIM. He placed seventh (86.83 percent) in the PLE.
Cebrecus said it was very difficult for him to focus on the review because of the uncertainties and fears brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the past two years have been the toughest for Filipinos who have had to deal with the pandemic, including the surges of cases caused by new variants.
The medical frontliners are also tired these days.
Cebrecus said the pandemic is a tough time to become a physician.
Before deciding to start a journey to become a physician, Cebrecus said one must have the passion and love for medicine.
“So much is expected of us with not much given in return, but our profession has always been one of service. The passion and love for medicine is crucial before embarking on this path that lies ahead of us, especially at this time of pandemic,” he said.
The PLE is composed of 12 individual subjects to be taken in four days within two weeks.
Cebrecus said just the thought of answering the questions intimidated him; some of the subjects, he said, were really difficult as medicine is broad and it was hard to predict which areas or topics would come out in the exams.
He also said a minor factor that he found difficult to deal with was the one-hour break in between exams.
“I wanted to finish the exams as soon as possible, both for my own safety and for my peace of mind,” he said laughingly.
He further said: “I was fairly confident that I was going to pass the board exams, but I was never confident that I would be a topnotcher by my standards. But then again, one can never be fully prepared for the PLE.”
Cebrecus said he employed diligence and grit to budget his time to accommodate all the 12 subjects in just a month of intensive review.
He also said his prayers to strengthen his resolve to go on.
Cebrecus dedicated his achievement to God, to his parents and two older siblings who are all physicians. His family supported him and prayed for him ever since his medical journey began.
He also thanked his relatives and friends who constantly checked on him by sending him messages to motivate him.
Cebrecus said he is planning to enter residency as soon as he can because he wants to hone his skills for his future patients. He wants to specialize in internal medicine.