How I Got into INTARMED

Using her then box-type cellular phone with a 15-minute battery life, my unassuming mother delivered the good news that would ultimately lay down my career path.

“Anak, congratulations! Nakapaskil dito sa blackboard. Nakapasa ka!”

She called from the lobby of Calderon Hall, the administration building of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine (UPCM). She would have been staring at my complete name in all caps on the board where the names of successful UPCM applicants are posted each year. I was a hundred kilometers away, spending the summer of 2001 with my maternal relatives in Bataan as I customarily did during school breaks.

I couldn’t have been more elated to hear her exuberant voice, telling me that I had been accepted into INTARMED (INTegrated Liberal–ARts MEDicine), the accelerated medicine program of UP. I remember running all the way to the memorial park nearby, to lie down on the grass, look up to the sky, and say my prayer of thanks. I was going to be a doctor, the first one in the family, and only in seven years’ time.

I first heard about INTARMED from our family pediatrician Dr. B, during a consult for a three-day cough. When Dr. B found out that I was graduating with top honors and that I intended to go to UP, she immediately urged me to apply for it. The idea of going into a straight-medicine program immediately after high school graduation was undeniably appealing, especially since at that time, I did not know how my parents would be able to afford the expenses of medical school with my four other siblings still in elementary and high school. I was about to give up on my dream of becoming a doctor; this might just be the answer I was looking for.

Unfortunately though, I knew of no one who could give me details on how to apply for INTARMED. I was only beginning to use the Internet. We did not even have our own computer at home. And even if we did, I doubt if I would have found enough relevant information online. It did not help that people kept saying INTERMED, which was what I used to search for information, and naturally ended up with nothing.

My high school principal told me that the class valedictorian five years earlier was accepted into the program. He was the first one to do so from my high school, but only after getting waitlisted and subsequently recalled after one of the accepted applicants backed out. Not reassuring news, either.

It was thus with blind enthusiasm that I answered YES to the question “Are you also interested in entering an accelerated program leading to medicine?” on my UPCAT application form.

“Malay mo, makapasa,” I said to myself.

My UPCAT exam in August was uneventful. Being a veteran of high school competitions in math, science, and English, I was able to answer most questions with confidence. At the end of the morning, my only worry was that my Oreo cookies left dark smudges on my answer sheet, unrelenting to my exam-grade eraser no matter how furiously I rubbed.

Hence, when the UPCAT results were released in February 2001, I was silently disappointed to find out that yes, I passed, but across my name it clearly said College of Science and not College of Medicine. I had put B.S. Chemistry (UP Diliman) on my UPCAT application as my first choice course and that was obviously where I got accepted.

Just a week earlier, I received a congratulatory letter from De La Salle University stating that I had been chosen as a Star Scholar for being among its top incoming freshmen. I now faced the choice between being an ordinary Maroon or a Star Scholar Green Archer.

What I did not know then was that UPCAT score was not the sole basis for getting into INTARMED. Among all those who indicated YES to the INTARMED question in the UPCAT form, the top 50 male and top 50 female applicants are notified and called in for a panel interview, after which, the top 40 students are chosen for the seven-year medicine program. It was an annual battle of Promil kids from all over the country, to say the least.

These things I only found out two Saturdays after the UPCAT results were released. I was getting ready for the regional finals of a math contest when a competitor from a Chinese school approached me to show a piece of paper with my name highlighted on it.

“Congratulations,” she said.

“Huh?”

I stood there frozen, and she was smiling.

“I’m glad to be the bearer of good news.”

Heart pounding and tears welling in my eyes, I called my parents to tell them that from the 65,000 students who took the UPCAT, I was among the top 50. I would begin college as an Oblation Scholar, which meant free tuition and a monthly stipend. More important, I also made it to the INTARMED shortlist.

During the interview, an otorhinolaryngologist and a pediatric neurologist asked questions one after the other in the UPCM dean’s office.

What are your hobbies? Have you ever cheated? Are you loyal? What are your study habits? Who is your inspiration? Do you have a girlfriend? What was the worst rumor spread about you? Why do you want to go into medicine?

Seventy valedictorians, salutatorians, and honorable mentions turned up for the interview. I had a 1 in 2 chance of getting accepted.

The excitement and anxiety of realizing a dream blurred all events afterward. I graduated class valedictorian. My mother made her historic call. I received Dean Ramon Arcadio’s acceptance letter, and three months later, stood in front of Lady Med (the statue replica of Jose Rizal’s Triumph of Science over Death at the UPCM garden), beaming as Iskolar ng Bayan class number 2001-09985. I could not believe that it was actually my name on that white blackboard in Calderon Hall.

That was the beginning of this INTAR-kid, and the many, many wonderful things that would come after.

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172 comments

  1. I remember calling my dad when I found out I made it to the top 50 and to the INTARMED short list too. I could hear his voice cracking and knew his eyes were welling up with tears. 🙂 It’s still so clear to me now.

  2. I was in the bathroom in the province, doing “my business”, when my dad called me on my cellphone. He couldn’t wait for me to get out, so he told my sister that I had passed. I was screaming my head off! That was probably the funniest moment in my life.

    Come to think of it, he was the one who helped me with all the Intarmed-related stuff (from arranging my interview to telling me that I had passed). I miss him.

  3. i cried when i knew i passed…not because im so happy but because i felt like i’ll be letting go of my carefully woven dreams…
    i didn’t know you wanted it this much ronnie..and i’m happy you made it. Ikaw na talaga ang magiging neurosurgeon someday 🙂 well i hope for the best for all of us 🙂

  4. I remembered a good friend of mine cursing me “P***** I** mo Nil, nakapasa ka ng intarmed!” Haha. Funnier thing that happened was my parents didn’t have a clue what I got into when I told them the news and I spent around 30 minutes explaining to them. And here I am six years later. :p parang kelan lang. 😀

  5. Makes me think of my own story 12 years ago. I think it came in the mail, cant exactly remember. What I do remember was that the three of us who aimed for Intarmed in my high school all made it–and we three were very good friends. I think I was the last one to receive the news so I got a bit scared. Intar was a very happy part of my life too. 🙂 Im thankful God made me a doctor through this path.

    • Really? I’m excited to be a doctor sa future… My barkada and I (there are also 3 of us in it) are all hoping to be INTARMED Studs.. have you got any tips for us?

    • Hi Queenie. Just curious, which high school did you attend?
      That was a great feat!

  6. Getting into INTARMED seals our fate, in a way. I was thinking about so many options before INTARMED, but getting into this path sort of closed so many other doors.
    When I found out about it, I felt nothing. That wasn’t strange. That’s probably my most common reaction to my life’s most important things anyway. 🙂

  7. finally nahanap ko rin ang bago mong blog (salamat sa google).

    Chem ka pala dapat sa diliman. I’m sure you could have been a great chemist too! haha.

  8. ive been reading your blog when I should have been studying for the OB inservice. They were amusing and yet, very eye-opening. And do I know that family pediatrician? I’m glad you listened to her, though. 🙂

  9. I passed Diliman with my first choice BS Chemistry. And I’m really praying to God that I’ll pass INTARMED but I know it’s quite impossible. I just wanted to comment her because I was really amused with your story. May I know what year are you now?

  10. IDOL! I passed INTARMED but I passed UP Diliman with my first choice (Chem Eng.) which is not a pre-med course. What if the interviewers will point this out? I’m so nervous. Also, kuya, what were the type of questions there? How long was the interview?

  11. WOW. To become an INTARMED qualifier is my dream. Gusto ko lang po malaman… ano po usually ang UPG ng mga pumapasok sa INTARMED? Meron po ba na ang UPG ay 2.0 sa mga blockmates niyo? or… puro 1.0-1.5 lang? hehehe 😀 Gusto ko po kasi sana malaman kung how FAR do i need to go to make this dream come true 🙂

    kasi kung 1.0-1.5 feeling ko di ko maaabot un hehehe

    • Not sure about UPGs. My UPG then was 1.763. Pero second highest in class na ako nun. Depende rin kasi sa mga kasabay mong nag-take ng UPCAT, eh.

  12. stifling-frost

    waw, puro valedictorian po pala ung mga kasama niyo 😮

    plano ko po kasing pumasok sa Intarmed kahit alam kong napaka-imposible. wala ako sa honors (except nung elementary, hahaha. nawala lang ako nung highschool kasi mahigpit ung competition sa bagong school na pinasukan ko). paano ba po ung system ng pagpili sa INTARMED?

    • You have to do well in UPCAT and you have to have a high class standing (1st to 3rd year high school). Top 50 males and Top 50 females who indicated interest in applying for INTARMED get called in for an interview. After deliberations by the Admissions Committee, only the top 20 males and top 20 females are accepted. Good luck!

  13. just wanna ask something po.

    Did all Intarmed students in your batch graduated as valedictorians and salutations? Because I’m only coming in third place in our school but I think i did well in my UPCAT last august while my classmates (including the 1st in our class) thought it was so hard, and I’m really hoping I can get through the Top 100 so that I can be considered in the Intarmed program (because I want to be a doctor so bad but I think my parents won’t afford that plus, if i’ll make it, I’ll be the first doctor in our family like you).

    And also, I read your sample questions for the interview. How did you prepare for the interview and how should an applicant answer the questions? Should he/she impress the panel or just be his/her self?

    (Sorry I kind off ranted. LOL)

    • Hi Sarah,

      No, not everyone was a valedictorian or salutatorian. Some didn’t graduate with honors, but most of us did. I think the interview is meant to assess not just your intellectual capacity, but more important, your ability to cope with stress and accomplish assigned tasks. Don’t try to give answers meant to impress your interview panel. Having interviewed hundreds of aspiring physicians before, they would see through you when you try to appear “too good to be true.” Agree, be your self. But be someone with a goal in mind. Have a clear picture of the physician you want to be 20, 30, 40 years from now.

      All the best!

  14. I am really inspired of your story sir 🙂 i am now in my senior year and i am experiencing the intense agony waiting for results give. well, i have not been the very studious type. i was always forced to study and you can say i have been a little rebellious. i come from a family of professionals and the pressure has always made things hard for me. my older sister and cousins are in UP now and they really expect for me to pass too. i used to dream about being an engineer but there was this time in sophomore year when i did not like the way one of my math elective teachers made things difficult for us and gave us very low marks. it has discouraged me a lot and i have seen math as a villain in my life since then. but i am learning to outgrow that attitude. now that i am a senior, i want to be a doctor, but doing it not because my family wants it for me but because i realize that t i am given all the opportunities to be a doctor and that means being given the opportunity to make a big difference in the world.

    my auntie was able to be part of the INTARMED too. but she was the salutatorian of her batch in high school and i am far from being an honor student. i am part of the engineering and science education program curriculum too but i fear that i wouldn’t even stand a chance 🙁 i am not even sure if i can pass UP. but i still am looking forward sir. i am really inspired of your blog entry. i will keep my hopes up and my expectations low.

    i know you are a great doctor now 🙂

    • Hi Mikhael!

      It all begins with believing that you can do it. Never doubt your dreams. Always push yourself to do better and do not settle for anything less. If you do go into Medicine, you will soon realize that we study not just for the sake of knowing, but because at some point in our career, what we have learned will actually save someone’s life. That makes studying more fulfilling. And more difficult, too.

      Keep your fingers crossed. Thanks for reading and good luck!

  15. Hello! I found your blog while googling the UP Intarmed program, haha. Anyway, I was just wondering, do you need to have really high marks/grades in high school to pass this program? I’m currently a high school junior, and I’ve only gotten one academic award (or honors) in the entire three years I’ve spent in hs. I got a 75 in one of my subjects (Math 🙁 ) during the first year… will that affect my chances of getting in? I still have 2 semesters left of junior year and the entire fourth year to make up for it and hopefully get honors, but will that be too late? Sorry for the long (and somewhat detailed hehe) comment, I’m just worried because college is a huge deal for me. Thank you!

    • Hi Anna! Yes, you need to get high grades during your 3rd year in high school. The INTARMED qualifiers (the top 50 girls and top 50 boys) who will be called in for the interview is based on the UPG or university predicted grade, which is computed from the UPCAT score + academic performance in high school. What you submit in the UPCAT application, if I remember it right, are 3rd year grades. Your ranking during graduation would not matter at all.

      Good luck!

      • Hi,
        My daughter’s in the 10th grade. She wants to be a doctor. She does very well in school. I f you don’t make it into the INTARMED program what’s best course to get in UP Med school?

        • Hi Peng, most of my classmates were either BS Biology or BS/BA Psychology. Marami din Public Health, Nursing, and Molecular Bio/Biochem. There’s no straight answer to what’s the best course. Each has its own advantages/disadvantages. But she should strive to graduate with honors and get a high NMAT score regardless of her course.

          • Hi. I am also a doctor but i graduated a bit earlier and from a diff medschool. My daughter is currently in grade 10 and she hopes of being able to be admitted in the Intarmed. She belongs in the top 10. I know she still has 2 years more in Senior high before she can apply and aspire to be admitted in the Intarmed. Is it true that if you have “connections” you can be admitted in the program?tnx.

          • Hi Cay, I would reply with a categorical no. To begin with, in order to qualify for the interview part of the INTARMED application process, you would have to be among the Top 100 students who took the UPCAT AND answered Yes to the INTARMED question in the UPCAT form. Even if you are the son or daughter of the president, if you do not achieve this academic feat, you automatically would not get into INTARMED. It is highly competitive. So if your daughter really wants to apply for INTARMED, she should strive hard to get good grades in senior high school, and study well so that she would score high in the UPCAT.

          • Hi! I read your blog while searching for the intarmed program. I found it very interesting & informative as well. My son is an incoming senior HS(gr.11), my husband & i are both doctors, so he’s inspired by his dad to become a surgeon as well. I asked my son to read your story para mainspire sya. He’s not that studious type of kid, he kept on telling me everytime i nag at him on his study habits that he’s not a GC? (Grade Conscious). He’s presently a scholar, & did well on his NCAE (99+) he finished his junior year without honors. Since i learned from you that his last 2yrs grades in HS would matter & of course his UPCAT i kind of persuaded him to do better this time.. thanks to you doc i am more enlightened ? Best regards.

          • Wishing him all the best Johanna! Thanks for reading! ?

  16. whoaw!! .. every time na angsesearch ako .. etong blog na toh ang nakakattract sakin ..!!
    so nabasa ko na lahat .. and naiinspire akO! .. kabilib naman po! .. wala pa nmn akong grade mula sa 1st year at 3rd year ko na line of 7 ..!! .. un nga alng wala me sa honors ..! waaaaaaaa! hirap nmn kasi eh .. point something lang ung labanan sa room nmn .. actually nasa rank 40 ako … pero halos karank ko lang ung rank 14 something .. ganun talaga kami lahat sa room..!! GUSTO KO TALAGA MAG-MED! … waaaaaaaa

  17. If your name is not included in the list of passers in upcat, by chance, is there any possibility that I can get into the Imed program?

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t think there is. The selection of INTARMED qualifiers is based on the UPG, which is from one’s UPCAT score + high school grades.

  18. Hi Ronnie,

    Almost 7 years ago I solicited your inputs whether it’s better for my son, Gerald (the tall guy), to go thru MBB first or go straight to Intarmed. You said that if he really wants to be a doctor, then he should take the Intarmed path.

    This April, he will be graduating already. Many thanks for the great inputs you shared many years ago. And, I still owe you that cup of coffee… 😉

    Edwin

    PS – Btw, I have another girl who is in UP Diliman, taking up BS Psych. She doesn’t want to pursue medicine but we told her to take the NMAT, just in case.

    • Sir Edwin,

      Congratulations to Gerald! We’ve met in the wards po. Next steps for him are the boards and residency. I hope he finds a field that will give him a sense of fulfillment each day. Good luck!

  19. Ask ko Lang po if those in pending cases still have d chance to enter the intarmed program?

    • I am not sure. I think they haven’t announced the list of INTARMED qualifiers for 2013.

      • Kyle excel Sanidad

        Good day sir, i am presently in my fourth year high school at Philippine Science High School -Car. Though i come from the province of Abra I was lucky enough to pass the PISAY test. Now i am looking forward to come to UP after high school better yet to take up INTRAMED. I just dont know how or what to expect pls. Give me some advice ,to make it through the rigorous tests and interviews.

        • You have to do well in UPCAT. If you’re from Pisay CAR, you should not have problems with the Science and Math questions. Reviewing for the English/Filipino part is trickier. It takes a lot of casual reading to expand your vocabulary and develop the skill required for reading comprehension. Whether you get into the INTARMED list of qualifiers or not depends on your high school grade and your UPCAT score. Since your third year high school grades are already in, kailangan mo na lang galingan sa UPCAT. Good luck!

  20. Hi ronibats!! Your story is quite inspiring and I would like to congratulate you and your family for your achievement. Iam a urologist from Cebu hoping that my son will be able to enter intramed. Like you, he has good academic achievement and on the top of his graduating class. He passed UPCAT -bio in diliman and all other entrance exam in most prestigious University in MM. I am trying to check if he was able to qualify the intramed and after checking all possible help, I have come accross your blog. Hope I can get a help from you.
    Best regard.

  21. Kahit ba may line of 7 sa high school grades, may chance pa ba?
    Is it the average of all grades or by subjects?
    I’m in 4th year h.s this coming school year.
    Do i still have a chance?
    Kahit na wala ka sa top 30 ng graduating students?
    Thanks.
    This post is an inspiration.

  22. Brod, sa blog mo nalaman ko ang paraan ng pagpasok sa INTARMED, at sinubukan ko lang. Galing ako sa isang simpleng paaralang Katoliko sa Pangasinan, na ang hangad lang ay makapasok sa UP.

    Ginalingan ko lang at ibinigay ko ang lahat. Dalawa lang ang nagawa kong aplayan na schools: Ateneo (na kung saa’y nang naglao’y nakapasa sa Computer Science), at UP (sa gayunding kurso).

    Nang tinitingnan ko yung UPCAT box na naglalaman ng question no. 9, nung una parang nawalan lang ako ng loob i-check. Kako, “hmf, mga taga-Maynila lang papasa diyan.” Sariwa pa ang disappointment ko nung di ako nakapasok sa Pisay 4 taon ang nakakaraan. Pero sabi ni Nanay, “bakit hindi? Malay mo.” Nanay ko ang nagumbinsi sa akin. Lagi niya pinapaalala yung tiyahin ko (hipag niya) na pinalad mag-INTARMED. Kaya inicheck ko.

    Laking gulat naming pumasa ako.

    March yun, naghahanda kami para sa program ng aming pagtatapos. May nagpadala ng LBC, na sulat galing sa Kolehiyo ng Medisina. Nagbunga pala ang aming biyahe two weeks before.

    Eventually nakilala kita, naging brod pa kita, at ngayon, ginagamit ang natutunan bilang doctor to the barrio.

    Sa isang nagcomment dito, kapag nagkapalakol ka sa card, wag mawalan ng pag-asa. May kaklase akong nakarating sa UP kahit bagsak siya sa Math. Isa na siya ngayong mag-aaral ng abogasya.

    Ronnie, bai, maraming salamat sa tiwala (lalo nung panahon natin sa Medics) at sa inspirasyon.

  23. hi, congrats to your family with 5 valedictorians! just came across your blog.. am equally impressed you get to respond to your followers .. am a mother of 3 beautiful ladies – 2 RNs and the youngest graduated from ADMU in 2011 as a university scholar. typhoon sendong in cagayan de oro,claimed the lives of our eldest and youngest last december 17,2011… we miss them so, so much -still… everyday … we cry,we remember,we reminisce…. i believe God has other plans for our family… up to now,we’re still trying to come up with answers why these all happened … anyway, just curious where you are practicing now and do you have plans of going abroad? continue to be an inspiration to others …hats off to your amazing parents and siblings and may your tribe and gifted talents spread …be proud to pinoy always…

  24. Hi! I came across your blog because i really, really wanted to pass the INTARMED. Actually, I’m not too confident about myself, in fact I felt discouraged after finding out only 40 applicants were to be selected…On my first year in high school I was Rank 4; on the second year I was 2nd and this third year, I managed to become the First Honor. I was never a veteran in competions like you and if I were to participate in one, I could only answer the easy questions. But I promise that I have the determination and heart to chase my dreams since this is the first time I’ve ever wanted something so badly. If it’s not too much to ask, can you give some pointers on study habits: like what to study, how many hours a day, and how much you should know and score in the UPCAT exam?

    • I didn’t particularly study for UPCAT. I didn’t attend review lessons. But it really helped that I had above average grades in Math, and also did well in English/Filipino. I found the questions reasonable, but I could be biased because I was used to joining contests, so I studied advanced material compared with everybody else.

  25. I’ve seen your family being featured in Jessica Soho’s show. Can’t help but search you guys online and ended up reading this article on your blog. Kudos to you, your sibs and most especially your parents! I was so inspired to study harder though I’m in the field of Architecture.

  26. OMG. idol na kita. pramis. haha

  27. kuya, im from a science high school and im included in the TOP 10 overall for the third year students in our school. Im interested in the INTARMED that UP Diliman offers… For me, my grades are good having almost all my subjects grades higher than 90…. do i have a potential?

    • Hi Shea! Everybody has potential. Study hard and do well in the UPCAT. I think BS Biology in UP Manila prepares you well for UP Med. May mga Public Health din pero sabi ng mga kaklase ko, its harder to get high grades. Btw, INTARMED is in UP Manila.

      Good luck!

      • eh kuya, parang general pa po yung course na BS BIOLOGY kasi botany and zoology are still included. diba po doctor? so it focuses in human… i know that in BS BIOLOGY, anatomy is also included but, can you give more premed courses other than BS BIOLOGY? because it seems that, it’s too common and general… eh ang Physical Therapy?

  28. im so inspired with your story and it made me think that becoming a doctor will now be possible for a person like me…. tanong ko lang po, ano po bang magandang premed course sa UP manila?

  29. Hi. Gusto ko lang sanang magtanong if pwede pa ring ma qualify ang isang student ng UP for INTARMED given na maganda yung academic standing mo sa isang pre med course like BS Bio at nastate mo sa UPCAT application form that gusto mong maging candidate for the program although hindi ka nakapasa?

    Maapreciate po namin yung sagot nyo. Nakakainspire po yung kwento nyo at ng pamilya nyo sa aming mga estudyante. Thank you for sharing your story. 😀

  30. Hello, po.
    Ang galing mo! Congratulations! 🙂

    Gustong-gusto ko’ng mag INTARMED kagaya mo. May problema nga lang. I did not graduate with high honors. Now that I’m in high school, everyone is telling me to decide ano talaga ang course na kukunin ko sa college. As I said, gusto ko’ng magIntarmed. Pero hindi ko masabi kahit sa parents ko kasi parang wala naman akong potential at malamang hindi ako mag.qualify.

    Ayun.

    Good luck, pala! 🙂 Congrats ulit !!

    • Do well in UPCAT. Qualifying for INTARMED doesn’t just depend on high school grade. 50% of the ranking comes from the UPCAT score. Don’t give up, give it your best shot.

  31. How nice of you to share this story.

    Here’s how I found out:

    April 21
    I was actually coming home from my high school graduation. We buried my grandfather just a few weeks back so the celebration was relatively muted. When I got home, I was handed an envelope that was quite hefty. I knew it had to be good.

    For better or for worse, I made into Intarmed. And somehow, it did pan out fairly well later on in life even if I didn’t really get to become a doctor.

    • Hey Benj,

      You are the last INTARMED qualifier I expected to land on this page. And you even posted a comment! Haha.

      You seem to be having the time of your life. Good for you!

      • I don’t blame you for thinking that way. Haha.

        It would be an understatement to say that you’re doing very well, as expected. 🙂 Cheers!

  32. Hi! I am an incoming 4th year student this school year. and sorry for my lack of knowledge, pero pwede po bang paki-explain yung INTARMED? hindi pa po kasi ako ready pero I am JUST days away from passing my application form, I am planning to take up BS biochem or BS public health… ano pong ibigsabihin kapag pumasa ako ng Intarmed w regards sa course na kukunin ko?

    I really really hope that you would reply before I pass my form so I would know something about Intarmed.

    • Hi Kyle! Among those who checked the “Are you also interested in taking up INTARMED” question in the UPCAT form (I am not sure how the question is phrased now), the top 100 will be called in for an interview. You still have to put your top choices in the UPCAT form (in this case, Biochem and Public Health).

      If you do qualify for INTARMED eventually (40 students each year), then your slot for Biochem or Public Health will be given to the next wait-listed candidate. If you are not among the top 40 applicants after the interview, then you enroll in the course in which you originally qualified.

  33. I am utterly inspired by your story po! I have to pass my UP Application tomorrow but I still haven’t figured out if what undergraduate program to take 🙁 My dream (which I pray would soon be a reality) is to become a Neurosurgeon. Fortunately, you are one. Kaya po Im hoping you that you can help me choose which undergraduate program I should take. I am bad in chemistry and a bit in math. But I am willing to learn even if it kills me hahahha! I’m sure I have the least chance or no chance at all to be an Intarmed. Im not even sure if I could pass UPCAT although the people I know believe that I will surely do. So if ever I’ll get accepted to UP Manila, I want to take a course that would be a high paying job but would also make me happy – of course I would be working while taking my Medicine Masterals.

    Magaantay po ako a reply mo kuya ah! 🙂 Im so happy to find this page!!!!

    • Just pick a course in which you think you’d do really well. Pass the UPCAT and then try to graduate with honors. Cum laude, magna cum laude even. Although Biology and Psychology are the most common pre-med courses, any course will do as long as you meet the required units from the prerequisite subjects and you get an NMAT of 98 or better (it says 90 or better on the UP College of Medicine brochure, but the norm is really 98 or 99). It’s a long way to go before Neurosurgery, but it’s always good to have a goal in mind. Do your best!

      • Yey ! thanks for the quick reply! 🙂 Unfortunately BS Psychology isn’t available in UP Manila. My choices are BS Biochem, and Public Health (kapalit daw sa Medtech) . An yeah thanks for the tips! Million thanks thanks thanks thanks! !!!!!

  34. ioonquestion, kasi i’m planning to apply INTARMED. 2nd year standing ako sa UPD. My course is Library and Information Science (It’s a pre-med course too XD) Alam niyo po ba ‘yung mga requirements para maka apply sa UPM INTARMED? 🙂 Thank you po! Have a nice day! XD

    • Sorry SGLXY, UP College of Medicine only accepts direct entrants to the INTARMED program. It is only open to high school students who indicated their desire to get into INTARMED when they took the UPCAT. You can still get into UP Med, though. Fulfill the number of units required for the pre-requisite subjects, get a score of 90 or higher in the NMAT and apply on your senior year. Good luck! 🙂

  35. Gabriel Hanuto

    Hi I’m 16 years old I got sick and just recovered I’m supposed to be in 4th year highschool now, But since I got sick my year level now is 1st year highschool, I took an exam at deped this month, when I pass 1st year and 2nd year highschool, My dad is sending me to Angelicum College Home Study Program to continue my 3rd year and 4th year in highschool, The school said it is possible that I can be accelerated within 10 months or less than depending on my academic performance, My question is will they still accept me even if I don’t have such honors due to non regular schooling? What kind of medical subject I can study or review for preparation for the Intarmed exam? My biggest dream is really becoming a doctor, since I was little I really love going in hospitals and seeing doctors walk past me really amaze me on how they can able to save many lives 🙂 And your success story really inspires me 🙂 God Bless 🙂

    • Hi Gabriel! There is no INTARMED exam. The qualifying exam for INTARMED is the UPCAT itself. Just do well on your 3rd year, so that you’re in above average standing when you take the UPCAT. Also, hindi lang naman INTARMED ang paraan para maging doktor. Even if you don’t qualify, you can always apply to any College of Medicine after finishing your college degree/pre-med course. Just do your best! 🙂

  36. Hello! I’m so inspired with your story. Can you please give me some hints on what to review for the UPCAT. I really want to pass the UPCAT and the INTARMED Prog.

  37. Hello! This is a very nice story. I recently stumbled upon your blog and I find your stories very amusing.

    I too was in the shortlist for INTARMED years back. I was fortunate enough to be accepted in, but after much thought I opted to take a regular 4-year premed course. BS Public Health was not bad, we had subjects which would also be taken in Medicine, thus exempting us from taking them again. And yes, mahirap nga makakuha ng mataas na grade sa BSPH. But it did prepare me for Medicine after.

    Although it would have meant graduating 2 years early, I don’t regret not going into INTARMED. Everything worked out fine in the end. I guess God laid out a different path for me in becoming a physician.

    Cheers mate! If you ever have any Radiology-related queries, just refer them to me hehe!

    • Hi Roentgen! I don’t regret having chosen INTARMED either. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      About the referrals, sorry, naunahan ka na. Haha. Marami na akong kaibigang neuroradiologists. 😉

  38. I am so inspired po sa lahat ng mga comments niyo. I am a senior HS student po and I REALLY WANT TO BECOME A DOCTOR. Yung nabasa ko po yung mga testimonies niyo naisip ko kung kaya ko rin bang gawin tong ginawa nila? Maabot ko rin kaya yung taas ng naabot nila? Haay nako. Sana katulad niyo makapasa din ako sa UPCAT and hoping na makapasa din sa INTARMED. SALUDO po ako sa inyo at sa mga pagsisikap niyo!! IDOL!!

    • It all depends on how much you are willing to work hard for that dream, Janine. Keep doing your best and you will soon find out that everything will fall into place. 😉

  39. All I can say is, WOW! . Grabe ang galing niyo po! Idol!! .. I’m currently a senior po and candidate for valedictorian, does that make my chances of getting into the INTARMED program any better po? Ever since I can remember I have been dreaming of becoming a doctor, the idea of saving lives is just so amazing. The UPCAT po this year is very tough, ang dami po applicants I feel like my chances of passing can be compared to finding a ring you dropped in the ocean, in other words parang close to impossible na po ako makapasa pero I’m really hoping and praying po na makapasa ako sa UP at sa INTARMED .. Gustong gusto ko po talaga maging doctor… waahhhhh sana makapasa,,, 😀 ..

    • I hope you did well in the UPCAT, Eliav. Also, your 3rd year grades are the ones that are used in the ranking for the INTARMED shortlist. If you do qualify for the shortlist (and therefore, the interview), that’s the time being class valedictorian would matter. Of course, INTARMED isn’t the only way to become a doctor. If you don’t get in, just do well in pre-med and aim for UP College of Medicine. 😉

  40. Hello! I recently found out that I got into the Intarmed shortlist. I’m quite nervous for the interview because I passed in my first choice which is Business Administration and Accountancy, not a pre-med course. Will the interviewers point that out?

    • It really depends on the panel. I know some consultants would. But don’t worry, BAA was the first choice course of my roommate and best friend in INTARMED. 😉 For as long as you show during the rest of the interview that you really want to become a doctor, then I doubt if it would matter at all.

  41. Hi, just came across your blog. Congratulations for finishing Intarmed. My son is in the shortlist of candidate for this school year. Finished his interview and waiting for the result.

    May I ask if the intense and accelerated Intarmed program has burnout casualties? Did all you 40 students graduate at the same time?

    My son is at the crossroads of going for a 4 year pre med course or hopefully this 7 year course. Thanks!

    Jo

    • Hi Jo! In my class, 32 out of the 40 graduated on time. But the attrition rate varies each year. Worst I know of is 27 out of 40. In some classes, 38 or 39 would make it to graduation day. Most of my classmates who quit INTARMED were the ones who didn’t want to pursue medicine in the first place (e.g., forced directly or indirectly by parents, spur of the moment decision). If he really wants to become a doctor, then he should be fine.

      • Thanks! He said he really really wants to study medicine and be a doctor. I am quite relieved. 🙂 I was a bit hesitant for Intarmed fearing burnout or too much stress. Appreciate your prompt reply!

        • I do hope he gets in. This is my last year in PGH but let me know if he does pass so I can give him INTARMED advice. 🙂

  42. Hello sa yo Doc Ronnie. I’ve read most of your blogs, congrats to all your extraordinary achievements. More power. My child didn’t make it to Intarmed but he’s in for a premed in UP Manila. Tanong ko lang Doc kung marami bang naghihinatay na trabaho locally pagka doctor ka na, mas gusto nya kasi mag work dito sa Pinas kesa magabroad. Hindi ba saturated din ang Med kagaya ng ibang allied professions natin dito sa Pinas? Sanay malinawan mo kami sa aming katanungan. Pasensya na po kung may ignorance man sa parte namin, wala kasi talaga kaming idea sa ganitong bagay…

    • Hi Gar! Maraming work opportunities for doctors dito sa Pilipinas. Pero yun lang, mas maliit talaga ang sweldo kumpara sa abroad. Sa PGH, ang sweldo ng residente ay Php 40K per month (take home: Php 28K per month). Mas mababa sa private hospitals (Php 10K to Php 15K). Sa US, pwede kang kumita ng milyon sa loob lang ng isang taon kung matipid ka. Pero depende rin kasi talaga kung saan mo gusto mag-practice. Kanya-kanyang diskarte din kasi yan (Metro Manila vs. Provincial practice).

      • Salamat Doc 😀 I’m just worried about job market of docs after studies. He’s really excited entering UP Manila. Never expect your quick response, appreciate very much. More power Doc…

  43. Pheeeew! Sana pumasa din ako ng Intarmed. kagaya mo Doc. I`m a incoming 4th year student . but not a candidate for the valedictory spot. i`m a lazy student po kasi (di po talaga ako tamad na-uuna ko lang po pag dodo-ta). Does it matter if hindi ka po valedictory candidate na honorary candidate ka lang sa pag pasa ng INTARMED? and may mga Preparatory po ba for handling cadavers kasi honestly takot po ako sa bangkay ng tao.

  44. Hello Sir ron! I found your blog while googling if i still have a chance passing dlsu, ust, admu or ust even though i got line of 7 in my card but not failed. I did really bad in my last three years of my high school because just like what kath said, i was also a lazy student and i studied in none english country for 12 years so it was hard for me to learn two language at a time. But now, im stable and able to get high grades ( but still have line of 7) Im a incoming fourth year in st.scho. Can I still pass the top 4 universities in the philippines? I hope you could give me some advice 🙂 salamat!

  45. Hi, I was wondering if the first school choice in your application is UPLB will there still be a chance that you can be in the intarmed candidates?

    • The first school choice is irrelevant in the selection of INTARMED candidates, Valerie. They just look at your high school grades and UPCAT score to determine who will qualify for the interview.

  46. I’m just curious, doctor. What were your answers to these questions:
    “What are your hobbies? Have you ever cheated? Are you loyal? What are your study habits? Who is your inspiration? What was the worst rumor spread about you? Why do you want to go into Medicine? and… Do you have a girlfriend?”

  47. hi po! i have read this months ago and then ngayon, we are about to pass our upcat applications kaya binalikan ko po ang blog mo. i am still thinking of a good pre-med course. I really want bs molecular bio and biotech or bs chemistry in diliman. but my former high school adviser told me that UP manila offers better premed courses. If ever na papasok ako sa UPM, I will choose BS Biochem. The problem is wala pa akong second choice. and then I really want to qualify for the INTARMED! :0 Do you have some tips ? btw, i was our class first honor in 3rd year (last year) . can it really give me an edge to pass the intarmed? how po? and sana po, u can also help me for a course kung sakaling hindi ako makapsa sa intarmed . yung course for prep sa med and ung course po na khit hndi mag medicine proper, ay makakaearn ako ng good salary. 🙂 thanks po. hoping for your reply. MORE POWER! God bless po! 🙂

    • hey, I’m a senior HS too and planning to go to UPM. Public Health is also a good pre-med. though, they said that it’s hard to make high grades in that course. BS Bio is also good because it has human anatomy, BS Pharma can also be because it studies med and you’ll get a job afterwards even if you didn’t pursue med proper. Do best in UPCAT; 60% will be your weighted avg of your first to third year grades in high school and the other 40% is your score in the UPCAT. In UPCAT the test is right-minus-wrong (your correct answers minus 1/4 of your wrong answers). So, having good grades last year will give you advantage. I, myself, am planning to take up BS Public health as my pre med to help me in my med proper. I hope we can pass the UPCAT and be qualified in the INTARMED program! God Bless!

    • Hi Pia! Yes, being rank 1 certainly is an edge if you want to apply for INTARMED because that is half of the equation. You just have to do really well on your UPCAT.

      If you don’t get into INTARMED, Biology and Psychology are the two most common pre-med courses of those who eventually apply in UP College of Medicine. Public Health and Nursing are also common, but I understand that it might be more difficult to get high grades in these courses. You have to remember that when you apply for a slot in UP Med, grades pa rin ang labanan. Don’t think about the salary just yet, Pia. The money will come, don’t worry. Think first about what will give you fulfillment.

      • Thank you so much sir! Now its just one week before the UPCAT. Sana makpasa ako and hopefully sa INTARMED! 🙂 I chose BS Chem as my first choice of course sa UPD 🙂 kasi i really like Chem and i do well in it naman po 🙂 🙂 May the odds be ever in my favor ^^ God bless to you Doc 🙂

  48. Hi abigail. thanks for your advice! We can do it! And if ever we pass the INTARMED (and pass the interview) , I will find you in UP Manila 🙂

  49. Hi po, just wondering if I would still pass the UPCAT even with low skills in Filipino language. I find Filipino and AP subjects hard to cope up with, the fact that I was more exposed with reading English books when I was younger and my family practiced English often. Would this be a big obstacle in getting in the INTARMED program?

    • The UPCAT contains questions in English and in Filipino. That being said, you need to get a high score in the UPCAT if you want to get into INTARMED. Only the top 50 males and top 50 females will be interviewed, and then only 40 students will be accepted. There’s still time to practice. 🙂

  50. juliamar soriano

    Hello po. I’m now a fourth year student, and just like what my dad, I always dream of being a doctor someday but now it seems to be very impossible knowing that there are almost 80,000 UPCAT takers. I dont really know something about this INTARMED program. but is it that difficult to pass? How to prepare and what do I have to expect?

    • Hi Juliamar! Qualifying for INTARMED requires two things: excellent grades during your 3rd year in high school and a high UPCAT score. Only the top 50 males and top 50 females will be called in for an interview. After which, only 40 will eventually be accepted into the program. Do your best! 🙂

  51. Hello po. I am a student here in PhilSci SMC, 4th yr. na po. Hindi po ako rank one sa batch rank 30 po ako pero ang average ko po na ginagamit sa UPG is about 93.2-93.3 %. Nagjojoin din po ako ng contests like National Geography Olympiad at Australian National Chem. Quiz. Sa tingin niyo po may chance po akong maka oblation scholar o makapasok po sa intarmed? Salamat po.

    • Hi Ken! Do your best when you take your UPCAT. That will greatly increase your chances of getting into INTARMED and/or earning an Oblation scholarship. Study well!

  52. Leibniz Respecia

    Hello po. I’m currently a senior. I will be taking the UPCAT this sunday. My dream is to be an Oblation scholar and pass BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MBB). Top 50 ng upcat ang kinukuha para sa Oblation and top 60 lang sa pumipili ang kinukuha sa MBB. Sometimes nga I hope na maraming mag i-Intarmed sa mga papasa sa MBB para magkaslot din ako. Top 5 lang po ako sa batch namin sa PSHS-Central Visayas. May chance pa kaya po akong umabot sa top 60 ng MBB? huhu natatakot na ako sa upcat

  53. Hello, I was really inspired by your blog when I came across it while I was researching about the program. I am currently a Junior from one of the big high schools in Metro manila. I have been really interested in the program and I have been giving my all into my studies so far but my grades do not seem to make it to the top 10 of my batch (which consists of around 200+ students). My grades since first year have been above average (90+ average) but they have never really been high enough to become for the top. I am just wondering if I could possible make the cut for INTARMED even though my grades are just above average? Please help me. Thanks! (Loved your blog btw)

  54. Hi sir! I’m from the first batch of k12 curriculum. I just wonder if they will still require the applicant’s 3rd year grades (grade 9 for us) or the senior years (grade 11-12)? I found your blog informative and inspiring. I hope you will be able to answer this. God bless.

  55. Hello sir, actually I’m not the one who take the exam, i’ts my daughter, when I saw the result today my daughter passed the UP entrance but not in UP Manila (for Intarmed or Intermed) but in UP Mindanao (Architecture) but when I read your blog I was so inspired to type a words and inspired to ask if there a way that my daughter have a chance to study at UP Manila, inspite that she passed at UP Mindanao (architecture), is there any chance that my daughter qualify to study at UP Manila (intermed/intarmed)? I;m Hoping that you can help me or answer my question, Thank you and GOD Bless you always

    • Hi Emily! The UP College of Medicine will release the names of 100 students shortlisted for the INTARMED program in a few weeks’ time. If your daughter is on this list, then she would be interviewed with the rest. Only 40 INTARMED students are accepted each year. If she doesn’t make it, I suggest that she shift to a good pre-med course on her 2nd year. Biology and Psychology are the most common ones. Then take the NMAT and apply to UP Med after. She has a higher chance of getting in if she’s magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Also look into the possibility of getting in through the regionalization program of UP Med (where she would pledge to serve your region after medical school).

  56. Hi doc Ronnie,
    Your life story is superbly remarkable, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these days “Maalaala Mo Kaya” will feature your ridiculously outstanding aspirations that slowly unfolded before your very eyes. For all your accomplishments this early in life, accept my warm congratulations! But before you mistakenly surmise that I am an agent posing for your next guest appearance in the boobtube hehe, may I ask what exactly does “pending cases” written oppososite the name of an upcat examinee means? We are in quandary, and it gives us undue stress specially that my daughter is also an aspiring medical student of U.P., and if permitted by fate, the Itarmed program as well. I hope you may be able to help us, as queries will be entertaine bonly by the office of admissions by end of January. Thank you very much!

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan! I am not in the position to answer your question about pending cases, I’m sorry. From what little I know though, usually these are the students with pending requirements necessary for UP admission. Re: INTARMED, a list will come out in a few weeks’ time, identifying the 100 students shortlisted for the INTARMED program. These 100 will be interviewed, after which only 40 will be accepted. I hope this helps.

  57. Thanks Doc Ron for that swift reply. I researched also about my query and it says exactly the same thing as you said. For now, I am praying that she will at least be accepted at her campus and course of choice. Hearing your stories about how to get into INTARMED makes me think about the next best thing, knowing how rigorous and competitive selection process is. Anyway, thank you for the headstart, I really appreciate it very much. Again, congratulations and goodluck with your practice as Neurosurgeon. By the way that specialty field is also the first choice of my daughter, Raya Marita if and when she finishes medical school.

    Thanks,
    Ryan

  58. Good day, Sir. I would just like to ask you what’s the best pre med course for INTARMED. Thank you and GOD bless. 🙂

  59. Good day doc 🙂 I am a Filipino, but I currently study in a science high school in Korea. I dream of going back to the Philippines to study med in UPM. I’ll be graduating by February 2017. Will the INTARMED program still be available even if transition year ng K-12 ang 2017? And is there a possibility na matanggap sa INTARMED even if SAT scores ang ipresent ko in lieu of the UPCAT? Hope you can reply 🙂 God bless!

  60. I passed INTARMED in 2004. I did not continue because my family can not even afford at that time to support all living expenses in Manila. I ended up taking up in Nursing in my hometown in Mindanao. I did well in my studies and slowly climbed up. Now I am living and working in Norway. Still a lot of challenges, but in my mind, I asked myself how my life would have changed if I pursued INTARMED before.

  61. Hi Doc Ron!
    UP has finally made a resolution regarding the “pending case” of my daughter, raya marita, and she was accepted at UP Manila BS in Nursing. However, Im afraid she might not be short-listed among those who will qualify for interview at Intarmed since her UPG is 2.0 only. Anyway, her next target is to qualify in the impending future for UPCM, and early on, we’d like to determine of her chances considering the very competitive nature of qualifying. If I am not mistaken, she needs to attain a GWA of 1.–, at least an NMAT score of 98-99+ and Latin Honors, preferrably. I’d like to ask sir if Nursing as her premed course will narrow her chances of getting in to med proper since it is a relatively more difficult course (personally speaking), relative to other courses, and add to that the fact she still needs to take up other prerequisite subjects needed for medicine? Will she be allowed to opt to change her course early on during enrolment, even though she was matched to her first choice of course , i mean, not necessarily shift a course after a year but to change her course to a relatively easier one ? If yes, what other courses would you recommend? I hope you may still find time to answer back as I am sure you are now very busy with the practice.

    As always, thank you very much for sharing your cherished thoughts about the ins-and-outs of getting into and around Intarmed and life in general.

    Ryan

  62. Hello po!
    I’m attending high school in NYC but I’m a Filipino citizen. It says on the UP website that students from outside of the Philippines will get automatic admission if they have a 1200+ combined SAT verbal and math score. Would I be able to qualify for INTARMED or do I have to take the UPCAT?

  63. ryan castillo

    Hi doc ron,

    Intarmed shortlist is out and my hunch was right. Raya did not make it but we are happy there is at least one previous classmate of her who got in. I hope you could still shed some light with her predicament right now. If you have read my last post, i was asking about BS nursing in UPM if it would be a stumbling block for her entry to UPCM as her premed course since its relatively harder. And also if you could comment on choosing between UPManila BS Nursing versus Ateneo AB Pdychology (not BS) as her vehicle towards realizing her dream to be admitted at UPCM later on. Please help as time is running out since she needs to confirm and eventually enrol between the two equally outstanding universitiea.

    Thanks,
    Ryan A. Castillo

  64. Hello Doc!

    I would just like to ask if how much would be the estimated cost of INTARMED per sem. My younger brother made it to the list. However, my parents are not sure if they can support him. They haven’t still decided if they would push through it but my brother really wants to take INTARMED. Hope you’ll share some insights about our predicament.

    P.S. We are also aware that ST (Socialized Tuition) is applicable to INTARMED

    Thanks!

    • Hi Redz, I sent you an email. Thanks!

      • Hello po. Pwede rin niyo po ba akong sendan ng email regarding sa tuition ? Nakapasa rin po kasi ako ng intarmed pero hindi ako sigurado kung itutuloy ko ba ang intarmed kasi po hindi kaya ng budget ng mga magulang ko ang ipaaral ako sa manila. Taga-probinsya po kasu ako. So pwede po bang malaman ang tuition, cost of living and mga possible scholarships na pwede ko pong apply-an? Salamat po.

  65. Hi Doc Ron. My son is an Intarmed candidate. We have been informed that UP CM will release the results by next week. Also, my son is scheduled to attend the orientation and contract signing of DOST scholarship agreement on Monday (April 20). So i made a call again to UP CM Admissions Office this morning, just trying my luck, if there is a possibility of an earlier release. Impossible daw po and even next week. I asked why. They asked for my son’s complete name. They said that he is 1 of the 8 who will be re-interviewed next week. Therefore, final results will be posted 2 weeks from now.

    Have you ever encountered or heard about re-interviews?

    Thanks!

  66. Hello po! Wow, this really served an inspiration to me. I am currently a 10th grade student, first batch of K-12 program in Taguig Science High School. I indeed wanted to be an INTARMED qualifier. I’m not essentially sure if there’ll still be UPCAT this August (since there is a K-12 program) but if there is, I really wanted to take up the test and make it to the TOP 50 although I doubt to myself if I can do it. I’m not in honors list but I have pretty high grades since it’s a must in my school. I also don’t join contests or whatever in High School (But I did in my Elementary days XD). But I swear that this was the first time I’ve ever cried because of a dream. Medicine was the only course I’m super interested with and the others were like rebounds. I even see myself wearing white gown roaming in the hospital corridors with a stethoscope around my neck. I wonder if this is already obsession. And I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t pass the Top 50 list or even the UPCAT. Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll cry a river. So now, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll start reviewing for it. Although there’s a less chance for me to pass, I’ll still hope for it. Please tell me I can do it. And by the way, now that I’ve read your blog for the first time, I thank you for being an inspiration to me.

  67. Hi Doc Ronnie,ask ko rin pala kung hindi ba under ng INTARMED program maycha ce pa rin makapag medicine sa UP,after ng 4yrs course,and anong mga courses ang pwedeng pre med,and also aside sa NMAT ano pa yun mga qualifiacation ng UP for medical student?

    • Yes, but you need to graduate with honors and get a high NMAT score to increase your chances of getting accepted. It’s very competitive, even among UP graduates with honors.

  68. What are good pre-med courses to choose from at UPD or UPM? 🙂

  69. Hello Doc! You have no idea how thankful I am right now that I found your blog. Amidst all these replies i do hope you can still answer my query. 🙂 I’m a first year BSN student that just recently finished her 1st sem. Our university calendar changed too so class starts every August. Im not from UP. Sadly my parents didn’t allow me to take UPCAT, which until now I regret. So is it madness if I want to enter Intermed even though I have started my first sem in college already? Never have I ever felt this strong calling to be a doctor when I started nursing, Doc. Is everything too late for me?

    • Hi Gillian, I’m sorry but you can’t apply for INTARMED anymore once you’ve started college. Admission into UP INTARMED is only straight from high school. What you can do is finish your nursing degree with honors and try to apply for medical school afterward. Also, keep in mind that UP is just one medical school. Mahirap makapasok if you are not a UP undergrad, but there are many other medical schools where you can fulfill your desire to serve as a doctor. All the best to you.

  70. What is the best way after passing upcat 2015 with first choice manila but now regreting that i should have chosen diliman closer to our house?

    • Do well on your first year, then request for a transfer of course and campus to UP Diliman. Pwede yun, as long as there is a slot and your grades meet the cutoff. But it also means starting from square one (again) with a new campus and not knowing anyone, so think about it, baka mapamahal ka rin sa UP Manila 😉

  71. Thanks for this blog…inspired me…thank God i made it to the shortlist of intarmed qualifiers…please may i ask for some tips for the interiew ?

  72. Robin Arsitio

    Dear Doc Ronnie:

    I have been dreaming a lot for my son MAUI ARSITIO hoping against all hopes that he would make it qualified for Intarmed. His own decision and dream also to become a medical doctor someday. But there is nothing more elating than being an INTAR-Kid just like you’ve been.
    Please please please… give him your personal inspiration to make good in his high school days and eventually in UPCAT. His email address is faitharausda@gmail.com
    Hoping this humble request merits your kind attention. THANK YOU.

  73. Hi! Your story is truly inspiring– I also want to study in UP and become a doctor. I’m going to take the UPCAT this 2016! I am so, so nervous. It’s already May and I wasn’t productive last April. I’m currently taking review classes, and I hope that will help. Do you have any tips for UPCAT takers? It will be help us immensely. Hoping for your response. 🙂 Thanks!

  74. Kyla Christine

    I was searching for Intarmed that you’re referring to me yesterday then I found your blog again! Very inspiring doc! Nabasa ko din po yung previous comments and nabanggit nyo po na kailangan ng good high school grades. Naging part naman po ako ng top 5 sa class namin pero hindi ako nagpaparticipate sa mga contest (science,math,english etc.) and I don’t think being part of top 5 is enough. Since first batch po ako ng K12 tama lang po ba na magstem ako? Kasi katulad nyo po kung magdo-doctor ako, ako ang unang magiging doctor sa family namin. I really want to be Dra. someday. Pero hindi ko po alam kung paano ko sisimulan wala po ako mahingan ng advice dahil wala naman po nagtake ng pagdo-doctor sa family ko. Masyado din daw po kasi ang hirap sa pagdoc-doctor. But I am open to any challenge although they told that I can’t survive in med school. I badly need your advice doc! God bless you.

    Ps. Ano po ba satingin nyo ang magandang klase ng doctor? Can you name one doc? I can’t decide parin po talaga kung anong klase ng doctor ang para sa akin. Thank you doc!?

  75. Hi. Just wanted to ask, is it a must that you passed the UPCAT to be able to enter the UP College of Medicine? May chance po ba if you did not graduate from UP sa premed course?

    Thank you for your very inpiring blog. Nakakabitter parin pala. 4 years na yung nakakalipas when i have not fulfilled my dream na maging Iska. Buti nalang RMT na ako ngayon. All because of God.

    • Hello Daydreamer! It’s still possible for you to get into UP College of Medicine, but you would have to have a very high NMAT score (98-99%) and you should have graduated with honors in premed. It’s quite difficult otherwise. You can also apply for the regionalization program (if you come from an underserved region), but it is still competitive, meaning students from the same region compete for slots.

  76. Janelle V. Reyes

    Greetings,
    I am from the same province, Bataan. I am currently in Grade 10 in Bataan Christian School. I am ranked third in our class. I have also competed in the recently held Science Bowl and won 1st place, 5th place on DSPC Collaboration-English, and 6th place on Applied-Science Investigatory project. I would also compete on UP Peninsulares Quiz bee on Nov. 6 and on Metrobank MTAP DepEd math challenge next year.
    I have won 1st place on Metrobank MTAP DepEd math challenge for 3 years in a row now. My classmates said that I’m good at math. My parents and sisters said the same thing. My recent math teacher also mentioned that I was good at trigonometry when I was in Grade 9. That teacher mentioned it on the class of my Grade 9 sister, that’s why I knew.
    My report card since Grade 1 does not contain any grade in the line of 8. Only 2 sub-units of MAPEH, PE and Health, which both contain 88 on Grade 10. (I hate the grading system, performance tasks are so hard to nail)
    I could say that my performance in school was great even if I don’t try that hard. Yes, I don’t actually review a lot when examination is near. But I do get high grades without trying that much. Maybe I was gifted haha. Just kidding.
    Since SHS is right around the corner, a lot of people have asked me and wondered what track I would take.
    They were quite taken aback when I said GAS-Health Allied. They asked me, “why not STEM?”
    A classmate of mine said that she could see me as an Engineer. Another said that he would insist me to take STEM.
    Why did I choose Health Allied?
    I was inspired to be a doctor because of a Korean drama I have watched. I took a closer look on how it feels like to save someone facing difficulty. And how it looked they have felt after saving people. I thought it looked cool and would like to be someone like them. It felt as if I have to satisfy my urge to save people’s life.
    Now, I have some questions I want to ask.
    1. What are the tracks closest to medicine that is not GAS-Health Allied?
    2. Does UP accept Senior high school transferees?
    3. Is it okay to take STEM on Senior High School if you are pursuing something med-related?
    4. Do you think my high school grades would affect me from getting into INTARMED? (Since there is already SHS)
    5. What is your sleeping time when you were a student? (On a normal day and before an examination) (This question means if you have a lot of textbooks to read after school)
    6. What was your Inspiration and Motivation that kept you moving forward?
    7. How much does a year cost for an INTARMED student?

    Thank you for giving time to read this.

  77. congrats and good luck. Your article brought back memories of
    my own experience 30 years ago.

  78. Hi Doc Ron! Thank you for your very inspiring blog 🙂
    I’m a female 4th year BS Public Health student in UP Manila. I just got my results for the October 2016 NMAT and my score was 99. Currently I have a GWA of 1.47. I would like to get into UP Med. In your opinion, what are my chances of getting into the college? Thanks!

  79. Hi, doc. I didn’t have a high grade on my 3rd year. Is there any chance for me to enter Intarmed? Thanks.

  80. Hello po! I am currently in Grade 11 from Pisay and next school year we’ll be taking the UPCAT exams. In our high school, Grade 11-12 are for specialization years; we had to choose our major (Bio, Chem, or Physics) and I chose BioChem. I want to be a doctor but I also want to try other things– engineering, research, etc. I like human biology as well as creating/engineering things. I’m still not sure on w hat course I should choose but being a doctor is definitely one of my choices. However, I’m not really confident with what I got right now but I don’t have any failing grades. I’m not one of the top students of our batch. Was once in the Top 8 out of 90 but nanaig ang katamaran. I know I can do better but knowing that only 40 students get accepted every year, I’m starting to lose confidence. Do extracurricular achievements matter? Or only our grades and UPCAT scores get counted?
    I might not pass nor survive med school but I still want to try.
    Thank you so much po for this blog!

    • It’s UPCAT score and your grades during year 11. The extracurricular activities will only begin to matter if you get into the top 100 students who qualified for the INTARMED interview.

  81. Emelita M. Marzo

    Hi Ronibats! Nakaka-inspire sobra ang kwento mo. Salamat at na-open ko ito I was very interested regarding INTARMED for my daughter, who passioned to becoming a doctor someday if God permits. Nasa Grade 11 na po siya ngayon sa Dela Salle Lipa as an Academic Scholar, STEM strand. She graduated Salutatorian in Elementary, maintained as an Overall-First Honors mula Grade 7 to 10 at Calamba Institute-Canlubang. Mataas din po ang NCAE niya (99++). Her General Average always range at 96.58. At present, she’s also doing well and maintained her Scholarship. Matataas din po mga grades niya. She is enrolled already to a review class in UPCAT (Brain- Train UPLB). My husband is a Seaman wala man po kaming pera, nag apply na rin kami scholarship sa OWWA, antay nalang po ng sked of exam. Gusto niya po talaga makapasok sa INTARMED kung papalarin. Maganda po ang study habits niya, focused at hilig talaga mag aral. Sana may awa ang Dios makapasok siya. Suporta kami sa kanya kasi nakikita namin na yun talaga ang gusto niya. She really dreamed of becoming a Pediatric Neurologist someday like Drs. Malen Ortiz and Aida Salonga.
    Thank you po. You are such an inspiration. God bless po.

  82. Thrice. It is the exact times I’ve read your blog and I can:t help to read it more than that. Sir, I salute you and your kids.I am currently a Senior High Student (incoming Grade 12) and UPCAT 2018 is just a couple of months to go , so it puzzles my mind what to do since I have no one to ask from. My first choice of course is in the College of Engineering (undecided yet of what ezact coyrse should i take) but since my Auntie recommended me about the INTARMED Program in UP Manila, it instantly catched my mind and started to search online. Due to the shortened years of studying, I have made my mind to go after it.BTW, I consistently belong to top 5 in our school but I can say, English is not my forte. I also heard that in UPCAT 2018, 60% comes from the scores in the test itself and 40% from the average of the grades (GRade9-11) . Do I have what it takes to pass the UPCAT and be part of the INTARMED program? Because I need it so bad since I belong to a middle class family…

    Any tips there, SIr?

    • Hi Aim, thanks for reading! If you want to score high on the UPCAT, you have to do really well in Science and Math. I think that would give you the edge over the other applicants who want to get into INTARMED. I suggest you answer practice exams in Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Math, and spend a bit of time reading English and Filipino texts too to practice your reading comprehension. All the best!

      • Thank you Dr. Ron for a quick response!
        Doc, someone told me about the battery exam that happens yearly. I may take first a pre-med course (Bs Biology) then if I am going to be recommended at my 3rd year, I may enter the said program.. What do you think Doc?

  83. WOW! ako rin po pangarap ko maging doctor sana makapasa din po ako sa INTARMED

  84. Hi! I’m just curious, but do you think is it possible to handle being in a relationship during med school? Like, can we make it work out? I would love to recieve some advices. By the way, I’m a Grade 12 student from Manila, Philippines. I’m about to take Nursing as my pre-med course and would like to be a pediatrician someday. I am also looking forward in being part of the INTARMED. You are such a wonderful inspiration to me.

    • 1. I’m not the best person to ask about personal relationships in medical school.
      2. I’m sorry but it’s not possible to shift to INTARMED from another course such as nursing. But you can do your best and apply for medical school on your final year of studies. Study well for the NMAT and aim for 99!

  85. Is it possible to apply for INTARMED program for the second coursers? I am a 3rd year Banking and Finance student now and I want to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor after I graduate.

    • Hi Rechie, you can still become a doctor, but not through the INTARMED program (you can only enter straight from high school). You will enter in med school proper na, but I think you might need to take additional subjects if you want to apply to other medical schools.

  86. Hi sir. I just want to ask if it’s possible for me to get admitted to the INTARMED program? I’m not really the studious type of person and I never took school seriously during my highschool days. When I was on 9th grade I made it to the top 10. It was impossible for me to even make it to top 5 since I never really took school seriously and that the competition was really tough in our school (it’s a science highschool). However, I did well on my NCAE exam and got 99+ in all subject areas. Will they be needing the NCAE results or they’d just depend on your junior highschool grades and whether or not you belong to the top three in class?

    • Hi Roichie, anything is possible. I would suggest that you do well in the UPCAT. Study very hard for it if you feel that your senior high school grades are not as high as you’d like them to be. 🙂

  87. Regina de castro

    Hi doctor! I’m so glad that i found your blog. Very informative. I’ve been researching about the UP CM INTARMED program because i have a daughter and a son who both want to be doctors. Problem is we are in the USA, i checked the UP Registrars website and found the reqts for filipino students abroad (technically they are american citizens but we will get dual citizenship soon). They can be admitted (w/o UPCAT) if they meet the reqts but it doesnt say if they have a chance of applying for the intarmed prog. It also says that they can also take the UPCAT to get in but the application form for international students doesnt have question #9. They are presently studying in a magnet highschool specializing in the medical arts (academy of allied health and science here in south NJ, 11th and 10th grade)and are truly interested in taking up medicine. Tuition here is crazy so we are planning to go back home for their college ed, I told them UP is the best university ,UP CM is the best college of med in the land and intarmed is the cream of the crop 🙂 So my question is, if they take the UPCAT and land in the top 100 will they be included in the INTARMED list for interview eventhough there is no question #9 in the application? Is intarmed only for those who finished high school in the Philippines? If so, That will be so disappointing 🙁 Is the Filipino part of the UPCAT really hard? they barely know tagalog, better start teaching them more now lol. Thank you so much! God bless you more and more each day!

  88. Hi! I am very interested in attending this program…but the problem is I am not filipino, so do you think they will accept me? If so can I apply with my SAT grades instead of taking the entrance exam as I have read some parts of it is in the Philippines language.

  89. Hi! I am reading your vlogs for a while now. I doubt thatyou will read this; I’ll leave it here. I am a Grade 9 Special Science Curriculum student from a public high shool here in Bataan. Ever since I was a kid, it’s my dream to be a doctor like you. I’m hoping to be accepted into INTARMED let alone UPCAT but I highly doubt that it will happen because of my grades and my ranking for the past 2 years of high school. My family told me that they cannot afford to send me to a med school so I have to crawl myself into it. I know that I still have a long way to go. I just want to know if do I really need to ace highschool if I wat to get into the program? I’m now trying my best to get decent grades.

  90. Hello. I was looking at the recent list of qualifiers to be admitted to UP College of Medicine and noticed that about less than five took BS Bio in UP Manila as their undergraduate degree. I have been told that BS Psych has a better chance of getting into College of Medicine.
    My son will take the UPCAT soon and he is wondering if he should place Bio as his first choice or Psych. He likes them both but if places Bio as the first choice, would his chances of getting into UP Med in the future lessen? He is a studious student from a science high school thus his foundation in Math and Science is strong.

    I was told that BS Bio graduates from Diliman have better chances of getting into UP College of medicine than those from UP Manila. Why is that?

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Names, dates, and events may have been changed to protect the identity of patients. The stories are not meant to provide medical advice for specific illnesses. The author neither accepts online consults nor gives medical advice online. Please consult your trusted physician.