UPCM bags national championship, presidency, student organization award

by Louie Dy (Class 2021)

University of the Philippines College of Medicine (UPCM) won back-to-back national championship, student network presidency, and outstanding student organization award in the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges – Student Network (APMC-SN) National Convention held last February 9-10, 2019.

UPCM successfully defends national championship in National Medical Quiz Bee

Allan Barcena (Class 2022), Linnaeus Cruz (Class 2021), and Frinz Rubio (Class 2020), successfully defended the championship. Photo taken from the Facebook Like Page of Association of Philippine Medical Colleges – Student Network.

The winning team, composed of Allan John R. Barcena (Class 2022), Linnaeus Louisse A. Cruz (Class 2021), and Frinz Moey C. Rubio (Class 2020), successfully defended their national championship in the National Medical Quiz Bee, which was held on the said convention. Bagging 1000 points, the UPCM team was followed by University of the Cebu College of Medicine Foundation, Inc. (UCCMF; 600 points) and Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM; 200 points), which garnered second and third places, respectively.

The UPCM team was consistently on the top two spots from the easy to the difficult round. The final round was Jeopardy-style; they made most of their scores during the latter part of the game.

According to Linnaeus, the final round was a “nail-biting finish” because the last question was worth 500 points. After the final round came the plot twist, wherein the scorekeepers claimed the need for a tie-breaker because UPCM and UCCMF were tied at 1000 points. Fortunately, after a protest from the audience, together with UCCMF’s honesty and sportsmanship, the national championship was given to UPCM without a question.

For both Allan and Linnaeus, the most challenging thing to prepare for is the breadth of knowledge that has to be crammed within few days before the quiz bee and the need to rely on stock knowledge.

For Frinz, the biggest challenge was to review for the contest while having duties in the wards, because the health of patients should not be compromised. According to him, trusting the team, sharing review materials, and planning with the team helped. They realized how important the basic sciences are (just as the professors say), and the contest was a baptism of fire.

UP MSC Chairperson becomes national Mr. President-elect of APCM-SN

The current National President of the APMC-SN, CJ Balicanta (Class 2020, left), passing the torch to the upcoming National President, Leandro Salazar (Class 2022, right). Photo by CJ Balicanta.

Leandro Salazar (Class 2022), currently the chair of the UP Medicine Student Council and the chair of APMC-SN National Socio-civic Committee, is elected as the incoming National President of the student network.

“It may sound so cliché, but the biggest battle for me was overcoming my fear of not being good enough,” says Salazar. “As the current chair of a national ad hoc committee, I have experienced how it is like to work with people from the different regions of the Philippines and the magnitude that national projects can make. As I envisioned leading the national network, there came a time when I was filled with self-doubt and insecurity that I avoided vying for presidency. But as I contemplated and weighed the stakes at hand, I realized that an opportunity to serve the Filipino medical students is not something I would let pass.”

After much sacrifice, Leandro begets some words of inspiration: “Make the most of your circumstances. You are never there by accident. You are placed where you are because you are destined to achieve great things, far greater that one can imagine.”

UP MSS’s socio-civic project Code Yellow wins TOMSO

Sean Cua (Class 2021), the project head of Code Yellow, receives the TOMSO trophy on behalf of UP Medical Students’ Society. Photo by Sean Cua.

The UP Medical Students’ Society (MSS), through its socio-civic project Code Yellow: An Intersectoral Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Case Competition, garnered the Dr. Fernando S. Sanchez, Jr. – Ten Outstanding Medical Student Organizations (TOMSO).

Code Yellow is an intersectoral disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) competition designed for college students in the National Capital Region (NCR) to try to help real life communities manage their concerns in DRRM, which, in this season, specifically include Sabtang, Batanes and Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte.

Sabtang was able to incorporate a centralized communications center for disasters because the vice mayor realized the importance of DRRM during the event. Limasawa was able to incorporate DRRM in their subsequent budget planning as well.

Sean Cua of Class 2021, the project head, shares his journey: “The entire process was hard because it was a new project. The nuances of organization, red tape with various administrations, and without having a previous event basing it off contributed to a lot of its difficulties, but through effective rallying of the organization to work together, the final product was achieved. With God, all things are possible. Where He would lead, there I would follow.”

Other TOMSO-winning organizations were the following:

  • Accentuating Lives Through Service & Advocacy from Cebu Doctors’ University – College of Medicine
  • Asian Medical Students’ Association – West Visayas State University from West Visayas State University – College of Medicine
  • Bahaghari Medisina from Southwestern University PHINMA – School of Medicine
  • Community Advancement Medical Program from University of Northern Philippines – College of Medicine
  • Community Outreach, Resource, and Education from Cebu Doctors’ University – College of Medicine
  • CRIADOS from Davao Medical School Foundation, Inc.
  • Medical Outreach Missions Foundation Incorporated from Saint Louis University
  • Silliman University Medical Students’ Association from Silliman University Medical School
  • SWU PHINMA – Medicine Student Council from Southwestern University PHINMA – School of Medicine

The Association of the Philippine Medical Colleges – Student Network (APMC-SN) is the organization of all Filipino Medical Students and Student Councils across the country.

The APMC-SN National Convention, now on its 52nd iteration and entitled “Adlaw: Fostering Mental Health in Medical Education”, was held at the De La Salle Medical & Health Sciences Institute last February 9 and 10, 2019. Apart from the National Medical Quiz Bee and TOMSO Awards Night, the event also included a National Clinico-Pathologic Conference and National Medical Student Research Competition, as well as plenary talks and breakout sessions on the different aspects on mental health from fields in and out of the medical field.

Leave a Reply