Friday, December 25, 2015

The Tipster's Second Serving: The Road to Becoming a Diplomate in Internal Medicine (2nd of 3 Parts)

To continue, on your quest to becoming a Diplomate in Internal Medicine. 

2. Define your game plan. I particularly mean your strategy in studying. Do you plan to do self-study, or are you planning to enroll in a review course?

     There are three review courses for the Philippine Specialty Board in Internal Medicine (PSBIM) that I know exist here in the Philippines. One is in Cebu City and the other two are in Manila. 

      Crackin' D Boards is the one based in Cebu City, spearheaded by a very able mentor-neurologist, Dr. Toom Vatanagul. One thing here, I was not paid to write about Dr. Toom's Review course. Perhaps he would not even know that I wrote about this but I would not hesitate to say that he is one of the best lecturers on this side of the country.

     I only listened to his lectures during Post-Graduate Courses that I attended while I was a resident in training. However it was during those lectures where I saw for myself how palpable this guy's enthusiasm is for teaching.

     I believe his enthusiasm extends even beyond the walls of the lecture hall or the four corners of the classroom (I believe he also teaches in medical school). I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Toom (as he is fondly called), during my stint as a Junior Consultant in one of the hospitals in Cebu City. Even without me asking, he would willingly explain what he sees (which my not-so-trained eyes could not see) on the CT scan (usually Brain CTs) plate. He would share his insights on the course of the patient's medical concern, what to expect with the disease, and why the patient is manifesting his/her symptoms.

     With all that, I think it goes without saying that with Dr. Toom,  you have a seasoned lecturer/mentor/teacher and therefore, who else could do a superb job to assist you in reviewing for the PSBIM? If you are based in Cebu City or places nearby, you might want to consider enrolling in Crackin' D Boards. It will be their second year in holding a review for PSBIM. The debuted this year for PSBIM 2015. The schedule they offer is fairly flexible, appropriate for reviewees with families, or those who need time for self-review while on the course itself, and lastly, for those who are working on the side. It is a fact that reviewees have mouth/s to feed, sometimes aside from their own mouths. This reminds me of a Department Chair who told his graduates to ask their parents to sponsor them while they are reviewing for the boards. Maybe that was said partly in jest, but I think the message he actually wanted to convey was he wanted them to focus their efforts on the review. Focus. I could not agree more to that. Anyway, after you have nailed all the exams you need to take, as what one of my consultants told me, the money will follow.

     The first of the two review courses for PSBIM which are Manila-based, is the Dr. Marcelino Imasa's PSBIM Review Course which is being held at the Manor Review Center, in R. Papa, Sampaloc, Metro Manila. Dr. Imasa is an internist who has ten years of medical practice under his belt before he finally decided to go into Oncology Fellowship, which he recently completed. To add to that, Dr. Imasa has been a known and respected review lecturer for the Pharmacy Boards, as he also topnotched the said licensure himself. I think this review course is not as promoted or known specially in the provinces. I heard about this review from a very good friend and she had good feedback about it, as Dr. Imasa is an eloquent lecturer and is just so brilliant, he is very much willing to share his knowledge and help the reviewees pass the exam with flying colors. The review course is usually held during January and lasts for three weeks. For inquiries, you may contact the secretary, Sir Arnold, using this number 0916-3020982. For those who are not Manila-based, and are interested to take the review course, the review center is actually situated in a building with a dormitory in it, the MMG Dorm, and for inquiries, you may call (02) 736-2870. 

     The second Manila-based Review Course for the PSBIM is at UP-PGH, which usually lasts for one week and therefore is ultra-intensive, I would like to say. I am sure most of the reviewees have a friend or two who have heard about this review and maybe you can share some of the details concerning this review. That would be much appreciated. 

     So that's it for the second mile of your road to becoming a diplomate in Internal Medicine. Will be back for the final mile very soon.

     Merry Christmas, everyone! Enjoy the holidays!

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