By John Noel E. Herrera
An Ilonggo ranked first in the recent licensure examination for physicians administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
Justin Adriel Zent Gautier Togonon, a graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila, gained the highest rating of 89.0 percent in the October 2022 licensure exams.
The 24-year-old native of Tigbauan, Iloilo also graduated magna cum laude from UP Manila’s Integrated Liberal Arts in Medicine (INTARMED) program, where he underwent two years of pre-medicine course before proceeding to proper medical studies with UP Manila’s seven-year curriculum.
Togonon said that his father knew about the result first and he did not expect to be included in the top 10 as he was only hoping to just pass the examination.
“Nakibot gid ako kay sang feeling ko after sang board exam ko, daw hindi man gid ko super confident sang mga sabat ko to sang board exam, so nakibot gid ko nga naka-make ko sa top 10, how much more top 1 gid… so thankful gid ako kay Lord nga gin gaan ya ako clarity sa mind sa pagsabat,” Togonon said in a radio interview.
Togonon also said that he wanted to explore other options heading into his career in the medical field, like teaching younger medical students, doing health research, and being a surgeon as a field of specialization.
“(As a doctor) gina-handom man naton nga ang tanan nga tao kung i-admit sa hospital or magkadto sa doctor, hindi magparanig-a sa finances nila. Amu gid na ang handom naton kay health is a right gid, amu gid na tani ma-achive naton sa Philippine healthcare system,” he added.
Togonon also advised medical students to focus on their studies and always remember their purpose and reasons why they still keep on striving to become a doctor.
“Always remember your whys, so bakit ko ‘to pinasok… people say that medicine is in fact a noble profession and kailangan mong alalahanin na para pa rin ito sa tao, serbisyo pa rin sa tao at dun ka huhugot ng lakas ng loob para matapos mo siya,” he said.
Meanwhile, West Visayas State University (WVSU) College of Medicine graduate Mark Arlo Segundo ranked fifth with a score of 87.58 percent. He also ranked 6th in the 2016 Medical Technologist Licensure Examination.
WVSU was also the eighth-best-performing school with an 89.19 percent passing rate as 99 out of its 111 takers passed the examination.
The PRC also announced on Thursday, Nov 10, 2022 that 3,826 out of 5,958 passed the Physician Licensure Examination given last October.