What We Learned From Liwayway: MEDCON 2021

During the two-day event held by UP Pre-Medical Society, Liwayway: MEDCON 2021 had 12 speakers from varying stages of their medical career impart their knowledge. With over 3000 attendees on both days, on different platforms, aspiring to become successful health professionals, the event’s reach has no doubt impacted our future doctors. Although an innumerable amount of advice was given the past two Saturdays, the following are some key takeaways that every prospective doctor should know and remember:


1. The path to becoming a doctor starts now. 

Whether you’re an elementary student or in your undergrad years, building good study habits now is important. These are life-long skills that carry over to medical school and beyond, considering that being a doctor means being a student for life. Although grades aren’t everything, the attitude and habits that result in good grades are essential. 


2. Medical school is hard. 


Medical school has been likened to trying to drink everything from a broken fire hydrant. Needless to say, it is an overload of information in a limited amount of time. It’s impossible to know everything, but it’s a good thing that you’re not expected to. You are, however, expected to do your best and to know enough to care for patients. Moreover, a lot of sacrifices are expected out of medical students, both socially and economically. Expect to decline nights out with friends in exchange for reading case studies or cramming for an exam. Expect a financial hit, whether it be for tuition, manuals, project equipment, or labs. The harsh truth is that medical school favors the privileged; one must acknowledge that privilege to become an effective agent of change. Despite all this, possibly because of this, expect to be fulfilled when the sacrifices pay off and your hard work changes someone’s life. 


3. You are allowed to have a life.


Pursuing medicine does not equate the end of your social life. Medical students are humans too and are allowed to hold hobbies and interests that keep them sane. It’s all a matter of limiting said non-medical interests, not eliminating them. Although you won’t be able to attend every event, there are still some that you can. Prioritization and time management are practiced skills that are necessary when it comes to being able to make time for loved ones. This was most exemplified by two MedCon speakers Dr. Kara Gozali, who worked as a model during medical school, and Dr. Maria Calimag, who became a successful anesthesiologist while caring for eight children. 


4. Be compassionate. 


The best doctor is not necessarily the smartest one. In an occupation that requires constant interaction, interpersonal skills are paramount. As was conveyed by MedCon speaker and emergency medicine resident Dr. Roderick Arapan, effectively communicating the next steps a family must take is not feasible when they are in hysterics over a tragic diagnosis. It is important to remember that patients and their relatives are people, not just a case. Dr. Francis Dimalanta, a pediatrician who also spoke at MedCon, highlighted how medicine is not only a science but a social duty. Serving the afflicted requires compassion and understanding to effectively heal. It should also be noted that compassion should not stop at others; practicing compassion should extend to yourself.


5. Do it for yourself. 


Although it is well and good to use loved ones as inspiration, pursuing medicine is a decision that should ultimately be decided by oneself. You know yourself best and what you can manage. The people who told you to become a doctor aren’t the ones who will study and take your exams, you are. Ensure that you are passionate about medicine to stay determined and motivated.


  1. Maybe being a doctor isn’t for you. And that’s okay. 


Helping others is not exclusive to doctors; there are other ways to help people. Policymakers, health financing, disaster responders, and many more professions are part of the public health industry, an industry that still needs healing. Instead of impacting individual lives, it is possible to impact society in general through systemic changes. As Dr. Romelei Camiling-Alfsonso fondly put it, instead of a person being the patient, the patient is the health system. Environmentalists play an especially important role in the health profession since they consider planetary health. They, too, advocate for systemic change that would make global citizens healthier.  


Even though Liwayway: MEDCON 2021 was only a two-day event, the lessons and advice imparted were so impactful, they are sure to last much longer in the minds of those who attended. Here’s to hoping that a MEDCON 2022 is in the works, where more words of wisdom can be shared!


Liwayway: MEDCON 2021 is Co-presented By: 

Dream Big Branding • eto desu • Globe • Jansport • Juicy Cologne • Pahatid.ph • Power Up Climbing Gym • Shopee • Quickfx • Rentalbee • KT’s Kitchen • LeiaPure • Lumi Candles PH • MILQ Fix • Suture & Co. PH


In Cooperation With:

Ayala Malls • CourseHero • L’Oreal • MerritMed PH • Tiger Crackers • Ropa Fina PH • Adamson University Psychological Society  •  Asian Medical Students’ Association – Philippines • Bedan Psychological Society • Cavite State University – The Asclepian Society • LPU Psychological Society • PLM Society for Biological Sciences •  Salig PH • St. Luke’s Medicine Student Council  • Student Council Alliance of the Philippines • Tanglaw Mental Health • The Pre-Medical Society of Ateneo  • The UPLB Society of Pre-Med Students • UE Pre-Medical Society • UP Family Life and Child Development Circle • UP Health Sciences and Pre-Medicine Society • UPM Peer Empowering Peers Society • UST Psychological Society  


Also Brought to You By:

Gardenia Bakeries • Messy Bessy • Trabi Cafe • Habi Philippines • AIESEC in University of the Philippines Manila • Agham Youth UPD • ASMPH Student Council • DLSU-D Pre-Medical Society •  Project FAX • Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon • UP Biology Majors Association (BIOMAS)


Special Thanks To:

iFlix PH • Agham Youth PUP • Ateneo Chemistry Society • Kalinga • Labang Pangkalusugan • UP Medicine Society • UP Organization for Shiftees and Transferees • UP Pugad Sayk • UPD University Freshie Council • Dr. Lyien Pascual • Jubilee Acosta • Kristine Abraham • Marie Fortuno • Mia Alegre • Roselle Isabela


Endorsed by:

UP Asian Institute of Tourism Student Council • UP College of Human Kinetics Student Council • UP College of Science Student Council • UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council • UP Engineering Student Council • UP School of Economics Student Council • UP School of Library and Information Studies Student Council • UP School of Statistics Student Council • UPD CAL FST Council • UPD CS FST Council • UPD CSSP FST Council