The Road I Didn't Take: Law School

9:25:00 PM


One of the questions Doc Aileen asked for #theblogrounds was "If I were not a doctor, I would have been..." Well I always tell my family and friends that I cannot imagine myself being in a different profession. I love being in medical school despite all the difficulty and hardships. 

But if I'm not in medical school, I would have been in law school. That's the original plan. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a lawyer. That's the reason why I applied for BA English Studies when I took the UPCAT. One of the lecturers in UPCAT review program that I attended told me that English Studies is a good pre-law degree. Lo and behold, I passed the UPCAT and got accepted to the BA English Studies program in UP Diliman. But few months before enrollment, I got the new that I qualified for the scholarship program of the Department of Science and Technology. The scholarship program includes full tuition fee coverage, monthly stipend and book allowance. Of course, I needed to be realistic and practical during that time, I ditched the dream of being a lawyer, accepted the DOST scholarship and re-applied for BS Biology program in UP Diliman before the enrollment. It was also my childhood dream to be a doctor (I guess most of us considered being a doctor as our future professions when we were younger). By God's grace, I was given a slot in the BS Biology.

I was just amazed how God orchestrated everything in my life. It was really God's plan for me to be in medical school and become a future physician. I have no regrets in choosing to be in this field. It was a great privilege and honor to be used as God's healing hands in this sick and broken world. When Jesus Christ was still here on earth, a great part of His ministry was devoted to healing the sick. Being a doctor is a great avenue to advance God's kingdom to patients and colleagues in medicine. I just praise God for putting me in this field and I know that my abilities can be maximized in this field.

But if I pushed through with the English Studies program, I would have been a third year law student in the UP College of Law by now. Waiting patiently for promotion to my last year in law school. I might be very enthusiastic in domestic laws and policies affecting access to quality and affordable health care. Probably, I am involved in a lot of public health law advocacy and research projects looking for possible programs and policies to prevent injury and disease by lowering health risks among populations. Of course this is already biased because I am now in medical school but this is still an interesting field to explore. 

When I entered medical school, I realized how important medical doctors are. We are saving lives. What could be more noble profession than healing the sick and saving lives? But I also realized along the way that lawyers are equally important. Public and population health lawyers are involved in policies that make huge impact in morbidity and mortality rates. Healthcare delivery can only be improved through better health policy and we need a multidisciplinary team including lawyers to make this possible. In retrospect, if I chose the path of becoming a lawyer, I think I will still be able to make a difference in the field of medicine and healthcare delivery in the country. 

The result of the 2016 Bar examination was released a few days ago. The country has an additional 3,747 lawyers. I wonder how many of them will remain in the country to serve our countrymen. I wonder how many of them will uphold integrity and contribute in finding solutions to our country's problems. Doctors and lawyers share the same challenge: the challenge to stay, serve and be part of the solution and healing to the cancer of this country. So whether medicine or law, I can still serve the country to the best of my ability.

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