The medical field has always been a lucrative one. It is not only a childhood dream to become a doctor, but the M.D. carries with it a certain prestige that even middle-aged people go back to school and pursue their childhood dreams of becoming doctors. Though there was a time that doctors went back to study nursing in hopes of better lives abroad, the trend in recent times has been that Philippine M.D.'s are starting to desire to serve in local shores.

The demand for a medical doctor is high because it's a specialized field with a need to invest a good chunk of one's resources just to get the diploma and the license. A doctor's parents' money, his effort, and his years go into obtaining that license to diagnose and treat people's diseases.

A bigger reason for the premium is that a great doctor is so hard to find. Having experienced getting sick in Boracay Island and not finding anyone who was able to diagnose me properly until I reached Iloilo City, I could attest to the fact that it takes a sharp, experienced specialist to zero in on a patient's ills. It also grieves me that so few doctors are so sharp that you just rattle off your complaints and they could already figure it out. One such doctor is now the mayor of the municipality of Dingle in Iloilo City. He is so famed for his sharpness, that even as a general practitioner, he is more trusted than the newer specialists.

It may be passion for the craft that makes them as good as they are. Maybe it's the wisdom of the years of treating patients, either way, they are gems of society, and if you know a great doctor, you are fortunate.

Maybe you don't realize it, but Iloilo City is the hub for Medical School graduates and licensed doctors. Like banks, we have clinics in every street corner. This is because Western Visayas State University's Medical School is among the best in the country. For some medical school students, this is second best to University of the Philippines' Medical Program (UP-PGH). People from University of the East may debate this, but WVSU is among their toughest competitors.

WVSU boasts of the Problem-Based Learning type of curriculum. This is a format that only UP-PGH and UERMMC are the other known schools who carry this. This is a system of schooling that gives more time for hands-on, experiential and more creative means to learn. Traditional Medicine curriculums tend to have day-long lectures. For PBL, medical students need to be in the classroom for half a day, while the other half of the day, they are tasked to study. Or not. They also have focused group discussions and other learning methods that may prove more effective because they depart from boring one-sided lecturing.

It is because of WVSU's presence in Iloilo City that it churns out some of the country's best physicians. I am proud to be a spectator of this trend, and I'm happy I have doctor-friends. I'm happier too, that for the times I got sick, I was treated by excellent Ilonggo doctors.

It is always nice to belong to a people known for their excellence. And for this reason, I am proud to be an Ilonggo.

-The Scribbler