THIS SINDHI GIRL MAKES US PROUD: TOPS THE PHILIPPINES PHYSICIANS LICENSURE EXAM
Meet Chitra Deepak Punjabi, daughter of Deepak and Usha, a Sindhi despite having a misleading family name, young at 27, and had such a bad feeling about the results of the physicians licensure exam that she did not even want to look at them. Her grandparents are originally from Baguio, grandfather a Sindhi Trader, and grandma Rose, a Filipina who helped out with the business also, and has always been a friend of the community. Their parents still stay in Baguio. She is the only doctor in the family.
She presently holds a Filipino Passport and hence was privileged to take this board exam. It is so sad that many foreign nationals, mostly Chinese and Indians, cannot take up their board exams since they are not Filipino citizens, despite being born and bought up in the Philippines. Taking up Filipino citizen is a long process [up to 5 years], if going through the judicial process. There is a provision that you cannot travel overseas for a straight period of 2 years, after approval. However, under a recently passed rule, instead of the judicial process, they could apply under the office of the Solicitor General, provided the applicant is born in the Philippines. OSG fast tracks the application, with a time frame of less than 8 months. However two barriers are quite daunting. First the fees of about US$ 5000 [inclusive of Lawyers fee] and a mandatory 3 years Income Tax requirements have to be dealt with. Many are not affording but deserving, and how could you have a 3 years ITR while studying?
It turned out that she not only passed the board exam given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), she topped it over 1,596 others who also passed. She said the exam was so tough she did not harbor any expectations but simply hoped that her batch at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) would achieve a hundred-percent passing rate. Punjabi took a pre-medicine course at Saint Louis University in Baguio City and her medicine proper at UST in Manila. UST got a 99% rating.
She learned that she not only passed but topped the boards from a friend who called her up to break the news. “I was super shocked. I never expected that. A friend told me and I was really surprised,” she said. “It felt like I was in the twilight zone. It was really unbelievable,”
The new doctor revealed that UST did not achieve a hundred-percent passing rate but it did get 99 percent. She is very appreciative of UST, where she returned for the one month review. Prior to that she had to take here internship in Baguio City.