MANILA — Among the 3,538 passers of the recent physician licensure exam are twin sisters Charlaine and Charmaine Bautista from Bislig City, Surigao del Sur who completed their degree in medicine from Silliman University.
“We were both awakened at 1 AM because of a phone call from one of our resident doctors, congratulating us for passing the PLE. We were both in tears, with hands trembling as we were scrolling the list of passers,” Charlaine, 27, told ABS-CBN News on Thursday.
“Until now, we still can’t believe it! We slept, and woke up already licensed physicians. God is good!” she added.
The Bautistas are currently based in Davao City where they had their post graduation internship and took the licensure exam. ABS-CBN News reached out to them through their social media accounts.
The daughters of an overseas Filipino worker and housewife both graduated with a degree in medical technology also from Silliman University in Dumaguete City as their pre-med course, and even got the same rating when they successfully hurdled the medical technologist licensure exam in 2014.
For Charlaine it was her lifelong dream to be a doctor.
“Being a physician has always been my childhood dream. After passing the Medical Technology board exam in 2014, I worked as a Medtech for 6 months and then pursued my childhood dream after. By God’s grace, here I am, living “the dream,” she said.
On the other hand, Charmaine was first undecided and just followed the footsteps of her sister until medical school.
The sisters finished grade school and high school in De La Salle John Bosco College in Mangagoy, Bislig City.
“Unlike my twin sister who knew from the very start that she wants to become a physician, I was undecided on what course to take. So I followed her footsteps and took BSMT. By God’s grace, I graduated and passed the board exam in 2014,” Charmaine said.
“We both worked as medical technologists for 6 months. At first, I thought I wanted to work as a medical technologist abroad. But then, while working as a medtech, my heart and eyes were opened that I can still do more. I can be more. That was when I pursued medicine,” she added.
Charlaine said she is blessed to have a twin sister going through the same path as hers and understanding each other’s struggles.
“We are very blessed to have each other to lean on during our board review preparation. We could not imagine how our friends who reviewed at their homes, alone, made it through. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another,” one of the twins said.
“We could not make it without each other. We are each other’s strength. We give and take in our daily household chores. We help each other in bringing out the best version of ourselves.”
Charlaine said that in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, they were determined to push through with the exam with the support of their family and peers.
She added that as new doctors of the country, it is their duty to help others in need.
“Preparing for and taking the physician’s licensure examination in the time of COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge to all of us,” she said.
“We all know how our country needs medical doctors in this time of pandemic. We feel the weight of our profession all the more because of the pandemic. With great power, also comes great responsibility. We are blessed to be given this great responsibility to help our country fight this pandemic.”
Charlaine said they will both practice first as general physicians, and hopefully apply for residency in 2022.
She said she wants to specialize in pediatrics, while Charmaine has yet to decide on which field to specialize.
The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) earlier announced that a total of 4,704 took the November 2020 PLE.
Jomel Garcia Lapides of the University of the Philippines in Manila (UP Manila) topped the exams with a rating of 88.67 percent.
Of the 58 examinees from Silliman University, 53 passed the PLE.