St. Luke’s College of Medicine

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Free Education for Deserving Students

Not all promising students are blessed with the financial resources to pursue their medical studies.  Because of the hard times, most students take courses that promise instant employement, in order to immediately provide for their family's needs.

Under the leadership of its new Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Joven R. Cuanang, the St. Luke's College of Medicine - William H. Quasha Memorial (SLCM-WHQM) proudly offers scholarships to desreving students who wish to become physicians in the future.

"To say the least, the scholarship the College provides is mind-boggling.  No school in the Philippines can afford to provide scholarships for half of its student population," remarked St. Luke's College of Medicine President and Dean Dr. Brigido Carandang, Jr.

Out of the 289 enrolees this semester, 173 are scholars.  Almost 60% of them, 115 students to be exact, are full scholars.  They enjoy free tuition fee, free miscellaneous and free books.  The remaining 58 students are partial scholars.  They have 75% discount on tuition fee, miscellaneous and books.

Dr. Carandang stressed that this is just a small part of the bigger picture.

"What we have are highly-qualified students, --magna cum laudes, cum laudes, who will not study medicine if they didn't have scholarships, because they couldn't afford it."

But the financial aspects of medical studies do not end with tuition and book fees.  While the basic requirements are addressed, students still have to worry about their day-to-day needs.  Dr. Carandang witnessed many students who, despite their scholarships, needed to stop because they can't augment everyday expenses.

"The first time I became dean, I got a letter from a first year student, a scholar, saying that she had to quit."

Apparently, the scholar was being supported by an American pastor in their province who raises money to cover the scholar's daily expenses.  However, the pastor got sick and the student had no means to  support her studies.

Believing in the student's capabilities, Dr. Carandang referred the student to some friends who willingly supported her schooling.  The student was able to sustain her scholarship until she graduated.

"She's now trained to be a pediatrician.  She's very admirable.  She initially wanted to go to St. Luke's but chose to practice at Philippine Children's Medical Center because she said that she can help more there."

There is also the case of a 29-year old scholar who really wanted to pursue medicine but failed to do so because her father died of cancer.  She decided to work first to help her mother and save money for her studies.  Despite the break from the academe, she was able to maintain her scholarship at the College of Medicine.

"Unfortunately there came a time when their house was in danger of foreclosure.  The scholar said she needed to stop studying and find work again."

Despite such solid obstacles, it's inspiring to see scholars persevere.

"We inculcate in our institution the true love of learning.  That's true scholarship," Dr. Carandang said.