Pinoy MD

July 4, 2007

Considering the high cost of medical schooling, the Department of Health decided to offer the Pinoy MD scholarship program. The program was aimed to support the children of government workers, indigents, and tribal members. It gives a decent allowance, subsidized tuition (don’t know how many percent), among other benefits, but it did have downsides that I would later discover.

Hearing from a new acquaintance about this scholarship, I went to the City Health Office to get an application form. The building was not imposing, and it looked decent enough from the outside. I had never been there before, and so I was shocked by the sight of what I saw inside.

Dirt, dust, and decay lined the walls. Their bland yellow paint was even chipping away, revealing a nondescript concrete grey. Wooden stairs reminiscent of my grandparents’ old house led the way to the offices. I knew they were tough, but I half expected them to creak with age as I stepped on them. A sense of gloom, found only in Philippine hospitals, fitted perfectly in its atmosphere.

The atmosphere above was only a step better than the gloom below. A complacent air hung around the staff who were chatting with one another, and doing whatever work they do. It felt like a typical government office except that the ever present hospital atmosphere infused everything in it.

Middle age men and women housed the offices. Despite working in the health industry, a lot of them did not fit into the image of muscular or lean champions of health. The government needs to do something about it.

“Ma’am, do you have an application form for Pinoy MD,” I asked someone in a desk.

“What’s that?” she answered.

I started to explain what I knew about it, but another woman said she did have some forms. I followed her into her office. She looked for the form, but it was to no avail. She told me to come back on Monday so she could bring the copy she had from home.

I left that office, but it seemed like part of the office stayed with me. I felt the hospital atmosphere follow me home. I was still no step closer to getting my hand on the Pinoy MD apllication form.


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