Issue of October 19, 2014
Mt. Province

Baguio Day Anniversary Issue
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Board and Bar; Doctors and lawyers

We were absent for several weeks, thanks to the medical board and then the Bar exams. There obviously is a big difference between the two. The results of the medical licensure exams are released about three weeks after the exams, while Bar candidates have to sweat it out for several months. In all probability the Bar results will be out sometime March or April next year.

Sometimes we wonder about the predilection of our countrymen for the Bar exams. There are two more Sundays to go and we are very sure that on the last Sunday, which is Oct. 26, España Ave. in front of the University of Sto. Tomas where the Bar exams are held, will turn into a circus. No amount of warnings from the Supreme Court or the city government of Manila or the PNP will prevent thousands from converging to meet their Bar candidates.

That is not the same with the medical licensure exams. There were not too many people outside the examination building waiting for those who finished the licensure exams. There were more people who congregated later at the St. Jude Chapel near Malacañang. St. Jude is supposedly the patron saint of the impossible.

Many prospective doctors and lawyers pray to St. Jude, to Sta. Rita de Casia, to Fr. Pio, to all possible saints, etc. They make offerings and make a lot of promises so they will be blessed to pass. It should be interesting to find out how many keep their promises and remember all their saints after they pass.

For many board candidates, the impossible became possible because three weeks later they would learn that they are now doctors.

But that is not the end of the story. After passing the licensure exams, come the residency programs and specializations, etc. For parents who thought their task had ended they realize that their job “has only just begun.”

Those who pass the Bar exams on the other hand could take their oath, then can immediately open a law office, hang their shingles and appear before the courts.

It is said that inexperienced doctors who make mistakes are better off than beginning lawyers who make similar mistakes with their clients. The mistakes of the doctors are buried six feet under the ground and are forgotten; while the mistakes of lawyers are found in jail where the mistakes spend many years of their lives cursing their lawyers.

Who do we really need more? Doctors or lawyers?

Many people can live their entire lives without having a need for a lawyer. Few people can truthfully say, however, they never needed a doctor all their lives. Sometime or the other we will always need a doctor. Only reasons of poverty, which is among of the country’s major problems, prevent more people from getting the medical attention they urgently need.

We were surprised to learn that for reasons of poverty 60 percent of Filipinos who need a doctor die without seeing one. To place it in another way, seven out of 10 Filipinos die without receiving the medical care they need because they cannot afford it.

There was a time when the national passing average in the licensure exams was 62.71 percent. In contrast, the national passing average for the Bar exams was only 17 percent.

Maybe that is only right. Are there too many lawyers?

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