Future Plans

Been a long time since I posted. I actually forgot that I had a blog. A few days ago, a colleague of mine (who recently passed the PLE, congratulations!) messaged me that he has been reading my blog all along. I rediscovered the purpose of this blog, so here I am, writing again.

I am currently in my PGY-3 (R2) year of Neurology. I am in the process of applying for Vascular Neurology. I really enjoy stroke, the neuroanatomy of it, the acuity and the rush of a stroke code, and the ability to see your patients improve (well, some of them) from a highly morbid condition.

After Vascular Neurology, I might take up Interventional Neurology. Unfortunately, my visa status limits my ability (and my chances, which is already low to begin with) in finding a good training program.

I might try and find a job first, get a permanent residency, and then enter into fellowship again (groan). I discussed this with my mentor and he is very supportive of my plans. He also intends to tailor my fellowship program so that I maximize my diagnostic angiogram skills. This (along with the fact that my wife got a job in Binghamton, yey) is the reason I will probably stay in Syracuse.

Pray for us!



Fun Case #1

23/M with a past medical history of illegal substance abuse who came in with right-sided weakness and aphasia. Exam shows global aphasia and right hemiplegia.




Idle Blog

Hello everyone!

I’m terribly sorry that I haven’t updated this one in a while. Residency takes a lot of my time and whenever I do have a free time, I tend to spend it with my wife or studying or playing (all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy). Anyway, I’m currently in my second year of Neurology residency. Internal Medicine was fun but I won’t miss it. Time to focus on the brain!

The process of doing USMLE is still pretty much the same. I think the only thing that has become a complication is that the Philippine Department of Health is now limiting the release of Statement of Needs. I will be posting on the procedure soon so keep following!


How to Apply for the DS-2019

Here are the steps to get the DS-2019 from ECFMG in order to process the J1 visa in the Philippines:

  1. Upon getting matched, the GME coordinator of your program should open an application for a DS-2019 in OASIS on the ECFMG website. You will then receive an email to complete/confirm the application on OASIS.
  2. Log into OASIS and complete the application. You have to pay $285.00 for the application to be processed.
  3. You then have to upload the following documents:
    • Contract/Letter of Offer
      • Should be uploaded by the GME coordinator himself/herself, or by you if sent to you when you matched
    • Medical School Diploma
    • Passport photo
    • Passport Biographic Page
    • Updated Curriculum Vitae
    • Statement of Educational Objectives
      • Letter outlining your plans
    • Ministry of Health Letter/Need To Train Letter
  4. Upon uploading all documents, ECFMG will email you that your DS-2019 will be released to your program (it is stated that it takes 4-6 weeks for the documents to be processed but for my case, it only took a week)
  5. The program will then mail you the DS-2019 ^_^


For the Need To Train Letter, as a Filipino physician, you need to do the following:

  1. The Need To Train Letter/Certificate (NTC) is obtained from the DOH, but before going there, make the following documents ready so that you don’t have to go there more than twice:
    1. 5 copies of NTC form (download from the website here) with 5 2×2 original photos (not scanned or printed on the form)
    2. 5 copies of your residency contract OR 5 copies of a letter promising to send the contract once you’re in the US
    3. 5 copies of PRC license (authenticated)
    4. 5 copies of PRC Certificate of Registration (authenticated)
    5. 5 copies of No Pending Case from PRC
    6. 5 Statement of Educational Objectives (US plans)
    7. 5 Career Plans After Exchange Visitor Program (Philippine plans)
  2. Go to PRC, bring your PRC license and your PRC Certificate of Registration
  3. Go to the Information Center, ask for a Action Sheet for Authentication (or you can download it here)
  4. Have your license and CoR photocopied (you need 5 copies of each) inside PRC
  5. Go to the 2nd floor of the main building, go to the Legal office and ask for a Action Sheet for No Pending Case
  6. Submit the duly accomplished Action Sheet for No Pending Case in Window 4/5 (first floor, left side windows)
  7. Go to Window M/N/O, where they issue stamps, have the photocopies of your license and CoR stamped and ask for additional 5 stamps for your No Pending Case certificate
  8. Pay the appropriate dues in the cashier, pay an additional rush fee if you want to get your authenticated copies on the same day (takes about a week if not rushed)
  9. Submit the Action Sheet for No Pending Case and the 5 stamps in the Legal Office, takes about 15 minutes for them to produce the No Pending Case certificates
  10. Submit the Action Sheet for Authentication and the stamped photocopies downstairs in the Window 16/18 (first floor, right side windows)
  11. Clerk will stamp the date and time of your return to get your authenticated copies
  12. Go to DOH, submit everything. If the signatories are there, you’ll get the NTC the same day. If not, you have to go back the following day. Before handing you the NTC, you will have a 10 minute seminar regarding the Exchange Visitor Program


There you go! If you have questions, feel free to comment below! God bless! ^_^



USMLE Study Guide

So this is my personal study guide for the USMLE. Follow at your own risk. ^_^

Step 1 – 232
First Aid USMLE Step 1 2013 x 2 readings
First Aid USMLE Step 1 2014 x 1 reading
UWorld Step 1 x 30 days

Step 2 CK – 244
First Aid USMLE Step 2 CK 8th Edition x 2 readings
UWorld Step 2 CK x 30 days

Step 2 CS – Pass
First Aid USMLE Step 2 CS 5th Edition x 5 readings
Neeraj Notes x 2 readings

Step 3 – 212
Master the Boards Step 3 3rd Edition x 1 reading
UWorld Step 3 x 60 days

God bless! ^_^

Hillsong NYC

I’ve been listening to Hillsong ever since I joined Youth For Christ in 2nd year high school. To our luck, the day we visited the NYC branch is the day that Brian Houston was there. We got to listen to a very powerful and passionate speaker. Simply amazing. God bless everyone!

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P.S. For Sunday service schedule of Hillsong NYC, click here