La Carlota resident tops physician licensure exam

Maria Ines Sellado Benedicto who topped the September 2021 Physician Licensure Examination.*

A resident of La Carlota City in Negros Occidental who topped the September 2021 Physician Licensure Examination wants to train in a government hospital to help overworked healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maria Ines Sellado Benedicto, 26, topped the September 2021 Physician Licensure Examination with a rating of 87.83 percent, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced Friday, September 24.

Also in the top one slot was Jude Philip Cebrecus of the Cebu Institute of Medicine.

The PRC on Friday announced that 1,084 out of 1,546 passed the Physician Licensure Examination given by the Board of Medicine in Baguio, Cagayan De Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena, Tacloban and Zamboanga in September 2021.

Benedicto graduated valedictorian from the College of Medicine of the Western Visayas State University in Iloilo.

She was also the 7th placer in the September 2015 Medical Technology Licensure Examination.

Benedicto graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from the University of Negros Occidental–Recoletes in Bacolod City in March 2015.

She learned that she topped the physicians’ board examination when a classmate congratulated her through a chat message a 6:30 p.m. Friday and everything became a blur with so many people sending messages, Benedicto said.

Benedicto said she had hoped to pass the board examination, she did not expect to make it to the top one slot because it was difficult.

“It was different than what we prepared for, what I did was try to eliminate the wrong answers as much as possible,” she said.

Benedicto, who always wanted to be a doctor, plans to specialize in internal medicine.

“I did my internship in a public hospital and have seen firsthand how difficult it is for patients with no finances. I want to serve in a public hospital even if it is more tiring and demanding because the satisfaction you get at the end of the day is greater” when your patients recover, she said.

She can make a greater difference working in a public hospital, Benedicto said, pointing out that she has seen how tired the doctors are amid the pandemic.

“COVID is all the more reason we should serve because the workforce is decreasing,” she said.

While she fears for her own safety and her family with the COVID-19 pandemic, “at the end of the day this is the profession I signed up for,” Benedicto said.

Her father is Richard Benedicto, a member of the board of directors of the Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative, and her mother is Marisol Benedicto, who manages their family business.

Her older brother and only sibling is La Carlota City Councilor Richard Sebastian Benedicto.*

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