For board topnotcher, the pharmacy was not even the first choice

Nicola Christine Rivera of the University of the Philippines-Manila, Topnotcher of the Pharmacist License Exam

MANILA — After winning the November 2021 Pharmacist Licensing Exam, Nicola Christine Rivera of the University of the Philippines in Manila shared some tips for aspirants in her field as they prepare for the board exams.

“From now on, build a healthy state of mind. Kasi ang kalaban mo his board exam is mainly fear and anxiety.” Yun ay ‘yung takot ka mag-take kasi nakakatakot bumagsak, ”Rivera said.

(From now on, develop a healthy state of mind. Because the enemy is your fear and anxiety, fear of taking the exam because you are afraid of failing.)

“Hindi mo pa nalalaman na kaya mo naman pala, pero kaya mo naman talaga. You just have to enter the room and take the exam.

(You might not know you can do it, but you really can.)

“For future pharmacists, everything you do is for your future patients and for the practice of the profession of pharmacist here in the Philippines and abroad.”

Rivera said she initially considered a career in engineering, but her mother convinced her and her sisters to pursue professions in the medical field.

“(Being a pharmacist) is not my first dream. Nu’ng first year gusto ko nang mag-shift kasi hindi ko alam kung gusto ko, ”she said.

(Being a pharmacist isn’t my first dream. When I was in first year, I wanted to change courses because I didn’t know if I wanted to.)

But the experiences of her third and fourth years at college helped her settle in on her career path.

“Pharmacy as a profession is a very diverse and versatile career. Masyado siyang maraming opportunities for direct and indirect interactions. . . Kasi mahaba ‘yung process of drug discovery and development, up to the delivery of drugs to patients.

(Pharmacy as a profession is a very diverse and versatile career. It offers many opportunities for direct and indirect interactions … Because the process of drug discovery and development, up to the delivery of drugs to patients , is long.)

Rivera – who scored 93.90%, the best of the 1,207 who passed – said her friends got the good news first.

“It was overwhelming, pero hindi ko siya mapaniwalaan kasi hindi ko siya nakikita,” she said, adding that she did not expect to win the exams because she was not confident in her results after passed the test.

(It was overwhelming, but I couldn’t believe it because I couldn’t see the results yet.)

She also shared that taking board exams was different in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ngayon kasi, during the pandemic, there is additional fear and anxiety for your personal safety na mag-positive ka a few days before the exam, or can mangyari her relatives mo,” Rivera said.

(During the pandemic, there is additional fear and anxiety for your personal safety, whether you may test positive a few days before the exam, or something may happen to those close to you.)

Encouraging all exam candidates, she said, “They shouldn’t fight and let failure define their hard work.”

Rivera completed BS Industrial Pharmacy at UP Manila in 2019.

The results were published Friday evening by the Professional Regulation Commission, with 1,207 out of 2,371 successful. UP Manila was the best performing school with a passing mark of 98.18%.

UP Manila graduates also led the 2021 Medical Council exam in October.

The results of the November 2021 pharmacist license exam are available here.

PRC, Pharmacist License Examination, Professional Regulatory Commission, UP Manila


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