Physician board topnotcher chooses to work in a remote barrio in Zamboanga

    MANILA, Philippines – A physician chooses to reject offers abroad to work in a remote barrio in Zamboanga.
    Physician board topnotcher chooses to work in a remote barrio in Zamboanga

    Dr. Paul Villarino walks for hours to reach the barrio
    Dr. Paul Villarino walks for hours to reach the barrio | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ I-Witness

    Dr. Temie Paul “Tipoy” Villarino landed top 9 in the 2019 physician board exam. With his good merits, he could easily get a job in the big city or even in a hospital abroad. But instead of grabbing that opportunity for himself, he decided to choose the people in need.

    While Dr. Tipoy graduated from West Visayas State University-La Paz in Iloilo City, he grew up in the remote barrio of Godod in Zamboanga del Norte. This is where he decided to serve and practice his profession.

    Physician board topnotcher
    Photo Courtesy: Facebook/I-Witness

    Everyday, Dr. Paul walks for hours even crossing what they call a "rocky road" to reach Godod. With a population of 18,000, he is the only municipal doctor in the place.

    Growing up in the small barrio, he saw how the people were in need of medical assistance. He even witnessed how one of his siblings died because they didn't have any doctor nearby.

    "Naging ano siya full blown po talaga na tetanus, so namatay po siya. So, doon ko po na-realize na kahit simpleng bakuna lang ay napakahalaga kasi bakuna lang, dalawang turok, tatlong turok, puwede po yung makapagsalba ng buhay," he revealed.

    Everyday, Dr. Paul sees 50 to 60 patients
    Everyday, Dr. Paul sees 50 to 60 patients | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/I-Witness

    This strengthened his willingness to work and serve the people. In fact, his hometown is one of inspirations why he wanted to become a topnotcher in the Physician Licensure Exam.

    He shared, "During the review phase ng aking journey as a physician, isa sa mga prayers was that kung magiging topnotcher ako, I will go back to serve my hometown. So yun yung panata ko sa Diyos natin, na babalik talaga ako dito."

    According to Dr. Paul, his patients are really impoverished as almost 64 percent of their population belong to the poverty line. Everyday, he would cater to 50 to 60 patients from Monday to Friday.

    Dr. Paul explained how he wanted to become a part of the country's solution rather than add to our growing problems.

    He shared, "Gusto kong maging part ng solution, kasi napakadaming problema ng ating bansa. Napakadaling magreklamo po, sa totoo lang. Sa dinami-dami ng problema na pinapasan ng ating bansa, napakadaling magreklamo."

    “But I’m trying my best to be part of the solution by being a physician, a doctor sa malayo at mahirap na bayan," he added.


    PHYSICIAN LICENSURE EXAM TOPNOTCHER, PINILING MAGSILBI SA KANYANG BAYAN Madaling araw pa lang, naglalakbay na si Dr. Paul "Tipoy" Villarino at kung minsa'y kailangan pang tumawid ng ilog para lang makapaghatid ng serbisyong medikal sa kanyang mga kababayan. Isa si Doc Tipoy sa mga topnotcher ng March 2019 Physician Licensure Exam pero mas pinili niya ang magsilbi sa bayan na kanyang pinagmulan kaysa sa magagandang oportunidad na naghihintay sa kanya sa siyudad at sa ibang bansa. #IWitness #AngLumingonSaPinanggalingan

    Posted by I-Witness on Saturday, May 8, 2021

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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