PLE top 1, breadwinner and son of a tailor, juggles studying and working as a nurse at PGH

  • The PLE topnotcher revealed the hardships and struggles he went through to achieve his dream of becoming a doctor
  • Jomel Garcia Lapides was born to a father who worked as a tailor and later a construction worker and a mother who was a housewife
  • While studying medicine in UP Manila, Lapides also worked as a nurse at the PGH

Jomel Garcia Lapides, who ranked top 1 in the November 2020 Physician Licensure Examination revealed that the journey to his success was was no easy feat.

Image by Jomel Lapides

He even admitted that he almost gave up on his dream of becoming a doctor. While his father worked as a tailor and later on as a construction worker and his mother a housewife, Lapides took upon himself the responsibility of being their family’s breadwinner.

He had to juggle his studies and work. While studying medicine in UP Manila, Lapides was also working as a nurse at the Philippine General Hospital.

“Meron pong times na parang sobrang nakakapagod na po…Amazingly, after a night’s rest, nagkaroon lang ako ng one day off…okay na, kaya na ulit,” Lapides said on CNN.

Lapides went on to share that one of his inspirations to work hard was their financial status. He said he felt nervous in pursing medicine because he knew they didn’t have enough resources and he also needed to support his family.

“Medyo kinakabahan ako during that time, kasi nga ako ‘yung kumikita sa family, tapos malit lang po ‘yung kinikita ni tatay so parang pag nawala po ‘yon, sobrang laking impact sa amin. Kahit na ‘yung isa ko pong sister nagtatrabaho kaso may sarili na rin po siyang pamilya,” he said.

Their family’s situation didn’t dampen Lapides’ dream as he applied for scholarships so he can pursue medicine. He assured his family that he will continue working to help them.

Image by Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity

“They believed in me and supported me sa decision ko. So, I reassured them na kaya pa rin, na nakapag-ipon naman ako,” Lapides said.

And his hard work finally paid off when Lapides’ ranked top 1 in the PLE November 2020. In 2011, he also topped the Nursing board examinations. What a feat!