LANDING on the top spot in a board examination is no easy feat. Doing it twice is extraordinary.

Vincent Edouard Anthony “Dan” Gullas, 27, was shocked when he learned that he topped the September 2017 licensure exams for physicians.

“I aimed to be at least in the top 10 but never did I imagine I’d land in the top spot,” Dan told the Varsitarian.

He was attending a gathering for medical board examiners in the University when he learned he was the topnotcher among 4,064 exam takers, with a score of 90.50 percent.

Dan said he got word of his board exam feat from Faculty of Medicine and Surgery Dean Ma. Lourdes Maglinao, ahead of the release of results on the website of Professional Regulation Commission. He broke the news to his parents upon seeing the official results.

“My mom was shouting and screaming for joy over the phone [that] I could barely hear her,” he said.

The euphoria was familiar for the Cebuano because this was not the first time he topped a board examination.

In 2012, Dan bested 804 exam takers in the March 2012 medical technology licensure examination. He got a score of 92.50 percent.

Earlier that year, he finished magna cum laude among 50 medical technology graduates of Velez College in Cebu City.

He then enrolled at the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2016 with a general weighted average of 93.01 percent. He was given the Rector’s Award for being on top of the graduating class.

“UST has been known to be one of the best medical schools in the Philippines…and I guess I wanted to be a part of that legacy,” Dan said on why he chose UST instead of other medicine schools in the country.

Family of politicians

Gullas comes from a family of politicians in Cebu. First District Rep. Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. is his brother. Talisay City Mayor Eduardo “Eddie” Gullas, former representative and governor of Cebu during the Marcos regime, is his grandfather. Dan’s younger brother Eduardo “Digul” Gullas III was a councilor of Talisay.

Dan said he was not the type of person that would go into politics. His mother urged him to pursue medicine.

Gullas already has three sisters in the health profession. One brother is in politics. Another brother is in business, he said.

“Up until high school I didn’t know if I should go into business or medicine. My mom told me to try medicine and when I started studying it, I loved it,” Dan said.

DoTA player

Dan said that during his review for the medicine board exams, he devoted 12 hours a day to studying. His remaining hours were spent on resting or watching TV. Among his favorites are “Game of Thrones” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Occasionally, he plays online games like the popular “Defense of the Ancients” or DoTA.

Dan, who plans to take a residency in internal medicine, stressed that preparation for the board exams should not be limited to the review period.

“I think the best way to prepare for the [medicine] board exams is to start on day one of medical school. It’s something that you should’ve done during four years [of studying],” he said.

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