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Doctor of Medicine in the Philippines

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Program Overview

The Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree is a five-year graduate program intended to teach students the essentials of being a Medical Doctor. The program consists of three years of academic instruction, one year of clinical clerkship and one year of post-graduate internship. 

In the first year, the subjects integrated in the curriculum are mainly composed of basic sciences such as Human Anatomy and Physiology, Biochemistry, Preventive Medicine, Community Health, Psychiatry and Medical Practice I. The second year is spent studying fundamental concepts in Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Pharmacology, Medicine and Surgery, Psychiatry II and Medical Economics. During the third year of studying Medicine, students are taught subjects that deal with common diseases encountered in clinical practice, as well as interesting or rare conditions. The pathophysiology, clinical features, diagnostic approaches and the management of these diseases are also given emphasis. The final year of the Doctor of Medicine program is spent on hospital duty. 

The first two years of the Doctor of Medicine program are spent in class lectures delivered through computers using LCD projectors complemented by slide/ film showings, laboratory work, and group discussions. In the third and fourth years, students begin to meet patients in an actual hospital setting. Students are rotated in various hospital departments, spending up to two months in each department in the fields of internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics, and several weeks in other specialties under the supervision of a faculty. After each clinical duty, students undergo periodic evaluations to assess their performance. 

Recommended Undergraduate Program

Students who wish to pursue the Doctor of Medicine program should have a pre-medicine undergraduate degree.  However, students who do not hold an undergraduate program in those fields but still wish to pursue the program are required to take a preparatory medical course by the Board of Medical Education before they can proceed to the M.D. program. These applicants must complete the number of years designated for the preparatory course. Once the applicant completes the course, the Board of Medical Education will issue a certificate of eligibility permitting the applicant to proceed to the Doctor of Medicine program.

Subjects and Curriculum

  • Anatomy and Physiology

  • Biochemistry

  • Community Health

  • Psychiatry and Medical Practice

  • Preventive Medicine

  • Pathology

  • Microbiology and Parasitology

  • Pharmacology

  • Medicine and Surgery

Admission Requirements


  • The student must have an undergraduate degree relevant to the program

  • The student must pass the Graduate Admissions Test of the university

  • The student must pass the National Medical Admissions Test (NMAT)

Basic Requirements

  • Undergraduate Transcript of records (Original and Photocopy)

  • Recommendation letters from former professors, deans, or colleagues

  • Letter of intent

  • Most recent medical and dental health record

  • Copy of NSO Certified birth certificate

  • Copy of undergraduate diploma

  • (1) Latest 2”x2”ID Picture

Areas of Specialization

  • Family Practice

  • Internal Medicine

  • Emergency Medicine

  • Pediatrics

  • Obstetrics-gynecology

  • Orthopedic

  • General Surgery

  • Psychiatry

Program Outcome

Graduates of the M.D. program are expected to be able to:

  • Competently manage clinical conditions of all patients in various settings

  • Initiate planning, organizing, implementation, and evaluation of programs and health facilities

  • Effectively work in teams in managing patients, institutions, projects, and similar situations

  • Adhere to national and international codes of conduct and legal standards that govern the profession

  • Abide by the principles of relevance, equity, quality, and cost-effectiveness in the delivery of healthcare to patients, families, and communities

Board Exam

To be a full-fledged medical doctor in the Philippines, a graduate of the M.D. program needs to pass the Philippine Physician’s Licensure Examination conducted by The Board of Medicine under the supervision of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). 

After passing the Licensure Exam, graduates are eligible to enter the Residency Training Program in their field of specialization. The Residency training program in the Philippines is regulated by their respective Medical Societies: Philippine Board of Psychiatry, Philippine Board of Pediatrics, Philippine Board of Cardiology, Philippine Academy of Family Physicians, etc. Each society has created an Accreditation Committee/Board whose goal is to assure the delivery of the highest quality medical care by implementing a structured residency program and a standard curriculum in order to ensure the competence of those undergoing training in different fields of specialization in the different training institutions nationwide

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the M.D. program may pursue a career path in public and private medical facilities, educational institutions, government agencies, and private sectors  They may apply as a company doctor, school doctor, resident physician, or a private practice doctor.

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Reviews of Doctor of Medicine graduates:

list bulletAbout my college education: Taking up Medicine or becoming a doctor for me first and foremost is a calling. If you are called to become a doctor, no matter what happens, you will become one. It is such a hard course that will test its student to their limits physically, mentally and emotionally. The first three years are purely academic, you have to read a lot and memorize a lot. The last year was the baptism of fire wherein you have to endure one year of rotating duties on different departments in different hospitals. Here, doctors are tested and made. It brings out the best and worse qualities one has and those who endure will be awarded with the coveted MD insignia after their name.

Is it interesting: Let me put it this way, you get to study the best creation. human life! And yes, once you graduate (although studying never stops at graduation) , you become partaker or should I say instrument of God's healing. Isn't that interesting?
It is difficult. You have to read a lot, memorize a lot and sacrifice a lot of time with family and friends and even love ones. Just thinking of being able to help alleviate pain and disease of other people will already give joy to your heart. That alone makes it enjoyable. You handle life itself. Although Medicine is never an exact science, thinking that you hold the other person's health (or life) in your hand, makes you want do everything you can; there lies the challenge.

What skills are required to succeed as a student of this course:
It's always a false belief that one needs to be intelligent to become a doctor. Well, being intelligent is a plus, but I believe that the study of medicine is never a test of intelligence, but of character. It will test your core to the limits and if you are feeble or a person with no character, you will not survive. Skills are always honed I believe, but it will help a lot if you have the basic skills in writing and computer specially during the first 3 years. Analytical skill and interpersonal skills are so important in the last year (clerkship) since you'll start dealing with actual patient and with other people in the hospital. All skills though that you will show is a reflection of your character.

After graduation, Doctor of Medicine graduates have to undergo one year of Post Graduate Internship in a hospital to be able to take the Licensure examination after. So after passing the board exam, you have your license to practice Medicine or go further training to your field of specialization.

list bulletMy current job: I am currently reviewing for the Physician Licensure Examination provided by the school itself. The school has an in-house review for it's graduate to ensure that they do not only produce graduates, but professionals.

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: From time to time I go on duty in a hospital Emergency Room while reviewing for my Licensure exam. Everything I learned from the academic year up to the clinical year are useful in my practice. The academic year provided the basic, fundamental knowledge I need to be able to diagnose while the clinical years are useful in the application of my practice.

The training imparts in you compassion needed to take care of the sick. It enables you to practice due diligence in treating patients.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Doctor of Medicine: As mentioned earlier, becoming a doctor is a calling. For those who feel they are called to become one, I am encouraging them because it is such a fulfilling job. You become an instrument to God's mercy and healing. Yes, the compensation is there, but at the end of the day, when you are able to help someone to become more healthy, that's the real compensation.
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