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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.

Find schools offering Doctor of Medicine:

Reviews of Doctor of Medicine graduates:

L. B.
◈ Studied Doctor of Medicine
◈ At Divine Word University of Tacloban
◈ Graduated 1989

list bulletWhy did I choose Doctor of Medicine: I wanted to be a doctor and personally treat the sick and the old in my hometown in Tolosa, Leyte. It started as a child’s dream that grew stronger as I grew up upon seeing the poor conditions of the people in my own country.

list bulletAbout my college education: Studying medicine in this school, I learned so much about the quality of the medical facilities and the intricacies of the human body. The laboratory work related to human anatomy was very exciting. Chemistry was difficult. I had to take aspirin when my head aches. I did not fail any subject but I had to rest after the exams.

When I got married and had my first baby on my 4th year, I had more difficulties studying and taking care of my baby. I overcame this by praying and just doing what should be done. By the 5th year I was already adjusted to my burdens in school and in my house. I realized that having a baby was a greater inspiration and motivation to finish my course. My dream to give a better future to my child provided me the extra energy to double my efforts. This helped me graduate.

list bulletMy current job: I am now Municipal Health Officer equivalent to the Chief of the Medical Office of the Municipality of Tolosa, Province of Leyte. I am in charge of all the medical needs, supplies, programs, mission and training in the entire municipality

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: The training in the hospital as an Intern prior to the Board examination for Medicine was practical and it provided me the self-confidence in my present job and the actual practice in the hospital gave me the experience to become the Municipal Health Officer of my hometown of Tolosa, Leyte.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: After passing the Board Exams I was hired by the DWU Hospital in Tacloban City.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Doctor of Medicine: I dreamed to become a Doctor and to be of help to my community and my dream came true. I recommend this course to those who have similar objectives in their lives.

Of course salary for doctors are always one of highest in the country so though it may take a while to become a doctor, the wait and the hard work is definitely worth it as helping save lives by addressing medical needs of the people is a very fulfilling job.

list bulletAdvice to people who are thinking of studying this course: Medicine is one of the hardest and most expensive courses; it requires a lot of time, money, and effort. I was just lucky that my husband supported me financially and morally. I advise those who intend to take up this course to consider all the factors and requirements before enrolling. Once a students starts this course, he or she has to finish it to the very end.
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