Medical education in the Philippines

Medical education in the Philippines

Medical education in the Philippines is principally offered and developed by accredited and government recognized medical schools in the country.

The Philippine medical schools are graduate schools offering the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. The M.D. is a four-year professional degree program which qualifies the degree holder to take the licensure exam for medical doctors in the Philippines.


Admission to medical schools

Before applying to any medical school, a candidate must earn a bachelor's degree with credits in certain required subjects. The most common pre-medical degrees include biology, psychology, medical technology, pharmacy, nursing, and physical therapy.[1]

In addition, a candidate must take and pass the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT), the national entrance exam for all medical schools in the Philippines.[1]

Professional medical degree

The Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) is a four-year professional degree program dealing with medical theories, practices, technologies, and problem solving.

The completion of the degree program with one-year postgraduate internship qualifies a candidate to take the licensure exam for medical doctors in the Philippines.[1]

Philippine medical schools

Medical schools in the country are regulated by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippines, and accredited by the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges.[1]

Outstanding (Center of Excellence) Philippine Medical Schools

The following are the largest top performing medical schools:[2]

List of APMC Accredited Philippine Medical Schools

Physicians' licensure examinations

The licensure exams for physicians (board exam for doctors) are administered by the Philippine Board of Medicine, a professional regulatory body under the general control and supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) of the Philippines.[1]

Advanced medical studies

After graduation from medical school and passing the board exam for doctors, a Filipino doctor is labelled as a general medical practitioner. He may seek further training by way of graduate programs in medicine (i.e., Master of Public Health, Master of Health Services Administration, etc.), or by way of medical specialization.[1]

Graduate medical programs

Graduate programs are offered in some medical schools in the country and abroad. Candidates usually attend lectures and practical exercises in an academic environment and in laboratory settings. The program may require the presentation and defense of a graduate-level thesis, an independent research project, or supervised professional practice as a final graduation requirement. The entire academic program may last from one year to five years, depending on the requirements of the curriculum; the demands of the institution; and the academic load, availability, and dedication of the individual student.[1]

Medical specialization

Medical specialization usually takes three to six years of residency training in accredited hospitals and clinics, and the taking of diplomate board examinations conducted by a board of medical specialists in a particular field (i.e., Philippine Board of Psychiatry, Philippine Board of Pediatrics, Philippine Board of Cardiology, Philippine Board of Pulmonology, Philippine Academy of Family Physicians Board of Examiners etc.).[1]

Medical practice

Medical practice in the Philippines is developed, monitored, and regulated by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), the largest organization of medical doctors in the country. Other medical and health societies co-exist to pursue more specific interests in the medical field (i.e. Philippine Academy of Family Physicians, Philippine Dermatological Society, Philippine Cancer Society, Philippine Pediatric Society, Philippine Association for the Study of Obesity, etc.).[3]

The Department of Health, a cabinet-level department under the Office of the President of the Philippines, exercises general monitoring supervisory powers over medical practitioners and allied health personnel in the Philippines.[4]

Notable Filipino doctors

  • José Rizal - the National Hero of the Philippines
  • Luisa "Loi" Estrada - former First Lady and Senator of the Philippines
  • Juan Flavier - former Health Secretary and Senator of the Philippines
  • Manuel Dayrit - former Health Secretary and Officer of the World Health Organization
  • Elenita Binay - former Makati City Mayor; spouse of former Makati City Mayor, Genuine Opposition President, and current Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay
  • Ramon Gustilo - Orthopedic surgeon; responsible for the commonly used Gustilo open fracture classification.[5]
  • Senen Reyes - the first and only Filipino Cosmonaut-Doctor[6]

See also

  • List of medical schools in the Philippines
  • Higher education in the Philippines


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Medical education, Professional Regulation Commission of the Philippines, 2007.
  2. ^ Statistical Data of Medical Board Exam Passing Rates, Professional Regulation Commission of the Philippines, 1998-2010
  3. ^ Allied organizations, Philippine Medical Association, 2007.
  4. ^ Public Information Office, Department of Health, Republic of the Philippines, 2007.
  5. ^ Rüedi, etc. all; Thomas P. Rüedi, Richard E. Buckley, Christopher G. Moran (2007). AO principles of fracture management, Volume 1. Thieme. p. Page 96. ISBN 3131174420. 
  6. ^ Beta Mu Sigma.


External links

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