All you need to know about pursuing medical education in the Philippines

Philippines has been a sought after destination for Indian students wishing to pursue medical education since the past few years. Besides its affordable medical universities, bountiful natural resources, acceptance of English language, the country welcomes diversity like none other; the locals are extremely hospitable towards foreign tourists and students. In general, Filipinos are warm, cheerful people with a great sense of humour. According to Gallup’s index, the country is ranked among the happiest countries in the world. Pursuing MBBS or other higher education courses in Philippines is a wise decision. Philippines’ universities offer world class education in the fields of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, business and many more subjects. Indian students are seen keenly interested in some of the top medical universities in Philippines.

Medical education in Philippines is an easily workable option for Indian students for various reasons including similarities like homely and welcoming culture, affordable cost of living and tuition, compatible quality of education, state of the art infrastructure and advanced educational methods.

Some other aspects of Philippines' culture and higher education ecosystem that have been attracting international students in large numbers are: 

Language: Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. English is used everywhere in the country. Most billboards, road signs, newspapers, radios, groceries, market places, shopping centres, and education systems use English in their written and verbal communication. Feel free to read more about it in one of our articles - Language No Barrier in Philippines

Safety: An international student always searches for home away from home and it comes only with familiar culture, security and growth assurances. Philippines is considered a comparatively safe country; however, one needs to be aware of one’s environment anywhere around the globe at all times and the same simple rule applies with Philippines too. You cannot have your passports, personal IDs and all credit cards with you at all times. Whether it is Mumbai, Shanghai, Moscow, Mombasa, Sydney or New York pick pockets are found everywhere. Yes, their numbers increase or decrease depending on the city and the country you are in.  Philippines is by and large considered a very friendly, safe and welcoming country; its acceptance of diversity, different cultures and food have attracted tourist and international students from around the globe in large numbers. 

Eligibility: The current education system in Philippines requires four years of college level grades after high school to receive a bachelor’s degree. So on completion of 14 years they are admitted to MD course if he/she wishes to pursue medicine. An Indian student who has studied in India under 10+2 system therefore needs to do the BS course before enrolling for MD. However, some additional credits for the BS course are given for +2 which the Indian student has completed, and the remaining credits of the BS course need to be obtained during the three semesters before he is granted a BS degree. Thereafter, he is eligible for applying to an MD course. In short, an Indian student does a BS+MD course of 1.5 – 2 years approximately and 4 years respectively. The system is expected to ease out in the coming years as Philippines is also switching over to the 10+2 system. 

Universities: Philippines is becoming one of the finest medical education hubs in the world. Renowned institutes like AMA School of Medicine, Cebu Doctors’ University, De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Manila Central University, Our Lady of Fatima, University of Northern Philippines and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA are rapidly growing to attract more international students year after year.

Universities have great student resource centres, expat and alumni communities, students’ hostel with great meal plans including vegetarian and vegan options and in-room kitchenette facilities. Indian food is also made available in most universities. 

Quality of Education: Most educational institutes in India follow the British system and curriculum while education in Philippines is highly influenced by the American system and curriculum.  Here, the pass percentage is 75 percent - much higher unlike in India. However, private colleges here are still less expensive and affordable unlike in India. Also, there is no capitation fee for admissions which is an added advantage. Students should be aware of exams like NMAT before coming to Philippines, i.e. requirement for admission to core medicine (MD). 

Future Prospects: On completing MBBS from Philippines, medical students are eligible to practice in about 50 countries around the world. All they need is to   pass that country specific screening test. Graduates from major Philippines Universities are eligible to appear for USMLE opening doors to USA.  Medical graduates from these universities have distinguished future prospects and there is a huge demand for sincere, dedicated and trustworthy doctors to serve the mankind in today’s growing world.

Reading and believing is different from actually experiencing it, so secure your admission in a university of your choice to experience Philippines as a student; it will be the decision in your life that you will never regret. 

Authored by Prachi Soda, Business Manager at Just for Education - an educational consultancy exclusively for students aspiring to pursue MBBS in Philippines.