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. 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, pharmacy, medical technology, biochemistry, microbiology, nursing, and physical therapy. In addition, a candidate must take the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT), the national entrance exam for all medical schools in the Philippines.
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.
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 Surgery, Philippine Specialty Board of Internal Medicine, Philippine Academy of Family Physicians Board of Examiners etc.). After specialization, the doctor may practice his field of specialty or pursue one to three years of subspecialty training/fellowship such as A) Pediatrics and internal medicine: cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, infectious disease, oncology etc. B) Surgery: thoracic and cardiovascular, pediatric, transplant, trauma, minimally invasive, oncology C) Anesthesiology: pain, cardiovascular D) OB-Gyn: oncology, ultrasound, reproductive endocrinology and infertility Straight programs for subspecialties are also offered: urology, orthopedics, plastic and reconstructive, neurosurgery