Daily Archives: April 21, 2017


Steps To Become A Physician In The Philippines

How long does it take to be a doctor in the Philippines? I actually wrote about this topic a few years ago, and you can read that post HERE.

I also talk about that topic in this video.

For those of you who like to read, here’s a quick summary:

Most aspiring doctors start their journey as early as high school, especially in the new K-12 program wherein kids can choose the STEM track.

In college, one must finish any BS or BA degree and complete all the required science units for med school. Students also busy themselves with med school application and getting competitive scores in the NMAT during this time. 

After college graduation, you can take a gap year or go straight to med school. Med school in the Philippines is usually 4 years, the final year being “clerkship” or the year of clinical rotations. 

After med school graduation (usually in April), you get a diploma that says you’re officially an “MD” or a medical doctor, but you’re not allowed to practice yet. You still have to do one year of post-graduate internship in a hospital, unless your school requires you to stay in its own teaching hospital. 

Internship takes place from July 1 to June 30 the next year. Then there’s 2-3 months allotted for review, which is needed before taking the the September or March physician licensure exam

If and when you pass the boards, you can now work as a general practitioner, earn from “moonlight” gigs, take another gap year, or go straight to residency.

Pre-residency programs usually start in October, and if you get accepted, you officially start residency in January. That’s another 3-5 years of training to become specialized in a specific field like Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Dermatology, OB-Gyne, Ophthalmology, etcetera.   

After residency, you may subspecialize further by pursuing 2-3 years of fellowship. 

If you add all that up, that’s around 15 years! But like what they always say – the time will pass anyway. 🙂