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. 🙂


Let's keep the conversation going!

17 thoughts on “Steps To Become A Physician In The Philippines

  • Trev

    Nice day Doc Aura!! You’re one of my inspirations when it comes to Medical field. Can you answer the question I’m about to ask? “Can someone apply for scholarship or is there any scholarship for Med School?” I’m deeply curious about this kasi. Because ever since, I want to know all possible things that could help my parents. Thank you po.

  • Sophia Rohanne

    hi doc aura! advice naman po kung okay lang hehehe. medjo napepressure po ako sa kukunin kong premed course. sa plm ko na din po gusto sana mag premed.what to do??? hehehe

  • Rina

    actually STEM is not a track, rather it is a strand under the Academic track which is composed of 4 different strands namely: (ABM) Accountancy and Business Management, (Humms) Hummanities, (GAS) General Academic strand and lastly (STEM) Science Technology Engineering and Mathematices 🙂

  • Lana_Santiago

    You’re simplicity makes you stand out! You are such a good role model to other people ate Aura! No wonder why you are blessed 🙂
    Any hospital would be lucky to have you as their doctor. Beauty and Brains. Good luck on your medical journey!

  • MeredithGrey123

    *If only you have extra time
    *If you don’t mind
    *Its fine if you can’t respond (I understand the exhaustion of interns)

    Would you mind arranging these specialties according to the level of difficulty of entry to their respective residency programs? Based from your experience or from what you’ve heard, or from what you think na rin.

    *These are the four specialties that I’m interested in:
    General Surgery
    Ortho Surgery

    some of our seniors in are still unmatched. Some of them even graduated cum laude but still. I just want to get a bird’s eye view.

    Your response will be much appreciated.

    (Not related)

    You’re glowing! Can we expect a beauty regime/products you use blog anytime soon? haha.

  • Carmel Kho

    Hi po Doc Ate! 🙂 This upcoming school year mag gegrade 12 na po ako under STEM strand at meron nalang po akong 1 year to think ano ba talaga kukunin ko sa college. Ano ba magandang kunin pre med Doc? Thank you 🙂

    • Janmik Santos

      On the contrary, it doesn’t really matter all that much. You get familiarity with certain subjects but you lose in some. That applies for all premeds. Just do your best in medschool, acquire good study habits and don’t worry too much on whether or not you took the “right” premed.

    • Aliyah

      BS Medtech, the subjects in this course is all about hematology, anatomy & physiology, 7 chemistry (hahah, yes 7 chemistry!!!), pharmacology, microbiology, parasitology. Try to get a curriculum of BSMD and you’ll see for yourself how BSMT is one of the best premed. . Thats why im taking BSMedtech now as my premed.