You’re probably here for one of two reasons:
1) you’re curious about the what-it’s-like in the medical career or
2) you know in your heart that you want to be a doctor in the future but don’t know where to start.
Whatever your reason is, this medical student checklist will be your ultimate guide in exploring the exciting path of becoming a doctor!
There are a lot of processes involved in preparing, applying, and finally being accepted to your dream medical school. However, you don’t have to be overwhelmed. Let’s answer your questions one by one.
Why should I pursue a medical career in the Philippines?
The Philippines currently experiences a shortage of licensed physicians. Based on the Philippine Medical Association, out of the 130,000 licensed physicians in the country, there are only 70,000 doctors who are active in their profession. Most of these doctors have either moved abroad to work there or are concentrated in the National Capital Region. Healthcare professionals will continue to be in demand here in the country, especially in far and isolated areas.
Healthcare professionals and other providers play a very delicate and crucial role in any person’s life. Being a doctor requires a lot of hard work and dedication to your craft. If you want to succeed in this profession, here are three of the most important things you need to prepare for:
- Course duration – Like what you’ve most probably heard of, pursuing a medical degree takes many years—4 to 5 years for a pre-med course, 4 years for a Doctor of Medicine degree, and 3 to 7 years for your residency program. The duration of the residency program also depends on which specialty in medicine (neurology, pediatrics, surgery, etc.) you will choose. Some specialties may take longer than the others.
- Working hours – Doctors don’t usually follow the regular 8 am to 5 pm working hours. Expect that you’ll be required to work beyond your schedule. You will typically be on call 24/7.
- Continuous learning – Medicine is an evolving industry. Every day, more and more breakthroughs are coming out. So you need to keep yourself updated on the different technologies and studies.
There are many pre-med courses that you can take if you want to be a doctor. Ideally, these courses should prepare you with the fundamental concepts of scientific processes. Biology, Biochemistry, Psychology, Physical Therapy, Medical Technology, Nursing, and Pharmacy are some of the most common undergraduate degrees that students take.
How will I find the right medical school for me?
Finding the right institution is important in any medical student’s checklist. The National Capital Region is home to many medical institutions such as the University of the Philippines – Manila and the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. If you are from the Visayas, there are lots of medical schools in Cebu that you can consider. Mindanao also has its own roster of medical schools that produce high-quality graduates and board exam passers. For a complete list of medical schools in the Philippines that offer medical courses, you can visit Edukasyon.ph.
You’ll need to have a hefty amount of budget if you want to be a doctor. The tuition for a medical school in the Philippines can range from Php 30,000 to Php 200,000. Before you can enter any medical school, you need to pass the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT). The NMAT registration fee costs Php 500 while the NMAT test fee is Php 1,400. Enrolling in an NMAT review center may range from Php 5,000 to Php 10,000 depending on the review center.
What are the medical scholarships in the Philippines?
Don’t have enough funds to support your education? Don’t worry. Going to your dream med school is still possible! There are many local institutions that offer medical scholarships in the Philippines. These scholarships will give you the chance to pursue your education without financial pressure. If you are from the Visayas region, good news! You can also find medical scholarships in Cebu.
What is the National Medical Assessment Test (NMAT)?
Another task in your medical student checklist is passing the National Medical Assessment Test (NMAT). NMAT is a standardized test designed to upgrade the selection of applicants seeking admission to medical schools in the Philippines. Every student in the country who is planning to enroll in a med school must take and pass this exam.
The NMAT consists of two parts: The first part tests your mental ability (verbal skills, inductive reasoning, quantitative skills, perceptual acuity) while the second part tests your academic proficiency (biology, physics, social science, and chemistry).
There is really a lot of work involved in pursuing a career in medicine. As a medical school student, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed as you undergo these processes. But just remember that every successful doctor has been in your place at some point. We hope this article answered some of your biggest questions about becoming a doctor.
Are you ready to start a job in the medical field? Or do you want to explore other careers? Visit Edukasyon.ph and browse through thousands of schools, courses, and scholarships that could be the right match for you!