Frequently Asked Questions
Saint Paul University (School of Medicine)
Medical Education or MBBS in the Philippines is one of the BEST in the World. The high quality of education is attested by the fact that Philippines is the highest exporter of Nurses and Doctors to the USA. Consequently the Philippines have one of the best education systems in Asia. MBBS in Philippines is called the MD Program (Doctor of Medicine). This is equal to the MD in USA, MBBS Degree in UK, MBBS in India, MBBS in Australia, MD in Germany, and MD in Canada. The Degree is recognized as equal to MBBS in India by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
What is the total duration of this course?
The total duration of the Medical, MD or MBBS course is five years and six months. While the first 16 months is a Bachelors program and focuses on building foundation for a strong medical education. The rest of the period is for core medicine studies and clinical rotation. The post-graduation or Residency training is for 3 years (similar to that of USA).
What is the medium of teaching in the Philippines?
Being an American colony for 50 years, English is the official language for Government, Communication in day to day living and all other affairs. All the universities have English as the medium of instruction.
How do I know which are the recognized medical schools to apply in the Philippines?
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), which is the nodal agency looking after higher education, publishes the list of medical schools recognized by them, both state run and private.
Can I be admitted to the medical course after I complete my 10+2 in India?
All students who pass out 12th grade from India have to enroll for BS course (degree course) which runs for about three semesters (about one and half years to two years- depending upon how you attain the credits) before they are eligible to take the NMAT test and enroll for MD course. The BS course is basically a degree course mandatory for getting admission to MD course. Only once you undergo the BS course and get through the NMAT exam, you are admitted to the MD course (MBBS).
Do I need to score high in NMAT exams to be able to enroll into MD course?
Scoring high in NMAT exams is just one of the few qualifications you have to meet in order to get into MD course. NMAT exams are conducted twice a year so there is always a chance for repeat exam takers.
Why do I need to do a BS course before joining the MD course?
In the Philippines, the present education system for their nationals is 10+4 where the school education finishes after ten followed by a BS course for four years which is a degree course. After 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. Some additional credits for the BS course are given for +2 which the Indian student has done and the remaining credits of the BS course have to obtained during the three semesters before he is granted a BS degree. Only then he will be eligible for MD course. In short an Indian student does a BS+MD course of 1.5- 2 years approximately and 4 years respectively.
Is BS course part of MD?
BS course is mandatory for joining MD but is NOT part of medicine course.
Are the medical institutions in the Philippines recognized by MCI?
Medical institutions in the Philippines are recognized by their own nodal agency which is the Commission on Higher Education or CHED. With regards to MCI, the screening regulations mention the procedure for students who have pursued medical degrees abroad.
What are the formalities I should do after I complete my medical degree?
After you complete your degree, the first thing is to authenticate the educational documents through your college, CHED, Consular wing of Department of Foreign Affairs, republic of the Philippines. The authentication process is called “Red Ribbon” process. After completing this procedure, the certificates have to be presented in original to the Indian Embassy for further counter attestation. Once you arrive in India, copies of the documents are submitted to state MCI’s who subsequently send it to the Embassy again by post for re-verification.
How many days is the vacation period? Can a student come home during the holidays?
The vacation period is of 6-8 weeks in summer- students can go home.
Whether the university will refund the fees in case the admission is cancelled?
Once the student reports to the university and joins the same, the University regrets its inability to refund any part of the educational fees and other expenses paid by the student.
What is the cost of living in Philippines?
Between US $200 to 300 per month depending on your spending habits.
What could be the other expenses while staying in the Philippines?
Entertainment in Philippines is generally inexpensive. Transportation options include the public bus (which costs less than 20 pesos per ride) while a taxi starts at 30-40 cents/km.
What do I need to bring with me from home?
You can buy almost any product and brand that you would find at home. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. are all readily available. We recommend that you bring any prescription medication in sufficient quantities to last for the duration of your visit and any preferred brands of over-the-counter medications (cold & flu tablets, etc.) and clothes for tropical weather. Clothing is plentiful and very inexpensive. Shoes are available, but larger sizes are hard to find.
How can I get or exchange money while I am in Philippines?
You may bring money with you in the form of cash or travel card. ATM machines are available in banks, or cash advances can be drawn over the counter at most large banks for a transaction charge. Major hotels and most fine restaurants and stores now accept credit cards. Students enrolling for longer courses can open a bank account through the local bank on campus or down town and transfer funds from accounts in their home country.
What vaccinations do I need for Philippines?
The following vaccinations and applicable frequencies are recommended for students coming to Philippines: Hepatitis A (within previous 10 years); Hepatitis B (within previous 5 to 10 years), Japanese B Encephalitis (within previous 3 years); Tetanus (within previous 10 years); Polio (within previous 10 years); and Typhoid (once in lifetime). Students 55 and older should also have a Pneumococcal Vaccine.
What is the voltage used in the Philippines?
Voltage is 220. Converters and power strips may be purchased locally.
After completion of Primary Medical Education in the Philippines (MD), are they eligible to do specialization in the Philippines right after their MD?
No. First, they need to come back to India and clear the MCI screening test after completion of their MD in the Philippines. Without passing it, they won't become eligible for further studies in India and even for practice. As per MCI rules, they need to do one year internship in any MCI-recognized hospitals to get their Permanent Registration No. The same documents they have to submit to Philippines to be able to do their PG.
Is there any special entrance examination for PG programs in the Philippines for foreigners?
No. The Philippine Licensure Examination (PLE) is only available for citizens of the Philippines. In the case of Indian students who did their MD in the Philippines, have cleared MCI screening test, did their one year internship in India and secured their permanent registration no. from MCI, they need NOT take the PLE exam anymore. Using these documents they can apply for PG in the Philippines.
How many years is the duration of PG program? How much is the fees?
Depending on their chosen area of specialization, duration of the PG program will be between 2-5 years.
Depending on the field of specialization, PG program costs approximately 5000 USD-6000 USD per annum.
Is Philippine PG Program recognized in India?
No; only PG program of 5 English-speaking countries namely, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and UK. But the advantage is that after completion of PG Program in the Philippines, they can do minimum 6 months of fellowship ONLY in any of the 5 English-speaking countries, and then they will be eligible to practice in India.
Are they eligible to do PG in any other countries?
Yes, provided they write and pass the country’s respective Board Medical Licensure exams.