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Considering Becoming A Doctor? Here’s A Guide For Aspiring Future Doctors


Graduations have come and gone for most schools in the Philippines, and there’s a crop of students who are on the last leg of their Med School applications. In fact, some may be able to catch up to the application process, as some Med School applicants back out and change schools, or choose to skip Med altogether. As an aspiring future doctor, how can you be more strategic and purpose-filled in your quest to take your first step in getting your MD?


1. Soul-search. One of the things that graduates of top Philippine high schools and colleges grill their peers with, when some of them blurt out that they want to become doctors is: “Do YOU really want to become a doctor?” Let’s face the fact that Filipino parents (yes, you existing licensed physicians included) would do anything to see their kids become doctors or lawyers. And so, you, as an aspiring future doctor MUST know, without a doubt, that YOU want this. A very prominent example of a high-achieving licensed doctor who decided that being an MD is not for her is Dr. Stef dela Cruz. Her piece, When You No Longer Want To Be A Doctor,” might get you started on pondering how sure you are about the life-path.

2. Find the Med Schools that are still open and accepting applicants. Around this time of the year, some schools, like Silliman University Medical School, are still actively accepting applications. According to the school’s brochure, the deadline of applications is on the 30th of April every year. By May, they will open the slots for the waitlisted applicants, and will be accepting the best of the remaining applicants.

3. Check your NMAT score, and your college grades.

a. The top schools such as the UP College of Medicine, the West Visayas State University (WVSU) College of Medicine, would require an NMAT score of over 90 percentile. While UPCM explicitly states the score in its brochure, and WVSU states a percentile rank of 60 on its website, in reality, these and other top med schools such as UERMMC and UST require NMAT percentile ranks of 95 and up. This is because competition is fierce in these schools, and so, they only get the top students.

b. College Grades: Most medical schools will accept college grades of 85% and above. This may translate to an average of 2.0 for the 1.0 (highest) to 5.0 (lowest) scale, 3.0 for the 4 (highest) to 0 (lowest) scale, or B for the letter grade system.

c. If your college grades or NMAT score fall short of the standards of the top schools, explore other options such as:

i. Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Medicine. The PLM is a good government-run medical school, and accepts applicants with an NMAT score of 45 and above. You may go through this list of PLM Admission resources to learn more. 

ii. Mindanao State University College of Medicine. While it is pretty intimidating to move to Southern Mindanao in order to get into a good Medical School, the MSU College of Medicine has an NMAT score cut off of only 50 percentile. Apply early, and wait even until the first to third week of June, and you may just get in. For a list of webpages with more information on how to get into MSU’s College of Medicine, go to this list.

iii. AMA School of Medicine. The AMA School of Medicine is a top pick for aspiring doctors from other countries. AMA positioned their school as a prime option for students from India, so if your NMAT score is 40 and above, and your grades are above passing (50% and above), you’ll qualify. Visit the AMASOM website as well as this list for more information.

4. After you apply and as you await your application results, prepare yourself emotionally for the life that awaits you. Dr. Stef dela Cruz also has a post about the facts of life in medical school and medicine, the industry. While it’s truly a sobering piece, it will emotionally prepare you for what’s ahead. Also join student doctor and medical student forums, so that you can learn about insider information about the medical schools around the Philippines.


Medical school, and the practice of medicine is no doubt, a rewarding pursuit. With how there is a dire need for more doctors in the Philippines, and how it is a field that allows you to make the most impact for other humans, there is no doubt that the time to become a Filipino doctor is now.

Ascertain that it is your dream, then work hard, persevere past the challenges, and when you get there, know that you are helping our country, every step of the way.

For more information on other Medical Schools in the Philippines, here is a great blog post about that.




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