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MBBS courses in Philippines are gaining significant popularity among aspiring medical students owing to its affordability factor that comes without compromising the quality of medical education. The education system is US based. English being the medium of instruction makes it even more appealing.The tropical climate and hence the disease conditions and occurrences are similar to India, which enhances the efficiency of the medicine students on par or even better than an Indian medicine graduate. There are good medical schools which are Christian missionary managed with own hospitals for teaching and internships, and are recognized and listed by WHO and Education Council for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) as approved medical schools which allow students to appear for the USMLE. On successful completion of medicine programme Indian students are eligible to appear for the MCI screening test ,clearing of which is mandatory for practicing as a Doctor in India

Santa Monica study abroad Pvt. Ltd with over 15 years of experience in overseas education facilitation is the Authorized Representative of some of the reputed Medical Universities/institutions in Philippines and can assist you in securing admission in these institutions


Quick Facts

  • Capital-Manila
  • Main cities – Manila, Quezon City, Budta, Davao
  • Language-Filipino
  • Curency-Philipine peso
  • Population-98.39 million
  • Telephone code-+63
  • Climate-Tropical


  • M.D degree is similar to MBBS degree and is recognized by Medical Council of India after passing a screening test.
  • Recognized by W.H.O, ECFMG.
  • No Entrance Test.
  • No Donation.
  • Follows American curriculum (MD-American System)
  • High quality education at economical fees.
  • Medium of instruction is English.
  • Eligible for USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) Part 1 after 2nd year of MD & Part 2 after 4th year of MD.
  • An MD holder from Philippines apart from practicing in India has the opportunity to continue his/her higher education and medical practice in USA/India.
  • Education gateway to countries like USA /Canada etc.
  • Tropical Climate Similar to that of India and hence similar disease conditions.
  • Quick Visa Processing time of 3 months.


For Indian students seeking to study medicine in Philippines, the duration of study is almost the same as studying in India . The degree earned is a Under Graduate Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. Before applying to a medical school, candidates must earn the pre-medical degrees known as Bachelor of Science in Biological Science (BSBS), with credits in relevant subjects. Students then have to undertake the NMAT (National Medical Admission Test) the entrance test for all medical schools in Philippines.

The professional medical degree, MD, is a four-year program which deals with medical theories, practices, technologies and problem solving. Students then have to undergo one-year postgraduate internship which qualifies them to take the licensure examination to practice as a doctor in Philippines. To practice in India, students have to undertake the specified examination prescribed by MCI.

Studies have shown that it is more affordable to study in Philippines with total tuition fee of approximately US$ 26000 (INR 16 Lakhs approx) and students can live a modest lifestyle by spending only US$350 to US$500 per month.


Philippines is officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is an island nation with a 100 million population, lies in the south-east Asia region. Official languages are English and Filipino .<br /> Capital – Manila <br /> Area – 3 lakhs sq km <br /> Currency – Peso (one peso is equivalent to Rs. 1.40) <br /> Major Religion – Christianity <br /> Time zone – UTC +8 means 2hrs 30 mnts ahead of India. When it is 6 am in India it is 8.30 am in the Philippines) <br /> International telephone calling code - ++63 <br /> Driving – right side <br /> Government – Presidential Constitutional Republic <br /> Climate – tropical

The country follows generally American system of education. Department of Education controls and manages education. From 2011 the education pattern is undergoing drastic change by adopting the K- 12 educational system from its earlier 10 year basic system (10 years in school and 4 years for under-graduation in college. As in India, 11th and 12th Grades are termed Senior High School. Higher education, conducted in College and Universities, is regulated by Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Based on the long tradition of integrity, untarnished reputation, commitment to excellence, sustainability and viability of operations, certain institutions are given autonomous status by CHED. As of now, 53 private colleges / universities have been granted autonomous status.

Accreditation is a quality assurance process. Voluntary accrediting agencies in the private sector are the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU), the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities' Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), and the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities Accrediting Association Inc. (ACSCU-AAI) which all operate under the umbrella of the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), which itself is the certifying agency authorized by CHED.

The foremost reason is that getting admission to medical schools in India is rather difficult and expensive. It is comparatively easier to grab a seat in the medical schools of the Philippines as many parents prefer sending their wards to nursing schools to fetch a job easily. The education in the Philippines is of good quality at par with international standards. 92% of the citizens speak English and teaching medium is English. Unlike in China or Russia students need not learn local language for years. Living standards are in tune with American standards, people have high cultural heritage, comparatively low living cost and safer place to live. Students undergo a high profile teaching methodology which makes them face any challenge in future life.

The Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree is a five year 4 mnths graduate program intended to teach students the essentials of being a Medical Doctor. The duration of the course (M.D.) in the Philippines is 4 years. The pre-med program of special B.S. Biology will take an extra duration of 15 months plus one month NMAT (described below separately) review. <br/> In the first year of MD, the subjects integrated in the curriculum are mainly composed of basic sciences such as Human Anatomy and Physiology, Biochemistry, Preventive Medicine, Community health, Psychiatry and Medical Practice I. The second year is spent studying fundamental concepts in Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Pharmacology, Medicine and Surgery, Psychiatry II and Medical Economics. During the third year of studying Medicine, students are taught subjects that deal with common diseases encountered in clinical practice, as well as interesting or rare conditions. The final year of the Doctor of Medicine program is spent in hospital duty.  <br/> The first two years of the Doctor of Medicine program are spent in class lectures delivered through computers using LCD projectors complemented by slide/ film showings, laboratory work and group discussions. In the third and fourth year, students begin to meet patients in actual hospital setting. Students are rotated in various hospital departments, spending up to two months in each department in the fields of internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics, and several weeks in other specialties under the supervision of a faculty. After each clinical duty, students undergo periodic evaluation to assess their performance.  <br/> The Doctor of Medicine program may require the presentation and defense of a graduate-level thesis, an independent research project, or supervised professional practice as a final graduation requirement

A comparatively low cost in terms of fees and other related expenses make people attracted to the Philippines to choose medical education there. There is no capitation/donation. Just for a total fee of around Rs. 16 lakhs one can acquire MD.

In the American study system under-graduate medical course is called Doctor of Medicine (MD) and in the British system it is called MBBS. Both are same in standards. The post-graduate program in medicine in American system is called Residency Program and it is MD or MS in British system.

In the Philippines students undergo 10 years in the School and 4 years later to obtain a B.S. (Bachelor of Science), similar to B Sc in India. The basic qualification for enrolment in a medical school for MD is B.S. (baccalaureate). The students who have done only 10+2 (higher secondary) education in India have to obtain a B.S. degree to get qualified for seeking admission in a medical school. Hence the +2 qualified students from India are given a 15 months program so that the program is termed as pre-med, unofficially. Hence a student who goes to the Philippines for medical education will come back with two under-graduate degrees; B.S. and M.D. The pre-med program provides a wide spectrum of exposure to various subjects helping them face the tough medical program with ease and confidence. The students get the American study environment and get exposed to international standards.

The pre-med or B.S. Biology is 15 months and M.D. is four years. Medical education in China is 6 years but one cannot acquire two degrees as in the Philippines in that period.

Anyone going from India to study medicine abroad should have passed plus two with a minimum of 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. This is to satisfy the rules of the Medical Council of India. In the Filipino context, the basic qualification to join a medical school is graduation (B.S. Biology, B.S. Medical Technology, B.S. Nursing, B.S. Pharmacy, B.S. Physical Therapy, B.S. Public Health) with an NMAT (National Medical Admission Test) score above the cut-off percentage fixed by each medical school. Normally this cut off is 40%.

The National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) is a nationwide examination required for the entrance to any medical school in the Philippines. It is sometimes considered as a MCAT equivalent, which is held in the United States. The test consists of Part I & Part II. Part I is a 200-item test with four subdivisions, which are on Verbal, Inductive Reasoning, Quantitative and Perceptual Acuity Skills and is a three-hour exam. Part II is a two-hour-30-minute test in the field of Basic Sciences such as Biology, Physics, Social Sciences and Chemistry, all of which form 200 items. Qualified test takers are graduates and graduating students of degree programs. <br/> NMAT is conducted twice in a year, February/March and November/December. NMAT is conducted by Centre for Educational Measurement, Inc. Those who are undergoing B.S. Biology can also appear for this even before passing out. There is no rank list prepared for admission as it is done in the case of medical entrance examination done in India. Instead a scoring is given which is reckoned for qualifying admission to a medical school. Many of the schools keep a cut-off score of 40% in NMAT; means one who gets a score of 35% will not be admitted into that medical school. Students from India who have passed out +2 grade and undergoing pre-med program (Special B.S. Biology of 15 months) will get two chances of appearing NMAT while they undergo the program. Mostly, an average student from India can easily pass through NMAT with a score more than 40%.

This is a requirement for obtaining admission in a medical school in the Philippines. This certificate issued by CHED by payment of a fee of PHP 80 along with the prescribed application form, letter of acceptance of medical school, NMAT score sheet, Transcript of records and photocopy of passport. University officials will help obtaining this certificate. Please remember that the students going from India to the Philippines need not worry about this certificate in the first year. This is required only in the second year when they are formally inducted into the medical school for M.D.

The Medical Council of India is the government authority who regulates medical education in India and keeps the registry of medical practitioners. They dictate norms for medical practice within the country. Those who qualify medical course abroad and come back to India for practice shall qualify a screening test which makes them eligible to register as a doctor in India. The major condition for taking up the screening test is that the student who underwent medical education abroad should have undergone the primary medical education of the country where they did their medical studies. Otherwise, they should not have done an exclusive programme for foreign students. The course they underwent shall be the same for the citizens of that country as well. Another criterion is that the name of the medical school shall appear either in the list of MCI (MCI is not maintaining this list after 2002 March) or WHO directory. In case the medical school being a newly opened one and not yet time to appear in the WHO Directory, the Indian Embassy in the foreign country shall make a certification stating that the medical school under review is conducting the primary medical education of that country and is recognized by appropriate authorities. <br/> After getting qualified in a Screening Test only that a graduate from a foreign country is allowed to proceed for Internship or practice in India.<br/> Until 2010, students going abroad for medical studies were required to obtain an Eligibility Certificate before proceeding to the foreign country. But from 2010, vide a circular dated 7.10.2010 (order 11 of 2010) this stipulation has been taken away.

Santamonica Study Abroad (SM) is the only authorized representative of St Paul University Philippines (SPUP), Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Valley, Philippines. SM represents the whole of South Asia which includes the countries India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bhutan and countries in the Middle East. The students from these countries/region can join the SPUP only through Santa Monica. This honour is bestowed on SM by SPUP on the basis of the long term credibility the former holds in the field of education abroad. The South Asia Regional Office of the SPUP is functioning in the premises of Santa Monica Study Abroad Kochi office in Layam Road. It was inaugurated by non other than the President of the University, Sister Merceditas.

Tueguegarao city is in the Cagayan Valley which is on the north-east part of northern Philippines forming part of Luzon region. The city is surrounded by scenic places with hills and rivers with moderate climate and modern facilities. Throughout the Philippines all cities and towns are almost a replica of United States with modern shopping malls and similar indications of development. Even night life is safer than that of many parts of India. Medical facilities available even inside the campus of the medical school The people are culturally forward and gentle. Filipino culture is world famous and that is the reason why Filipino people are preferred over any other citizens in the job market. It is not very expensive to stay in this town in comparison to the magnitude of facilities available. Transportation within the town is normally done by Taxis, Jeepeny or tricycle. There are long distance air-conditioned bus services to almost all parts of the Luzon region. Bus fare is almost similar to that of India. Unlike in India, women can travel safely in the Philippines. Women dominate in almost all fields. Filipinos are famous for their cleanliness. Roads are litter-free and toilet facilities (Comfort Room) are available throughout. People are very kind and gentle and mostly speak English in addition to the local language. Tagalog is the national language along with English but different regions have their own local dialect. English is widely used. People widely use cell phone (CP) and do texting (SMS) mostly rather than voice.

There are minor tremors occurring then and there occasionally but of no concern of normal life there. Buildings are constructed in such a way as to resist the worst eventualities. The casualties that we hear through media are really happening in slum areas, mountain slopes where comparatively poor people stay in unsafe mud houses or shackles. The standards under which the international students are accommodated are no way near to danger. Similarly, a rain last more than an hour in Kerala will keep many places flooded and lots damages occur. Even many parts of the capital city of Trivandrum get submerged in flood. But these eventualities never affect us while considering going to settle in Trivandrum or Kerala. It is always not appreciable to get distressed with media reports. Food is good in terms of nutritional values. Rice is their staple food. Fish, chicken, pork, vegetables, etc are available everywhere. Filipinos give much importance to food and cherish eating; but in a moderate way. Throughout the country, restaurants like KFC, McDonalds, Subway, Jollibee, etc are keeping their presence. It is a common scene throughout the streets in the town to have food courts spread across.

There are regular flights from Kochi to Malaysia or Singapore taking four hours time. Connection flights are available to Manila from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore which takes about 3 hours 30 minutes. Manila to Tuguegarao takes another one hour. Lay over time is extra. Students take students visa (9f) before proceeding to the Philippines. Subsequent renewal and other related processes can be done in the Bureau of Immigration offices spread across the country. Visit visa (9a) can be obtained from the Philippine Consulate in Chennai.

It depends on which airline is selected. In budget airlines like Air Asia or Tiger Airways, only 20 kgs is permitted. But for an extra payment, luggage weight can be hiked. Hand baggage is generally 7 kgs. Further on this can be discussed with concerned staff in Santa Monica while reservation is made.

Generally, November mid week.

Students are given accommodation in the hostel inside the University campus with air-conditioned. Separate HOSTEL for boys and girls. Food, prepared hygienically in modern kitchen is served at the hostel dining room. Rice, chicken, vegetables, etc are available. Laundry facility is available in the hostel. Internet and such other facilities are available in the hostel.

Annual vacation of 1 month is provided and students can go back home and return before school opening. Santa Monica will give logistic support for their transfers. Even during vacation period, students are advised to put their mind into studies as medical education is quite tough in terms of volume of syllabus

In medical education, a clerkship, or rotation, refers of medicine by medical students (M.D. or D.O.) during their final year(s) of study. Traditionally, the first half of medical school trains students in the classroom setting, and the second half takes place in a teaching hospital. Clerkships give students experiences in all parts of the hospital setting, including the operating room, emergency department, and various other departments that allow learning by viewing and doing. During this training, students are required to rotate through different medical specialties and treat patients under the supervision of physicians. <br/> Internship is job training performed after graduation. It is generally called as House Surgency in India and Residency in US. The students undergoing medical education in the Philippines will have clerkship done on the third year whereas internship is done after graduation in the fifth year. Immediately after graduation, the students are transferred to India to enable them to appear the Screening Test. After successful completion of the screening test, medical council will provide a temporary registration. Based on this registration the students can approach approved hospitals for doing internship. General Hospitals and many other hospitals in Kerala come under this category. After finishing the internship successfully, they can obtain permanent registration in a State where they intend to practice as a doctor.

It is the short form of United State Medical Licensing Examination which is a multi-part professional exam sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Physicians with an M.D. degree are required to pass this examination before being permitted to practice medicine in the United States. USMLE Step 1&2 examination can be written while undergoing MD in the Philippines.

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 ( information) The authentication process is called the "Red Ribbon' process. After this procedure is complete, the certificates have to be presented in original to the Indian Embassy for further counter attestation. Once you arrive in India, copies of documents are submitted to state MCI's who subsequently send it to the Embassy again by post for re-verification.

Kindly approach a scheduled bank in your residential area. Based on their advise to bring relevant documents, please inform us to provide the Offer letter from the University or such other document to fulfill the loan application requirements. Foreign education loan requires submission of collateral security, in addition to the parental co- obligation. Websites of all banks give detailed description on educational loan. Our helpdesk supports your endeavor to obtain loan.

Yes, of course. The orientation programme is conducted just before proceeding to the Philippines. A similar kind of orientation is imparted at the University before commencement of the course.


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