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Education System in Philippines

Education in the Philippines is managed and regulated by the Department of Education, commonly referred to as the DepEd in the country. The Department of Education controls the Philippine education system, including the curriculum used in schools and the allocation of funds. It also regulates the construction of schools and other educational facilities and the recruitment of teachers and staff.

Before Philippine Independence in 1946, the country's education system was patterned on the system of its colonial powers, Spain and the United States. However, after Philippine independence, its educational system changed radically.

 

Until 2011, the basic education system was composed of six years of elementary education starting at the age of 6, and four years of high school education starting at the age of 12. Further education was provided by technical or vocational schools, or in higher education institutions such as universities. Although the 1987 Constitution stated that elementary education was compulsory, this was never enforced. 

In 2011, the country started to transition from its old 10-year basic educational system to a K–12 educational system, as mandated by the Department of Education. The new 12-year system is now compulsory, along with the adoption of new curriculum for all schools. 

Education in Philippines is provided through non-formal as well as formal systems. The total number of years required for formal school in this island country is one of most less in the entire world. The education ladder in Philippines has a 6 + 4 + 4 structure. This is six years of completing elementary education, four years of completing secondary education and usually another 4 years to complete a bachelor’s program. The academic year for schools and universities in Philippines begins in June and concludes in March, spanning across 40 weeks.

Medical Education in Philippines

Medical education in the Philippines is principally offered, developed and accredited by government recognized medical schools in the country.

The Philippine medical schools are graduate schools offering the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. The M.D. is a four-year professional degree program which qualifies the degree holder to take the licensure exam for medical doctors in the Philippines.

Medical schools in the country are regulated by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippines, and accredited by the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges.

+2 passed out students should first apply for the Bachelor of Science associate degree as a pre medical qualification. The duration of the program is around 1.5 Years. Students with B Sc degree in programs related to medical sciences are also eligible to apply for the MD program.

After successful completion of the Associate BS program / B Sc, students are required to sit for NMAT (National Medical Admission Test) of Philippines. On qualifying the same, students enrol with the medical school for the MD program.

Philippine Medical Universities have three intakes a year: January / February, June and October / November. Students should apply at least 2 months prior to the course start date for successful admissions. The documents required for application are:

  • 10th std mark sheets and pass certificate
  • 12th std mark sheets and pass certificate
  • UG Mark Sheets and Certificate (If any)
  • Copy of passport
  • Financial Support

Career Opportunities for MD Graduates

Jobs for licensed Doctors (board exam passers)

Entry Level jobs: Jobs requiring no prior to minimal level of experience

  • Resident Physicians – also known as an intern, resident physicians work in hospitals under the supervision of the medical staff of the hospital and a senior doctor
  • Junior Physician in a private clinic – works as assistant to a more experienced doctor; assists in consultation and minor procedures and surgery
  • Company Doctor – a physician employed by a company; performs general physical assessment, prescribes basic remedies and treatments to employees
  • School Doctor – a physician employed to make periodic examinations to students.
  • Private Practice Doctors – licensed physicians who opt not to undergo residency training and create their own private clinics; usually the scope of practice is general.

Mid-Level Positions: Completed the residency training program and successfully acquired a field of specialization

  • A specialist at a government hospital – a medical doctor working as a specialist (ENT, Cardiologist, Endocrinologist, Gastroenterologist, Gynaecologist, Urologist, Paediatrician, etc).
  • A specialist at a private hospital – same as the above, but working in a private hospital
  • Private practice specialist – a doctor who works at a specialized private clinic. Examples can be an Ophthalmology clinic, a Cardiology clinic or a Gynaecologist.
  • Government Official – working in an administrative position in the Department of Health or similar government offices dealing with healthcare.

Advanced Positions: Require years of extensive experience and practice

  • Surgeon – a surgeon performs operations, related to different sub-specialties of medicine like general surgery, neurosurgery, cardiovascular, cardiothoracic surgery, ENT, maxilla-facial surgery, plastic surgery, oral surgery, transplant surgery, urology, etc.
  • Medical Consultant – provides a medical analysis of complex claims files ensuring that paperwork and the filing of medical claims follow compliance procedures established by government regulations and laws; monitors work capacity of employees or labour issues between the hospital and union, and in-charge of the overall working environment within a health care setting.
  • Hospital Administrator – oversees clinical units, departments or an entire hospital. These professionals manage personnel, finances and facility practices according to a distinct set of policies and procedures established by trustees. They keep abreast of new laws and regulations in the industry and advances in medicine and medical technology.
  • Senior Government Official – working in a senior administrative position in the Department of Health or similar government offices dealing with healthcare.

Jobs for Non Board Passers:

  • These jobs will mainly depend on the undergraduate course that one has finished. Most students who study medicine graduated with a degree in biology, medical technology, nursing or physical therapy; they may opt to practice those professions if they fail to pass the board examination for medicine.

Career Opportunities Abroad:

  • Filipino doctors are not in high demand abroad. However, there are many licensed Filipino doctors who aspire to work in other countries due to the much higher compensation abroad. To do this, Filipino doctors need to pass the relevant board exam of each country. Countries like the United States allow foreign doctors to practice the profession there. To be able to practice medicine in the United States you need a Certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). Through its program of certification, the ECFMG assesses the readiness of international medical graduates to enter US residency or fellowship programs. After ECFMG certification, physicians who wish to practice medicine in the U.S. must complete an accredited residency training program in the U.S. or Canada - this process will take at least three years. You also need to pass a state licensure examination before you can practice medicine.

Salary Levels:

  • The salary levels of physicians in the Philippines vary greatly. It will depend on your specialization, your skills and abilities, where you are employed and your years of experience. Generally speaking, salaries for licensed medical doctors are higher than the average salary in the Philippines.