best medical schools for surgery in philippines

Last Updated on September 5, 2022 by

Looking to study medicine and want to focus on surgery? There are excellent programs in the Philippines that can help you achieve your dreams of becoming a skilled surgeon and satisfy the minimum local requirements for foreign students.

Studying in the Philippines can be a great choice for the combination of good-quality schools, cheap tuition, and overall quality of student life. The weather allows students to take full advantage of their time off, while the academic quality of the medical schools is considered to be top-notch.

The Philippines benefit from a combined heritage of Spanish and American style of teaching, from their colonial days before independence. It is a welcoming country for international students, and it is popular with foreign students from India as well as the US. Moreover, English is the main language of instruction, so there are no potential language barriers.

Let’s have a look at the top medical schools in the Philippines, ranked as of latest years’ overall board exam performance and student satisfaction.

You can also check out medical schools in the philippines with low tuition fees, philippine medical schools accredited in the us, top 10 medical schools in the philippines 2021, medical school rankings philippines, and a lot more in this article.

How much does it cost to study Medicine in the Philippines?

MBBS in Philippines 2022 - Low Fees for Indian Students

Depending on your country of origin, medical school is not expensive in the Philippines. Tuition at private schools can range from $1,600 to $5,620 in total. However, in public universities, the Philippines have passed a Free Tuition Fee Law which means you can study there completely free of charge.

How long does it take to complete a Medicine degree in the Philippines?

To become a doctor, you’ll need an M.D. degree (Doctor of Medicine). This takes five years of studying in the Philippines. Typically, the study program is split into three years of academic tuition, one year of clinical clerkship and one year of post-graduate internship. This sets you up with great experience before you obtain your M.D.

How do I Study Medicine in the Philippines?

To study medicine in the Philippines, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree as well as having all the required application documents. This process can be difficult, so we’ve prepared a guide on How to Study in the Philippines for International Students.

best medical schools for surgery in philippines

1. University of Santo Tomas, Manila – Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

The University of Santo Tomas is the oldest Catholic university in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It is also the largest university in the country and the medical school specifically was established in 1871 and is part of a Commission of Higher Education Center of Excellence. University of Santo Tomas, Manila Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is considered the best medical school in the Philippines. Many of its notable alumni have gone on to be significant historic figures in Philippines society, such as Jose Rizal, an ophthalmologist who is considered the country’s national hero.

To apply to study at UST, you will need to fill out the online form which asks international students to prove their academic results from undergraduate study, NMAT test scores, references, as well as photocopies of certificates referencing extra-curricular activities. Admission is quite competitive and you will also need to show that you are proficient in English (TOEFL and ESL results are accepted to this end).

2. University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Manila

After World War II, the University of the East slowly began to be built to develop a center for education of Filipino youth. It started out as the Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration, followed by other colleges gradually between 1946 and 1948. The Medical Center was eventually built after acquiring the building of the Instituto de Mujeres and the college of medicine was established in 1956.

This non-profit foundation respects the memory of President Ramon Magsaysay. This medical school in the Philippines is also part of the Centers of Excellence as awarded by the Commission on Higher Education in the Philippines.

With an innovative curriculum and high passing rates at the licensing exams for new doctors, the UERM College of Medicine is highly respected nationally and internationally. There is also a College of Nursing, of Physical Therapy, and of Allied Rehabilitation Sciences.

3. University of the Philippines, Manila – College of Medicine

As one of the oldest medical schools in the Philippines, the College of Medicine with the University of the Philippines has been operating since 1905. It has a claim to fame in that it continued to operate unchanged throughout the World Wars, and as a result, the then Dean of the College became the University of the Philippines’ overall President.

The medical school is a great place to train because it is affiliated directly with the Philippine General Hospital, which offers students an opportunity to have hands-on experience with patients during their instruction. There is also an inter-university joint collaboration system with cross-studies available with the College of Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Allied Medical Professions, and the National Training Center for the Health Professions, all based in Manila. A significant number of Philippine Secretaries of Health have graduated from here.

4. Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation

Dr. Nicanor Reyes, Sr., was the founder and first president of the Far Eastern University. He had plans for developing a world-class institute of medicine before World War II, but was unfortunately killed in battle. However, in 1952, the Institute of Medicine opened its gates within the Far Eastern University, bearing his name in his memory.

This Institute of Medicine also gets the Center of Excellence seal of approval and has consistently presented graduating classes with high-achieving medical students entering the profession. Based in Quezon City, the institute’s vision is ambitious, to be a world-class academic and training institution.

It offers students a Doctor of Medicine program alongside many other specializations such as Nursing and Physical Therapy. Student life takes an important place here too, with many activities and organizations present on campus.

5. De La Salle University – Health Science Institute

Established in 1979 in Dasmarinas, De La Salle University’s Health Science Institute offers an academic division as well as a teaching hospital and research facility. Much like the other Medical Institutes, it offers a range of study avenues beyond the Doctor of Medicine, such as Physical Therapy, Nursing etc.

In terms of Medicine, however, De La Salle University’s program also is an official member of the ASEAN University Network- Quality Assurance. This confers it authority in the whole group of ASEAN countries, which is worth noting.

To gain admission to this Filipino medical school, you have to present scores at the national exam – National Medical Admission Test. As a private university, costs of tuition are higher than those at a state institution, however scholarship options are available.

6. Cebu Institute of Medicine

Located in Cebu City, the Institute of Medicine is part of the bigger Velez College. Since 1957, the CIM delivers training to create “Physicians with a Heart” according to its motto.

They offer a first-rate medical degree along with research that has been conducted in collaboration with world-renowned institutions such as Cornell University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Pennsylvania State University, etc. Since 1996, the CIM enjoys the statute of Center of Excellence awarded by the Philippines Center for Higher Education.

7. St Luke’s College of Medicine – William H. Quasha Memorial

Next in our list of best medical schools in the Philippines is the College of Medicine at St Luke’s Medical Center. It was established in 1994 and offers medical students an intensive 5-year M.D. program including a hospital internship in St. Luke’s Medical Center as well.

It is based in Quezon City and covers five buildings alongside the hospital. With a small number of students (c. 500 maximum per year), the St Luke’s College of Medicine is an ideal place to have a great student / faculty ratio during your medical studies.

In order to gain admission, the NMAT results are required, however, students are encouraged to submit their application before taking the NMAT in order to ascertain that their current course of study meets all the preliminary requirements.

If you are an international student who has been educated in a language other than English, you’ll also need to take an English proficiency test.

8. Ateneo de Manila University School of Medicine and Public Health – Pasig

The Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health is a private Roman Catholic university, part of the University Ateneo de Manila. It is located in Pasig and has a partner hospital next door, The Medical City.

The latest Physician Licensure Examination in the Philippines places ASMPH on the top spot for its 100% passing rate, which is of course exceptional. Moreover, graduates have the option of studying for a joint MD-MBA degree with the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.

9. Saint Louis University-International School of Medicine

Based in Baguio, the Saint Louis University is also a private Catholic institution that offers a range of programs up to the post-graduate level, including the MD degree. Its International School of Medicine was founded in 1975, followed a year later by the opening of its partner hospital, the Saint Louis University-Hospital of the Sacred Heart.

10. Davao Medical School Foundation

The final medical school in the list of Philippines’ best medical schools is the Davao Medical School, which is based in Davao del Sur. It aims to support the development of doctors in rural communities, and especially in the urban centers of Mindanao.

Founded in 1976, the Medical School boasts a vast campus outside of Davao City, with students living in close proximity to a range of hospitals where they can do their practical training (Davao Medical Center, the Davao Doctors Hospital, and San Pedro Hospital, as well as Brokenshire Memorial Hospital). They are proud to welcome international students who have passed the NMAT and meet their admission requirements.

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1. Emilio Aguinaldo College – School of Medicine

The Emilio Aguinaldo College was founded in 1957, and it’s located in the heart of Manila. Widely known as the “Urban Oasis,” Emilio Aguinaldo College is the best medical school in the Philippines, offering a hands-on learning approach, with opened doors for international students and multicultural society.

The Medical School in the Emilio Aguinaldo College was officially established in 2001, and they have been growing ever since in the number of enrolling students as well as staff members. The medical schools here last for 4 years and by the end of it, students are granted MD (Medical Doctor) diplomas. There are many affiliate hospitals like Manila Med, Philippine General Hospital, Emilio Aguinaldo College Primary Care Clinic, and Birthing Facility, and others that will provide the necessary clinical education for students, and be a great opportunity for the internship program.

Diplomas acquired here are recognized worldwide, as the medical school has been granted the Government Recognition by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and they are an active member of the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges Foundation, Inc. (APMCFI).

2. University of Santo Tomas – Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

The University of Santo Tomas was established over 400 years ago in 1611, and it’s one of the biggest Catholic universities in the world. Their Medical School is the oldest one in the Philippines and it was formally opened in 1871 as the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

This top medical school in the Philippines had only 9 students when it first opened and they have gone a long way since then, changing and developing all the time. The medical education lasts for 4 years and it’s divided into three years of academic and one year of clinical studies in the University of Santo Tomas Hospital.

3. University of Cebu – School of Medicine

The University of Cebu was founded in 1964, and today it offers preschool, grade school, junior & senior high school, undergraduate degrees, and post-graduate degrees. Although the medical school here is much younger, founded in 2012, it’s still operating on well-established principles.

Being a younger school they are offering a more modern approach to education, with equipped research facilities and new technologies. Being a part of UC Medical Center this school will also provide clinical education for students by many top professionals in the Philippines.

4. University of the Philippines – College of Medicine

The University of the Philippines, one of the best medical schools in the Philippines, was established in 1908 and consists of eight constituent universities and 4 basic education schools. The College of Medicine was the first to open in 1905, in Manila and represents the oldest school in the University of the Philippines.

The medical school has an amazing affiliation with Philippine General Hospital, providing the students with the experience and internship possibilities. Many important people in the medical history of the Philippines finished from this university.

5. St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine

St Luke’s College of Medicine was established in 1994 and is located behind St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. They are offering an excellent 5-year program for medical students, of which years 1 to 3 are academic and theoretical, and years 4 and 5 are dedicated to junior and senior internships. This will enable the students to acquire the full benefits of preclinical and clinical education.

There is one thing to consider, in addition to passing the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) students who have been educated in a language that is not English have to pass the proficiency test also.

6. Davao Medical School Foundation

The Davao Medical School was established in 1976 and aims to educate doctors in rural communities. Operating in modern infrastructure and facilities, this medical school in the Philippines provides high-quality education along with clinical practice in one of five affiliate hospitals. They are more than welcoming to international students and offer some education materials like simulation mannequins and 3-D imagery dissection units that are rare in Philippine schools.

7. Far Eastern University – Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation

Far Eastern University was established in 1934, but the independent medical school was formally opened in 1952. Since then, they are promoting high standards for education, healthcare, and research.

The medical education that this leading medical school in the Philippines is offering lasts for 4 years. The first two years are pre-clinical and based on getting a good foundation for further education. The third and fourth years are clinical, where students are taught how to handle patients with empathy, how to navigate through diagnostics, and accommodate to family members.

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