Medical education is probably one of the most expensive courses in the Philippines. On average, especially if you are enrolled in private schools, one may spend Php 70,000 – Php 150,000 for tuition alone per semester. Miscellaneous fees, books, medical equipment and other school-related expenses may cost a student an additional Php 50,000 or more.
So this probably is the reason why most people think that medical education is expensive, that one can only afford of becoming a doctor only if his/her parents have millions to spend. In fact, when we were young and innocently quipped “I want to be a doctor someday” when asked what do we want to be in the future, some of our parents would discouragingly remark, “Di natin afford yan, Anak.”
Gratefully, options are available for students who could not “afford” medical education, i.e. the aid of scholarship programs for deserving students.
How to get medical scholarships in the Philippines?
1. Department of Health (DOH) Medical Scholarship Program. The scholarship will be given to deserving medical students who are willing to be deployed to far flung, disadvantaged and underserved areas after passing the board examination. The integrated approach aims to address the inequitable access to quality healthcare services prioritizing the depressed, hard to reach communities, and marginalized and vulnerable population of the country. The scholarship program is replacing the Pinoy MD scholarship program of the DOH in previous years.
Lawmakers are also pushing for the Medical Scholarship Act of 2016 which is “An Act Providing Medical Scholarships in State Universities and Colleges to Qualified Students and for other Purposes”.
2. Scholarship programs from various private schools. Some prominent private schools in the Philippines offer full and half scholarship grants to students who showed exemplary performance during their undergraduate studies. In the next articles, we will be posting a list of schools that offer scholarships for medical students.
3. Scholarship offered by state universities and colleges. Some state colleges and universities offer special grants to students. Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) for example, categorizes students based on their capacity to pay, their residency and voter’s status, and on merits such as Latin awardees.
4. Scholarship offered by local government units. Recently, Mt. Province has announced its Medical Doctors Scholarship Program through an ordinance enacted upon by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of the Mountain Province that establishes the said scholarship program. The scholarship program came up to address the shortage of doctors in its government-run hospitals for the past years.
To avail of these scholarship grants, coordinate with the DOH for the DOH Medical Scholarship Program, private schools, and state universities and colleges.