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Q: What is the BS-MD Medical Degree Programme?
The BS-MD Medical Degree Programme is a medical programme that is jointly-developed by HCMI Education and our partner universities in the Philippines. It is a concurrent double-degree course in which students will be awarded two concurrent degrees upon graduation—the BS (Bachelor of Science) degree in Biology as well as the MD (Doctor of Medicine) degree.

Q: What is the MD degree? How different is it from the MBBS programme?
Traditionally, in countries which adopt the Commonwealth system of education, they use the term “MBBS” (Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery) for the medical degrees conferred to the medical students. As for countries which adopt the American system, they use the term “MD” (Doctor of Medicine). However, despite the difference in name, the level of qualification between the two are actually equivalent, and both will allow the holder of the degree to practise as GPs (General Practitioners) as long as the country they practise in recognises the university that confers the degree to them.

As for the issue of the word “surgery” being omitted from the “MD” title, as mentioned, the two degrees are actually the same thing. It is just that they use different names in different countries. The curriculum is very much the same; just that the order the lessons are conducted may be in a different sequence compared with the original MBBS course. In the developed countries, both qualify the holders as General Practitioners who are allowed to engage in minor surgery, in the strictest sense of the word “surgery”. Both also allow the holders to further upgrade by attending a post-graduate course and become medical specialists or surgeons.

For a better idea of how the degrees are actually very similar despite differences in title due to the peculiarities of the American vs Commonwealth system, consider the IELTS vs TOEFL, BS vs BSc, SAT vs GCSE, BA vs BBA etc. Despite the differences in name, all the above are generally considered mutual equivalents.

Q: What qualifications are needed to enter Medical Degree course?
All applicants must have completed the 10+2, Grade 12, or equivalent examinations, and scored 50 per cent or more in each of the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English.

Holders of a Bachelor of Science (BS/BSc) degree may also opt for the direct MD programme.

Q: Do I have to sit for an entrance level examination before taking the course?
No entrance level examination is required for the BS-MD course.

Q: What is the total duration of the course?
The BS-MD double-degree programme lasts for a total of 5.5 years.
This will consist of theory and laboratory/practical lessons. Towards the end of the programme, students will also undergo clinical rotations, in which they will be attached to selected hospital departments and treat live patients under the guidance and supervision of a practising doctor.

Q: Where will the clinical rotations be conducted?
The clinical rotations will be conducted in hospitals that are affiliated or associated with each university.

Top students in some of the Universities may also have the opportunity to perform their clinical rotations in overseas hospitals, including those in the USA.

Q: Is a stipend provided during the clinical rotation period?
No stipend will be paid during the clinical rotation period.

Q: What is the medium of instruction?
English is the medium of instruction for all the universities and English is widely spoken throughout the country. Students can communicate easily in English with the instructors, campus staff, locals, and even patients during the clinical rotations.

Q: What is the method of teaching?
The syllabus will be taught based on the US style of teaching.
The medical curriculum can be taught in many ways. Different learning methods suit different students, so diversity is supported among all our participating universities.

A wide range of teaching techniques are employed from traditional lectures and clinical attachments to problem based learning, small group work, clinical skills training, communication skills training and research projects. This will also ensure that students are exposed to a variety of working conditions and allow them to acquire different skill-sets which will be useful in their future careers.

Q: Which are the participating Universities?

  • Cagayan State University
  • Cebu Doctors’ University
  • Davao Medical School Foundation
  • Emilio Aguinaldo College
  • Our Lady of Fatima University
  • Ramon Magsaysay Technological University
  • Southwestern University
  • Tarlac State University
  • University of Northern Philippines
  • University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center
  • University of the Visayas

Q: Why choose a university in the Philippines?

  • Cutting edge curriculum
  • Integrated problem-based learning approach
  • English speaking country
  • Affordable tuition fees
  • Affordable living costs
  • Screening test preparation for the licensing examinations required by Medical Councils of the students’ home countries
  • USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) test preparation
  • Safe environment
  • Well established infrastructure in the universities and hospitals
  • Excellent boarding and lodging provided by the universities
  • International exposure
  • Located in the heart of Asia, with easy access to many parts of the world, especially Asia.

Q: Are the medical degrees from the Philippines Universities recognised worldwide?
Each country will have its own medical governing council or authority, which regulates the country’s healthcare standards and practices.

No matter where you do your degree, you will need to apply for registration with the appropriate country’s medical board and pass the licensing requirements before being allowed to practise medicine in that country. With the exception of selected local universities in the county, no foreign medical degree will entitle you to “automatic” recognition in any country.

However, our graduates are eligible to apply for licensing in places including the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, most parts of the European Union (EU) and many other parts of Asia.

Q: After completing the medical course, what is the career path for me?
There are a large number of specialty career paths in medicine, with over 50 career options available. Some of these options include becoming a surgeon, a general practitioner, a geneticist, a psychiatrist, a medical lecturer at medical school, a medical researcher, or a public health physician. However, some of these may require further training or education.

Upon graduation, you can utilize the services provided by our job matching division HCMII. Via this global recruitment network, you will be able to embark on a rewarding career as a medical professional in many parts of the world.

Alternatively, as our Universities are recognized by the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) in the United States, you can participate in the United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE) after graduation in order to practise in the United States. Other choices would include the regions listed above (previous question).

Q: Where will I stay when I get there?
Dormitory facilities are available at all our partner universities which offer high quality dormitories for both male and female students.

Upon request, HCMI Education will liaise with the respective schools to ensure boarding and lodging requirements are arranged prior to your arrival. This is one of the value-added services which we provide. However, the actual costs of accommodations will be borne by the student.

Alternatively, should the student decide not to stay in the hostels, there are other accommodations in vicinity (surrounding areas) of the school. HCMI Education can again assist in trying to source for suitable accommodations.

Q: Is there separate hostel accommodation for girls?
Yes, all of the universities provide separate dormitory facilities for females. Male and female students are housed in different areas.

Q: What about laundry facilities?
Laundry facilities are conveniently available at the hostels to allow students to do their own laundry.

Q: What are the facilities offered by the Universities for HCMI students in the international hostels?
The hostel is as per international standards in most of the international universities’ hostels. General facilities include: bed, study table, cupboard and fan (or air-conditioning, which will naturally come at a higher cost). The number of people sharing each room, as well as additional facilities will be dependent on the price that students are willing to pay. Bathrooms are usually attached. This is a general guideline. It may differ from university to university. Please check with the university that the student has enrolled in.

As is the common practice in most parts of the world, No pillow case, linens etc are provided. As such, students are required to bring those items themselves or to purchase them in the Philippines on the individual’s expense.

Please also be informed that for hostel facilities, HCMI Education does not operate the hostels, but merely acts as a facilitator to assist students in arranging for suitable accommodations according to the students’ needs and budgets as a value-added service. HCMI Education does not profit in any way from the hostel arrangements.

Q: Will the internet, library facilities be available at the universities to HCMI Education students?
Internet is available in the boarding facilities. The school library also has available terminals for usage. If the student has a laptop, he would need to purchase a data/network card to use the internet.

As for the library facilities, students also have access to textbooks and other reference materials.

Q: Is the canteen in the University open during the weekends?
Opening hours of canteen varies from university to university. Please check with the university that the student has enrolled. However, food is easily attainable in the vicinity of the campus even when canteens are closed.

Q: Who will make travel arrangements and bear the cost of the flight tickets?
HCMI can assist the students in obtaining the air tickets as well as other travel arrangements as a value-added service. However, the students will pay for the costs of travel themselves. Alternatively, the students can buy the ticket on their own if they prefer to make their own travel arrangements.

HCMI Education will organize an airport pickup to the university should HCMI Education be requested to assist in making travel arrangements for the student.

Q: Do I need a passport?
Yes, you should have a passport with at least 6 months’ validity at the time of applying for a Visa.

Q: When does the academic year start?
The start of the academic year differs among the Universities. Generally, Universities will commence their courses in the period in the fourth quarter of each year. Please consult an authorized HCMI employee or representative for advice on this.

Q: Will there be a local coordinator from HCMI Education inside the campus to assist me if I need help?
Each university will have its own student services office to provide students with support, counselling and guidance during the course of their degree. HCMI Education has also arranged for a coordinator in selected universities to assist the students and ensure their welfare.

There will also be an HCMI Education team in our Manila office to guide you and solve any of your problems which might require outside help.

Q: Can I come back to my home country during the holidays? What is the holiday period?
Yes, during the semester break, the student can make their way back to their home country for vacation. However, all costs involved are to be borne by the student

Please refer to the academic calendar from the individual universities for exact vacation dates.

Q: How is the Visa application procedure going to be like? Do I need to apply for a Visitors visa or Student visa?
The type of VISA issued will depend on when the student enrols into the course. This is because the Philippines embassy usually requires time to process the student visa. In general:

At least 10 weeks or more – Student VISA
Fewer than 10 weeks (Last minute registration) – Visitor Visa, which will then be converted to Student Visa after arrival in the Philippines. However this option is available only in certain countries. Please check with our HCMI friendly counsellors or representatives for details regarding this.

However, it should be noted that processing of the student visa from a student’s home country will require the applicant to present himself/herself at the Philippine embassy in the student’s home country. If the applicant does not wish to do so, he/she may then, subject to availability, acquire a visitor visa, which will later be converted to a student visa.

Q: Where can I take the medical tests needed for applying for Visa in my home country?
For the list of authorised clinics, please check with your local Philippine embassy. If the authorised clinics are not easily accessible, students may also consider taking the medical tests upon arrival in the Philippines. On request, HCMI Education will assist the student in this respect.

Q: For the authentication of education certificates from the Philippines Embassy, it is mandatory to first attest the certificates from the Home department of the concerned state from the Regional Authentication Centers. Is this done by the students or by HCMI Education?
This is to be done by the students themselves. If the student needs information on how this can be done, they can approach our friendly HCMI counsellors for assistance.

Q: Who will bear the costs of Visa processing fees and the fees for authentication?
The student will bear the costs for Visa processing fees and the fees for authentication. HCMI Education will facilitate and advise as a value-added service, but these extra costs paid to third parties have to be borne by the student.

Q: Regarding the purchase of medical books for study and reference and certain medical instruments and name plate, is it advantageous for the students to bring it over to the Philippines? Is there a Dress code which is followed in all the universities?
The students will bear the costs of the textbooks. However, the school library is an informative centre whereby students can find reference books and use the facilities available. It might be more advantageous to bring over your own dissection box, textbooks etc from the student’s home country as it might be cheaper. However, textbooks or study materials required are subjected to the requirements of the professors which are not under the control of HCMI Education. Please therefore confirm the exact materials which need to be bought with the professor before making purchases.

There is also a dress code for all doctor students. Students are usually expected to wear the Physician’s uniform to maintain an image of professionalism.

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