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Philippine College Scholarships: The Pinoy MD Scholarship

A wise person once told me that “we esteem lightly what we obtain easily.” In other words, people tend to place greater value on things they work hard for. This holds true for any worthwhile endeavor—even a degree in medicine.

Even when you work hard, you sometimes need to let others help you bear your burden. The training field of medicine contains numerous stories of potential doctors who never actually paid for their tuition—they received financial aid from the government, instead.

If the idea of getting a state grant for a chance to play doctor sounds interesting to you, then read on.

Financing Future Physicians

1. Background: The Philippine Medical Scholarship Program (also known as the Pinoy MD Scholarship) is basically a joint project of the Philippine government’s Department of Health and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Its main objective is to train quality doctors for employment, private practice and community service.

2. Number of Slots: This scholarship grant will go to one hundred fortunate students (spread out across twelve schools) every year.

3. Deadlines: Please refer to number 4 for more details.

4. Application Process: The Pinoy MD system is a little different from other kinds of scholarships. Instead of having only a single application process to follow, you have several processes to choose from depending on the requirements of the Pinoy MD participating school in question. There are currently twelve of them in existence, and all of whom have their respective deadlines and different ways of doing things.

While the requirements across schools have certain things in common (E.g., birth certificates, diplomas, ID pictures and the like), the best way to get the specifics would be to pick a school, contact them and find out exactly what they need from you. Please refer to the table below for each school’s contact details, or feel free to get in touch with the Department of Health and request for more information on each school.

5. Qualifications: The Pinoy MD scholarship has certain general minimum qualifications you need to meet, regardless of which particular school you’re eyeing:

• You need to have taken the NMAT (National Medical Admissions Test), and you must have earned a percentile score of at least 40 on the exam. Please note that the minimum required NMAT score varies across member schools.
• You must have at least a couple of character references.
• You must be mentally and physically fit for the rigors of medical school.

The following aren’t really strict qualifications, but they’re worth noting if you want your application to receive priority attention:

• Your family’s combined gross income must be no more than 50,000 pesos a month or 600,000 pesos a year.
• You are a Barangay Health Worker, government employee or a member of an indigenous tribe of people. If none of these apply to you, then you must at least be a son or daughter of anyone who fits the aforementioned descriptions.

Scholar Privileges and Obligations

Simply put, the Pinoy MD Scholarship will pay for all your study-related expenses. These include allowances on books, uniforms, daily transportation, and lodging. It will also cover such fees as your tuition, laboratory expenses and others.

Besides passing all your classes and exhibiting good behavior, the scholarship really only has one main obligation for its applicants: they need to give back to the government and to the community by serving for two years for every year that they spend studying (The scholarship is good for five years.).

Applicants may do so by entering either the Medical Pool and Placement Program or the Doctors to the Barrios Program. For more details on these, please contact the DOH (kindly see below).

Contact Details

Depending on the nature of your questions, there are several ways of having them answered. For instance, if you haven’t taken the NMAT yet and you need more details on it, please contact the Center for Educational Measurement (CEM) Secretariat at (02) 813-3686 or (02) 813-3691 to 95 loc. 108.

If you need information of a more general nature (E.g. scheduling and what not), it would be best to contact the DOH’s Health Human Resource Development Bureau directly. Simply call either (02) 743-1776 or (02) 743-8301 loc. 4226 or 4203 and ask for Ms. Menchu Eguia or Mr. Kenneth Salumbides.

They may also be reached via e-mail at hhrdb_doh@yahoo.com. If you’d rather visit the facility in person, however, it’s located at the second floor, Building 12-A, Department of Health, San Lazaro Compound, Santa. Cruz, Manila

Questions of a more specific nature need to be directed toward the specific, participating Pinoy MD Scholarship school. Please refer to the table below for a listing of the member schools and their respective contact details.

School Location Number E-mail Contact Person

Cagayan State University College of Medicine and Surgery
Tuguegarao City
(078) 844-0105
Dr. Rodina R. Gorospe

Davao City
(082) 222-5712
Dean Petronilo Basa, MD.

Ermita, Manila
(02) 521-2710 loc.5521
Dr. Esteban Pineda

ILOILO DOCTORS College of Medicine
Molo, Iloilo
(033) 337-7755, (033) 336-9550
Chona Elmido

Iligay City
(063) 221-3835
Dr. Christina Achacoso or Joan Reserva

OUR LADY OF FATIMA UNIVERSITY Fatima Medical Science Foundation College of Medicine
Valenzuela City
(02) 291-6556, (02) 293-2704/06 loc.114
Dean Reynaldo Olazo, MD

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA (University of the City of Manila) College of Medicine
Intramuros, Manila
(02) 527-9067
dean_plmcm@yahoo.com or cues_director@yahoo.com
Dr. Eleanor J. Galvez

SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine
Cebu City
(032) 255-6469
Dr. Yvonne Lanuza

UNIVERSITY OF ST. LA SALLE College of Medicine
Bacolod City
(034) 433-3151
Ms. Yvonne Cortes

UP MANILA College of Medicine
Pedro Gil St., Manila
(02) 526-4170
Dean Alberto Roxas, MD.

Palo, Leyte
(053) 323-3114
Dr. Romeo Ceniza

Iloilo City
(033) 320-0881
Dean Emiliana Carmona, MD

Additional Source:
Mr. Kenneth Salumbides of the Department of Health