Ever since I was a child, I was one of those kids whom when you ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” will always answer, “I want to be a doctor.”, even though I excel more in Math subjects. That answer never changed.
In college, I chose a course in line with Health, which is Medical Technology. After I graduated, I worked for a while but the burning desire of becoming a doctor never left me. So when my sister offered to help out, I grabbed my chance and enrolled In PLM. Luckily, I was admitted and later, a scholarship grant was also offered by “The First Gentleman’s Foundation” under President Arroyo’s term then. After graduation, I worked as a Doctor-to-the-Barrio under the DOH and earned my Masters too while serving in the community. Until now, it’s one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life; to be a part of something bigger than me. My journey from a doctor to a doctor of finance is part of a different story that can be told some other time.
Now that the same opportunity is now being offered to new doctor wannabes in this present administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, I would like to help out by making this post for an easier information drive.
Last week, I have posted about the scholarship on Facebook and since then my inbox have been flooded with so many messages of different types of people (students, OFWs, nurses, engineers, accountants, high school students, etc) wanting to become a doctor. So, I did further research and called Department of Health, HHRDB Department for a more comprehensive article to answer the most common questions that are asked regarding the DOH Scholarship for doctor wannabes.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the scholarship program:
1.What is the first and most important step that an aspirant must achieve in order to qualify for the medical scholarship in DOH?
For those who want to avail of the scholarship, the most important qualification is that – they have to be accepted as a medical student in the partner medical schools.
2. What are the general or basic qualifications in order to get accepted into a medical school? (medical schools – in general)
This list of requirements below is from one of the medical schools in the Philippines. The list may differ from school to school preferences and rules. I am just giving you the basic criteria so that you will have some idea on how to get into a state university – medical school.
- Must be a natural Filipino citizen
- Must be a holder of Bachelor’s Degree conferred upon by a duly recognized education institution
- Must have complied with all academic preparations
- General Weighted Average of 2.50 or its equivalent or better (depending on the medical school)
- Must have an NMAT of 45 and above (depending on the medical school)
- Must have no failure in any subject in the undergraduate course (depending on the medical school)
- Must have no record of having been dropped from any medical school
- Must have no record of having been denied admission
- Must have no record of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude
- Must pass the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
- Must have passed a panel of interview
3. What if I have a Bachelor’s Degree but is not in-lined with medicine. Can I still enroll in a medical school?
Yes, I have a classmate with Legal Management as her pre-med course before, as long as you must have complied with all academic preparations.
You must have earned credits in the following areas and must have satisfied the required minimum number of units in the subject specifically enumerated herein: (again, depending on the medical school)
Sciences: 35 units
Chemistry: 10 units
Inorganic Chemistry: 5 units
Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry: 5 units
Natural Sciences: 15 units (5 units should at least be Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy or Human Anatomy and Physiology)
Physics: 5 units
Microbiology or Elem. Genetics: 5 units
Mathematics: 6 units
Algebra: 3 units
Elementary Statistics/Biostatistics: 3 units
Language and Communication: 9 units
Social Sciences: 9 units
(Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, History, Anthropology)
Humanities: 3 units
(Art Appreciation, Logic, Philosophy)
4. What are the partner medical schools where a student can enroll to be eligible for the scholarship?
There are six schools in partner with this scholarship grant:
- University of the Philippines – Ermita, Manila
- Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Intramuros, Manila
- Cagayan State University – Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City
- West Visayas State University – Lapaz, Iloilo City
- University of the Philippines, School of Health Sciences – Palo, Leyte
- Mindanao State University – Bonifacio Ave., Iligan City
Only those who have been admitted to the partner schools are eligible to apply for the DOH Scholarship.
5. Is this only offered to new students? What if the student is already enrolled in those medical schools, can they also apply for a scholarship?
The scholarship grant is not only offered to first year students in those partner medical schools but this is also available to medical students (on whatever year) in those partner schools. They can still apply for the scholarship as a lateral entry scholar as long as you agreed with the payback mechanism of being a DOH medical scholar.
6. What will be the payback mechanism for having been a DOH scholar?
For every year of scholarship, the scholar will render two (2) years of service obligation, initially through the Doctors-to-the-Barrios (DTTB) Program for the first three (3) years.
The ratio is 1:2 (No. of years of being a scholar: Years of payback)
7. Once I have been accepted as a student of those partner medical schools, what are the other qualification requirements of a DOH Scholarship grant?
The above list of qualifications I listed in #2 is the qualifications on how to get into a medical school. Those listed below are the qualifications specifically identified by the DOH Medical Scholarship Grant. Here they are:
- Must be a Filipino citizen.
- Student of moral character.
- Graduate of Bachelor’s Degree
- Preference shall be given to students coming from:
- Low-income families
- Geographically isolated and disadvantaged municipalities/provinces or from top 20 poorest provinces/municipalities/cities
- Indigenous communities/minority sects
- Children/dependents of government employees, victims of calamity/tragedy, police/military injured/fatally wounded while on duty, Barangay Health Workers/traditional birth attendants
8. What do I need to do to apply for the scholarship program?
Once you are already a medical student from the partner schools you can already apply.
Documents to be accomplished are:
- Scholarship Contract
- Commitment to Render Service
- DOH Scholarship Application Form
- 1×1 ID (within the last 6 months)
- Copy of Barangay Certification/Certification of a Bona Fide Resident of the Community
- Copy of Combined Family Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Certificate of Indigency (if applicable)
- Certification from National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) (if applicable)
The DOH Scholarship forms and other documents needed are already with the partner medical school. Just ask for the forms and procedures there.
9. Where do I pass the forms?
In the partner schools you are enrolled into. The partner school shall be the one that will forward it to the Department of Health (DOH). The validation and final evaluation of applicants by the DOH are based on a set of criteria.
10. How would I know if I get accepted as a scholar?
Successful scholars shall be notified through the Scholarship Department of the partner schools.
11. What are the inclusions of the scholarship package?
The scholarship package basically includes tuition, other fees, book allowance, uniform allowance, miscellaneous allowance, living subsidy, lodging allowance, transportation allowance, annual medical insurance, summer immersion program and transportation expenses allowance.
Photo Credit: DOH brochure
The tuition, laboratory, miscellaneous and other school fees will be paid directly to partner schools.
12. What if I’m still in third year college now (pre-med course), will the program still run until I graduate and become a medical student 2 years from now?
Yes, the program is already planned for 5 years during this present administration. The continuation of this program will depend on the decisions of the next administration.
13. What is in store for me during my payback? Will I get paid while being a Doctor-to-the-Barrio?
You will be employed under DOH as a Doctor-to-the-Barrio (DTTB).
Yes, as a matter of fact, the current salary of a DTTB is 64,614/month plus all the benefits will be given as provided from the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers and a Master’s Degree in Public Management Major in Health Systems and Development (MPM-HSD) which is being run by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). I’m lucky to be part of the first graduates of this course.
14. In general, what are the steps?
Ok, let’s recap and let me make it easier to digest.
Here are the 7 simple steps:
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor Degree of any 4-year-course. Any course is allowed, but for me, preferably, a health related course. Maintain good grades, this will be an edge when you enroll in a medical school.
Step 2. Get your NMAT (National Medical Admission Test), usually done twice a year: October or November and March or April. Graduates or graduating students of a Bachelor’s Degree can already take this.
Step 3: Enroll in medical schools that are partnered with DOH for the scholarship program.
Step 4: Once accepted into the medical school, get application forms and furnish other required documents and apply to the said partner school.
Step 5: Wait for the approval of your application that will be coming from the Department of Health.
Step 6: Once a scholar, maintain the required average, have a good moral character and study hard and pass the Physician Licensure Exams.
Step 7: Once a fully pledged doctor, do your payback by serving the remote and doctor-less areas in our country as a Doctor-to-the-Barrio.
15. What if I have other questions that are not discussed here? Who do I contact directly?
For further inquiries, kindly contact the DOH Regional Offices nearest to you or the HHRDB of Department of Health
Photo credit: DOH Brochure
That’s it! I hope I was able to answer all your questions. For those questions that I was not able to answer, feel free to call the DOH Regional Offices or the DOH-HHRDB.
In the making of this post, I would like to thank the following:
Mr. Jefferson B. Pauli and Christine E. Vigonte, MD, MPM of the Career Development and Management Division of Department of Health, HHRDB. For giving me details (brochure) and for validating the forms.
To all aspiring doctors, if I can do it, you can do it too!
Be a blessing to others and don’t forget to SHARE.
For your Financial Health,
Pinky De Leon-Intal, MD, MPM
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