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Students' Reviews【Interview with Zen English Representative】

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This article is an interview of the representatives of ZEN English with a student who had studied in the Philippines Medical School from August 2017.

Please give me a brief self-introduction

This is H.F, ZEN English representative. I have been working in a bank for 8 years since I graduated from college. I started my business 15 years ago and currently live in Cebu. I got my MBA from the University of Chicago in August 2015.

Please tell me about the University and department.


I am currently studying in the Medical department of Southwestern University for the Doctor of Medicine degree. Unlike in Japan, the Philippines medical school is the same as the law school, and it is considered a professional graduate school. You can enroll into the course as long as you have a Bachelor Degree. Unfortunately as a foreigner you can not qualify as doctor in the Philippines after you completed the Doctor of Medicne Degree. However, there are ways to acquire the doctor's license in the US or Japan after completing your degree.

Why did you decide to enrol into the medical school in the Philippines?

First is the feeling that I want to challenge something new. I have been working at a bank for 8 years and started my own business for over 15 years. When I started studying abroad in MBA, I came to want to challenge another field instead of company management. Since I am also interested in the university administration, the hospital management, and the healthcare industry, then I decided to try enrol into the local university on my own.

At first I went to law school and started studying in the Philippine Constitution by myself. Then I realise that studying Law in the Philippines would have no use for a foreigners. There were 2 different sets of rules, one applicable for the Philippines citizens, another set of rule applicable to foreigners. For example, it is possible for a filipino to acquire dual citizenship. However, if a foreigner wants to acquire the Philippines citizenship, they must give up their original citizenship.

After that, I decided to switch to medical school because even though it is impossible to acquire the doctor's license in the Philippines, it is still possible to acquire the license elsewhere using the medical degree you studied in the Philippines.

What kind of doctor would you like to be?

Honestly I have not decided anything concrete yet. Even though it is clear that the job of a doctor is a wonderful occupation that can save lives, I believe that as a company manager, you can save lives by creating jobs. I notice that in the Philippines, the medical cost is very expensive by the local standard. Yet the quality of the medical services is not on par with the services provided in the developed countries. Hence, I am very interested in providing a reasonable and high quality service hospital.

While Philippines is facing a problem of having no high quality service hospital, Japan face another problem of having no English-speaking healthcare personnels. We have been engaged in the ESL education industry in the Philippines. We understand the need of healthcare service crews who can speak English in Japan. Hence, I believe that there are some business opportunities for bridging the gap between the Philippines and the Japan healthcare industries. I also hope to play a role in providing these services.

How did you pass the entrance test of Southwestern University Medical School?

The main hurdle of passing the entrance test for me is English. To enrol into the Universities in the Philippines, it is relatively easy compared to other countries. However, you must make sure that you have sufficient English ability in order to understand the class content as all the classes are conducted in English. You should reach TOEIC 900 or IELTS 7.0 for the local university enrolment.

If you do not have enough English ability, we recommend you to study general English courses in the Philippines for at least 3 months to 1 year to get familiarise with the English environment.

Also, you need absolute confidence with yourself and the perseverance to study in a foreign country. Language problem aside, there are other issues such as the cultural differences etc. You need flexibility to adapt to local cultures. Unlike Japanese universities, enrolment is easy. However, there are only 30% students who will succeed till graduation.

How did you study English?

I started learning English in order to enrol into overseas MBA 7 years ago. I think that environment is the most important factor for learning English. We should have the right environment to enable us to use and speak English at all time. Then we would get used to the new language.

How is the environment in the faculty of medicine?

I studied mathematics, physics and chemistry in Junior High school. Biology to me is something new and hence I was a little anxious. In order to clear the NMAT exam within one year, we need physics, chemical, and biology knowledge. This will be a good challenge for me.

How was the entrance exam?


※The picture is a conditional acceptance email. NMAT schedules for the first time in October this year ...

Honesty I have not received anything like the conditioner offer. When I first went to college to ask about the course at the University of Southwestern University, I was thinking to acquire a Medicine degree in 1.5 years. With my bachelor degree and MBA, I was accepted provided I can pass NMAT. Besides, we had to submit the necessary documents and passed the NMAT test. Admission is not difficult if you can communicate fluently in English with the person in charge. As a result, if you achieve 40% or more in NMAT within one year, you will be able to complete the medicine degree within 2 years. Besides NMAT, there will be an interview of British style for 4 hours. However, this interview doesn't seem to be related to pass / fail of the entrance exam.

How do you juggle between your work and Medical School?

When I went to study MBA abroad, I also took a leave of absence for a year to rebuild the management of an English school. If a major problem arises in any of my company, I will do the same thing. The Philippine universities and graduate schools are good because there is a leave of absence system. There are many students who graduate from the college over 5 - 6 years instead of 4 years due to various reasons.

Which Philippines medical school would you recommend?

Most of the Philippines Medical Schools offer well recognised degree because the education system is delivered in English. You would be able to become a doctor by taking the license exam in your country after completing your degree here.

About the future of the Philippines medical school

Since various information is available about the medical department of the Philippines, I would like to identify more information of the medical school before sharing with others.

About future blog update

From now on, I am planning to write "Blog for study abroad in the Philippines (Cebu) medical school". We hope you follow our blog to continuously getting updated information.

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