The University of Southeastern Philippines Tagum-Mabini campus became the first state university to offer a Doctor of Medicine program in the region following its grand launching of its School of Medicine last October 18, 2021.

USEP Tagum-Mabini states that the objective of the program is “… to address the shortage of doctors in the underserved areas of the country as well as to fulfill the mandate of providing medical education” which is very timely and relevant during the pandemic.

It can be recalled that the university started its application way back in 2015 and they already signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in 2018 as the program’s partner hospital which was part of the preparation for the MD program.

Finally, the 6-year long dream of the university materialized last August 31 when they obtained the license to operate under the Republic Act (RA) 11509, also known as Doktor sa Bayan Act.

The pre-admission process began in the same month and will end in November 5 which is the target month for the start of the academic year 2021-2022. 100 students are expected to be catered by the school at maximum as long as they all qualify the admission and submit the necessary documents.

Dr. J Prospero De Vera III, the chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education on the other hand, challenged the institution to reach a 100% passing rate on the licensure exam four years from now. He also added that a workshop on fund handling is underway which will happen after the release of the 50 million pesos initial budget from CHED to be used for the operationalization of the program.

Meanwhile, the local government unit of Tagum through the Public Education and Employment Services Office (PEESO) widened its City Educational Scholarship Program (CESPRO) before the end of 2020. The said scholarship supported new categories such as Highly Categorized Courses that included Medicine which would help underprivileged Tagumenyos who aspire to be doctors to achieve their dreams. Ziyarah Manalo/CIO Tagum

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