BECAUSE of the lure of the Nursing profession, the number of medical students applicants in the country has “significantly” dropped since 2000, statistics from the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) showed.

According to Loupel Gueta, a Ched Management and Information Statistics division staff, economic reasons affected the drop.

UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery (Medicine) Dean Dr. Rolando Lopez agrees.

“Medicine remains a very difficult, expensive, and long course to take,” Lopez told the Varsitarian. “Some of the students intending to take up medicine would shift to nursing because it’s a lucrative field at this time.”

Although Ched does not have exact data on the number of all medical school applicants in the country, their available statistics revealed that from 2,767 medical enrollees in 2000, only 1,766 enrolled in 2003.

Nursing, on the other hand, had 180,178 enrollees in 2003—a significant increase from 27,833 in 2000.

Statistics on enrollees for 2004 to 2005 were unavailable as of press time.

“Let’s face it, some established medical students (in the Philippines) opt to take up nursing,” Medicine Faculty Secretary Dr. Jose Blas said. “If the applicant (has a family), the main reason probably is not for their future but their children’s.”

Blas said the Faculty had 1,192 applicants in 2001, but only 920 for the coming school year.

Lopez said the decline in the number of medical students would eventually lead to fewer Filipino doctors to tend to the public’s needs.

“It would eventually result in a greater disproportion between the number of doctors and the (patients),” he said.

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Despite the drop, UST and the University of the Philippines, among about 30 other medical schools in the country, met their respective quotas of medical students, University officials said.

Lopez said UST, the most populous medical school in the country, met its quota of 400 medicine students.

“I think it’s a fact that the other (medical) schools are having difficulty in getting enough number of students to fill up their quota,” Lopez said.

According to University officials, UST is “traditionally” considered as an “established” medical school in the country.

UP College of Medicine Dean Dr. Cecilia Tomas said the state University met its quota last year.

“UP has almost 800 applicants (yearly), but only 120 are accepted (annually),” Tomas told the Varsitarian. “Unlike two years ago, (the number of applicants) has decreased.”

Meanwhile, a Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila staff, who refused to be named, said its medical school did not reach its quota of 200 students. Lady Camille L. de Guia and Reagan D. Tan

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