Philippines—Remote Island Medicine
- Clinical Rotations
- Excursions and Day Trips
- Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk
- About the Philippines
- Weather and Climate
- Research Your Destination
Compromised of over 7,100 islands in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an archipelago filled with natural beauty and rich culture. Along with its rich biodiversity, white sandy beaches, mountain ranges, and tropical rainforests, the country’s colorful history is filled with a unique blend of cultures. Known for their warm hospitality and contagious smiles, Filipinos truly make the Philippines a very special country to visit.
In the Philippines, the majority of citizens are covered under the Philippine Heath Insurance Corporation. However, since the out-of-pocket payment is so high, there are many people who lack access to public health care. In many remote, hard-to-reach islands, otherwise known as geographically isolated disadvantaged areas (GIDA), hospitals and health care clinics lack infrastructure and investment, as well as supplies and personnel.
For the first two weeks, participants will stay in a hotel or dorm-style lodging in Manila. For the remaining three weeks, participants live with homestay families in identified remote island sites in Quezon and Romblon provinces. Homestay families are chosen and screened by the CFHI Local Coordinator. Please note that the accommodations do not include facilities like air conditioning, internet, telephones, mineral water, and hot water baths. Homestays provide a unique opportunity to learn about local culture on a daily basis in an informal setting. UC Davis reserves the right to change the accommodation location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable lodging.
2 meals a day are included on this program.
Clinical rotations will start on Monday of the second week and usually take place in the mornings for 4 to 6 hours usually Monday through Friday for the remaining four weeks.
Once a week you will meet with your Medical Director to discuss your experiences at the clinics and hospitals. A lecture on a health related topics will also be provided. Students can use this time to discuss particular issues of interest, review their progress in clinic or bring up any concerns they may have. Clinical rotation sites include:
WHO Western Pacific Regional Office Headquarters
The office represents the WHO in Asia Pacific and its primary purpose is to support all countries and people in their quest to achieve the highest attainable level of health.
Department of Health (DoH)
The principle health agency and executive branch of the Philippine government is responsible for ensuring access to public services to all citizens through provision of health care and regulation of health goods and services.
Alabat Island or Romblon Island
Rural Health Unit (RHU)/Clinic
This primary health care center provides health services to patients in remote areas. Participants will learn about traditional healers, reproductive health, community health system management, and shadow local nurses and registered midwives with patient consults, live birth deliveries, and vaccination/immunization.
Barangay Health Stations [BHS]
The BHS are an extension of the RHU located at the village level and supported by a midwife or health worker/community health volunteer. Participants will have the opportunity to shadow health workers with live birth deliveries, vaccination/immunization, and nutrition promoting activities.
Short excursions and day trips will be included during orientation week.
Orientation Week Sample Schedule
- Welcome dinner and cultural show
- Lecture about Filipino history and culture
- Manila city tour, focusing on socio-economic realities of Philippines
- Guided museum tours
- Community service project
- 3-day (2 night) field trip to Bagui, Banaue and the villages of Ifugao- traditional villages, spiritual healers and rice terraces
Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible. However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. Home to over a million inhabitants, Manila is arguably one of the most densely populated city in the world. It is located on the eastern shore of the Manila Bay and one of the sixteen cities that make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region of the Philippines, whose overall population is estimated at 12 million.
Polillo and Alabat are two major islands that make up the Quezon Province, located southeast of Metro Manila. Polillo Island is on the northeastern side of Quezon and is marked by rugged terrain and rich biodiversity. Alabat is a smaller island located between the Pacific Ocean and Lamon Bay. It is known as "paradise island" in the Pacific because of its fishing grounds, fertile soil, and wide plains.
Romblon is a province composed of 17 municipalities scattered across seven islands on the Sibuyan Sea, located in the geographic center of the Philippines. It has three main islands: Tablas, Romblon and Sibuyan, and four island municipalities: Banton, Concepcion, Corcuera and San Jose. It is rich in mineral resources and boasts of lush vegetation and numerous white sand beaches.
Philippine Currency: Philippine peso
Language Spoken: Filipino and English are the official languages (out of 120-175 languages spoken)