De La Salle Med School: 6 Reasons You Should (or Shouldn’t) Enroll

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 Stef dela Cruz, MD 9 Comments

I gave a semi-detailed review of De La Salle Health Sciences Institute (DLSHSI) on another website and now, I’m ready to give you reasons to enroll (or not to) at De La Salle’s medical school.

DLSHSI enrollment

To those who have not heard of DLSHSI until today, it’s the De La Salle campus in Cavite that focuses on health-related degrees, such as Nursing, Midwifery, Medical Radiologic Technology, Medical Laboratory Science (formerly Medical Technology), and Biochemistry. Of course, there’s the post-graduate course we will be discussing today: Medicine at De La Salle.

De La Salle Health Sciences Institute: Should You Enroll?

Caveat: There is no perfect school that caters to every single aspiring doctor’s needs.

Just because a school is excellent does not mean it’s the best one for you. It’s always best to take a truthful look at what you’re looking for, then evaluate all the schools on your list and see which one meets your unique criteria.

3 Reasons NOT to Enroll at De La Salle Medical School (DLSHSI)

You’ve been very patient, so let’s cut to the chase!

1. Don’t apply at DLSHSI if you’re after an “Ivy League” education.

DLSHSI has a lot of potential. However, it has yet to come close to the 99 percent minimum passing rate of other medical schools, such as the University of Santo Tomas (my Alma Mater) and the University of the Philippines Manila.

I’m not saying DSLSHI will never be as prestigious. They are obviously on their way there; it’s just a matter of time.

2. Don’t enroll at De La Salle’s med school if you feel that staying in Cavite is going to bore you.

Do you prefer the urban environs of UP, UST, and FEU? Although DSLSHSI is now in a sub-urban location, you might find the lack of pollution an utter culture shock.

3. Don’t study medicine at De La Salle Health Sciences Institute if you want a greater fighting chance for a Manila-based residency training program (specialization).

Here’s a cold, hard fact of reality: Many residency programs [unofficially] prioritize graduates from Ivy League schools.

This is not always the case, of course. This is, after all, an unsaid truth, one that almost everyone will deny because it’s shameful and discriminatory.

Related topics:
General Practice: The Stigma of “No Specialization”
5 Surprising reasons you’re not getting high NMAT scores
Tips for medical students: Life after NMAT

I don’t like focusing on the negative for too long, so let’s get on with the rest of the list. Here now are 3 good reasons for you to consider studying at DSLHSI!

3 Reasons to Enroll at DSLHSI Med School

1. Study medicine at De La Salle if you’re looking for a scholarship and a good education.

DSLHSI is known for its academic, financial, and athletic scholarship programs. If you don’t want to illegally sell one kidney to afford a medical education, this school is a good bet.

Many medical schools offer scholarships to encourage students to enroll, but not all actually offer competitive training. DLSHSI seems to have the best of both worlds: many scholarship opportunities and good education!

Take note: About 20 percent of their students are scholars!

2. Get your medical education at DSLHSI if you’re either a techie or a tree hugger.

I just love the idea of paperless exams! Guess which school has them? You guessed right: DSLHSI.

All the computers available for med students are – hold your breath – touchscreen! Whew! All that is part of their One Million Trees and Beyond initiative. The more paperless exams they give you, the less trees are cut for paper.

3. Enroll at De La Salle’s medical school if you are allergic to muggers and smog.

Cavite is calling out to you, dear finicky one.

DSLHSI has a beautiful campus that reminds me a lot of Baguio. It’s the perfect suburb school for the future doctor who just hates Manila.

Med School Rating

I shared many things about DSLHSI in a previous article. What’s in that post: My unofficial rating of DSLHSI based on a 5-point rating scale! It’s got almost fifty photos of the campus, too. (I mean, come on, aren’t you the least bit curious?)

I would also like to thank De La Salle Health Sciences Institute for having me over! Too bad there were no classes that day – I didn’t get to chat with any medical students.

To the many aspiring doctors who send me emails, I apologize in advance if I hadn’t replied to you yet. I try to reply to five at a time, but it gets overwhelming!

I’m not complaining, of course. If anything, I’m thankful. If only I could help you more! (You might want to join my medical book giveaway, ongoing until the end of December this year.)

Now, take all the information you learned, then ask yourself if the medical school in De La Salle Health Sciences Institute is for you. Good luck, future MD!

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a vegan doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She is the editor of The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene Magazine. Get in touch if you want to invite her as a speaker!


  1. Hi. Technically, there are no Ivy League school outside the North American region. Also, DLSHSI is an extension of DLSU for medical studies. Students do their first couple of years of medical undergraduate studies in DLSU then move to DLSHSI for further studies. For #3, come on really?? I sure hope consultants and training officers who trained in DLSHSI dont read this blog if you want a greater chance on going to other hospitals as a consultant.

  2. Hi, KG. Let's go over what you said.

    "Technically, there are no Ivy League school outside the North American region."
    - I know. That's what the quotation marks are for. You know, as in "Ivy League". :)

    "DLSHSI is an extension of DLSU for medical studies. Students do their first couple of years of medical undergraduate studies in DLSU then move to DLSHSI for further studies."
    -At DLSHSI, we were shown the facilities of the Midwifery and Nursing department. (See photos at Doesn't Nursing qualify as a premed course?

    "For #3, come on really?? I sure hope consultants and training officers who trained in DLSHSI dont read this blog if you want a greater chance on going to other hospitals as a consultant."
    -What I said there wasn't based on guesswork. Two consultants (on separate occasions) admitted to favoring some universities over others. "Between a UP med valedictorian and a De La Salle valedictorian, I would choose the former," a female consultant choosing applicants for residency confessed to me not so long ago.

    Not my words. To be clear: I don't condone that practice. And you would have realized that if you read the few sentences that came after the declaration. :) It pays to rein in your emotions before you lash out. But I understand.

    I'm happy you've never been discriminated against. Unfortunately, whether or not I earn the ire of others, what I said - and painstakingly so - was just the (butt-ugly) truth.

    Thank you for dropping by.

  3. thank you for the insight. i'm actually shopping for med school for my daughter. i am wondering if her BS Nursing is enough as pre med already.

    1. I get a lot of comments from aspiring med students here, but very few from parents. Glad to hear from one!

      Hello, Jo! Nursing is a good pre-med, but then again, I'm biased. After all, it's my pre-med!

      Good luck to your kid. :) I hope you come back and share your child's story when she's on the way to becoming a doctor!

  4. Hi! I just browse into your site now and I'm actually confuse about the scholarship program. If you want to be part of the scholarship program do you first need to pass requirements before taking the entrance exam? Or vice-versa? I really hope I can get an information from you.

    1. Hi Judymae, the reason you don't get "clear information" from me about how to apply for a scholarship is because this post isn't about that. (I really hope you actually read the title and the actual post as it very clearly isn't about the topic you're hoping to read... and I also hope you read more critically next time, seeing that you want to become a doctor/ health professional. I hope I'm not being too harsh.)

      I'm also not affiliated with De La Salle, so if you actually need a list of requirements for scholarship, please ask the school.

  5. Hi Stef. Thank you for the blog: informative, straight to the points, and for me, very relevant as my daughter is considering DLSUSM for med school starting this Aug 2017 after pre-med degree in the US. The points you raised are spot-on. I note that this blog started in 2014 but is (still!) current (last blog in March 2017). Hope I can progress this thread, as this could be relevant for some others similarly situated. Q1: Regarding board passing rate, has the school given focus on 'competitive' %... not for bragging rights but as a self-imposed standard that speaks for its aim for excellence. I heard some schools do screen board exam takers via a 'revalida' (spelling?), which I understood to be a tool to let grads take the board exam only after a road test... which might have its own valid reasons but seems to me as unnecessary considering that these are adult professionals by then. I heard DLSUSM does not use this practice (to its credit) - true? Q2: Is there any indicative reference regarding DLSUSM alumni's placement in residency in the US.
    Any info on success rate vis-a-vis the USMLE? Any impetus by DLSU to assist US-minded students to have some USMLE orientation/prep ( :)). Thank you in advance, and I just like to mention, stet-for-pen doesn't mean they are mutually exclusive... once a doctor always a doctor, and your flair with the pen is an added gift. Incidentally, my daughter served as editor-in-chief of her school's organ during premed, and (ambitiously) thinks she can leverage both if she gets to that point. GB

    1. Hello, GB. I'm glad you found it helpful. Yes, I do try my best to update - it's what little thing I can do to help our future doctors!

      Now, as for your first question... When schools screen and pre-approve board exam takers, it actually violates the rights of the students to take the exams. A med student can't take the board exams without passing the course, so if s/he fails, it's not due to lack of steps done by the school AFTER graduation. It may be due to poor standards DURING med school - they did let the students pass without assuring that they learned enough to pass the exams, after all. :)

      So, you're right about the screening being unnecessary. However, the revalida isn't really a board exam screening tool - at least, not in UST where I graduated. It's a final test of knowledge and skills before you graduate. (Again, board exams are still far away after graduation - about a year later, after internship.)

      However, I have no knowledge about DSLUSM's protocols, so I'm not aware of whether or not they do give the written and oral revalida. :)

      As for U.S. residency training, I don't have knowledge about DLSUSM's success rates/ protocols/ support. Perhaps you can ask them directly as I'm sure they'll be happy to provide more info.

      Good luck to your daughter! Thank you for sharing your inputs. A lot of the people who read this blog will definitely find them helpful. :)