Why You Should Choose To Do MBBS Locally

female doctor smiling with a patient

When deciding the best course to study in Malaysia, you should consider the current job demand and salary. There is already an oversupply of general practitioners in Malaysia, but there is an increasing need for specialized physicians.

If you choose to do your MBBS locally, it will take 9 to 10 years to become a professionally registered physician in Malaysia and an additional 3 to 6 years to become a specialist.

Before entering a Medical Program or MBBS (Bachelor in Medicine, Bachelor in Surgery) in Malaysia, after SPM or O-Levels, students can choose the right Pre-University Programme for themselves. STPM and Matriculation are inexpensive options, but at public universities or IPTA, the seats are limited and extremely competitive to enter a medical degree.


Private medical universities and colleges

Private universities and colleges are the other options for students. If you’re not going overseas for your medical degree, you could consider the Foundation of Science at a private university offering an MBBS course in Malaysia. The duration of the Foundation in Science is one year and cheaper than external pre-university programmes.

The A-Levels are a common external pre-university programme for admission into the MBBS. The A-Levels are 18 months long and will train students to withstand the rigours of Malaysia’s medical curriculum. For the Pre-University program and medical degree, the entrance requirements are higher, so students need to verify if they qualify for entry.

Female doctor talks with pregnant woman



Students need to select a university with a medical program approved and accredited by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) following completion of the Pre-University Programme.

A 5-year MBBS programme accepted by the Malaysian Medical Council is required to apply for the medical qualifying examination. If you are qualified to practice as a doctor, this test will help you determine your core knowledge and gauge. After completing two years of housemanship and one year of government service, passing this exam will allow you to practise medicine in Malaysia.

Housemanship is essentially the first two years after graduation in the lives of doctors. In Malaysia, interns will gain an average of RM3500 to RM4,400 a month as a houseman. A houseman will then be promoted to the rank of Medical Officer after completing two years of housemanship.

New housemen in Malaysia are placed in the bracket of UD43/UD44. They will advance to the UD 48 bracket after serving three years as a medical officer. Following another four years of service, Medical Officers will then be promoted to UD47/UD48 and UD52 after three more years. Furthermore, as a Medical Officer, one may switch to private practice, which translates to a higher pay grade.

Depending on the specific medical field you choose, you can continue to specialize after serving a year as a Medical Officer, which can take you 3 to 6 years. To be a licensed medical specialist in Malaysia, 4 to 5 years of postgraduate study is required, plus 2 to 4 years of supervised training as a specialist.

Some of the areas you can choose to specialise in include:

  • Cardiology (heart)
  • Pulmonology (lungs)
  • General surgery
  • Neurology (brain)
  • Dermatology (skin)
  • Orthopaedics
  • Gynaecology


Asian doctors with gurney on way to operating theatre, senior man lying on bed

Final Thoughts

Although there are many general practitioners in Malaysia, you should have no worries about a future in the lucrative field of medicine if you intend to become a specialist.

Malaysia as a major medical tourism hub in the world is one of the best places to study medicine and secure a good, high paying job in the medical field.