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CDU: A commitment to nurture competent, compassionate professionals


For Dr. Philip Anthony S.D. Larrazabal, serving as president of Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) means passion for learning and commitment to excellence.

To him, a university president is more than just the leader and figure to which the three vice presidents — Finance, Administration, and Academic Affairs — report to.

“I am a father to them… the students, the faculty, the non-teaching staff. I am in the look out for their welfare and ways to improve their learning environment,” he said.

This is evident in the facility upgrades that CDU has undergone over the last 12 months including the 1,000-square meter, newly-renovated and state-of-the-art university library. The university also upgraded their classrooms with air-conditioning unit to ensure conducive learning and teaching spaces for students and faculty members.

Faculty members are encouraged and supported to learn beyond the formal classroom setting. They participate in local and international conventions to update and upgrade their knowledge and skills.

“All these inspired everyone to do better… beyond what CDU is already known for, a university that offers high quality education in medical and health-related fields,” he said.


Larrazabal was bestowed the honor and responsibility as CDU president last August 18, 2017 in a solemn investiture at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

He continued the legacy of his late father, Dr. Potenciano “Jun” Larrazabal Jr., the visionary who served as founding president of CDU and CebuDoc Group of Hospitals.

“I have been in the board of CDU for 15 years now. My father prepared me to take over the university. He mentioned this to me five years ago (before he passed away) so I am aware of the happenings in the university before I became president,” he shared.

Larrazabal admitted feeling overwhelmed during the first few months as CDU president. He needed to balance the time he spends with his patients and the university.

“I used to read 40 to 60 CT scans a day in my practice as a radiologist. I had to manage my time so I only read half of that number so I can spend time at the university,” he said.

Fourteen months since his investiture, Larrazabal said he is now adjusted to the full schedule of a doctor and university president without sacrificing his roles as husband and father.

Managing a training university with eight colleges, a senior high school, and a graduate school is a daring venture that is not meant for the weak.

Larrazabal fulfills his responsibilities guided with the thought that the university is the breeding ground of future medical and health professionals, who will serve the community with the training that they learned from the university.


Four of CDU’s colleges — namely Nursing, Rehabilitative Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, and Allied Medical Sciences — consistently placed in high rankings in the board examinations as the university also produces several topnotchers.

Seven of CDU graduates placed first, second, third, seventh, ninth and 10th placers in the Respiratory Therapist Licensure Examination given on September 5-6, 2018.

In 2018, CDU produced a first placer in the Pharmacist Licensure Examination.

Also this year, CDU produced topnotchers in the licensure examinations for physician, occupational therapist, medical technologist, optometry and radiologic technology.

CDU has 100 passing percentage in the Optometry Licensure Examination for 10 consecutive years. They have the same stellar performance in the Medical Technologist Licensure Examination in the last seven years.

“We are a university in which one college gets inpired when they see a topnotcher from another college. There is a rollover effect. I hope this will continue as we further improve our facilities,” he said.

Larrazabal said CDU college deans give their “all-out support” to the school’s vision and mission. The concrete proof of their collective support is shown in the university’s successful results in the board examinations.

The domino effect of the spirit of teamwork and cooperation can also be seen in CDU’s Graduate School, which currently has a record-high number of enrollees at nearly 400 students.


In the works now is to construct another building to allow CDU to open other courses and serve more students. Construction development is expected to begin next year.

The opening of the Senior High School program — Grade 11 and Grade 12 — in 2016 allowed them to prepare aspiring students of medical and health-related courses for the rigors of the discipline when they enter the tertiary level.

Larrazabal said they saw a record-high number of Senior High School enrollees this year with 410 students in Grade 11 and 415 students in Grade 12.

“We have been receiving good feedback about our senior high (program). Most of these students are planning to take up medical or health-related courses in college so being in CDU in senior high is an advantage. They are already adjusted to the discipline by the time they are in their first year in the university,”

Larrazabal’s plans for the university also include passing more accreditations from accrediting agencies such as the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) and the Philippine Association of Colleges & Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA).

“If we are now on Level 3, then we aim for Level 4. Each college is aiming at getting higher accreditations,” he said.

“These accreditations allow us to be externally monitored so they tell us our weaknesses and strengths. This will help us to sustain our performance as a university that produces high-quality graduates,” added Larrazabal.

But more than professionally-adept graduates, Larrazabal said CDU sees it as a mission to produce socially-responsible professionals.

“At CDU, we aim to have graduates who are human beings with character… that they do not only top the board exams or pass with flying colors. It is our goal that wherever they work, here or abroad, they will truly care for their patients and will have a positive impact to society,” he said.

TAGS: CDU, commitment, COMPASSIONATE, competent, nurture, professionals
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