“Humanizing Medicine in Philippine Medical Education.” That was the theme of this year’s 39th annual convention of the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges Foundation, which was hosted by the Far Eastern University-Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation at the Dr. Ricardo Alfonso Hall from January 26 to 28, 2006.
The opening ceremony started on the morning of January 26 with an invocation and the singing of the National Anthem by the FEU-NRMF Choral. Dr. Remedios T. Habacon, Dean of the FEU-NRMF College of Medicine, and Dr. Enrico B. Gruet, APMC President, gave their welcome remarks. Dr. Fernando S. Sanchez, APMC Executive Director, introduced the deans of various medical colleges who were present.
Dr. Bu C. Castro, a physician-lawyer-medico legal consultant-pathologist, gave the keynote speech, in which he revisited the Hippocratic Oath. Dr. Castro said that the practice of ethics related to health issues, both locally and internationally, still rely on the four governing principles of medical ethics: beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice. He says that there are no exact answers to issues in ethics; however, if guided by these principles a medical practitioner can be said to have acted with good discernment.
The keynote address was followed by the morning sessions moderated by Dr. Sylvia Carnero. The first speaker was Dr. Antonio Rebosa, who talked about the informed consent process. The second speaker discussed issues concerning prenatal screening. Dr. John Domatay gave a reaction to their talks.
The luncheon symposium was about the “Wounded Healer,” which was discussed by Dr. Fortunato L. Cristobal, Dean of the Ateneo de Zamboanga-Medical School Founda-tion.
There were two sessions in the afternoon. The first session had Dr. Mark Pierre S. Dimamay, a scientist, discussing on the advances in stem cell research, and Dr. Stephanie Andres, who focused her talk on organ donation. The second session had Dr. Agnes Bausa and Dr. Mary Ann Lansang for speakers. Dr. Bausa talked on death and dying, while Dr. Lansang discussed ethical issues in clinical trials. Dr. Georgina Paredes and Dr. Divina Beato were the reactors to the afternoon sessions.
Simultaneous with the afternoon sessions was the “Medwhiz” sponsored by the APMC Student Network. On the evening of the first convention day, FEU-NRMF hosted a welcome dinner for the APMC convention delegates. Dance present-ations were performed by the FEU-NRMF Powerstroke dancers and by the dance troupe of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The next morning, the delegates returned to the Dr. Ricardo Alfonso Hall for the Convention’s second day. That morning had two sessions. The first session had two speakers: Dr. Esperanza Figueroa-Rivera, who talked about aligning the curriculum of the Philippine Medical Associa-tion’s code of ethics in elation to educating future doctors, and Prof. Leonardo de Castro, project director of the UP-Fogarty Bioethics Program, who discussed Bioethics education as being democratic by bridging the knowledge gap between biomedical professionals and the ordinary individual. This particular session was moderated by Dr. Jessica Ona Cruz.
The second session was moderated by Dr. Nela Porciuncula. The session’s first lecturer, Dr. Mila Neri, gave a lecture on equipping medical students towards managing patients from the biological, human and spiritual aspects of integral care. The second speaker, Dr. Eva Irene Yu-Maglonzo, gave a talk about developing role models in human, compassionate physicians among faculty members and consultants in medical colleges. This session was followed by a workshop for the medical colleges’ student delegates and faculty members.
Dr. Marcelo gave the lunch symposium talk, which tackled Global Health issues in medicine.
Dr. Marita Reyes, Chair of the National Ethics Committee, gave the plenary session talk in the afternoon. She talked on the need to have an ethics review committee for all health institutions and she emphasized on the training and implementation of the guidelines.
The last activity of that afternoon was the APMC business meeting, which included the election of the Board of Trustees and the simultaneous general assembly of the medical students and election of the APMC Student Network officers. The day ended with a fellowship dinner and with entertainment provided by faculty members and students of the different medical colleges.
The third convention day was a half-day affair. There were two morning sessions. The first session featured Dr. Cecilia Tomas, UP College of Medicine Dean, who talked on priority-setting and other responsi-bilities of the school administration and faculty in teaching and training in bioethics. The session’s second speaker, Dr. Nemeul Fajutagana, talked animatedly about “Philippine Medical Education: Humanizing Medicine” through integral and ethical approach to patient management.
The last day was capped by the closing ceremony, where the new set of APMC officers were introduced and the new set of officers for the Student Network were presented to the delegates. The convention was brought to a close with a sumptuous lunch.
We look forward to the 40th Annual Convention of the APMC next year. Benida A. Fontanilla, M.D.