Message of R.O. Joson

Chairperson, Department of Surgery

Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center

December 18, 2003



Honorable Hospital Director, Dr. Christia Padolina; honored guests; colleagues in the medical profession; 2003 graduates of the Department of Surgery and their parents and relatives; ladies and gentlemen.


Consonant to the objectives of this occasion, my message as the Chairperson of the Department of Surgery will consist of two parts or two themes:  Words of thanks and parting words to the graduates.


Words of thanks or words of gratitude or acknowledgement:


This is the 3nd year of my stewardship of the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center.


If I were to be asked what the Department of Surgery has accomplished during the past 3 years, I will enumerate the following landmarks achievements:


1.      Full 5-year accreditation of the General Surgery Residency Program by the Philippine Society of General Surgery in 2003 after its suspension in 2001.

2.      Marked and progressive improvement in the quality of service in terms of department bed occupancy rate; average hospital stay; number of patients served and operated on; patient recovery rates; mortality rates; operating room cancellation rates; and number of client complaint.

3.      Marked and progressive improvement in the quality of training in terms of well-structured, comprehensive, wholistic, and innovative training programs such as problem-based learning, debate, telelearning, computer-aided learning, how I do it, and clinical pictorial learning.  Our passing rate in the PBS in-service examination has reached 75% in 2003. Our PBS Part-I passing rate in 2003 was 100% and 50% in Part II.  We have already produced two board certified graduates in 2003.

4.      Marked and progressive improvement in the quality of research in terms of number, usefulness, and impact of research outputs as exemplified by the action researches, the health-process-evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, and multicenter cooperative and collaborative action research studies. In 2003, in every issue of the Philippine Journal of Surgical Specialty, we have papers included in the publication.  We have already 5 papers published in 2003.  We completed 9 papers in 2002 and 22 papers in 2003.  We won 3 research awards in 2002 and one in 2003. 

5.      Marked and progressive improvement in the quality of governance in terms of clear and meaningful direction of the department; well-documented policies and procedures; consensual problem-solving and decision-making; efficient information dissemination; absence of corruption; leadership by example or role-modeling; discipline and ethics among the residents and consultant staff; effective, efficient, equitable control measures and performance evaluation procedures.

6.      Marked and progressive intensification of social responsibility programs as exemplified by the Operasyon Pinoy; the NO to Routine Circumcision advocacy; Strategies against Breast Cancer; Advisory on Swallowed Santol Seeds; Stoma Clinics for indigent Manilans; and Surgeons to Surgeonless Community.

7.      Marked and progressive intensification of interdepartmental cooperation as exemplified by the very fruitful and harmonious relationship with the Department of Anesthesia and the Operating Room and Surgery Ward Nurses.    

8.      Creation of a volunteer parasurgical staff program in 2003 which has helped in the provision of quality service.

9.      Creation of an active electronic internet-aided communication and knowledge management system.


These achievements are our achievements. These are the blessings that we got.


For these achievements and blessings, I like to thank everybody, each one of you present here tonight and those who are absent, who have in one or another contributed by giving and sharing their time, effort, and talents. 


With your indulgence, I will not cite names anymore.  Allow me to just say thank you to all of you, I mean it, maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.



I will now go to the second theme of my message: Parting words to the graduates.



Parting words:



To my graduating general surgery residents,


As I set to certify your completion of the 5 years of training in general surgery in the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center (OMMC), I like to humbly state and admit that I was not able to and could not teach you everything there is to teach in general surgery.  You and I know that this is realistically impossible as surgery is not only an unlimited but also an inexact science with so many things to learn, with still so many unknowns and uncertainties and that no two patients are the same.  However, I fervently hope that I have taught you and that you have acquired and imbibed at least the core values and basic frameworks which serve as a foundation for a rational, effective, efficient, holistic, and humane community surgeon as well as a springboard for further learning and continual lifetime improvement.


Here is a checklist of the basic frameworks and core values which you should have imbibed by this time.   If not, it is either I have not completely accomplished my task yet as a teacher or you are a slow learner.  In which case, I cannot certify your completion of training yet.


Basic frameworks:


  1. Patient management process
  2. Operation-surgery process
  3. Problem-based and self-directed learning process
  4. Physician-teacher process
  5. Physician-researcher process
  6. Physician-manager process
  7. Community surgical health management process


Core values:

  1. Respect for human lives and human being
  2. Honesty and sincerity
  3. Ethics and integrity
  4. Professionalism
  5. Continual improvement to achieve quality and excellence
  6. Teamwork
  7. Social consciousness


I have asked you to submit a reflection paper cum self-evaluation on the abovementioned basic frameworks and core values.  I have asked you  to reflect back what transpired during your entire training period in the Department of Surgery of OMMC focusing on how much you have imbibed the abovementioned basic frameworks and core values and your post-graduation plans on how to continually improve.   


I am sure you will agree with me when I will say that this reflection cum self-evaluation paper is the penultimate and most important basis of a summative evaluation of your training.  With this paper, you and I will know how much you have learned. Remember that between instruction on the part of a  teacher and learning on the part of a learner, what is more and most important in education is how much a student learned and not how much a teacher has taught.


I look forward to a reflection paper that will convincingly show that you have imbibed the basic frameworks and core values.


As a parting words before you leave the portals of the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, three things I say to you:


  1. Please pass the Philippine Board of Surgery examination in one take next year.  We have already helped you prepare for this examination during your stay with us and we will help you further next year by granting you a one-year visiting consultancy in the department in which you are allowed to do private practice in the hospital while reviewing for the board.


  1. Please disseminate and propagate the governance philosophy and objectives of the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center that you have imbibed during my stewardship to other departments of surgery in the country that you may join, manage or even establish.  Remember for the Department of Surgery of OMMC to be considered a  true model, we need other departments to adopt our practices. Remember too that our mission to become a model department of surgery through which we have improved the quality of other departments of surgery will have as one of its impact a contribution to the health development in the entire country, not only in Manila.


  1. Please keep in touch for purpose of mutual support.  On our part, I look forward to your continued support for the improvement of the department as well as for the accomplishment of its mission to become a model department of surgery in the Philippines.  On your part, feel free to seek our support for any professional needs that you may have.  We will transmit to you new developments in the department, especially, new clinical practice guidelines, to help you continually improve your professional practice.


Once your teacher, learning-facilitator, co-learner, now your colleague in the surgical profession,


Reynaldo O. Joson, MD, MHPEd, MHA, MS Surg




May I call on the 4 graduates to come up onstage for I have something to give them:



To the 4 graduates, I am giving each one of them 100 pieces of calling cards.


The content of the calling cards consists of their names, their specialty, general surgery, surgical oncology (breast, head and neck, abdomen, skin and soft tissue tumors); then their title, which says, consultant, department of surgery, ospital ng maynila medical center; in the bottom of the card, are their cell phone numbers and email addresses.


In addition to the calling cards, we are giving each one of them an envelop which contains Php 5,000 cash.   We refer to my 3 assistant chairs, Dr. Harry Go; Dr. Adrian Yu; and Dr. Edgardo Penserga and yours truly.


At this point, I like to tell the graduates.


The cards and cash are not to be used solely for establishing a private practice.  Use them to help disseminate and propagate the objectives of the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center.  Use them to contribute to the health development in the regions where you will practice. 


 Congratulations to the 2003 graduates of the Department of Surgery.