I went to the University of Santo Tomas, my alma mater since 1975 where I finished a degree of Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the College of Science in 1979. From 1979 - 1983, I did my medical school AND my graduate school at the same university and finished in 1983 with a Doctor of Medicine and my academic units for Master's of Science in Applied Mathematics.
My internship program was in an army government hospital and I did 6 months of rural work immediatelly after my board exams while waiting for the results. In thosae days, automation was not yet a magic word and the magic wand would yield our results in about 6 months, after the board examiners had manually checked ALL the test papers!
I had gone back to the University upon invitation by Dr. Mario Zarate and Dr. Mauro del Casal, to teach medical/biostatistics in Pharmacology and Physiology in the medical school. After a year, I decided to take a leave of absence to pursue my residency in Pediatrics at the UST Hospital.
Four years of residency, and a fellowship program at the Boston University Medical Center,and later a scholarship from the Southeast Asian Medical Education Organization and The World Health Organization at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, had me realize the wealth of medical information I had unearthed.
In 1993, I rejoined the faculty at UST and continued teaching Pharmacology and Pediatrics. I rose from the rank of Instructor 3 to Full Professor in that span of time and held academic and administrative positions in the university. I am, so far the longest sitting editor-in-chief of the Santo Tomas Journal of Medicine (official publication of the Faculty of Medicine & Surgery, UST).
Teaching was like second skin to me. They say that teachers are born and not made. And that is so true. My students always gave me high ratings not only for my teaching ability, but my passion to teach and learn as well. UST was home to me for the past two decades.
Today officially marked my last day with the faculty of Medicine and Surgery at UST. I opted for an early retirement. Some of my friends feel that I will be a big loss to the university, but some university officials feel otherwise. Whatever and whosever feelings are or were hurt, is not the intention of this blog. We move on...
Today, I went to the medical school, held my last class at 7 am, did my last work at the journal office, saw patients...and as I left the office, my secretary for over 18 years ran after me to tell me that should I need anything, anything at all, not to hesitate to let her know.
I'm not good at saying goodbyes and with a heavy heart had simply closed the door, looked back at her and smiled.
Leaving the academe was a decision that was not easy to make. But life goes on and there is life after UST...