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Confluence ’21

Our first batch of scholars had an added experience before leaving the portals of the University of Santo Tomas. Our Regent’s Scholarship Program Chair, Prof. Evelyn Songco, PhD, invited speakers from both the private and public practices, to share what our new graduates may expect in their internship. Our Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc./Development Office and Alumni Relations Director, Ms. Anna Ward opened the Confluence, and followed it with the introduction of our speakers, Dr. Alfred Belmonte and Dr. Ma. Teresa Tricia Guison-Bautista.

Dr. Bautista is a family medicine practitioner, who also has interests in occupational, geriatric medicine, sports medicine and palliative care. She is well-published nationally and internationally. Her practice is mostly among communities, but she also serves as the Faculty and Residency Training Officer of UST. As a doctor with numerous and myriad of experiences, she shared her journey through medicine. She gave a simple acrostic for our young doctors to remember along their medical life journey which is “PIES” (Patriotism, Integrity, Excellence, Spirituality ); Patriotism, she said that despite her experiences and opportunities abroad, as a community doctor, she knew the inequalities and inaccessibility of our current health system. Thus, she urged the scholars to always put the country at heart. Integrity is one of the most important virtues a Thomasian Doctor must uphold, to be followed by Excellence and Spirituality. As doctors, she reminded them of the oath to serve the sick, sick people who are existential beings. Also, to constantly pursue excellence, with a heart.

Dr. Belmonte is a practicing general surgeon with decades of experience and has held several posts in the University including Chairmanship of the Department of Surgery and the Clinical Program Director. He was the immediate past Social Welfare and Development Coordinator of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Belmonte provided a more pragmatic view of life after medical school. He even shared that in contrast with Dr. Bautista who shifted specialties, he earlier on had already decided on being a surgeon. He presented the possible specialties, job opportunities and other important choices they might make as they go along their journey. He also shared a word of caution for possible challenges, and unpleasant experiences they might also encounter.

An open forum was then moderated by Dr. Songco after a lively discussion. The Regent of the Faculty and Medicine, as well as Board Member of AFI, Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P. bid them farewell and wished them blessings on their way as their internships started the day after (August 1, 2021).