DESCRIPTION OF THE THEME FOR THE 95TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE - Internal Medicine at 95: An Illustrious Past, A Dynamic and Vibrant Present and A Revolutionary Future

Internal Medicine as a medical specialization is as old as antiquity. Medical specialization existed in the Hellenistic world and in Rome. This development during the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century is credited to the rapid expansion of medical knowledge which made it impossible for a single doctor to encompass all the different spheres of the profession. With this historical perspective, we stand on the shoulders of giants: eminent pioneers, trailblazers, physicians and scientists of the previous centuries.

Inspired by the illustrious and colorful past – nine and a half decades defined by valuable lessons, historic accomplishments and milestones which have revolutionized medical education and healthcare in the Philippines, the Department of Medicine, the premiere department of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, and the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, carries with it the wisdom of its pillars and pioneers who have laid the foundation for the dynamic and vibrant state that we have today – indeed an extraordinary era in medicine.

Amidst a time of uncertainty - a pandemic that has affected millions of lives and continues to wreak havoc on health systems and global economies, a world in crisis brought about by the ripple effects of a geopolitical standoff, a country whose fate remains unpredictable and precarious amidst an economic recession, and an academic institution that continues to face the challenges and threats in the fast-paced medical landscape, the Department makes a bold declaration and a fearless forecast for a revolutionary future - a tomorrow filled with hope and promise, where we will continue to fulfill our academic mission and stay true to and uphold the values enshrined in the mission and vision of the University and the Hospital, and where we will evolve with the changing and rapidly accelerating progress in medicine and transform healthcare and medical education in the community and in the country.

Evolutionary change is incremental and takes place gradually, over time. By contrast revolutionary or transformational change is profound. Revolutionary change reshapes and realigns strategic goals and often leads to radical breakthroughs in beliefs, behaviors and practices. In our efforts to stay ahead of the curve and reach evolution, outstanding institutions like us often pursue revolutionary change.

The challenge in today’s organization is not learning how to accept change but in how to orchestrate the most efficient change leading to organizational evolution. Staying in touch with our core values, maintaining a culture of innovation and learning to make the most of resources during change is the key to success.

We look back to a magnificent past and move ahead forward to the future with a gallant and visionary move for cutting edge education in medicine, and compassionate and patient-centered healthcare.

(Note: The theme for the 95th anniversary of the Department of Medicine was suggested by Dr. Priscilla B. Caguioa)

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