THE PDS@65: TIES AND LINKAGES
Ma. Angela T. Medina-Lavadia MD, FPDS
As we think about the Philippine Dermatological Society’s 65 years, we see the many ties that hold us close to each other.
From its inception and through its formative years, the PDS, its leadership, and its members, have hurdled many challenges together. Growing from a band of founders from different institutions and backgrounds, to being recognized as the specialty society in Dermatology by the PMA and the PCP, and the ILDS, was a painstaking journey. There were many forward steps and many more backward steps that had to be taken and re-taken.
The struggle of defining and re-defining the PDS’ rightful role in our country’s health care arena continues to this day.
The PDS has a long history of academic and clinical excellence. From the early PDS post-graduate courses; to having guest resource persons and luminaries from the American Academy of Dermatology, the International Society of Dermatology and other international institutions; to the successful co-hosting of international conferences like the Regional Conference of Dermatology, the Continental Congress of Dermatology, the Asia Pacific Environmental and Occupational Dermatology Symposium; and now this year’s 40th Annual Convention—we see the sure and steady growth of the PDS culture of expertise in Dermatology.
The work of the Philippine Board of Dermatology is a sparkling affirmation of the PDS’ dedication to honor and excellence. The Journal of the Philippine Dermatological Society (JPDS) and the Research Forum are sterling institutions in our collective intellectual world.
It is said that iron sharpens iron in the furnace of excellence.
Camaraderie, fun times and laughter is the gel that holds the PDS together. Recent events like the PDS sportsfest, the PDS Masterchef, the Psoriasis Fun walks, the Quiz Bee and even the PDS Got Talent competition brightens our way. This year’s Fellowship Night international presentations are sure to be a big hit—what with all the “non-competitive” preparations going on!
Our Outreach projects are a testament to PDS’ commitment to reach marginalized and far- flung areas. The PDS story is full of medical missions specially during calamities—recent ones are the Typhoon Ondoy and Typhoon Yolanda efforts. We have regular visits to the abandoned in Tala; the orphans of the Elsie Gatches Village and the Hospicio de San Jose; and the Manila city jail and the Women’s Correctional institution. Our Banaue Medical and Dermsurgical Mission is now going into its 17th year of service to the Cordilleras.
The PDS support to those affected by the Marawi siege demonstrates our openness to assist all– the evacuees through the Diocese of Iligan, the displaced DOH hospital workers, and even our troops serving under dire field conditions.
As PDS physicians, we have shared victories in the health care arena. The most recent is the passage of Congressional House Resolution No.719: “Resolution To Urge the PhilHealth To Include Psoriasis In The List Of Diseases And Aliments Covered By Its Healthcare Program, With The End In View Of Making Psoriasis Treatment Available Especially To The Marginalized And Lessening Cases Of Psoriasis In The Philippines.”
It includes Psoriasis in the list of diseases covered by Philhealth. The resolution was sponsored by Cong. Scott Davies Lanete and was backed by the PDS, the Philippine Rheumatology Association and the Psorphil. It is a landmark victory in dermatologic health care in the Philippines.
Truly, the PDS as a group, is strengthened and solidified by bonds of shared experiences. A church hymn of old aptly states:
“Blest be the ties that bind
Our hearts in Christian love
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.” (John Fawcett,1782)
The PDS grows by interacting with the community.
Since our patients are our foremost priority, the PDS is working closely with support groups such as Psorphil. Our yearly participation in the Psoriasis Fun Walk, our co-hosting of the National Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Conference (NPPAC) and our active support of activities such as the “Hug Me Campaign” and the “Caravan of Hope” attests to the strength of this relationship. The PDS continues to seek active patient support group partners in our efforts for Skin health.
The PDS collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH) through the National Leprosy Control Program and the Kilatis Kutis initiatives all over the country; as well as the National SkinWeek Medical Missions and Free Skin Clinics are massive voluntary efforts in cooperation with the national and local government units constituting our government’s Skin Health program.
Our ties with the international dermatological community are being strengthened.
With the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), our efforts towards promoting the World Skin Health Day are being recognized. Our recent 1st National Eczema Congress and Fair was held in conjunction with the World Skin Heath Day movement. The ILDS has now also included our National Skin Week medical missions and educational lectures among the World Skin Health Day activities as well. We will be having more than 85 free skin clinics and health education campaigns all over our archipelago.
On another front, through the work of the PDS HIS Task Force and our PDS training institutions, the PDS was cited as being the first responding society in the validation project of the ICD 11 nomenclature of skin diseases.
The PDS will be participating in the American Academy of Dermatology Global Education Day on Feb 15, 2018 at the 76th AAD Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. We will host a two-hour symposium showcasing Tropical Dermatology in the Philippines, highlighting unique cases and topics of interest. Let’s go to the AAD together! Come show your support and participate in this exciting CME event beyond our shores.
Our alliance with the International Society of Dermatology (ISD) remains strong with an active membership base led by Dr. Evangeline Handog, the 1st woman and Asian ISD President… and a PDS member!
Our collaborative community effort with the League of ASEAN Dermatological Society (LADS) continues and we are looking forward to the RCD meeting in Indonesia in 2018. Communications regarding the upcoming Asian Association of Dermatological Societies(AADS) are being nurtured.
Yes, the PDS continues to grow. We all continue to grow. We are strengthened by the common ties and shared experiences that bind us together as one. This is the core of our PDS experience.
The PDS’ scope expands through the many linkages we forge. Let us continue to reach out and build bridges of friendship and cooperation in ever widening circles of experience in the world around us.
Yes, we are only just beginning. With the grace of God, the best is yet to come.