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News: International College of Surgeons Philippine Section at 58 - 30 Nov 2007
WITH 800 members composed not only of surgeons but doctors belonging to allied medical services as well, the Philippine Section of the prestigious International College of Surgeons (ICS) is one of the largest in terms of membership. 

WITH 800 members composed not only of surgeons but doctors belonging to allied medical services as well, the Philippine Section of the prestigious International College of Surgeons (ICS) is one of the largest in terms of membership.

The ICS-Philippine Section was established in 1949 by 18 founding members, namely Drs. Miguel Canizares, Benvenuto Dino, Januario Estrada, Sr., Gumersindo Garcia, Sr., Rodolfo Gonzales, Fortunato Guerrero, Francisco Guzman, Nicanor Jacinto, Sr., Rosendo Llamas, Salvador Menez, Sixto Orosa, Sr., Angel I. Reyes, Carmelo Reyes, Jose Reyes, Baldomero Roxas, Guillermo Rustia, Manuel Tuazon, and Basilio Valdez.

Hungarian Dr. Max Thorek in Geneva, Switzerland founded the International College of Surgeons (ICS) in 1935. Now headquartered in Chicago, Illinois in the US, it has 13,000 members in 117 countries all over the world. Its members are surgeons in good standing and other physicians working with them.

"In our visit to Singapore last month, our executive council met with our counterparts in the ICS Singapore Section to explore inter-section cooperation in the from of exchange training, satellite meetings, and reciprocity hands-on workshops," explains outgoing ICS-Philippine Section President Nicasio T. Salang, Jr., who was elected this year as world vice president of ICS up to 2008, together with colleague, Dr. Carmencita Gotauco, who was elected ICS world treasurer. "The meeting was fruitful and historic because it was the first time that two Asian sections officially met in full force."

To entice physicians to attend and become members of the local section, Dr. Salang, who occupied various important positions in the ICS-Philippine Section prior to his election as president last year, organized the successful monthly round-table discussions that provide updates on diverse medical and surgical issues. Participants are then given CME (continuing medical education) units required by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) for them to renew their certificate of registration.

From 400 members in 2006, the Philippine Section’s membership doubled since then while many sections worldwide have a decreasing number of members.

As a result of the unprecedented leaps and bounds in its membership, Dr. Salang was invited by the ICS world governing body, of which he is a member, to Vienna, Austria in 2008 to talk about the Philippine experience.
"I think one of the secrets in gaining new members is that we were able to integrate CME activities with other local medical associations like with the Philippine Academy of Medical Specialists (PAMS)," says Dr. Salang, who attracted 250 new members during his year-long term as president. "We are also the only one with two sections—Central Luzon and Western Visayas," adds the energetic president. "What’s more, the Philippine Section is always being cited by the ICS for being the most aggressive in the world in terms of CME activities."

To encourage physicians to get involved in research studies, Dr. Salang initiated the inter-hospital research paper contest that generated 62 research papers. The top three winners get certificates and cash rewards.
One of the top fringe benefits of being a member of an ICS section is the opportunity to get a ,000 study grant yearly to undertake further training in US institutions.

It is expected that majority of its members, including more than 100 inductees, will attend the ICS-Philippine Section’s 58th annual convention on Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2007 at the Hyatt Casino and Hotel at Pedro Gil corner M. H. del Pilar, Malate, Manila.

With the theme "Keep the Torch Burning: Success Towards Significance," the three-day convention aims to impart new knowledge and updates in the realm of surgery and its allied specialties.

Special guests to grace the opening ceremonies are former President Fidel V. Ramos and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. Presidents of different prestigious medical and surgical societies will honor the event.

There will be 12 expert speakers from the Philippines and powered by six foreign speakers. Among them are Prof. Christopher Chen, ICS president-elect, of Singapore, Dr. Masataka Ikeda of Japan, Dr. Jack P. Saltre of Germany, Dr. Earl Mindell of the US, Dr. Jose Alviar of Ecuador, and Dr. Peter Lim of Singapore.

The local experts include Drs. Rogelio Mendiola, William Olalia, Reginal Hao, Josefino Hernandez, Jose Reyes III, Alex Erasmo, Raymond Rosales, Eliseo Banaynal, Maria Carla Sibulo, Gil Gonzales, Dave Alagar, Ricardo Manalastas, Jr., and Vic Español, senior vice president of PRU Life UK.

"With the Council’s and the members’ eyes focused on achieving ICS goals for the years to come, we surely will succeed as we face a future filled with exciting possibilities," concludes Dr. Salang, who has received several honors and awards, among which are the Presidential Award for Outstanding Leadership as Philippine Society of Oncologists president, and PMA Service Award for Exemplary Performance as CME Commissioner, to name a few. "This will demand an even greater devotion and commitment from our members, and even greater resources to achieve our targets."

However, with Dr. Salang’s excellent credentials and capabilities, the ICS Philippine Section has become much more active and innovative with well-motivated officers to keep the ship of ICS sailing in the right course.
Source: Panorama, 30 November 2007

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