THE PDS @ 65!!!
By: Ma. Angela T. Medina-Lavadia MD, FPDS
This year, 2017, the PDS turns 65!
Ripe with wisdom and experience, and with boundless energy and enthusiasm to dream dreams and to go and get them done — That’s us today! We are well on the road to a New Year and a New Beginning… a New Hope and a Future!
Many changes are going on in our world. Philippine society is in a state of flux amidst rapidly changing attitudes, norms, needs and demands among our countrymen. The PDS must keep up with these changing times, as a collective group and as individual members. The PDS must be ready to meet many challenges head on.
THE CHALLENGE OF GROWTH
The PDS as an organization must be attune with the needs of its individual members. Our rapidly evolving environment exerts ever greater and greater demands on the individual member. There is a constant need for growth and development among us.
To be relevant, PDS the DermAuthority must touch its members in a personal way. Our PDS must have a positive impact on the lives of our members, whether individually or collectively. This is the challenge of growth.
There is a need for us to connect with each other in more meaningful and real ways. We need to communicate and to interact in order to grow professionally, academically, experientially and as true colleagues and brothers and sisters in our common chosen field…Dermatology.
Let us form PROVINCE/CITY/DISTRICT STUDY GROUPS OR CLUSTERS instead of just meeting once or twice a year in the convention and CME meetings. These study groups can have round table discussions, exchange of ideas and sharing of techniques and practice pearls. These small groups can be a venue for Continuing Medical Education and value formation. Springboards of activities in the local level will develop. In a small group, the PDS will be more responsive to its individual members’ needs and local community needs as well.
THE LEAP PROGRAM is another avenue for growth on the chapter or metropolis level. Seminars and workshops on sub-specialty topics will be enhanced and open to all, be it the medical fields or in the non-medical life skills needed for a healthy personality. Opportunities for further training and learning and will be available to all members– whether training institution-affiliated or in private practice.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING AND PRACTICE MANAGEMENT SEMINARS and ACADEMIC REVIEW SESSIONS will be made available for the young Diplomates and for the young-at-heart. After all, we are all Leaders, all DermAuthorities! This can be spearheaded by the HR/yPDS and may involve the resident physicians as well.
To extend the reach of our CME activities, the PDS is now going digital! Our monthly Wednesday CME activity is now being web-streamed live all over the country, every last Wednesday of the month from 12-4PM. In addition, we will be announcing very soon another program called “CME BEYOND” featuring international CME access beyond our shores. Watch out for these exciting opportunities for growth and learning!
Let us work together through closer collaboration among the chapters, the training institutions, the sub-specialty core groups, and the city and province wide study groups. Let us be a tight-knit team of learners and doers, working with and for each other; helping to meet each others’ dreams and goals in our shared advocacy of Skin Health for all.
Furthermore, let us seek involvement of the dermatology sections and departments in key hospitals and medical centers in the country —including those without residency training programs. They have a vital role to play in our society.
The time is right to encourage SETTING UP OF NEW RESIDENCY TRAINING PROGRAMS, especially where many PDS members are organized and practicing. There are many key cities in the country with PDS core groups who are already working together well. Let us go beyond our daily routine of clinic practice to another level of professional development and organization. Your PDS Board and the Board of Accreditation is ready to help.
As an organization, the PDS and its Chapters, Training Institutions, the working Committees and the sub-specialty core groups should work as a cohesive whole. Mother PDS is here for you. The Chapter PDS is the same Mother PDS but closer to home. The working committee or the subspecialty core group is a part of the whole PDS… distinct, unique and different branches of the same tree. Let us be ONE. Considering the political climate of the medical profession, this is the time to show oneness and unity rather than going our own independent way. We can be diverse and hold different views and styles, but still uphold the same vision and mission.
For those of us in the Regional Chapters, let us think of ways to more efficiently service the needs of our members… from providing more venues for CME, to better information dissemination, and responsive professional activities on the local/regional level. You are PDS in your area.
THE CHALLENGE OF LEADERSHIP
The PDS must assert itself and assume its rightful leadership role in the community, with the DOH and the National government, in the Medical community with other medical societies and in the international Dermatology world.
Individually and as a group let us seek out and organize activities with local government units, non-governmental organizations, socio-civic groups and lay communities. The Dermauthority needs to reach out and spread the good news about true Skin Health for all! Let us remember our advocacy of Skin Health and Patient safety. We can organize exhibits, lay fora, medical missions and joint projects with these groups. Let us remember our long history of involvement in our community when PDS was there. Among the more recent activites are the medical missions with SAF (Special Action Force), Yolanda, Ondoy, Hi-Way Patrol group at EDSA, Tawi-tawi/Batanes , Banaue Ifugao Medical Missions and more… during National Skin week Month —we have over 70 medical missions all over the country.
We can use the “THE SAGIP BALAT PROGRAM”, a regular emphasis on specific aspects of Skin Health and Skin Diseases, as a guide to our engagements with the community.
Let us continue to work with the DOH and the National Government thru the Expanded Kilatis Kutis program, the National Leprosy Control Program, and the National Skin Week program. At present, the DOH is actively seeking specialists, including Dermatologists for their regional medical centers. I encourage you to seek these out.
Linkages and cooperation with other medical societies will continue, be it the PMA and its component societies, the PCP, and other specialty societies. In fact, the PDS has actively initiated and organized meetings with other specialty societies to formulate common stands on issues of common concern with the PRC and the PMA.
THE CHALLENGE OF PERCEPTION
The PDS must be able to relate well with the community in order to project and promote its vision and mission of Skin health for all. Let us project our expertise, our accessibility and our capacity to be of service to all levels of society, whether rich or poor, whether with aesthetic concerns or pathologic skin needs. Let us show that the PDS is keeping in tune with the demands of an ever growing, developing and expanding population.
Regular engagements with the Press and media partners can be organized on the national and local levels for public skin health awareness and education.
Lectures and fora to community groups, socio-civic organizations, schools and other venues can be arranged on a regular basis.
A balanced unified public relations campaign to highlight the PDS mission/vision can be put in place.
More than all these, let us realize that as a PDS member we stand for the Philippine Dermatological Society within our sphere of influence. When our patients and friends see us, they see PDS. And when they think of PDS, they see us.
Let our lives and our dermatology practice reflect the leadership, the integrity, the faith and the excellence that the PDS stands for. Let us show the world that we are