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IAMS: A gathering of mindful doctors

By: Eleanor Amarga Leyco-Chua

It all started with a vision to bring together the public health community to provide thought leadership and facilitate change to build public health capacity, transform the medical profession to a higher level of standard by proactive, productive and positive actions guided by our core values of integrity, innovativeness, adaptability, altruism, making a difference and social responsibility.

Dr. Gil Vicente

The late Dr. William Dy in 2006 gathered his friends whom he thought have the same aspirations as his, and with a little chit-chat over coffee and quick get-togethers, the International Academy of Medical Specialists, Inc. (IAMS) was formed.

Forming the organization was not a walk in the park, like any other organization the group faced several challenges, especially in convincing their colleagues to join them.

“When we first started IAMS about 10 years ago, we already have high hopes for the organization despite the challenges in the medical field then because we were at a time when most doctors would want to go abroad and work as caregivers,” said IAMS president Dr. Gil Vicente.

But the IAMS has a different perspective, it envisions to become an avenue where Filipino doctors around the world and foreign doctors share their knowledge and campaign not only for better health service but also push for education and protection of the environment.

Dr. Federico Malubay

“While we are trying to grow the organization, one of the hurdles was we had limited resources, but we are lucky enough to have in our groups some doctors who have been constant partners of different civic organizations for their medical missions or corporate social responsibility projects. This gave us the leverage to gain the trust of big and respectable foundations, companies and nonprofit organizations. We are also proud to be called ‘partner’ by  ICS, SM Foundation, Watsons, Red Cross, Unilab and a string of private corporations and government offices,” stressed Dr. Erick Francisco, IAMS vice president.

“The organization aims to ensure quality health care not only in the Philippines but also worldwide by empowering medical specialists. IAMS works to further improve physician standards through continuing education and training,” Vicente added.

Through the years, IAMS has established its role not only in health-care services but also in environment, making sure that practitioners observe conservation of natural resources. It also fosters the further education and elevating professionalism of medical specialists to contribute to advances in clinical practice, which demands a clear statement of medicine’s unifying purpose and doctors’ common values.

Dr. Erick Francisco

One of the reasons for the organization’s growing success and an open secret that sets it apart from any other society is that it strictly observes professionalism and dedication through its set of values, behaviors and relationships that underpin the trust the public has in doctors and medical practitioners.

On July 28 and 29, at least 200 medical experts from different parts of the country with specialization on various fields will converge for the 1st Summit on Health, Education and Environment, which will be held at the Novotel Manila, Araneta Center, Quezon City.

During the event, the members will have a series of scientific lectures, which will be imparted by some of the respected leaders and practitioners in the medical field. This summit also looks forward to foster camaraderie among themselves but, more important, they will seek to identify the challenges, problems and means on how these must be addressed.

Dr. Albert Gironella (from left), Dr. Erick Francisco, Dr. Federico Malubay and Dr. Lesmes Lumen

“As we approach another milestone in the field, IAMS  is bracing for bigger challenges and advancement in the industry as technology threatens to outpace  medical professionals. We will make sure to deliver safe and superior services to the people, and improve health services and reduce health imbalances,” said Dr. Federico Malubay, member of the IAMS board of trustees.

By holding this summit, the IAMS also seeks to continue to expand its memberships; operate in Asia and neighboring countries; contribute  to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems; facilitate access to better and safer health care for all Filipinos, utilizing advanced technology that can fuel vibrant collaboration not just with other physicians but other entities who can contribute to the improvement of our services; train more physicians/students and ultimately providing  logistics and avenue for aspiring physicians.