Dare to be extraordinary: Gordon urges UP Med School scholars to become the country’s best doctors

Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chairman Richard Gordon urged scholars at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine to strive to be extraordinary citizens by becoming the nation’s best doctors.

From left, UP College of Public Health Dean Dr. Fernando Garcia, UP College of Medicine Dean Dr. Charlotte Chiong, UPCM Chancellor Dr. Michael Tee, PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, PRC Secretary General Gwen Pang, and PRC Vice Chairperson Cora Alma de Leon. 

“UP must always show the way and lead, step up the plate... put your mind where your mouth is,” Gordon said during the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signing between PRC and the University of the Philippines-College of Medicine (UPCM) for the second batch of scholars under PRC's Medical Scholarship Program on June 10.

Gordon, an alumnus of UP College of Law, stressed that UP and PRC share the same goal to provide service to as many Filipinos as possible.

“Sa dami ng problemang kinakaharap ng bayan, kailangan nating pag-igihin ang ating pagmamahal sa kapwa (Given the numerous problems our country is facing, we need to enhance our love for others) —that's the commonality of UP and PRC, we share the same goal,” Gordon said.

In a statement issued Tuesday, June 11, PRC said eight medical students of UPCM have availed themselves of the program, which is the university's biggest full scholarship grant.

The eight new PRC-UPCM scholars are Pauline Angela F. Abu, Charmaine Khaye D. Alba, Ceidy Joyce A. Balubal, Czariss Dale Grace A. Bedoya, Haggai Elisha L. Facon, Mary Hazel B. Florita, Rona Angela Grindulo, and Wade Montgomery Rosales.

PRC is currently supporting 16 scholars of UPCM.

Some of the new scholars, PRC said, are enrolled in the Doctor of Medicine-Master of Public Health double degree program.

PRC added that this new program aims to “equip the emerging generation of physicians with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage many concerns” in the setting of the Universal Health Care Law.

These concerns include prevalent health issues in the Philippines, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory and kidney diseases, cancers, and mental health disorders; emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, outbreaks, and pandemics; disasters; regional health security; aging; and climate change.

PRC explained the proposed program will produce competent physicians with expert training in public health who are “highly valuable assets for any health institution, and for any nation for sustainable development.”

Be extraordinary

At the MOA signing ceremony held at UPCM's new Henry Sy Sr. Hall, Gordon told the scholars that he pushed for the scholarship program because “I believe that we need the best doctors in the country.”

He also challenged the scholars to “dare to be extraordinary citizens.”

Aside from Gordon, also present at the MOA signing were UP College of Medicine Dean Dr. Charlotte Chiong, UPCM Chancellor Dr. Michael Tee, Dean of the College of Public Health Dr. Fernando Garcia, PRC Vice Chairperson Cora Alma de Leon, Secretary-General Dr. Gwen Pang, Board of Governors members Presy Ramos and Andrew Nocon.