President's Message


Madam President, and respected colleagues, I am humbled and deeply inspired and heartened by the appreciation, encouragement, and congratulations for being elected president of the prestigious Philippine  College of Physicians. With endless gratitude and thankfulness for your encouragement and support in putting great confidence in me by all of you, I want to heartily thank my husband, Dr. Oscar Payawal, and my children, Nikki OJ, Joshua, and tutti, my pug, for the patience and opportunity to wear another hat notwithstanding my priority role as a mother. I appreciate all of my seniors and colleagues, without whom it would never have been possible for me to reach this position. I feel tremendous honor that I have been blessed with such a cooperative and caring team of Executive Council and Officers of PCP, mentors from PCP, Nutrigurus, Fatima family and Cardinal colleagues, My PSG HSP family, APASL colleagues who supported and helped me at every step.

Physicians often find themselves in leadership roles through circumstances. To paraphrase Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: some are born leaders, some achieve leadership positions, while others have leadership thrust upon them. I believe I fall into the last circumstance. First, I joined PCP because of a challenge brought before me. Then when at that time, the PCP EXECOM restructured the top priority specialty and placed Gastroenterology on the minor list. But having grown through the past seven years in the College has given me a broader perspective, which is now upholding internal medicine as a leading specialty in science and health.

But an often asked question is, Why should we as physicians choose to lead? Why should we not do what we were educated and trained to do - practice medicine?

As Dr. John Waldhousen states, “in our values and our commitments - as physicians, our primary raison d’être reson de tra(our reason for being) is patient care. The welfare of patients, the education of students and residents, and the growth of research knowledge are important commitments underlying our profession.” These are the various hats  overlapping at times.

But, our commitment as physicians carry other implications. For example, we have a social responsibility to speak out on health issues, which automatically puts us in a position of apparent leadership not only on direct health issues but also on determinants of health. These commitments and values are a part of us; to an extent, they are why we chose to enter the profession in the first place. These commitments are reinforced from the day we begin medical school, and they are lived over the years as we practice medicine. And clearly, the past two years hastened this commitment.

Being a  PCP President in this peri covid era places my professional responsibility on ensuring that our core values are represented in all critical issues, especially in deliberations over the future of health care. I assure you that I will continue with clarity a set of core values that guide the organization toward its goal. In addition, I will continue to build a culture of excellence and accountability throughout the entire organization, as the previous mentors and my predecessors have done.

In the past COVID era, The physicians have played a  matching moment and continue to earn public confidence in n times of mistrust.  Yet our patients still trust us, their physicians, even though they’ve lost trust in other institutions and professions. The elements of faith noting that in this era of distrust, this through the PCP is just what we need to continue. Little did any of us realize at the time how dramatically we would be put to the test.  But we “match the moment” we have. Physicians are working long hours in offices and hospitals; sleeping in their basements or hotels, so they do not infect family members; working overtime to develop vaccines and treatments; countering the endless false narratives circulating across media channels; and reopening medical practices so we can meet the postponed health needs of our patients. I will continue to  lobby  for regulatory changes to facilitate remote patient visits; collaboration among individuals, among professions, with groups and teams, and among whole organizational systems, government  and communities

Science and research will be my  thrust to call on leaders to focus on evidence in all decision-making. And it is those acts of competence, truth-telling, compassion, and purpose that will ultimately lead us through this pandemic. This congress has earmarked new strategies in this light. I assure I will fit the “Right Size” through – consolidation some yet expanding on others  with the established committees, component societies and chapter, try to Drive out cost through the finance committee, emphasize on lean strategy by realigning strategies, improve processes,  Implement new and more complex technology through IT group and Face macro changes like increasing global competition, health care reform, and societal changes. PCP has an  over  11000 over membership and I hope we will grow together  in making Internal Medicine a foremost specialty and alongside with me through this journey for together we are ONE

Good day !