THE DR. LOURDES A. MANAHAN LECTURES IN RHEUMATOLOGY
The Dr. Lourdes A. Manahan Lectures in Rheumatology (LMLR) is an annual symposium aimed at raising awareness on developments in Rheumatology, with the student and clinician in mind. Rheumatology as a field is one of the “smaller” subspecialties in Internal Medicine that encompasses diseases that are chronic, disabling, as well as fatal in some instances. It was, therefore, not an accident that our very own Dr. Lourdes A. Manahan, recognizing this enormous gap in the care of victims of chronic inflammatory joint diseases, set out to become the country’s first expert in the field.
During those early years in 1960, as the only rheumatologist in the country, she multitasked as clinician, teacher, researcher and mentor. She represented the country in various international forums, putting the Philippines, in general, and the University of the Philippines, in particular, in the international Rheumatology community. In the country, she tirelessly came to the hospital, to personally see patients in our Out-patient Department Arthritis Clinic. Check out the log books of patient in the Arthritis Clinic circa 1970’s, where after the patient list for the day, the doctors who saw them signed at the bottom of the page, and one sees a single signature – the unmistakable script of Dr. Lourdes Manahan. She was professor in the College of Medicine and the Charity patients’ doctor as well.
Recognizing this legacy of dedicated hard work, the staff of the Section of Rheumatology, one day in the summer of 2004, set off to prepare the Dr. Lourdes Manahan Lectures in Rheumatology, to debut in the 2004 Philippine General Hospital Foundation celebrations. Yearly thereafter, it was held – the past seven symposia having discussed basic, as well as, clinical rheumatology. Enrichment of format was introduced by inviting presentations of residents from different training centers, and having a fun culmination with a rheumatology quiz. On top of these university set symposia, the LMLR Module for the Primary Physician had been given in four other centers in the country as workshops – San Fernando City, La Union, Tarlac City, Tacloban City, Dipolog City, Naga City and Bulacan.
The Section of Rheumatology of the Department of Medicine, UP-Manila College of Medicine and the Philippine General Hospital will continue the legacy of Dr. Lourdes Manahan and like her, experience not the immediate satisfaction of the current day, but the deep joy of seeing students follow in our footsteps, as we did hers.
By: Ester Penserga, MD