UST FMS launches Honora Medicum, honors 150 years of Thomasian medical education

The University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery (UST-FMS) launched a commemorative book titled Honora Medicum, which pays tribute to the 150 years of service to the nation of over 40,000 graduates from the Philippines’ oldest medical school. The ceremonial book launch was held on November 29, 2022 at the Dr. Robert Sy Grand Ballroom, Bl. Buenaventura G. Paredes O.P. Building.

The book title (meaning “Honor the Physician”) comes from Sirach 38: 1-4. Fittingly, its four chapters celebrate the mother of all medical schools in the country and pay tribute to Thomasian doctors’ extraordinary impact on society.
To honor the generations of doctor-teachers all the way to the first generation in 1871, Honora Medicum discusses, among many others, the evolution of the UST Medical Curriculum, provides excerpts from Thomasian alumni and FMS Deans, presents UST Medical missions and community engagement, and highlights breakthroughs during COVID-19 as well as medical research through the years.
The book chapters – conceptualized and titled according to key phrases in the Latin motto memorialized on the façade of the St. Martin de Porres building, where FMS is housed are I. Honor the Physician, II. His works are necessary, III. But God is the One, IV. Who has power over Life and Death.
Honora Medicum aims to move and inspire a new generation of Thomasian students, and to stake UST’s claim to the next 150 years of quality Catholic medical education.
UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., shared that, “This commemorative book is a fitting tribute to all Thomasian medical alumni, luminaries, innovators, and future leaders in the field that this institution has religiously nurtured and sustained through the years.”
The Chief Editor of Honora Medicum, Rev. Fr. Ángel A. Aparicio, O.P., who also serves as the FMS Regent, thanked the people who graced the launch, saying that, “I view your presence at this event as a tribute to an institution that has contributed enormously to the Philippines, not only in the field of health, but in other areas. This is our history — very important! We are part of it, having produced about 40,000 Filipino doctors, which gives us a feeling of collective accomplishment and a reason to believe that we have not been wasting our lives.”
Department of Health Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire also congratulated the UST FMS for its 150th anniversary.
“In the course of time, you have proven to be a force of nature by producing numerous competent and efficient physicians under your belt. These great achievements have greatly contributed to the making of a more progressive healthcare sector in the country. The Department of Health is grateful to each and everyone of you as you continue to make your mark in the country through the development of medical and healthcare education, which aims to reach all Filipinos wherever they may be in the world. We look forward to more Thomasians healing and taking care of our Juan and Juanas through the knowledge and fervor they shall nurture under Thomasian educators, physicians, and surgeons. May Honora Medicum be a tangible evocation of the countless contributions of the UST FMS in the health sector throughout the years. Know that the DOH is one with UST in reaffirming its commitment to foster men and women in the medical field,” said Vergeire.
Recipients of the first copies included the UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., the Director of the Instituto Cervantes Mr. Javier Galván, National Library of the Philippines Chief Librarian V. Melody M. Madrid, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Librarian Ms. Diana Galang, former Department of Health Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque III, UST Hospital CEO Rev. Fr. Julius Paul C. Factora, O.P., UST Medical Alumni Association President Dr. Edwin Rodriguez, and Dr. Tito P. Torralba, who is a former UST FMS Dean and former Medical Director of UST Hospital.
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