Shar­ing ex­per­tise

Min­danao's 1st den­tal medicine spe­cial­iza­tion train­ing pro­gram

Sun.Star Davao - - FRONT PAGE - By Stella A. Estremera

DEN­TISTRY is not just about tooth ex­trac­tion and braces, it's a whole dis­ci­pline that can be both life-chang­ing and lifethreat­en­ing. Like any med­i­cal pro­fes­sion, it also has spe­cial­iza­tion, which for so long has been de­nied those who do not have the means to be away from prac­tice and home for long be­cause spe­cial­iza­tion cour­ses are only avail­able in Metro Manila.

Thus, at the South­ern Philip­pines Med­i­cal Cen­ter (SPMC) Den­tal De­part­ment, a long­ing was born: to be able to of­fer train­ing on spe­cial­iza­tion so that more den­tists can up­grade their skills and be avail­able for the fast­grow­ing need in fast­grow­ing Min­danao. With train­ing now avail­able in Min­danao, highly-skilled den­tists can now at­tend to the widest pos­si­ble cases, even com­pli­cated ones, es­pe­cially among the poor.

Some ma­jor push here and there, and a lot of train­ings and prepa­ra­tions and sac­ri­fices in be­tween, SPMC fi­nally has its own Hos­pi­tal Den­tistry Train­ing Pro­gram, the first ever avail­able out­side Metro Manila.

The Hos­pi­tal Den­tistry Train­ing Pro­gram is a new sec­tion of the hos­pi­tal's den­tal unit. Through the ini­tia­tive of its De­part­ment Head Drs. Hei­dee Daphne M. Digma and Rey Hafid Mi­lan, now the Train­ing Of­fi­cer, and with the full sup­port of Med­i­cal Chief Dr. Leopoldo J. Vega, the pro­gram was ap­proved in the mid part of the year 2017.

"This is part of ser­vice to the com­mu­nity where in­di­gents can ac­cess qual­ity den­tal care," Dr. Digma said.

De­signed to cater to den­tists com­ing from Min­danao and other ap­pli­cants who want to train at SPMC in­stead, the trainees will han­dle gen­eral clinic pa­tients, emer­gency pa­tients, and re­ferred pa­tients from or out­side the hos­pi­tal; learn the process of hos­pi­tal ac­cred­i­ta­tion, ad­mis­sion, dis­charge, man­age­ment and co-man­age­ment of den­tal patholo­gies and trauma. The em­pha­sis is on proper eval­u­a­tion of mi­nor and com­pli­cated surg­eries.

"It is much like the train­ing in PGH (Philip­pine Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal) in Manila," Dr. Mil­lan said. "The train­ing for me has long been both a dream and a goal. A vi­sion that one day our stu­dents and den­tists from Davao city and Min­danao who has so much po­ten­tial, the pas­sion to learn and at the same time serve but doesn’t have the re­sources to go to Manila and else­where where there is train­ing be­cause of fi­nan­cial con­straints."

Dr. Vega takes pride in the ini­tia­tive of the de­part­ment to have a train­ing pro­gram, es­pe­cially be­cause its fo­cus is hos­pi­tal den­tistry that deals more with sur­gi­cal op­er­a­tions.

"These are usu­ally trauma pa­tients who need emer­gency med­i­cal at­ten­tion," he said, "the spe­cial­iza­tion on this is not of­fered by any other train­ing pro­gram out­side Manila."

Ba­sic to this, he said, is that the de­part­ment has the tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise and com­mit­ment, which it has.

Dr. Fre­deswinda Maco, who trained in Tai­wan on oral max­illo­fa­cial surgery at the TzuChi Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Taipei, Tai­wan, looks for­ward to train­ing more lo­cal den­tists.

"(This is an) Op­por­tu­nity to share knowl­edge earned in Tai­wan. To cater pa­tients that needs my ex­per­tise," she said. Dr. Maco is the se­cion head of oral max­illo­fa­cial surgery of the De­part­ment of Den­tal Medicine of SPMC and a fac­ulty of Cebu Doc­tors Univer­sity.

"This also pro­vides qual­ity health care ser­vice for Dabawenyos," Dr. Richard Clem Quinones, the pro­gram's Clin­i­cal Co­or­di­na­tor, said. While Dr. Em­ma­ryl Ju­lian sees it as an op­por­tu­nity to learn more and ad­vance in her pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment.

At the bot­tom of it all is a de­sire to serve the Min­danaoans to the best of their abil­ity. Dr. Mil­lan cred­its this fo­cus on Min­danao to his el­der broth­ers who have like­wise built their ca­reers with Min­danao as their pri­or­ity.

"Labi na Kuya Kublai, his ad­vo­cacy is Min­danao, my ad­vo­cacy is also Min­danao," Dr. Mil­lan said re­fer­ring to his el­der brother and artist Rey Mud­jahid "Kublai" P. Mil­lan.

That ad­vo­cacy to reach out to the least served and bring their ser­vices there has been im­bibed by the de­part­ment who has been reg­u­larly hold­ing and join­ing free den­tal mis­sions in­clud­ing those that pro­vide hare­lip op­er­a­tions for those who can­not af­ford such pro­ce­dures.

"As the cul­ture of ser­vice was en­grained in our very hearts, it shook the very foun­da­tion of my per­cep­tion of ser­vice. As one can re­late ser­vice with duty, it re­ally felt more of love for my fel­low 'taga-Dabaw' as we are fond of us­ing. This now stemmed in pro­vid­ing the same care for the in­di­gents as you do for your own fam­ily," Dr. Louie Ig­natius P. Lopez said.

"We may not have the years of ex­pe­ri­ence un­der our belt, but we can as­sure the peo­ple of Davao and Min­danao that our love will only grow stronger," he added.

Dr. Lopez, aside from be­ing part of the SPMC Den­tal Medicine is also the Oral Surgery De­part­ment Head DMSF, Inc. Col­lege of Den­tistry.

Last year, the pro­gram started ac­cept­ing two trainees ev­ery six months.

"Now we have MOA with a hos­pi­tal in Manila, the Mary Chiles Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal De­part­ment of Oral Max­illo­fa­cial Surgery, which is headed by Dr. Car­los Buen­dia, the im­me­di­ate past pres­i­dents of Philip­pine Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion. Of­fer namin is hos­pi­tal den­tistry and oral surgery train­ing pro­gram then by Septem­ber (2018), i-open namin ang in­te­grated my­ofunc­tional orthodon­tics, or­tho­pe­dics, tem­poro­mandibu­lar dis­or­der man­age­ment and sleep medicine train­ing," Dr. Mil­lan said.

Aside from Dr. Buen­dia, the train­ing pro­gram is grate­ful to Mary Chiles Drs. Jaime La­pan and Or­lando Villa, the ju­nior con­sul­tants of the Oral Max­illo­fa­cial De­part­ment of the hos­pi­tal, Dr. Bene­dict Valdez, SPMC Emer­gency Medicine Di­rec­tor who is also with the Ma­har­lika Char­ity Foun­da­tion, SPMC Chief of Clin­ics

CON­SUL­TANTS AND SUP­PORT­ERS. Af­ter the in­ter­view for vol­un­teer con­sul­tants, South­ern Philip­pines Med­i­cal Cen­ter's HR Jo Macaraeg with Drs. Haidee Daph­nee Digma, Rey Hafid P. Mil­lan, Jaime La­pan Jr., Or­lando Villa, Car­los Buen­dia, and SPMC Di­rec­tor Dr....

IN AC­TION. Dr. Ga­maliel Urbi vol­un­teer con­sulant for orthodon­tics.

SHAR­ING EX­PER­TISE. Dr. Louie Lopez, head of oral surgery de­part­ment of the Davao Med­i­cal School Foun­da­tion Col­lege of Den­tistry; Dr. Haidee Daph­nee Digma, SPMC de­part­ment of den­tal medicine chair; Dr. Rey Hafid P. Mil­lan, train­ing of­fi­cer of the SPMC...

LEARN­ERS BE­FORE. Dr. Hafid Mil­lan (5th from left, stand­ing), Dr. Louie Lopez (6th from left, stand­ing), and Dr. Fre­deswinda Maco (9th from left, stand­ing) as class­mates at the Philip­pine Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in 2005.

UP­GRAD­ING. Hos­pi­tal den­tistry and oral surgery trainees from left Dr. Ross James Corvera, Dr. Gino Arvin San­tos, Dr. Emaryl Ju­lian, Dr. An­drew Louis Lamela, and Dr. Primo Be­tanio.

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