The Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity has four pillars, namely Excellence, Leadership, Service, and Brotherhood. These pillars serve as a reminder of what a PHI should be. While all of them are indispensible in the makings of a PHI; however, it is service that is most relevant to becoming a doctor. It does not matter if you are excellent in your own field. You must have the desire to serve the people lest you fall into the mindset of seeing patients merely as sources of income.

Being a student of the UP College of Medicine means that you carry the responsibility of giving back to the Filipino people. You must find it in yourself to pay them back for allowing you to study medicine. With the stress of exams, case reports, and ward works; however, most students are unable to find time for this. The PHI medical student is an exception to this. As early as Learning Unit 3 (LU3: 1st year medical school), student brods are given a chance to start their journey of giving back to the people. PHI has a number of service projects, such as Project OpeRA, Project HERO, and Empowerment Through Mobility. Aside from these, there are also numerous medical and “tuli” or circumcision missions, which the Fraternity holds over the course of the year.

Medical Missions

This 2017, both student and resident brods were able to see at least 900 patients over the course of four (4) medical missions held at Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School in Commonwealth, Quezon City c/o Lions Clubs International Foundation, Districts 334-E and 301-D2, at Commonwealth Elementary School in Novaliches, Quezon City c/o Brod Jerome Sarmiento Ramos Φ2001,at Gawad Kalinga (GK) Dreamland Community in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, and at Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City. These medical missions serve not only to try and diagnose, if possible, the various ailments of the people, but also to promote health consciousness in the community. Due to the limited supplies available in these missions, the kind of treatment given to the patients is limited. This, however, is compensated for by giving them advice on how to minimize their symptoms and by telling them to consult with their local health center for additional services.

A typical setup in medical missions is as follows: (1) an Integrated Clinical Clerk (ICC: 3rd year medical student) clerk, intern, or resident brod who is in charge of assessing the patient, which includes diagnosis and prescription, (2) a student brod (1st and 2nd year medical students) whose task is to observe, learn, and, if given the chance, check the patient’s vital signs, and (3) someone in charge of giving the prescribed medications to the patient. This setup ensures efficiency, not only in terms of patient turnover, but also in terms of allowing the more junior brods to learn from those with experience.

Tuli Missions

In most countries, summer is viewed usually as a time of relaxation. Schools suspend classes for a few months until the summer heat is over. Here in the Philippines, however, summer is known for being the season of circumcision, or “tuli”, missions. PHI, with its long standing legacy of Service, also held their own set of circumcision missions this 2017, all in all serving about 700 boys, spread across the months of April and May, in line with the summer break of students. These were held at Cristimar Village in Antipolo, Rizal c/o Brod John Paul Emerson Serrato Mariñas Φ2004B, at Barangay Bañdero in Calamba, Laguna c/o Sis Armi De Valle Espiridion-Calma Φ2004, Class 2009, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital in Parañaque City c/o Dr. Aida Mendoza-Salonga and Brod. Ricardo Mendoza Salonga Φ1969A, at San Fernando de Silao Church in Paco, Manila c/o Knights of Columbus, at San Jose, Nueva Ecija c/o Brod Gabriel Liberon Pulido Jazon Φ2013, at Santisima Trinidad Church in Malolos, Bulacan c/o Brod Alduz Inri Surio Cabasa Φ2000, and at Commonwealth Elementary School in Novaliches, Quezon City c/o Brod Jerome Sarmiento Ramos Φ2001.

In the Philippine setting, circumcision is a rite of passage. Those adults who have not yet had theirs circumcised are looked down upon. Even within peer groups, insults are often slung towards those who have not yet undergone circumcision. Because of these, it is only natural that parents want to have their sons circumcised as soon as possible, sometimes against the will of the child.

The process of circumcision begins with checking if the boy’s penis has its foreskin fully retracted. If not, the doctor proceeds to retract it forcefully, which causes pain due to the disruption of fascia. The area is then sterilized using a disinfectant, before lidocaine (an anesthesia) is injected just below the pubic symphysis. This is another part which causes pain to the child, but is necessary to prevent pain from being felt during the rest of the procedure. After ensuring that the anesthesia has taken effect, the doctor then proceeds with cutting the foreskin and sewing up the wound. Finally, the child, along with his parent/s, is given instruction on how to clean and manage the wound.

At first, LU3 brods are not allowed to perform the procedure. They shadow over a more experienced brod and learn the skills by observing and assisting when they can. After observing a few procedures, they are then allowed to perform the procedure. This provides them with an early exposure to surgical procedures which will help them in their succeeding years in medical school.

As is evident in the structure of these medical missions, PHI, while giving Service to the people, also values Excellence of its members. These missions also provide a chance of Brotherhood and give experience to its members, hopefully enabling them to become Leaders in their own fields. Through these missions, PHI’s mandate of Excellence, Leadership, Service, and Brotherhood is promulgated.

 

Established in August 1933 by the UP College of Medicine's best medical students, the PHI KAPPA MU (Fraternity of the College of Medicine) continues to uphold its tested tradition of Excellence, Leadership, Service and Brotherhood in the College, University and in our country.

Through the Fraternity's ideals and pillars, her Loyal Sons continue to lead, innovate and excel in the practice of medicine worldwide and in preserving the honor and integrity of the medical profession.

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