The Surgical Department continues its tradition of unfailing service in the medical profession.

In 1947, Dr. Fortunato Guerrero oversaw the department as the first chairman. He served for six years and was succeeded by Dr. Francisco de Guzman who served for three years as the chairman.

In 1955, Dr. Jaime M. Aquino was named the chairman of the department. During his time the department was recognized as one of the first programs given accreditation by the Philippine College of Surgeons. Dr. Aquino was also given the privilege of Professor Emeritus by the MCU-FDTMF College of Medicine.

Dr. Ponciano Bernardo Jr., succeeded him as the department chairman from 1985 up to 1994. Under his leadership, the department expanded to include other subspecialties including Urology. His tenure is considered as the Golden Age of the Surgical Department, with such graduates as:

  • Dr. Henry Falcotelo (Chairman 2001-2006, Philippine Surgery Board Examiner)
  • Dr. Norman Garcia (Chairman 2009-2011)
  • Dr. Cesar Isidro (Training Officer 2011)
  • Dr. Paul Arnel Andres (current Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Quezon City General Hospital, Philippine Surgery Board Examiner)

Dr. Bernardo was also the only chairman to serve twice, 2007-2008. In his time, standardization of conferences, monthly journal club meetings, and interaction with other training institutions became the norm.

The fifth chairman of the department, Dr. Vedasto Lim adjusted residents’ training from four to five years. He was one of five chairpersons to establish the Surgical Inter-University Research Foundation.

Dr. Sergio Brillantes carried on the successes the department over several decades. He served as the sixth chairman under whose guidance Dr. Cynthia Kapangyarihan, the current College of Medicine Department of Surgery Chairperson and Philippine Board Examiner and Dr. Pauldion Cruz, the Incumbent Chairman of the Surgery Department and Philippine Board Examiner, graduated.

The department has earned several awards over the past years including the annual PCS-MMC “Batakan ng Utak” Surgical Quiz Contest in November 1998 and again in 2008, and 1st place in the 27th Resident Physicians Case Report Contest.

The department also boasts of two recipients of the Legends of the Knife Award given by the Philippine College of Surgeons, Metro Manila Chapter. They are Dr. Bernardo and Dr. Brillantes.

At present, under the guidance of Dr. Pauldion Cruz, Chairman and Dr. Emmanuel Unay, Training Officer, the department boasts of competent and morally upright residents who are able to handle the demands of the many cases. The department has also strengthened its training in Minimally Invasive Surgery with Dr. Cruz leading the section. The residents are given the opportunity to participate in Post Graduate Courses from other institutions and are regularly updated to the nuances in the various surgical disciplines.

For over six decades, and fully accredited by the Philippine College of Surgeons, the department is one of the most viable training programs in the Hospital and a relevant resource to the surgical scene in the chapter. Backed by its committed alumni and in accordance with current policies dictated by the PCS and PRC, the department continues to prosper and look towards the future brightly.

“Knowledge through fortitude, nobility despite adversity, excellence without compromise”, values that have been meticulously handed down through generations of leaders, of surgeons.