By Dr. ISAGANI C. RODRIGUEZ
Department Head, Out-Patient Clinics
In 1957, what is now the UERMMMCI Out-Patient Clinics (OPC) started as a humble clinic composed of four departments: Medicine, Neuropsychiatry, Ob-Ggyn and EENT. With the advances in the medical sciences over the years came the growth of specialties and subspecialties, and UERMMMCI kept up with the times.
In the mid '70s, from a section of the Department of Medicine came forth the department of neurosciences, composed of the sections of Neurology and Neurosurgery.
In 1988, EENT became two distinct independent departments: Ophthalmology and ENT-HNS(Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery). The outpatient services of Psychiatry moved into the ground floor of the JMC Building sometime in the late '90s.
Fast forward to five and a half decades later and the UERMMMC-OPC has grown to a full-fledged tertiary hospital outpatient services component with all the clinical specialties and subspecialties expected of one.
While the number of departments with theirrespective specialties and subspecialties increased over the years, so did the number of patients being serviced. The OPC, when it was located at the first floor of what is now the JM Cuyegkeng Building, became more and more congested. Though previous administration officials dreamed of improving the facilities, the financial difficulties the Medical Center was facing then simply doused those dreams.
In 1990 the late P. O. Domingo took over the helm of UERMMMC. As President and CEO, it was to his and his team of managers' credit that the Medical Ccenter made a gradual financial turnaround over the succeeding years. By the turn of the millennium plans have been drawn to rehabilitate and modernize the whole campus, especially the Hospital and all the Colleges.
P. O. Domingo unfortunately never lived to see his dream with his demise in 2008. Taking over the helm was the visionary, "can do" Vice Chairman Wilson young, who saw to it that the plans for the Medical Center push through, notwithstanding the devastation brought about by tropical storm Ondoy in September 2009. Vice Chairman Young believed then, as now, that the OPC should be a showcase of the Hospital. By the end of 2010 plans for the relocation of the new OPC at the basement of the College of Medicine Building was finalized and construction soon started.
Finally, on June 15, 2011 the new OPC was inaugurated and was renamed the UERMMMCI P. O. Domingo Out-Patient Services, in honor of the man who boldly dreamed of bringing back the glory of UERMMMC.
Today, the P. O. Domingo Out-Patient Services is a far cry from its humble beginnings as a hospital unit in 1957. From a motley clinic manned by four departments, it is now composed of ten specialized and subspecialized clinical units: Medicine, DOTS Unit (for TB patients), the Section of Dermatology (Medicine), Neurosciences (Neurology & Neurosurgery), Ob-Gyn, Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology (ENT-HNS), Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery.
Operating from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, the P. O. Domingo Out-Patient Services now boasts of spacious waiting areas and fully air- conditioned clinics, caring for upwards of 140 service ("charity") patients on an average day. Each clinic unit is manned by residents and in training supervised by certified specialists and subspecialists in the different disciplines of the medical sciences. Patients are thus assured of the highest quality of care possible.