The Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health marks 10 years
In 2007, as the Ateneo de Manila University began its 3 year countdown to its sesquicentennial celebration, the university opened the doors of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH).
As part of the Ateneo Professional Schools, the ASMPH pioneered an innovative curriculum to form outstanding clinicians, dynamic leaders, and social catalysts. Its graduates would be conferred a joint MD-MBA with the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. Over the last decade, ASMPH has produced 495 graduates now blazing a trail in the Philippine public health system.
Last March 24, 2017, school administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and donors gathered together for the ASMPH 10th Anniversary Celebration.
“Like many ventures, serendipity is how the story of ASMPH began,” said founding ASMPH dean Dr. Alfredo Bengzon at the ceremony. Bengzon recalled how the dream of starting an Ateneo medical school began while scouting for a new site for The Medical City, which Bengzon still serves as President and CEO. “I raised the proposition of building a hospital building beside a medical school.”
Bengzon’s dream, became a reality when the Lopez family and the Meralco group donated the land on which ASMPH was built. Bengzon thanked the many “gift givers” who made it possible for ASMPH’s vision to come true: the Ateneo board of trustees, The Medical City, and of course, the Lopez family and the Meralco group.
“There are 2 dispositions that have in some way or another, animated the many gift givers who have helped ASMPH’s dream come to fruition: restlessness and inclusivity,” he said. “A healthy sense of restlessness allows many of us, who are mostly in the health sector, to ask ourselves: Surely, there must be something more to life than this.”
Restlessness, Bengzon said, is what allows health professionals realize that change cannot stand alone. “We needed a change in mindset as well as in heart set.”
This sense of restlessness, he said, is important in pursuing one’s dream. “Allow this restlessness to help you enter other words other than those you have chosen primarily.”
The second disposition is inclusivity, Bengzon said. “It is inclusivity that allows you and enables you to create and form how you will carry out your role as health professionals within the health ecosystem. If you are predisposed to inclusivity in the way you feel, think, and act, then you are not only helping the reshape the health eco-system but also helping reshape the world today.”
The 2 dispositions, Bengzon noted, influenced the foundation of ASMPH.
“This venture called the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health began as a dream, perhaps an impossible one, so distant and often confronted with challenges that seemed insurmountable. Yet, here we are today as one community— giving thanks, reminiscing, celebrating memories of the heart, and rekindling the passion that fired up many of us who believed and continued to believe,” he said.
Finally, Bengzon expressed his hopes to the future doctors in the audience: “May the lessons and reflections I shared be a meaningful contribution to the DNA of ASMPH. Let this DNA be the inexhaustible source of energy and passion and you go down the hill.”
The ASMPH 10th Anniversary Celebration also featured an exhibit, co-curricular fair, job fair, and homecoming dinner.