UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery officials and alumni pose for a photo during the book launch of "Honora Medicum," a commemorative book for the 150th anniversary of the faculty, at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O. P. Building on Nov. 29.

The UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery (FMS), the oldest medical school in the country, launched a commemorative book to close its 150th-anniversary celebration at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building on Nov. 29.

Titled “Honora Medicum” (Honor the Physician), the 380-page coffee table book contains the history of the FMS, the experiences of FMS alumni, medical missions, and breakthroughs in research, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The book title takes its name from the Latin inscription at the facade of the St. Martin de Porres Building, where FMS is housed: “Honora medicum. Opera eius sunt necessaria. Deus autem est qui vitae et mortis. Habet potestatem.”

(Honor the physician. His works are necessary. But God is the one of life and death. He has power.)

Medicine Regent Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P., who served as the book’s chief editor, said the book is a “witness” to the legacy of over 40,000 doctor-teachers.

“This is our history. It’s very important. We are part of it, an army of about 40,000 doctors, which gives us a feeling of collective accomplishment, a reason to believe that we have not been wasting our lives,” Aparicio said during the book launch.

“This book is a tribute to our alma mater, [and] indirectly, a personal testimony of the nobility of the medical profession that I have come to learn better and appreciate more.”

Aparicio added that publishing a book was the most natural and appropriate thing to do for the sesquicentennial celebration because books are “sustenance to the soul.”

Formally opened on May 28, 1871, the UST FMS is the first medical school in the Philippines.

It is recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as one of the 13 Centers of Excellence in UST.

Congress has passed Senate Resolution No. 336 and House Bill Resolution 270 to recognize UST’s “considerable contribution to the development of medical and health care educational institutions in the Philippines” for the past 150 years.

FMS alumnus and former Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque III was present at the book launch, while DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire expressed gratitude to the faculty for contributing to a more progressive healthcare system in the country via a pre-recorded video.


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