The Department of Anesthesiology as one sees it today does not give a hint it was forty six years ago. It did not take a too long to develop into a recognized and accredited department of this prestigious institution. It emerged from its cocoon in 1974 when it was awarded a certificate of accreditation from the Philippine Board of Anesthesiology.
A glimpse of the past, an important Filipino virtue gives us the value of sheer determination and commitment to grow, to prosper and to be known. As in any other institution, the Department of Anesthesiology was once an integral part of Surgery. It is still an indispensable partner of the different operating departments but it now boast of being able to stand on its own feet. How can anyone imagine that a room measuring 3x2 meters could serve as a storage room, bedroom, dining room and washroom? Be as it may, it was in this room where big ideas developed and bigger that one’s heart yearns for greatness. We give credence to the people who worked hard for the department, when all odds were against them.
Dr. Leticia Curtin, one of the charter members of the Philippine Board of Anesthesiology has been the Section Head of Anesthesia from 1948 to 1969. Another popular figure whose presence exudes confidence is Dr. Angel Montes. He was not only an Anesthesiologist. He did surgery as well Monetary remuneration while vital to one’s existence was never Dr. Montes’ priority Service to humanity, a very common by word among aspiring doctors was foremost in his humble heart, there he served as a voluntary consultant from 1961-69. Dr. Paciencia Escolin Disini and the late Dr. Roberto Chuapoco, Dr. Dolores Tantoco Carreon, Dr. Vivencio Oracion shared the same zeal of dedication with Dr. Montes.
The years 1968-74 witnessed an even greater desire to improve Dr. Emelita Vidanes did not leave a stone unturned to have the Department of Anesthesiology accredited by the Philippine Board of Anesthesiology. Together with Dr. Cenon Cordero, who was the Department Head from 1972-75 and the staff, Dr. Vidanes finally reaped the fruits of their labor when the Department was accredited in 1974. Since then, Dr. Vidanes with her zealous commitment to continue departmental growth and development not only academically but also clinically maintained an accredited training program. Dr. Angel Montes, who assumed chairmanship of the Deparment in 1990 up to the time of his retirement in 1992, saw to it that the thrusts of the hospital that of Training, Service and Research, be properly implemented. What has been started has to be continued, maintained and improved not by leaps and bounds but by a steady upward trend. Many respect the virtue of silence and modesty while each work for quality patient care. Each one despite numerous limitations tries to do best for LIFE. The present staff, from the technicians, clerks, nurses, anesthesia residents and consultants namely Dr. Theresa C. Menor, Chairman of the Department from 1992 to February 1995, Dr. Lilia A. Zamora, Dr. Emelita A. Umali, Dr. Ricardo L. Garcia, Dr. Materno S. Chavez and Dr. Emelita A. Vidanes, newly re-appointed Chairman, without qualms purse the thrusts of not only Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center but also that of the Department of Health.