RITM honors five fellows on Infectious Disease

The fellow graduates Dr. Mishelle Vonnabie Bala (3rd from left), Dr. Joan Bonaobra (4th from left), Dr. Endymion Tan (4th from right), and Dr. Maria Jonelyn Colobong-Mendoza (3rd from right) poses with Assistant Director Dr. Celia C. Carlos (1st from left), Medical Department Head Dr. Mari Rose A. Delos Reyes (2nd from left), Director Dr. Socorro P. Lupisan (2nd from right), and Medical Department Overall Training Officer Dr. Manolito Chua (1st from right).

Five fellows marked the beginning of a new chapter as they graduated from the Infectious Disease Fellowship Training Program of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) last June 16 at the Bellevue Hotel.

RITM Director Dr. Socorro P. Lupisan honored Dr. Ralph Aniceto, Dr. Endymion Tan, Dr. Mishelle Vonnabie Bala, Dr. Joan Bonaobra, and Dr. Maria Jonelyn Colobong-Mendoza for being the fifth batch to successfully complete the training program.

“This Fellowship Training Program serves as a preparedness plan against outbreaks. We do not know when it could happen, but we do know that our fellows are always ready,” said Dr. Lupisan as she points out that the two-year-long rigorous training has equipped the fellows with the right knowledge to handle and manage emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.

Fellow graduate Dr. Tan shared that RITM opened his eyes to the “wonders of the infectious world” during his month-long rotation on his second year of residency in Internal Medicine. This was the reason behind his desire to pursue Infectious Diseases as his subspecialty.

Aside from the professional growth he obtained from the program, Dr. Tan emphasized that RITM’s Fellow Training taught him the value of humility and camaraderie.

“Despite the tiring and long-working hours, I had to love what I have chosen. True enough, I am very thankful to have been a part of this family,” Dr. Tan shared. “If I have to start my fellowship training again, I would still choose RITM.”

During the ceremony, RITM Assistant Director Dr. Celia Carlos presented a challenge to the graduates: “It’s not easy to do all three [research, teaching and clinical practice] but if you are able to do all three, we will expect to see you to be one of the pearls in Infectious Disease.”

Accredited by the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, RITM’s two-year-long training program has produced a total of nine fellows specializing in the field of infectious diseases.

by Eunice Brito, Contributor