Reynaldo O. Joson, MD, MHA, MHPEd, MSc Surg is consultant in Health and Medicine, Hospital Administration, Hospital Safety Promotion and Disaster Preparedness, Medical Education, General Surgery and Surgical Oncology (Breast,Thyroid, Head and Neck, and Skin and Soft Tissue). We decided, as our year-end interview, it would be good to hear from a 2007 Xavier Kuangchi outstanding alumnus, to remind us what we are all, medical doctors and other health professionals, in health care for. This is our first interview to be done via email, and we decided not to do any editing to preserve the flavor of Dr. Joson’s language and rhythm.
Dr. Joson, thank you for the honor of having you for our website. How long have you been practicing medicine?
Officially, since 1975, the year I passed my Philippine Board of Medicine Examination. That’s 39 years.
What surprises you still about medicine?
Nothing now as I have accepted the reality a long time ago that medicine is not an exact science; nothing is absolutely certain or predictable; and that anything is possible in terms of disease occurrence, diagnosis of disease, response to treatment, and prognosis.
What is the state of the Philippine health care capability in terms of cancer? People want to go to the United States, saying the protocols there will be different, in fact superior.
In terms of outcomes of care, particularly, quality of life management and in the aphorism, “cure sometimes, relieve often, and comfort always”, the Philippine health care capability in terms of cancer is at par with developed countries. Protocols in the United States may be different but not necessarily superior in terms of the aphorism I mentioned earlier.
What are your criteria for you to call someone a good doctor?
Holistic, professional, and compassionate.
How about doctor-teachers, who have been important to you? Please share some names and why.
The late Dr. George Eufemio from whom I have imbibed the pragmatic approach in the practice of medicine and from whom I have imbibed the importance of medical photography. Dr. Antonio Limson from whom I have imbibed the virtues of humility and respect for students,
What excites you about your field today?
My field is healthcare delivery system in the Philippines. What excites me is to develop a medical center what will provide integrated value-based healthcare delivery services. I believe this is what the citizenry is looking for now and will be looking for indefinitely. Integrated Value-based Healthcare Services are services that improve health care outcomes per unit cost of care through integrated management systems. They use integrated management systems to create value in the delivery of health care services.
For every healthcare service rendered, on the part of the patient-clients, there is a perceived value for the money spent.
Cost of the service may be the running rate or higher. However, as much as possible, efforts must be exerted to bring the cost down to reasonable and acceptable level to both the clients and healthcare service providers.
Value is usually defined as health outcomes over cost of delivery of the outcomes.
The adjective “integrated” is used to emphasize the need for optimal integration among the different healthcare services and providers so as to produce excellent health outcomes within reasonable and acceptable cost.
Integrated value-based healthcare services are expected to lead to patient-clients’ delight.
With patient-clients’ delights, the hospital will be more attractive to the community.
Being more attractive, the hospital will have more patient-clients’ seeking its services which in turn will promote sustainability of the hospital.
Are any of your kids going into medicine? What do you tell them, lessons from your life?
I have only one kid who is now on his 2nd year at the University of the Philippine College of Medicine. I have told and advised him a lot of things already – on how to live life and on how to be a good physician. Make a life plan as early as now, target 70 years, implement the life plan and try to achieve the goals and objectives in the life plan even before 70 years. In the life plan, there are two goals: to survive physically, financially, and mentally and to enjoy whatever is placed in the life plan. On how to become a good physician, make strategic and operational plans; know the criteria of being a good physician – holistic, professional, and compassionate; be a self-directed learner.
What do you tell your residents?
Be holistic, professional, and compassionate physicians.
To answer your question, I suggest you get the answers direct from the horses’ mouth – the residents created a song “Josonics” as a tribute to me in my retirement from the Philippine General Hospital, which is available on youtube.
You have been associated with PGH, Manila Doctors, and Ospital ng Maynila. Give us an assessemnt of these three institutions, crucial to the health care system of the country.
Philippine General Hospital is a national government hospital. Ospital ng Manila Medical Center is a city government hospital. Manila Doctors Hospital is a private hospital. They are all parts of the health care system of the country, particularly, in Metro Manila or just Manila where these three hospitals are located. All these three hospitals are trying their very best to accomplish their stated vision and mission in the midst of continual challenges in the community such as changing health trends; rapid advances in medicine; changing economy, political, social, and regulatory environment; competition; market (both clients and labor); technology. As long as there are good leaders and teamwork of the workforce, they will continue to operate and contribute to the health care delivery system of the country.
Please give us a few names of authors or book titles you would like to share to our readers.
In terms of books, honestly, none. I am not an avid reader of books. I do write a lots though. I usually initiate my writings using my brain rather get ideas from books and the Internet. The readers can just Google “ROJoson (then key words of topics).” My writings cover topics in medical education, surgical oncology, hospital administration, hospital safety promotion and disaster preparedness, how to live life, quality management system, etc.