Fil-Am surgeons’ group celebrates 50th at Caesar’s, Las Vegas

The Society of Philippine Surgeons in America (SPSA) and its Fellows from various cities in the United States and Canada, commemorated its golden gala at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, October 19-21, 2022. A 450-page Golden Yearbook and its 84-page supplement Souvenir Journal chronicle the half-a-century of historic contributions of the SPSA to the US/Canada healthcare systems and the achievements of these surgeons, in academia as professors/department chairmen and in private practice, and as presidents/chief staffs at various medical centers.

Besides its CME (Continuing Medical Education) Seminars, the SPSA was famous for holding annual medical missions to the Philippines and its Fellows, with their own teams, also ministering to the needy people around the world.

The number of physicians/surgeons from the Philippines in the United States is about 12,100 (4.7% of all immigrants), in Canada, around 10,300 (4%), and registered nurses 142,800 (29.3%), according to the 2018 American Community Survey.

An article in a newsmagazine a few years back stated, if all physicians, surgeons, and nurses from the Philippines practicing in the United States were to suddenly leave the country, the US healthcare system would practically collapse, admissions halted, surgeries cancelled, emergency patients endangered. Even casinos, cruise lines, and some restaurants, schools, engineering, internet services, etc. would be severely curtailed and stalled.

The re-structured surgical society, named Council of Past Presidents (SPSA 2.0), has, for its new pilot project, in partnership with the Philippine College of Surgeons in Metro Manila, the deployment of surgeons in rural towns where there is none. This humanitarian endeavor will be on top of its regular yearly medical/surgical missions.

SPSA 2.0 is chaired by original SPSA founding president Hernan M. Reyes, MD, with the following officers: Treasurer and Mission Chair, Ed Barcelona, MD, Vice-Chair; Danny Fabito, Executive Director; Bayani Ignacio, MD, By-Laws Chairman; Philip S. Chua, MD, Convention Chairman; Ed Gamboa, MD, Membership Chairman; and Johnny Montero, MD, Liaison to the Philippine College of Surgeons. Honorio M. Cruz, MD, just completed his 3rd year as president of the original SPSA, and is running the SPSA website.

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