Last June 4, 2017, the College of Medicine’s 19th Commencement Exercises was held at the Angelo King Auditorium.  

Rev. Fr. Clarke Ford L. Sackie, the chaplain of St. Luke’s Medical Center, Rt. Rev. Manuel C. Lumpias and the baccalaureate speaker Rev. Dr. Tomas S. Maddela presided over the baccalaureate service.

After the mass, the college marshal Dr. Irving Tan led the procession, followed by the graduates of Doctors of Medicine, graduates of MS Molecular Medicine, department chairs, faculty members, administrative officials of SLCM, board of trustees of SLCM and SLMC, chairman of the board of SLCM, the president and dean, and Rt. Rev. Manuel C. Lumpias as the guest speaker.

The invocation was led by Rev. Fr. Clarke Ford L. Sacki and Dean Brigido L. Carandang delivered the opening remarks. In his speech, the dean challenged the graduates to perform well on the licensure exam, reminded them to take care of themselves and to remember the school’s focus on excellence and punctuality as a trait of an ideal physician. He also mentioned that one should never lose the habit of thinking and to become a caring doctor.

Dr. Joanne Sebastiana De Ramos introduced Rt. Rev. Manuel C. Lumpias as this year’s commencement address speaker. He spoke of the roots, the trials and challenges, and the success of both the St. Luke’s Medical Center and the St. Luke’s College of Medicine. He emphasized the important roles of being a physician and how the graduates contribute a lot to its advancement and hopes that these may serve as both a challenge and an inspiration.

The program proceeded with the presentation and conferment of Doctor of Medicine degree to graduate with the shifting of the tassel, imposition of hoods, and awarding of diplomas.

Charmaine Vi P. Arenas, Vincent Timothy L. Chan, Zabrina T. Cua, Patricia T. Pintac, Catherine P. Policina, Anna Francesca M. Robles, Trina M. Santoyo, Steffanie Charlyne A. Tamayo and Darwin Ken T. Dela Cruz were recognized as full scholars from 1st to 4th year. Special awards were also given to Dr. Darwin Dela Cruz as the most outstanding intern, outstanding intern in Psychiatry and Surgery; Dr. Catherine Policiana in Community Medicine; Dr. Aprille Anne Octaviana in Medicine; Dr. Patricia Pinlac in Neurosciences; Dr. Mia Patrice Dela Vega in OB-Gyne and Dr. Nico Fabian in Pediatrics.The top 10 students of the batch were also recognized.

This was followed by the presentation and conferment of Master of Molecular Medicine degree with the shifting of the tassel, imposition of hood, and awarding of diploma to Angeli Dominique G. Macandog.

Medals were given to the students who gained Cum Laudes namely: Dr, Hazel Mae Panganiban, Dr. Aprille Anne Octaviano, Dr. Steffanie Charlyne Tamayo and Dr. Mia Patrice Dela Vega. Dr. Dela Vega was also recognized as the class valedictorian while Dr. Carlo Francisco Castillo was given the Quasha award.

Dr. Castillo, the president of batch 2017 and Dr. Patricia Reynoso led the recitation of the pledge of loyalty and the pledge of alumni association, respectively.  

In her valedictory speech, Dr. Dela Vega shared her insights about the medical profession. She talked about the evolution of the medical system from being doctor-centered to patient-centered care wherein the patient should be treated as working partners rather than subjects. She also hopes that as doctors, these changes would be adapted and be considered as challenges to become better physicians.  She narrated an inspiring story during her stay in the medical center wherein one of her previous patients approached her and updated her on his present condition even though he was no longer her patient. For Dr. Dela Vega, this was when she first felt like a real doctor.  

“Para kanino ka bumabangon, doktor?” This was her final question as well as challenge to the whole batch to keep reminding themselves of their roles in the lives of the people around them.

The program ended with the singing of the SLCM Hymn led by the SLCM Choir while Dr. Malaya Santos, the college secretary, served as the master of ceremonies.