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Position Statement of the POGS in reference to the Philippine Society of Medical Specialists, Inc. (PSMSI) and its plan to give Certifying and Re-certifying Examinations

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For: All POGS Members

From: POGS President Mario A. Bernardino and the Board of Trustees

Date: 23 August 2019

Subject: Position Statement of the POGS in reference to the Philippine Society of Medical Specialists, Inc. (PSMSI) and its plan to give Certifying and Re-certifying Examinations in five specialties, namely: Anesthesia, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, OB-GYN and Pediatrics, through its Accreditation and Certifying Board on September 21, 2019

The Board of Trustees have been very aware of the existence of the Philippine Society of Medical Specialists, Inc. (PSMSI) and its plan to give another certifying and re-certifying examinations in the five (5) aforementioned specialties in Medicine. In fact, this item was one of the inclusions in the Agenda of the BOT meeting on August 13, 2019, wherein the Board in a unanimous stand, recommended that full support is pledged to the call of the Philippine College of Surgeons (PCS) in upholding the PRC Resolution No. 25 (S 2015) entitled Recognition of Specialty Societies and Specialty Boards and Certifications of Specialist, that is “to maintain high competency and professional standards in the practice of the specialty, only one specialty society in an area or field of practice will be conferred recognition”.

The issue became viral when the PSMSI came up with its Guidelines for the Certifying and Re-certifying Examinations, which will be held on September 21, 2019 in two venues in Manila and others in Visayas and Mindanao, with the logo of the Department of Health distinctly displayed in the right upper hand corner of the announcement letter.

This was met by mixed reactions and escalating confusions especially among the certified members of the five specialty societies with respective specialty and subspecialty board that traditionally conduct their respective certifying examinations based on international standard.

Questions raised, to mention a few, are: (1) Will this certification be recognized by PRC, PMA and DOH? (2) Does PSMSI have the mandate to accredit medical specialists in the five major medical specialties? (3) Will this certification be an integral application requirement as a consultant in government hospitals? (4) How about those medical specialists who are already certified by their respective Specialty and Subspecialty Board? (5) Who will make up the members of the Certifying and Re-certifying Board of the PSMSI in the five fields of specialty?

On behalf of the 4,653 strong members of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (Foundation) Inc., the Board of Trustees were unanimous and have remained firm in maintaining our position that there must ONLY be ONE certifying board that will conduct examinations in Obstetrics and Gynecology and that is the Philippine Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (PBOG). Similarly, there must ONLY be ONE certifying board for each Subspecialty in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The POGS, in its 73 years of existence as a Society, has proven its worth in terms of integrity in screening and certifying its members so that the highest standard of care in the practice of the specialty is always upheld and safeguarded according to global guidelines and internationally accepted ethical norms.

The Board categorically finds this plan of the PSMSI to be a divisive and self-serving maneuver that will surely result to unhealthy relationships within the medical circle. This action of the PSMSI will definitely negate the decades of effort and hard labor of the specialty societies to maintain not only unparalleled integrity but likewise to uphold the highest standard of care in the practice of each specialty and subspecialty.

From the way things are going now within the Society, the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society finds such move of the PSMSI to be discordant, unnecessary and definitely uncalled for.

Please be guided accordingly.

 

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