- Created on April 28, 2020 12:09 AM
- Last Updated on April 29, 2020 12:21 AM
- April 28, 2020 12:09 AM
Going to six different hospitals as part of a physician's work schedule is definitely not an easy thing to do, but Dr. Mark Lester Santos Sy (李輝鏞) of CKS high school batch 2002 just does that, amidst these times when COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Metro Manila.
Doc Mark specializes in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy, and is an active consultant at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center, the Perpetual Help Medical Center, Alabang Medical Center, Las Pinas General Hospital, The MegaClinic, and a visiting consultant at the East Avenue Medical Center.
Nowadays, one of the difficulties encountered by Doc Mark is the much heavier workload than what is usual, since a lot of doctors and hospital staff are undergoing quarantine. The responsibility of checking and seeing the patients rest on those who are not quarantined and, of course, that involves leaving home earlier and coming home much later than usual. With the community quarantine, all clinic appointments are cancelled and it becomes harder for patients to do follow-ups. Because of this, Doc Mark ends up doing phone consultations, which is different from being able to examine the patients face-to-face and on a more personal level.
At the moment, Doc Mark treats every new patient as if they’re already infected with the COVID virus until they tested otherwise, so he always wears the proper PPE, stick to infection control protocol, and exercise effective hand hygiene. And since out-patient clinics and elective endoscopy procedures are cancelled, he still wears complete PPEs to make sure he is protected effectively if he needs to do emergency endoscopy procedures.
He also points out to the difficulty of wearing PPEs, how it really takes time to put on, take off, and properly disinfect. This adds up to more time allotted for each patient compared to before.
Doc Mark recalls the long road to his field of specialization. After high school, it took him 8 years to just complete a Doctor of Medicine degree, plus another 8 years to finish specialty training and one more year of international training to be an expert in the field. He attributes CKS College for equpping him with the wisdom and determination to finish it all and be the man he is today.
He proudly stated: "Especially during these trying times, my alma mater prepared me with the perseverance and courage to keep going on. And despite the health risks, a sense of responsibility and service to my patients is what always comes first – and these are traits and values that were instilled and developed in me that I attribute to my time in Chiang Kai Shek College.
When asked how he feels about the current situation, he said: "I always believe that character counts when duty calls. Needless to say, I am worried about my personal health and my family’s health, who wouldn’t be, especially knowing that some of my colleagues already got infected or even worse. But all the years of studying, the blood, sweat, and tears that we have put into this profession have led us here. This is what we healthcare professionals have trained and signed up for. Yes, the risks and the danger of serving are there, but if not us, then who will?"
In parting, Doc Mark is requesting CKSians and concerned citizens to continue showing support to the medical frontliners by donating much-needed PPEs or food, for which he left his mobile number (+63917-5958782) publicly to those who would like to share.
He ended by saying: "This pandemic proves that you can have a positive impact on the community no matter who you are or where you’re from. As I do my duty as a physician, please also do your part by following social distancing guidelines, community quarantine implementation, and proper hand hygiene. Together, we can overcome COVID-19!"
Our knight in shining armour, Dr. Mark Lester Sy. Your CKS College family is truly proud of you!