For over a decade the Ateneo de Zamboanga School of Medicine has been reaching the far ends of Western Mindanao to aid in solving the health inequities in the region and to produce world class doctors that are not only competent but also responsive to the changing patterns in health care, furthermore, it has inculcated in its students the spirit of selflessness and sensitivity towards the socio-cultural and economic differences that exist.
Part of the curriculum is the POPULATION MEDICINE STRAND or the COMMUNITY- BASED LEARNING EXPERIENCE. This phase of learning helps the students integrate and apply the skills they have learned in the context of medical practice in the community. One of the goals of this exposure is for us to learn to care for the individuals, families and the community and help them resolve existing problems and prevent them from occurring in the future.
There is a world of definition that strives to define what a community is, one that stood out to us is a definition from Wikipedia, and it states that the word "community" is derived from the Old French comunete which is derived from the Latin communitas which means “things held in common”, a broad term for fellowship or organized society. One broad definition which incorporates all the different forms of community is "a group or network of persons who are connected to each other by relatively durable social relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties, and who mutually define that relationship as important to their social identity and social practice." Each community is unique in their own ways, geographically, socially, culturally and politically. One other of the purposes of this immersion is the appreciation and understanding of these unique qualities, we are also to study, learn and adopt the life of the people before going into the organizing phase of community immersion.
As future doctors and advocates for health, we would like to help the people not only those who go to the hospital to seek medical care but also those who are unable to seek care as they lack the financial capacity to do so, we would also like to extend services to those who belong to the marginalized sector of the community. We would like to contribute to the efforts of the World Health Organization and to the Department Of Health of the Republic of the Philippines through Public Health Services to improve the quality of life of each individual through health promotion and prevention of diseases.
The class was divided into 6 groups of 8 members. 3 groups were assigned in Lakewood, Zamboanga Del Sur and the remaining groups were assigned in the Municipality of Tampilisan, Zamboanga Del Norte.
Our team is assigned in Barangay New Barili, Municipality of Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte. New Barili is a relatively small Barangay which is approximately 7 kilometers from the Municipality’s Metro Area. It has a spectacular view of the vast forest from its mountaintops. It boasts of a wonderful view of the sunset that seems to melt your heart every single time, it is a place where you will meet warm hearted people greeting you in every place you go. It is endowed with fertile lands that are abundant in rubber, corn and coconut products.
This community will serve as our second home for the next 5 years, we are here to serve and give back to the community and continue the vision and mission of our dear school and be true doctors for GOD and COUNTRY.