100 YEARS OF SURGERY, PGH-STYLE
The Department of Surgery was born when the Philippine Civil Hospital was established on October 1, 1901 by virtue of Act 247 of the Philippine Commission. In 1905, Act 1415 authorized the creation of a medical school; hence, on June 10, 1907, the Philippine Medical School was formally opened. Surgery as a subject was then taught from the third to the fifth year medical students. The original staff was composed of Dr. John R. McDill, professor and chief of the surgery department of the PCH, Dr. Gregorio Singian and Dr. Dudley, both associate professors in surgery. The first surgical intern was Potenciano Guazon, , who later became the first Filipino professor and head of the department. It was not until 1952 that the department would again be headed by an American, Dr. William Reinhoff Jr.. A manual or guide for use of surgical interns, the so-called "Blue Book", was written by Hans Schiffbauer, the first senior resident in surgery.
The first postgraduate clinical courses for nurses in the country were given in the surgery department. Flora Gutierrez, RN, DDS, whose name was to become synonymous with anesthesia in the Philippines for the next 40 years , was an early product of the program. Proceedings of the surgical conferences were published as a regular feature of the Philippine Medical Association Journal, edited by Carmelo M. Reyes, from 1928 to 1941.
On December 8, 1910, the Philippine Medical School was formally affiliated with the University of the Philippines. During World War I, the surgical staff joined the Philippine National Guard. Dr. Guazon, then the chief of surgery, was made lieutenant colonel, the consultant staff majors, and the residents captains.
For a time, the surgical department was known as the Department of Surgery and Gynecology.The gynecology service became a separate department in 1923 under Dr. Fernando Calderon. The first assistant resident, Dr. Potenciano C. Guazon, who was assigned to the female ward, became a proficient gynecologist, while Dr. Jose Eduque, who was assigned to the male ward, became a pioneer urologist.