The concept of a Computed Tomography & Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CT-MRI) Society in the Philippines found its realization in the late 1989. The idea was to have an affiliate and subspecialty society of the Philippine College of Radiology that would primarily promote, encourage, enhance and update knowledge in the fields of Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at par with international standards, through research and open exchange of scientific ideas, by regularly holding conferences, lectures and other such activities.
The first thirty-two members of the society were screened by an ad hoc committee designated by the Philippine College of Radiology guided by the “Grandfather’s Clause”, which states that a radiologist may qualify for membership if he fulfills the following criteria:
- Must be a Fellow in good standing of the Philippine College of Radiology.
- Must have had specialty training, whether locally or abroad, in CT and/or MRI, and must be competent to practice the specialty.
- Must be presently or previously engaged in the practice of CT and MRI.
The founding members were inducted on January 27, 1990 at the Manila Midtown Ramada Hotel during the 1990 PCR Annual Convention. This was highlighted by the oathtaking of the first-ever elected officers of the society: Dr. Honorato Piedad as chairman, Dr. Bienvenido Lapuz as vice-chairman, and Dr. Ismael Torres as secretary/treasurer.
In 1992, the Board of Examiners of the CT-MRI Society of the Philippines was born, with Dr. Manuel Mejia Jr. as the first chairman, and Dr. Cesar Co and Dr. Jaime Samaniego as the first members. Henceforth, qualification for membership to the society required a radiologist to pass both the written and oral examinations given annually by the Philippine Board of CT and MRI.
In 1994, the Constitution and By-Laws, as well as the Articles of Incorporation of the society, were finalized, passed, and then filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Through the years, the society continued to organize regular scientific meetings, seminars, and symposiums, during which interesting cases were presented, and locally renowned radiologists were invited to give basic and advanced lectures in the fields of CT and MRI. The year 1998 saw a lot of historical firsts in this area of open scientific exchange. It was the joint efforts of Dr. Carlos and Dr. Co that led to the advent of teaching seminars, which concentrated on a specific organ system at a time. This approach aimed to give radiologists more detailed knowledge of the clinical applications of CT and MRI to specific organs of the body.
The first teaching seminar was held in Mimosa Leisure Parks, Clark Air Base, Pampanga on June 20-21, 1998. The topic centered on Brain CT Scan. Taking cues from the first teaching seminar, the seminars that followed were held in various out-of-town venues and likewise consisted of marathon lectures and workshops, demanding extensive preparation, mental acuity, and physical stamina from the faculty staff. The pioneering members of the faculty staff were: Dr. Renato Carlos, Dr. Cesar Co, Dr. Lisa Mercado, Dr. Cynthia Joy Maxino-Uy, Dr. Catherine Jessica Mercado-Lazaro, Dr. Rosanna Fragante, Dr. Manuel Mejia Jr., Dr. Rafael Joson, and Dr. Francis Villanueva. The members of the society began looking forward to these annually prepared teaching seminars, which have undeniably imparted much information and knowledge to CT-MRI fellows, PCR fellows, and residents as well. A total of fourteen teaching seminars have been successfully organized since 1998.
Also in the year 1998, the first Annual Convention of the CT-MRI Society of the Philippines was held on the 18th of October at the CME Auditorium, UST Medicine Building. Another historical first was the presence of a foreign guest speaker during this convention, in the person of Dr. Edmond Knopp. In succeeding annual conventions, internationally acclaimed personalities in the fields of CT and MR imaging were often invited as guest speakers, in addition to the well respected roster of local radiologists. The CT-MRI Society of the Philippines Annual Convention has been successfully held in the past two decades without fail.
Twenty seven years of existence and the CT-MRI Society of the Philippines has indeed been true to its initial objective of providing the Filipino Radiologist a venue for continuing medical education in the subspecialty. Undeterred, it is continuously seeking ways and means to promote and safeguard the welfare of its members, upgrade the standard of CT-MRI practice in the Philippines, and keep abreast with the continuing advancements in CT and MRI in the international scene.