Passionate internists finally decided it’s time for change – it’s time for general internal medicine to get the spotlight. In a meeting attended by three past presidents of the Philippine College of Physicians who are colleagues who share our same passion, a manifesto was signed calling for the formation of a new medical society – one that would build a dedicated network of practicing general internists, advocate and establish career paths for IM trainees aspiring to be generalist, and develop innovations in the teaching and practice of General Internal Medicine.

Philippine Society of General Internal Medicine

The evolution of Medicine in the past several decades can be characterized by a recurring confrontation between the ideals of excellence and relevance. While excellence is often measured in a technologic sense, the people’s need can be the only yardstick for relevance. In effect, what physicians consider excellent may be outright irrelevant, while what the community considers relevant, may not require excellence at all. This conflict has confronted us in our daily activities, and has typified our struggles as a profession.

Internal Medicine has also grappled with the paradox of excellence and relevance for many years. A good example of how these ideals compete is the establishment of various subspecialties of Internal Medicine. This trend began in the seventies and since that time, our mother specialty has struggled to survive beside its very own offspring – unable to compete with the glamor and glitter of subspecialization. Until now, General IM only serves as a stepping-stone for aspiring students whose sights are already set on further training. While it is true that the number of internists has risen dramatically, the proportion who practice and teach General IM has dwindled. This imbalance has adversely affected not only the efficiency of healthcare in the country, but all over the world as well. It has already led to deterioration in the quality of training in Internal Medicine.

In a way, the excellence achieved through subspecialization poses a great challenge to the goal of relevance. The deeper we go into subspecialization – the less capable we became of providing wholistic care. Before this phenomenon of en masse subspecialization, internists were involved in personal relationships with their patients – probing not just their overall health, but also their social predicaments, their strife and their joys. That era is rapidly vanishing, as patients often become little more than an aggregate of malfunctioning organs going through an assembly line of specialty care.

A call to resuscitate General IM in the country first came out in the 1996 Annual Convention of the Philippine College of Physicians, with the theme “General IM: Back to the Future”. Little has happened since then, despite repeated proclamations. Finally, in May 3, 2011, 172 concerned internists finally decided to do something about the problem. In a meeting attended by 3 past presidents of the Philippine College of Physicians, a manifesto was signed calling for the formation of a new medical society – one that would advocate careers in General Internal Medicine, establish career paths for general internists, and develop innovations in the teaching and practice of General Internal Medicine. That dream is now a reality. On November 11, 2011, Internal Medicine was reborn in this country with the formal incorporation of the Philippine Society of General Internal Medicine (PSGIM).

Board of Trustees

Rommel Punongbayan, MD


Roberto Razo II, MD


Rey San Luis III, MD


Barbara Ann P. Calderon, MD


Dax Ronald Librado, MD

Board of Trustees

Gail D. Zafra, MD

Board of Trustees

Carmela Remotigue, MD

Board of Trustees

Janice A. Atienza, MD

Board of Trustees

Ruperto Angel Navarro, MD

Board of Trustees

Vernon Sarafico, MD

Board of Trustees

Sheila Marie Hernandez, MD

Board of Trustees

Maximo Arnado, MD

Board of Trustees

Gerald Natanauan, MD

Board of Trustees

Geselita Maambong, MD

Board of Trustees


The Philippine Society of General Internal Medicine or PSGIM was created to fulfill a need in Philippine society for a group focused on making the practice of Internal Medicine relevant to the people at the grassroots level. By complementing the trend of hyperspecialization with its brand of holism, the PSGIM seeks to transform General Internal Medicine into a viable and fulfilling career in the Philippines.


To provide high-quality, evidence-based healthcare for the community, that strikes a balance between technologic excellence and social relevance; to develop and test innovations in the eaching and practice of General Internal Medicine; and to inspire and nurture leaders in the practice and teaching of General Internal Medicine.


To assure competent, compassionate and holistic care for every adult Filipino through the advancement of the art and science of Internal Medicine.

Our Core Values


We think outside the box to solve chronic problems in a setting beset with system-wide obstacles and constrained resources.


We are proficient in our field and dependable in our work; we are prompt when it comes to deadlines and meetings.


We enjoy each others’ company, and we have the ability to laugh at each other – as well as at ourselves. A hierarchy does not exist among members; instead, there is mutual respect for beliefs and opinions;


We steer away from the path of pharmaceutical dependence, relying instead on the passion of members to move the organization forward.


While we strive to address problems of the community at large, we pay special attention to needs of underprivileged patients and caregivers in underserved areas.


Our drive to change the status quo is fuelled by a constant search for excellence.


We love the ideals we stand for, and therefore we are committed to our work.


Most of all, we love our patients - the people we serve and have sworn to care for.

Our Core Businesses

Cognizant of the fact that many members work in training institutions, we believe that our core business is really patient care. How we care for our patients – that is the unwritten curriculum. It is more potent than any lecture we can give. Training cannot achieve the excellence it seeks, if patient service is mediocre. When training compromises the quality of care, then we are doing a disservice not just to our patients, but to our students as well. While training may be seen as a support business for patient care, it is also a major beneficiary of excellence in service. This holds true for clinical research, which together with training and service, form the 3 main pillars of academe.


It’s time for general internal medicine to get the spotlight.