PSGE Background History
Gynecologic Endoscopy is comprised of gynecologic laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Gynecologic laparoscopy was first introduced in the Philippines in 1972 through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Johns Hopkins University Program for International Education in Reproductive Health (JHPIEGO). At the forefront of this project in the Philippines was Dr. Virgilio R. Oblepias, hence, considered as the Father of traditional Gynecologic Laparoscopy in the Philippines. The goal was to provide an ambulatory laparoscopic tubal sterilization service. Since that time, laparoscopy was limited to diagnostic procedures and tubal sterilization. The introduction of the video camera system, modern insufflation techniques and instrumentations in the early 1990’s has revolutionised the practice of laparoscopic surgery. The first operative laparoscopic procedure in the Philippines utilizing these modern techniques was laparoscopic salpingectomy for ectopic pregnancy performed in Makati Medical Center in 1991 by Dr. Pacita S. Lazaro, considered as the Mother of modern Gynecologic Laparoscopy in the Philippines. This was followed a few months later by the performance of the first Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (TLH) at the United Doctors Medical Center by Dr. Delfin Tan, considered as the Father of modern Gynecologic Laparoscopy in the Philippines. PSGE became a subspecialty society under the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) in 2004 with the induction of eleven (11) Founding Officers of the PSGE by then POGS President, Dr. Rosendo R. Roque. PSGE is registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2004 with eleven (11) incorporators (who became the Founding Officers of the PSGE), namely – Dr. Delfin A. Tan, President, Dr. Regta L. Pichay, Vice-president, Dr. Ma. Corazon Zaida N. Gamilla, Secretary, Dr. Zoraida R. Umipig, Assistant Secretary, Dr. Blanca C. De Guia, Treasurer, Dr. Pacita S. Lazaro, Public Relations Officer and Board members, Dr. Corazon T. Lim, Dr. Lilia P. Luna, Dr. Florante P. Gonzaga, Dr. Leonardo A. Almeda and Dr. Noel E. Raymundo.
Hysteroscopy was first introduced in the Philippines in 1994 and the first formal training center in hysteroscopy was initiated at the Manila Central University by Dr. Regta L. Pichay in the same year. Gynecologic endoscopy, initially with just gynecologic laparoscopy, was first incorporated in the curriculum of the Fellowship Training Program in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) in 1994. Hysteroscopic training followed a few years later. Training in gynecologic laparoscopy and hysteroscopy was spread nationwide among interested Obstetrician-Gynecologists through the establishment of the Committee on Gynecologic Endoscopy in 2001 by then POGS President Dr. Corazon T. Lim. Through this committee several seminar workshops in gynecologic endoscopy and hysteroscopy were conducted all over the Philippines. The members of this committee became the founding officers of PSGE in 2004.
In 2012, the fellowship training program at East Avenue Medical Center, known as Advanced Pelvic Surgery, formally incorporated gynecologic endoscopy into the curriculum of the training program and was headed by Dr. Zoraida R. Umipig. Subsequently, the first Fellowship Training in Gynecologic Endoscopy was recently established by Dr. Zoraida R. Umipig at Quirino Memorial Medical Center in 2017 and became accredited by PSGE in 2018 in collaboration with Dr. German C. Tan Cardoso, Dr. Prudence V. Aquino-Aquino and Dr. Jennifer A. Aranzamendez. The second Fellowship Training in Gynecologic Endoscopy headed by Dr. Paula Cruz-Limlengco in Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City was accredited by PSGE in January 2019.
Since its establishment in 2004, the PSGE has conducted locally at least sixty (60) seminar training workshops from basic to advanced gynecologic endoscopy with international faculties as guest surgeons.
- Dr. Delfin A.Tan as President in 2004 affiliated PSGE with an international organization, the Asia Pacific Association in Gynecologic Endoscopy (APAGE) and collaborated with the Asia Oceania Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AOFOG) in conducting seminar training workshops in the Philippines.
- Dr. Regta L. Pichay as President in 2007 affiliated PSGE with the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL). She initiated the credentialing of Obstetrician-gynecologists (Ob-gynes) as Fellows of PSGE by requiring submission of hysteroscopy and gynecologic laparoscopy cases performed. She also proposed the incorporation of gynecologic endoscopy into the residency training program in Obstetrics and Gynecology when she served as POGS president in 2010.
- Dr. Blanca C. De Guia as President in 2009 implemented the credentialing program of PSGE for other Ob-gynes who had training in gynecologic endoscopy. She continued the international affiliations with APAGE and AAGL.
- Dr. Ma. Corazon Zaida N. Gamilla as President in 2011established the Post Residency Modular Training Program in Gynecologic Endoscopy for practicing Ob-gynes who wanted to train in gynecologic endoscopy but are too busy to leave their practices to go into fellowship training programs. The curriculum was crafted by then PSGE Secretary, Dr. Angela Aguilar and is divided into 4 steps, namely – Step 1, Diagnostic; Step 2, Operative; Step 3, Preceptorship and Step 4, Mentoring. This modular training program is still ongoing and to date has produced at least four (4) PSGE-certified Fellows. Under her leadership, PSGE became a Foundation.
- Dr. Zoraida R. Umipig as President in 2013 initiated the incorporation of gynecologic endoscopy into the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency training curriculum all over the Philippines. She was able to formally incorporate gynecologic endoscopy into the residency training programs in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2014 through then POGS President Dr. Ma. Carmen Hernandez-Quevedo. She also started the PSGE website to disseminate information on gynecologic endoscopy. She also implemented the creation of the Specialty Board in Gynecologic Endoscopy as mandated by the PSGE By-Laws. She affiliated with the European Society for Gynecologic Endoscopy (ESGE) by inviting ESGE experts to conduct training workshops in the Philippines. She also spearheaded the Step 3 Preceptorship Program in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City producing the first graduate of the PSGE modular training program, Dr. Belinda Pañares of the same institution.
- Dr. Angela S. Aguilar as President in 2015 implemented the incorporation of gynecologic endoscopy into the residency training program by sponsoring all the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Chairs and Training Officers nationwide to undergo seminar training workshops in basic, diagnostic hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. She also created advanced training committee and tasked Dr. Prudence V. Aquino-Aquino, then the PSGE secretary as head. Under this committee, the PSGE Addendum Workshops in gynecologic endoscopy was born to provide platforms for the continuing advancement of the PSGE fellows. Noteworthy is the beginning of the Philippine Silent Mentor Dissection Workshop in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIGS) in cooperation with MIGS section of the St. Luke`s Medical Center, Quezon City featuring International Faculty which continued for the next three years. She continued to strengthen PSGE international representation in APAGE.
- Dr. German C. Tan Cardoso as President in 2017 implemented the accreditation of more fellowship training centers in gynecologic endoscopy in the Philippines and has strengthened training in advanced gynecologic endoscopy. Under his leadership, two more training centers in gynecologic endoscopy have been recognized and accredited by PSGE. He also initiated the creation of a PSGE standard training, accreditation and credentialing manual and the standardization of the credentialing process by the Specialty Board in Gynecologic Endoscopy. He also created the committee on Nationwide Statistics headed by Dr. Ma. Antonia E. Habana. It was this year that the permanent design of the PSGE Annual Convention was created.
- Dr Prudence V. Aquino-Aquino as President in 2019 has strengthened PSGE international representation at the ESGE by inviting ESGE experts to conduct training workshops in both basic and advanced gynecologic endoscopies. Under her leadership, the modular training program has been accorded a grace period on the accreditation process to facilitate more practicing Ob-gynes to complete their training in gynecologic endoscopy. This year the PSGE celebrates its 15th anniversary by hosting the first Regional Meeting of the ESGE and APAGE boasting of a scientific congress of luminaries in MIGS from the East and West with Dr. Ma. Antonia E. Habana as Overall Chair at helm of the Organizing Committee.