The PSE ... where it all began and where we are heading.
Echocardiography has come a long way since the time Edler and Hertz were able to produce an image of the posterior wall of the left ventricle using ultrasound technology originally meant to detect flaws in metals during ship-building.
In the Philippines, the novel concept of echocardiography was introduced when the Philippine Heart Center for Asia opened its doors in 1975. M-mode imaging soon paved the way for 2-dimensional images in the early eighties, and by the mid-eighties major institutions boasted its own EchoDoppler machines. With rapid advancements in technology, crisper image quality and relevant hemodynamic data are now easily within clinicians’ grasp without resorting to invasive means. It is not surprising that the popularity of the echocardiogram gained tremendous momentum, and impacted greatly on health care as it became more and more accessible to the Filipino people.
Considered the Father of Philippine Echocardiography, Dr. Homobono B. Calleja thought it high-time for the subspecialty to gain recognition. In 1990, he gathered like-minded individuals with a shared passion for cardiac imaging in a hotel in Makati City, with the purpose of organizing the first-ever Echo symposium in the country. This was the beginnings of the Philippine Society of Echocardiography.
What started as a pre-convention activity for the annual Philippine Heart Association, it has evolved into full-fledged three-day annual scientific gatherings, with bragging rights to being one of the highly attended specialty conventions in the country.
The society took the challenge head-on to keep the Filipino sonographer abreast with the latest developments in the field. Collaborating closely with the Philippine Heart Association, the society hosted the first Asia Pacific Congress on Doppler and Echocardiography in October of 2001 before venturing once again to the global stage with this year’s World Congress of Echocardiography, Vascular Ultrasound and Allied Technologies.
It also aims to provide relevant avenues for learning for the varying levels of echo-aficionados: every-other month gatherings during Inter-Hospital Echo Conferences offer the fellows-in-training the chance see seldom-encountered cases from other institutions, and provide interesting twists to common conditions when viewed from a different perspective. The country’s acknowledged experts could not on their laurels rest when they meet for Expert Pool Conferences where they tackle controversies, and attempt to answer questions that arise from the practice of echo among themselves. Not to forget the continuing need to train more and more echo technologists as the demand for them increases, the society regularly offers courses for the sonographer-wanna-be’s .
With echo laboratories proliferating left and right from all over the country, the necessity to police the ranks to maintain the quality of this imaging modality has become more apparent. As the self-appointed watchdog to the practice of echocardiography in the Philippines, the society published the “Clinical Competencies in Echocardiography” in the December 2004 issue of the Philippine Journal of Cardiology. It is currently in the process of implementation. Care was made to strike a balance between maintaining excellent health service quality while ensuring patients’ access to care in underserved areas.
From the original thirty-five initial members, the PSE have grown over the years to a twelve hundred -strong membership of doctors and technicians committed to the advancement and further growth of the specialty. There is so much work ahead. Future directions for the society include the credentialing of physicians and technologists and the accreditation of laboratories through independent evaluation.
|About the logo: the image is a play of two figures - the heart as seen on the parasternal long-axis view (PLAX), traditionally the first view in an echo study. It also pays tribute to the roots of its founding president Dr. HB Calleja who was hails from Albay where the Mayon Volcano, famous for its near-perfect cone, is situated.|
|HB Calleja served as its first president, with Dr. Adolfo Bellosillo, Dr. Raul D. Jara, and Dr. Marcelo R. Esguerra, as vice president, secretary and treasurer respectively. Also sitting as board of directors of the fledgling society were Dr. Romeo Santos, Dr. Eleanor Lopez and Dr. Emelyn Rivera, who likewise took on the leadership of the society in the subsequent years.|