Medical Interns put out of harm's way

May 05, 2020

The Victor R. Potenciano (VRP) Medical Center in Mandaluyong City tends to extend the suspension of its medical clerkship and internship program for medical students and graduates to apparently keep its medical interns, who, although some are already graduates, remain inexperienced and lacked the skills and training to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

These interns, aside from having no Philhealth coverage and salaries, have no license yet to speak of.

In an interview with Grace Borcelis, VRP medical services staff, the decision on the matter of the interns remain in the hands of Carmela Perez, chair of the VRP internship program, and Dr. Edgardo Penserga, VRP deputy medical director, but by all indications, are not keen on lifting the suspension of the internship program.

The internship program at VRP was suspended by virtue of a memo on April 30, 2020 during the declaration of enhanced community quarantine over the National Capital Region.

Asked on whether VRP may lift the suspension on the occasion the ECQ will be replaced with general community quarantine (GCQ), Borcelis stated that it’s the hospital’s policy to side with safety and caution both for its staff and patients, and discussions among Dr. Penserga and Perez, and other concerned hospital officials fall in the same vein.

The suspension of the internship program was to take the interns, who are inexperienced and lacked the training, out of harm’s way.

Meanwhile, Ateneo de Manila University has pulled out its medical interns from hospital duties due to the threat of the virus. The interns instead continued to help in the war versus Covid-19 by making alternative face shields for frontliners.

“We have donated to The Medical City. We’re looking forward to send them more, as well as other partner hospitals of our school such as Ospital ng Makati, Rizal Medical Center, and our partner  community health centers in Payatas,” the interns stated in their Facebook page.