“Surgeons do not cry” book launched Friday

So begins the preface written by surgeon Jose “Ting” M. Tiongco, for his book, “Surgeons do not cry,” published by the UP Press in Diliman, Quezon City. The book will be launched in Davao City tomorrow, March 14, at 4 to 6 p.m. at the function room near the UP Press bookshop on the second floor of UP Mindanao’s downtown campus at the corner of Anda and Rizal streets.

The 140-page book consists of 37 stories, two controversial graduation speeches and a 1969 editorial while Dr. Tiongco was editor in chief of the UP College of Medicine newspaper.

ImageThe stories were written by Dr. Tiongco for his “Child of the Sun” column in MindaNews (www.mindanews.com).

“Not surprisingly, the articles coalesced into a small book. Perhaps it is better so. A book, no matter how small and slim, compared to a computer or a newspaper, has a shelf life of forever,” wrote Dr. Tiongco, a graduate of UP Medicine Class of 1971 and presently Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Mission Group Hospitals & Health Services Cooperative-Philippines (MMGHHSCP) federation.

Former UP Mindanao Chancellor Ricky de Ungria was among the first to urge Dr. Tiongco to compile the stories into a book.

Dr. Tiongco says the book is “one man’s simple recount of his ten year development as a doctor and a surgeon in the UPPGH; it is by no means unique and carries no world shaking message. It is just an old doctor’s story.”

Dr. Tiongco trained in the Department of Surgery of the Philippine General Hospital from 1971 to 1976 and obtained a scholarship to train in neurosurgery at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus der Stadt Wien in Austria from 1979 to 1981.

He headed the Department of Surgery at the Davao Medical Center from 1981 to 1989, was fired with seven others in 1983 when they stood up against corrupt practices in the midst of patients dying from lack of essential hospital supplies. Their dismissal triggered a strike that lasted months until they were reinstated.
“Surgeons do not cry” is the second book written by Dr. Tiongco. The first, published in 1996, was titled “Child of the Sun” and it focused on 1981 to 1989 cooperativizing health care. In 1991, MMG Davao started the country’s first cooperative hospital and first cooperative health fund. MMG now has 24 chapters across the country.

At the launch, Jose Claudio B. Guerrero, Deputy Director for Marketing or the UP Press in Diliman, Quezon City will deliver a message and present Dr. Tiongco’s book to the author.

Dr. Emma Macaraya, Dean of the College of Medicine of the Mindanao State University and a batchmate of Dr. Tiongco and colleague Dr. Lepoldo “Bong” Vega, a fellow surgeon, will give brief remarks on the life of a student-doctor at UP-PGH, and the life of a surgeon, respectively. Dr. Tiongco will deliver a response. Book-signing will follow while snacks are being served.

The book, which will initially be available at the UP Press bookshop in Diliman,  UP Press bookshop in UP Mindanao and at MindaNews is sold at P400. But the price on launch date is 20% less. (MindaNews)