PUA Valedictory Address

To my Family, Honorable DOH Under Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, distinguished PUA colleagues, guests, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

My case is about a humble opportunity turning into a challenge and later becoming a full-blown responsibility.

About 7 years ago when I was elected to the PUA Executive Council, I was given the rare opportunity to share and contribute from the perspective of an urologist practicing outside Metro Manila. I never realized that little by little I was being challenged and prepared for the position of the highest office of the PUA. And when I assumed the mantle of leadership exactly 364days ago, it became a full-blown responsibility and commitment.

Then the start of soul searching and introspection and the doubts; I might have the commitment but did I have the vision for PUA? When I tried to have a mental list of past presidents and found that some personalities have become institutions,the feeling of inadequacy became exaggerated. And to be able to maintain my sense of direction. I had to believe that I was given this opportunity and responsibility because of a special reason, the same situation I was in when I applied for my residency at UP-PGH. The prospective applicant then was our class president of UP Med Class 84, the son of the late Dr. Januario Estrada, one of the founders of PUA. And who would dare to compete with my classmate for the only slot our batch believed belonged to him. My chance then was almost nil and now how would you explain my acceptance to the program. It was simply fate because my classmate decided to become a businessman instead.

Along the way, I had to get comfort from the notion that no one has the monopoly of leadership qualities. One thing that kept me going was to prove that one's area of practice is irrelevant in this age of modern communication technology and any member with the commitment and ability to translate vision into reality can become a PUA president.

To have focus and guidance, I reviewed the PUA Constitutions and By-laws and revisited our vision-mission statement and identified certain key result areas which could help me in crafting my programs for the association.

And now what have the Executive Council and I accomplished for 2012? My guiding principle was always to emphasize teamwork and respect for my colleague's role and ability to translate ideas into action. The following are some of the things we accomplished I am proud to share with you.

I believe that we have planted the seeds of empowerment, encouraging regional urologists to form 3 more chapters and be at the forefront of advocacy for our specialty.

We have empowered members in the provinces by upgrading their urologic skills thru mentorship hoping that this can be translated to a higher standard of urology practice.

We have addressed and realized our social responsibility and health advocacy thru surgical missions in the different regions and health advisories for the public as well as shared our resources with and helped calamity victims. The association has also provided outputs in the formulation of the PHIC Z package for prostate cancer for its universal health care program

The world is rapidly shrinking and PUA cannot remain isolated, hence 
the attempt to put the Philippines on the international urology map thru joint meetings with other Asian National Urological Associations and sending of residents and new graduates for fellowship training, workshops and research paper presentations. Like this Annual Meeting which is also in collaboration with the International Continence Society.

The association exists for the general membership, hence the programs and activities crafted have been designed and directed towards professional growth and additional benefits for every member.We have likewise successfully cultivated the culture of research among the residents, the future members of the association.

We have increased the feeling of ownership and affiliation of the members with PUA thru the giving of due recognition to our members who have distinguished themselves in the field of urology. This I hope will motivate our members to join the activities of the association.

All these accomplishments have been made possible only because of the following reasons: inputs from past Executive Councils and Past Presidents for the past 55 years, dedication of the 2012 PUA Committee Chairs, the cooperation of the general membership and the efficient PUA Secretariat. The 2012 Executive Council's primary role was just to identify the priorities and implemented the programs.

On my part, I was able to face the challenges and persevered and survived mentally and physically intact because of the support of my family and particularly my understanding and loving wife.

Good luck and congratulation to the new Executive Council officers and members. Let us keep the flame burning always making PUA an instrument for the advancement of the specialty, catalyst for the professional growth of the general membership and vehicle for advancing health advocacies and in addressing our social responsibility.

Thank you for the rare opportunity of leading our prestigious association.

Raul Winston P. Andutan, MD, FPUA, FPCS

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