Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center | Department of Dermatology

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Our Story


The department’s origins date back to the year 1956, when it was first recognized as the SKIN & TUMOR CLINIC of the San Lazaro Hospital. Some years later, under the Ministry of Health, it was renamed the LEPROSY RESEARCH & TRAINING SERVICE (LRTS) Division of the Sanitaria of the Bureau of Disease Control. The focus of the division then was to address the needs of patients with leprosy, a disease that was rapidly gaining worldwide recognition as a chronic and debilitating illness.

Almost 2 decades later, in 1975, the office of the Minister of Health realized the need for health care providers to be more exposed to other dermatologic diseases.  The rising number of skin diseases other than leprosy called for physicians that would be able to recognize and treat a variety of other skin ailments. The illustrious Dr. Perpetua D. Reyes-Javier then solicited the help of Dr. Lourdes Romualdez for the creation of the DERMATOLOGY RESEARCH & TRAINING SERVICE (DRTS). Before long, a proclamation converted LRTS to DRTS with Dr. Romualdez as its director, duly assisted by Dr. Javier.

The DRTS handled the dermatology and leprosy cases in Metro Manila, as well as referrals nationwide from both the public and private sectors. It started training courses in dermatology for the medical and paramedical staff. It also offered an in-service program for young graduates, which was equivalent to that of a residency training program in dermatology. In addition, basic courses in mycology and dermatopathology were offered and basic researches in epidemiology were initiated.

The People Power Revolution in February 1986 brought about radical changes in the bureaucratic structure. Executive Order No. 5 abolished DRTS. Consequently, the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRRMMC) absorbed the defunct DRTS and renamed it as the newly created DEPARTMENT OF DERMATOLOGY. That same year, Dr. Javier retired as director, and our very own Dr. Ma. Luisa Abad-Venida took over as Officer-in-Charge. In the midst of these tumultuous times, she rallied to maintain the functions of DRTS.

In 1988, under the leadership of Dr. Venida as department chairman, the JRRMMC Dermatology Residency Program was accorded formal recognition by the Philippine Society of Aesthetic Medicine (PSAM), later known as the Philippine Society of Cutaneous Medicine Inc. (PSCM). Three fellows of the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS), namely: Dr. Jesusa Barcelona-Tan, Dr. Lillian Lopez-Villafuerte, and Dr. Elizabeth Amelia V. Tianco, joined the consultant staff to prepare for the accreditation of the department to the said society. One month later, the residency program was successfully and formally accredited with the PDS.

In 2015, under the leadership of Dr Ma. Flordeliz Abad-Casintahan, the Fellowship program for Dermatopathology was accredited offering a 1-year training program for those who have completed residency training program in dermatology or clinical anatomy pathology.  In 2016, the department launched its first Philippine dermatology textbook entitled, " Clinician's Handbook in Dermatology."  During the same year, the department also celebrated the opening of the new dermatology conference room and was awarded ISO phase I accreditation.  Moreover, the department acquired a new 5-header Olympus microscope with wi-fi ready feature and was appointed as REGIONAL CENTER FOR DERMATOLOGY in 2017.

Under the sound guidance of the former department chairs, namely Dr. Venida (1986-1998), Dr. Lillian Lopez-Villafuerte (1999-2001), Dr. Jesusa Barcelona-Tan (2002-2004), Dr. Elizabeth Amelia Tianco (2005-2006), Dr. Agnes Espinoza-Thaebtharm (2007-2012); and the leadership of the current chair, Dr. Ma. Flordeliz Abad-Casintahan (2012 to present), with the other consultants namely, Dr. Daisy King-Ismael, Dr. Mercedes Beloso and Dr. Zharlah Gulmatico-Flores, the JRRMMC Department of Dermatology continues to accomplish its function in the government in providing expert care for patients suffering from skin diseases by training competent dermatologists for the service of the Filipino people supported by research.

With the core values of INTEGRITY, COMPETENCE, and PROFESSIONALISM, the Department has been innovative, continuously striving for excellence in the field of dermatology, training, and research.