Brimming with appreciation and fondness to pay forward to the institution that molded his career path as a medical doctor, a Matias product of class 1972 paid tribute to his Alma Mater in a heartwarming visit last February 20, 2019 in the morning.
A newly-retired cardiologist based in Georgia, USA, Dr. Paul M. Beltran finished Doctor of Medicine as top 3 among two hundred three (203) Matias graduates, two years after the Doctor of Medicine Program was converted and registered into a non-profit educational institution.
A clinical assistant professor at the Augusta University and University of Georgia since 2016, Dr. Beltran was warmly welcomed by the current President and Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Elma Aznar Sierra; Associate Dean for Basic Sciences, Dr. Allan R. Librando; AVP for Administration, Mr. Francisco B. Bacalla; and HR Director, Mr. Pedro U. Pañares during his 3-hour paid visit.
Aside from his faculty appointment, the Matias doctor of 1972 served as the chief of Cardiology at St. Mary’s Healthcare System in Athens, Georgia from 2006 to 2008 and became the director of Cardiac Catherization Laboratory for one year. In 2008 to 2010, he was designated as the president of the medical staff of the aforementioned hospital.
In 1998 to 2015, he was also affiliated at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia as a clinical assistant professor.
A treasured and intimate classmate of Dr. Allan Librando who is also the head of the Anatomy Department, Dr. Beltran shared his expertise in cardiology to the incoming medical clerks in his one hour lecture on Atrial Fibrillation.
Another dear classmate and faculty, Dr. Fe Cabugao of the Microbiology Department and Dr. Ulysses Rallon of the Anatomy Department also graced the special lecture together with the college dean, Dr. Ma. Socorro Manaloto.
Co-facilitated by Mr. Pedro Pañares, Dr. Beltran’s talk was aimed to recognize and identify atrial fibrillation, to know the incidence and pathophysiology of AF, to differentiate atrial fibrillation from atrial flutter, to calculate risk of stroke and thromboembolism using CHA2DS2VASc score and bleeding risk by HAS BLED score, pharmacologic and non pharmcolgic treatment of atrial fibrillation, and case studies and management of atrial fibrillation. As cited, CHA2DS2VASc score is used on how to identify high risk patients for stroke and to prevent the stroke.
Specializing Cardiology with board certifications on Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine, Dr. Beltran was well-introduced by Dr. Allan Librando who expressed his gratitude to his former classmate in answering the short notice to give a special lecture to the aspiring doctors. The former, who has been practicing in the medical field for thirty-eight (38) years now, is a noted member of the American College of Cardiology.
Born and raised in Cebu City, Dr. Beltran shared a little bit of his life’s background before the aspiring doctors of batch Resiliere. Married to a medical practitioner who happened to be his former intern when he was still a resident, Dr. Beltran is blessed with one offspring who was a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government, and is now working at Texas Children’s Hospital.
In his topic presentation on atrial fibrillation, Dr. Beltran also asked set of questions to his listeners as a sort of assessment and review in relevance to the study. As pointed out, the study underscores the importance of therapy directed at the primary promoters of the AF substrate to facilitate rhythm control strategies and risk-factor management improves outcomes after AF ablation and should be considered crucial when choosing a rhythm-control strategy.
In an interview with the US-based cardiologist, the 71-year old MHAM alumnus shared that coming to the homeland once again was due to a 5-day medical mission in Cagayan de oro City together with the Philippine-American Medical Association of Georgia where he used to be the organization president.
“We went to a medical mission in Cagayan which we do it in our organization followed with a recent operation and high school reunion. Dr. Allan asked me to give a lecture to the students and my talk was about atrial fibrillation. I had this lecture for medical students and residents since I am a faculty at the Emory University and University of Georgia”, Dr. Beltran said.
Right after his Post Graduate Internship at Silliman University from 1972 to 1973, Dr. Beltran took his residency training at Cebu Doctors’ Hospital from 1973 to 1976, served at the Philippine Heart Center for three months, and moved to US for his medical practice. In 1976 to 1979 he was a resident doctor in Internal Medicine at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital and a fellow in Cardiology at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York from 1979 to 1981.
“I used to come home every two years for the medical mission but this is the first time to have a prolong vacation because I just retired three weeks ago so I don’t have to go back to work anymore. Looking back, one of the fondest memories being a MHAM graduate was my motivation to do my best during my PGI at Silliman University. I was the only MHAM graduate among ten interns wherein the top 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 from Velez were with me. At the end of the year they have to choose the Most Outstanding Post Graduate Intern and I was lucky enough to have been chosen and awarded as I was motivated”, he added.
Aside from being the top 3 among the class of 1972, Dr. Beltran was also awarded as the Most Outstanding Intern in Internal Medicine, known as Dr. Ramon Solano Department of Medicine Chairman’s Award during their time.
Moreover, his innate passion to serve by engaging to community volunteerism here and abroad was remarkably noted since 2010 where he became the chairman of PAMAG Smile Train Partnership. In 2000 to 2002, he served as the president of Philippine-American Medical Association of Georgia and a volunteer cardiologist for Faith in Serving Humanity (Fish) Clinic since 2013 up to present. To date, he was offered to become part of the Matias mavens of the field as teaching has been his passion but for the moment he just want to savor the sweetness of being a retiree apart from apostolic works. “I may just smell the roses for the next three months and then decide. I am open for the offer by Ma’am Elma and I will think about it”, he concluded.
To complete, Dr. Beltran was lauded for his charity and extensive support to the MHAM aspiring doctors who have financial constraints but totally deserve for academic scholarship grant through the MHAM Alumni Association. Unknown to many, a number of Matias doctors who excelled in their different fields were supported by the alumni members in the US including Dr. Beltran. His dedication in disseminating the call for help to support the student-scholars is a legacy to behold among US-based medical practitioners whose generosity is always overflowing even up to this date.
In her closing remarks, Dr. Ma. Socorro Manaloto expressed her gratitude to Dr. Beltran and commended the topic for the faculty members as a teaching tool to enrich the quality of students’ learning through the art of questioning. Valuing his time, effort and support to his Alma Mater, a plaque of recognition was handed to the specialty lecturer with a warm appreciation message presented by Resiliere’s dynamic student leader, William Tiu Jr., together with Dr. Manaloto and Dr. Librando.
While knowledge sharing ensures a powerful venue for students’ continuous learning and productivity, Dr. Beltran is one of the living proof that MHAM products are remarkably noted as true mavens of the field who seek to pass knowledge on to the aspiring doctors and lifelong learners.
A pass-it-on culture by Matias graduate-achievers who are now stationed in different parts of the globe, the Matias doctor of 1972 has left a remarkable footprint in the hearts and minds of incoming medical clerks by sharing the gift of wisdom to create a difference in someone’s journey like a candle that lights another candle to illumine the glow towards a noble dream. (Ana Liza Abao)