Coming from a medical family, our featured healthcare specialist for the month, Doc Henry, shares what inspired him to take the same path.
It is common for doctors to have family members who are also doctors. However, it is a rare gem to find an entire family of doctors — not to mention, three generations!
That’s the reality of our featured healthcare specialist for the month, Enrique Hilario Orlina Esguerra, MD, FPCS, FPALES, FACS. With a doctor father, a nurse mom, two doctor siblings, he surely grew up in a family that instilled in him the value of the profession, which he also passed on to his own children.
As a surgeon, Doc Henry specializes in general and cancer surgery, with sub-specialties including minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine. He has been practicing since 1998 and has since participated in a wide range of seminars, training programs, and speaking engagements, among other events. Dr. Esguerra has also received a number of awards and accolades from different associations and award-giving bodies.
Our chief researcher, Kezia Villanueva, had the opportunity to chat with Doc Henry. Let’s get to know a bit more about him!
TMM: How many years have been practicing your profession?
Dr. Esguerra: Since 1998.
TMM: Do you come from a medical family?
Dr. Esguerra: Yes.
- Father: Aquilino Buning Esguerra, MD, FPOGS (Ob-Gyne)
- Mother: Lilia Tolentino Orlina, RN
- Brother: Luis Emmanuel Orlina Esguerra, MD (Pediatric-Neonatologist)
- Sister: Elizabeth Joan Orlina Esguerra-Ocampo, MD, FPOGS (Ob-Gyne, Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Gyne Surgery)
- Daughter: Maria Cecil Elisa Geronimo Esguerra, MD
We also have multiple doctors in the Esguerra and Orlina Family, Grandfathers/mothers, uncles/aunts, cousins, nephews, and nieces.
TMM: What inspired you to take a medical course and choose your specialization?
Dr. Esguerra: Since my father Dr. Quilo, is my role model, I adored him and idolized him. He being a doctor made a huge impact in my life. I experienced seeing him taking care of his patients in the clinic. His patients respected him and shows their deep gratitude of taking care of them, telling me as well that I am very lucky to be the son of this kind and caring doctor. As quoted by my father Dr. Quilo, when I was still in Highschool and College, “The profession of Medicine is the only job that can still be practiced even during the conflict of War. All other professions are forced to fight during this time that uses guns to survive. But if you are a doctor/physician, treating people that are injured or sick, you will still be compensated either in cash or in-kind (given fruits, vegetables, live chicken, or cattle, etc.), then you and your family will live & survive”.
I think that was his experience when my father is just a teenager during World War 2 in his province in Bulacan. That comment remained in my memory until today, which I also expressed and imparted with my children.
With regards to my being a Surgeon. One of the persons that influenced me the most to become a Surgeon is my mentor, Dr. Menandro Villacorta Siozon, Sr. (Tito Jing). He was instrumental in what I am now. He was always with me in my decisions of what other specialty or subspecialty I would take. Fields in Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Surgery and in Wound Care Surgery, Hyperbaric Medicine. He taught me, molded me to what I am now. He taught me the skills, the moves and the techniques in surgery. To be kind to my patients, help patients who are in need even without compensation. The mere feeling of gratitude is enough to make my day, but of course it does not hurt if you are financially stable doing your work for your family.
TMM: As a doctor with decades of experience, what do you think are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Loyalty to institution (SLMC – St. Luke’s Medical Center), friends
- Determination to finish the job given and assigned to me
- Devotion to family
- Respect to patients and other people’s feelings
- Artistic: music/arts, singing
- Able to lead and delegate duties
- Spontaneity (I work better when prepared)
- Patience (I hate waiting in line and waiting for people doing nothing)
- Occasional stage fright. Sometimes my introvert personality comes out
- Being too helpful to others, to the point of being abused
TMM: We all know that COVID-19 has been a struggle for every doctor and healthcare professional. How do you respond to it?
Dr. Esguerra: By following the standards set by the Hospital with regards to the use of proper PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment, masks, face shield, hand hygiene and social distancing). Using telemedicine for clinic consults. Use only face to face consultations if the patient is for surgery or post-operative care. Conferences in our societies for the year (PCS, PSGS, PWCS,PALES, PSHBS, ACS & other International Conferences) are conducted thru Zoom, Google Meet, Docquity and other programs/platforms.
Major Achievements, Citations, Recognition & Awards
Philippine Board of Surgery – Diplomate, Philippine Board of Surgery (2001)
Philippine College of Surgeons – Fellow, Philippine College of Surgeons (2002)
Philippine Society of General Surgeons – Fellow, Philippine Society of General Surgeons (PSGS) (2002)
Philippine Association of Laparoscopic and Endoscopic Surgeons – Fellow, Philippine Association of Laparoscopic and Endoscopic Surgeons (PALES) (2006)
American College of Surgeons – Fellow, American College of Surgeons (ACS) (2007)
Head, Complex Would Center – St. Luke’s Medical Center, Global City (Present)
Chairman, Out-Patient Department & SS Patient Management Board – St. Luke’s Medical Center, Global City (May 2012 to December 2019)
Head, Surgical Missions Committee SLMC – St. Luke’s Medical Center, Global City and Quezon City (2015 to present)
Training in General Surgery – St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City (1993-1998)
Doctor of Medicine – UERMMMC College of Medicine (1986-1991)
BS Biological Science – University of the Philippines, Manila (1980-1985)
The Top Medical Magazine team thanks our featured healthcare specialist, Dr. Enrique Hilario Orlina Esguerra, for allowing us to feature him and sharing with us his professional and personal information and experiences.
Research and interview coordinated and conducted by TMM’s Chief Researcher, Kezia Villanueva.