We hope we have been changed for good

We hope we have been changed for good

January 07, 2023

Editorial By Angela G. Sison-Aguilar, MD, MBA, MSC, Editor-in-Chief

As we return to our campus from the long hiatus forced upon us by the pandemic, we are met with the welcome sight of a brand-new structure, the Medical Sciences Building. It is a metaphor of what we should return to after this long break.

We don’t just return to settings as we had known them but we should get back to better situations.

Better education. We hope we had taken advantage of this break to reassess our methods of teaching, the content of our courses and the way we evaluate our work. Indeed, the events have transformed the way we teach, accelerating the adoption of technology, long available even before the crisis, but embraced almost desperately during those long lockdowns. The integration of remote learning even as we go back to in-person classes is underway and has enhanced our pedagogical instruction and interactions.

Better social support. Even before this world-changing event, mental health issues were slowly being brought out in the open. During the pandemic, however, the struggles became more prominent, leading us to pay greater attention to caring for this aspect in our communities. We checked in on our colleagues, our students, our family. There was no shame in admitting our battles, there was no reluctance in inquiring how well or poorly each of us was doing, there was only concern and empathy.

Better equity. We all grappled with the challenges to survive, but we have seen how disproportionate the impact of the crisis had on the marginalised. We hope that such a spectacle will not desensitise us, rather, it should mobilise us into action. We have to work against inequity not just in opportunities for upward mobility but also in access to basic services.

Better discernment. In this digital world where information flies fast and facts and truth are fuzzy, we became more critical. We vetted sources, scrutinised provenance, demanded credibility and clamoured for accountability

Better quality of life? This is the ultimate task as we get back to this transformed world, we hope our existence has become more meaningful, our work-life balance better, our wellness within reach. Let us not allow this cataclysm go to waste. It has, after all, touched all of us. We fervently hope that—to paraphrase the words of the witches in the musical “Wicked” written by Stephen Schwartz—we have been changed for good.