A True-Blue (brown) Filipino Scientist
By Crystalle Lauren Quezon
Diliman Preparatory School
It's really nothing new when you hear an American
or a French or a German inventor. But have you ever
encountered a true blue Filipino inventor?
I have. And I feel so lucky that I got the
chance to meet world renowned Filipino scientist - Dr. Ramon
Gustilo, a doctor, a businessman, a family man and a scientist
all rolled into one.
Dr. Ramon Gustilo is an
orthopedic surgeon by profession.
Fixing broken bones and joints and replacing
them is his job, and he's very good at it.
Dr. Gustilo grew up in Negros Occidental,
and he came from a very big family. He had six siblings,
five girls and one boy. He studied at Manapla Elementary
School then studied high school at the Negros Occidental
Provincial High School.
He was so interested in medicine when he was
young, so he took up a pre-med course at the University of
the Philippines, Diliman, his medicine proper at the UP-PGH. He
took up his masteral at the University of Minnessota, and there
he stayed for six years, studying and training. All in all, Dr.
Gustilo spent 13 years in medical school to prepare
himself for the excruciating world of orthopedic surgery.
As soon as he got exposed to orthopedics,
he felt there was a need to improve facilities and treatments
used. He did a lot of research to alleviate that need,
and he came up with his inventions that revolutionized
the way bones, hips and joints are replaced.
Dr. Gustilo invented different hip replacement
systems for hip joints, to ease the pain victims of accidents
or chronic arthritis experience. One of these hip replacement
systems is the Prime Cemented Hip
System. He also designed replacements
for the knees that companies like
Smith and Nephews Richards of the United States of America
distribute. These knee replacement system
are called Exodus and Genesis.
Technologies like these are hard to
come by in the Philippines.
Dr. Gustilo, in true doctor in the barrios form, found a
way to help distribute the bone replacement systems in
the Philippines by setting up a company at the Light
Industry and Science Park in Laguna. Orthopaedic
Innovations, Dr. Gustilo's brainchild, designs and
manufactures bone replacement
systems in the country. Now, those needing bone
replacements do not have to wander out of the
country looking for the best possible fit, they
can get it here.
But that's not where Dr. Gustilo's
genius lies. His designs and innovations
have come from years and years of studies.
Remember, he was a student and trainee
for thirteen years, and he still does a lot of
research until now.
Painstaking research and a lot of practice made
Dr. Gustilo what he is
today. And he has no plans of stopping,
that is, at least
until July 2000, when he plans to retire.
So the next time somebody asks
you if you know a real, live scientist,
say yes. Dr. Gustilo is not just a person you can just read about in
books, he's a scientist who's still trying to find better ways
to improve orthopedic surgery in the Philippines.
It is but fitting, with all Dr. Gustilo's
pioneering studies in the country, that he be included
in the National Science Heritage Hall of Inventors. During
these days and times, when studying and inventing is not one
of our fortes, Dr. Gustilo has made the country a formidable
source of ingenuity and talent. This Ilonggo has definitely
come a long way.
Now, did you say you never met a true blue Filipino scientist?
See Pictures of Dr. Gustilo's Inventions