The journey to becoming a doctor is tough and overwhelming. One needs to go through grueling years of studies and substantial financial investments for schooling and trainings - all for the end goal of serving and saving the people from acute to severe health conditions
One doctor who chose to better her knowledge in Breast Surgery is Dr. Tiffany Irish Rentillo, who came back to finally serve her fellow Filipinos after one year of fellowship training at the Breast Service and Clinic of Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) in Singapore.
TTSH is one of Singapore’s largest multidisciplinary hospitals with three institutes and 43 clinical disciplines. The Breast Clinic, one of the Hospital’s Specialist Centers, offers comprehensive coordinated care under full range of integrated breast services. It houses efficient, disciplined, and passionate doctors specially trained in breast surgery.
As a doctor, it was a challenge for Dr. Rentillo to choose a specialization she could focus on. But as a woman, finding out that one in every 13 Filipinas and one in every 17 Singaporean women will likely develop breast cancer in her lifetime drove her to pursue this field and grab the opportunity of training abroad.
In partnership with Asia Brewery, Inc., the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, Inc. continues to aid medical professionals for the improvement of their discipline and later on help their countrymen. With this, Dr. Rentillo, through the help of the TYKFI-ABI Medical Specialty Scholarship Program, worked under the tutelage of Prof. Patrick Chan Mun Yew and other great mentors to provide holistic treatment to the patients through effective multi-disciplinary treatment.
A year of living overseas and interacting with different nationalities were some of the adjustments she had to face. She also had to step-up her game and learn efficiently the specialized organization technological system TTSH uses which is entirely different from the Philippine medical system.
“The importance of early detection and treatment could not be over emphasized,” shared Dr. Rentillo. She was exposed to in-depth experiences in breast surgery, medical and radiation oncology, breast imaging and screening among others. She also noted the first population-based mammographic breast screening programme in Asia called Singapore National Breast Screening Programme (Breast Screen Singapore). These eye-opening knowledge and innovations could immensely contribute to the detection of breast cancer.
She firmly believes that through the support and effort from different institutions and Filipinos, we could find a better cure and better way of preventing breast cancer. However, for Dr. Rentillo, “For now, vigilance, early detection, and prompt treatment remain important”.
Above all her achievements, she never failed to thank God and the people who have become her inspiration and rock through every stage she braved to walk through. She said it was heartwarming for the Foundation to have helped doctors like her into becoming a giver of hope to every Filipino patient.
“Training abroad forces you to adapt to things that are unfamiliar and unusual to you. You become independent and open to new, exciting or terrifying challenges that you would never have encountered in your home country; and that is the most rewarding of all: the opportunity to learn and develop as a person.
It was not the goal of finishing my one-year fellowship training that kept me motivated for the long term; it was more about how I will feel about the impact of reaching that goal and being able to reconnect with that reason daily.
Thank you once again for your support. Your generosity is an encouraging reminder to physicians like me to pursue further training abroad to affirm and stand true to our declared oath.”