Follow the Footsteps of Dr. Noordhoff

“When I was a kid,my mother used to dream that my sister and I would be doctors in the future. Actually my mother wanted to be a doctor herself when she was little, but due to financial difficulties she was not able to do so. My dream work was to be an architect, an illustrator or any other profession related to drawing. But then I realized maybe I can also apply art on my profession,and that was how I imagined myself to be an ENT and pursue facial plastics, in which facial beauty and art can also be applied.” The NCF Seed Medical Practitioner Dr. Ivy, an ENT doctor from the Philippines shared how she became an ENT doctor.

“The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, the hospital where I had my residency training and where I was previously affiliated before I have undergone my subspecialty training in plastic surgery. The hospital is currently expanding from a 500 to a1200 bed capacity center with a vision of developing a craniofacial center by year 2021. Part of the advocacy of the hospital is attending to the referrals of Northern Philippines, especially that the area is known for cases of cleft patients. The hospital is a referral center of local hospitals in the mountainous areas whereby there are insufficient facilities or subspecialty doctors. My aim is to introduce and be one of the staff of a multispecialty craniofacial team in the hospitals in our city. Particularly, the goal is to diversify the treatment strategies and follow management protocols  for craniofacial patients. My aim in taking the NCF scholarship is to direct my medical career into a subspecialty which would definitely serve the indigenous and financially incapable cleft and microtia patients of Northern Philippines. Only a few surgeons in our country are skilled and up -to -date in doing Cleft surgeries, and to my knowledge there was only one Filipino fellow who have had his fellowship in Microtia Reconstruction in the past.”

When we ask Dr. Ivy “Any impressed experience during your stay in Taiwan? ‘ Yes,  I was very much impressed by how much time and effort the professors have given for the residents and fellows in training for teaching in OPD and OR and much more for conferences and research period. They were able to disclose all the knowledge they could give because they wanted everybody to learn and help improve patient treatment in our own homelands.’

Dr. Ivy shared with us the most exciting thing is the weekly morning meeting at the Chang Gung Taoyuan at 7:30 a.m. She attended the meeting on time with full energy no matter it’s windy or rainy. "I look forward to every morning meeting where I can be more diligent in all aspects."

Dr. Ivy’s sharing reminds me of Dr. Noordhoff, the founder of the NCF, who traveled across the ocean to Taiwan 40 years ago. At that time, there were many patients with cleft lip and palate but did not receive comprehensive medical care. Looking at these patients who were despised by society, Dr. Noordhoff resolutely returned to the United States to learn cleft lip and palate surgery for two years. Dr. Noordhoff’s return to Taiwan to benefit Taiwanese cleft lip and palate patients. Dr. Ivy, an ENT doctor who comes to Taiwan to learn micro surgery when she witnesses patient’s huge demand. Love makes whole. Praying that the love of Dr. Noordhoff can be planted, grow and thrive in the Philippines.

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