Josephine Gutierrez

Recipient of the 2006 Asian-Oceanian Fellowship in Clinical Epileptology

Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Neurosciences, University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital

Thank you very much to the Epilepsy Society of Australia for giving me the opportunity to train in Clinical Epileptology. The year has been very enriching. The Comprehensive Epilepsy Service at the Prince of Wales Hospital is a busy service with a lot of interesting clinical material for epilepsy review and pre-surgical evaluation. I had a lot of learning experiences with epilepsy syndromes and telemetry cases I had not seen before as well as complicated epilepsy cases with confounding side issues in management. It was also a new thing for me to be exposed to various functional neuro-imaging methods. Prof. Ernie Somerville is an excellent and insightful clinician and neuro-physiologist and it was a pleasure learning from him. He was generous with his teaching and gave me several opportunities to join courses in epilepsy in addition to the work we do in the Service.

I return to the Philippines to continue two things I enjoy doing - teaching and clinical practice. I belong to the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital which is the largest public teaching hospital in my country. The Epilepsy Unit was opened there 3 years ago and I hope that with this added experience, I can contribute to its advancement. We need to develop a protocol for epilepsy surgery that will be within the framework of our resources as an underdeveloped country so patients from the poorer sector of society can benefit from it. I will also go back to my position with the Philippine League Against Epilepsy(PLAE). Our organization is composed of very enthusiastic and dedicated members who are there on a voluntary basis. We are engaged throughout the year organizing scientific or training programs for both GPs and neurologists, we take charge of the public information campaign and help the lay group in organizing and planning their activities.

As I leave Australia, I am glad to hear that my ties with ESA will not be severed so suddenly. I hope I can return the hospitality I’ve enjoyed when I meet some of the ESA officers again as they join the faculty for our National Epilepsy Congress in the Philippines in September 2007.

Josephine Gutierrez


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