The Division of Rehabilitation Medicine is better known today as the
Apolinario Mabini Rehabilitation Center (AMRC), the name it adopted only a year after its establishment in 1971 for a two-fold
reason: to honor and recognize a great Filipino hero and a Thomasian alumnus who did not let his paralysis get in the way
of his serving the country; and to underscore its objective of providing a modern, comprehensive and multidisciplinary rehabilitation
program at the UST hospital.
The Sublime Paralytic would have been proud. At present, the Rehabilitation
Center named after him is housed in a 1500 square meter treatment facility - situated not only in the Private but also in
the Clinical Division. It has a 10-bed ward for indigent rehabilitation in-patients and provides services that include physical
therapy, occupational therapy, prosthetics and orthotics (the only hospital-based unit with capability in thermoplastics),
speech therapy, psychological and pre-vocational services and in-vocational training program for disabled children and young
In 1996, the Department was granted the Mabini Presidential Award
by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc. for its exemplary contribution to the field of Rehabilitation
in the Philippines.
Its medical staff presently consists of nine full-time physiatrists
supported by four resident physician and a non medical staff of 17, including nine full-time physical therapists, two full-time
occupational therapists, one speech therapist, and two orthoticprosthetic technicians. Added to this is a support staff of
teachers for the vocational training programs, psychologists, and social workers whose consultations are sought when necessary.
This ably-staffed department now treats approximately 75-100 patients
a day, fabricates more than 100 various orthotic and prosthetic devices and also performs 90-100 electrodiagnostic studies
per month. Facilities and equipment in both the Private and Clinical Divisions are mostly subsidized by external grants. These
have gone a long way in supporting the medical/surgical/rehabilitation/transportation equipment and appliances, pre-vocational
and vocational training and retraining of disabled patients who have previously been physically rehabilitated and infrastructure
support of all these services.
In the Thomasian spirit of Christian service, the AMRC thru the help
of local and foreign grants, established the Pediatric Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc. (PFRI) in 1990, envisioned to provide
medical, social, psychological, vocational and educational services to indigent disabled children with the end goal of reintegrating
them in the society where they live and making them productive citizens of the country.
In cooperation with the World
Rehabilitation Fund (WRF) and the Rusk Institute of New York University Hospital, the Department offered a Residency Training
Program for physicians who wished to specialize in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. This was developed in
order to address the growing number of disabled people in Asia and the dearth of trained medical manpower to serve this growing
Introduced in 1976, the program was funded by WRF and the Rusk Institute
of New York University Hospital , with UST providing the venue for training the trainors who must be qualified specialists
as provided by the guidelines of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The objectives of the program
was to disseminate physician-specialists in the field to care for the disabled population not only in the different regions
of the Philippines, but also in other developing countries of Southeast Asia. To support the training program, the WRF also
funded the updating of the AMRC library which has been renamed the Howard Rusk Library. By 1980, the UST program became the
model for similar training programs in other regions of the world. Today, UST maintains an excellent residency training program
in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.