Quintin Juan Gomez (1919 -2003), Father of Anesthesiology in the Philippines, strongly held the conviction that whoever delivered the “sleep of life” holds the patient’s life in his hands and has the responsibility to use all possible knowledge to bring back “wakefulness without pain”.
Quintin was born in Manila on 12th April 1919. He became a Bachelor of Arts in the University of the Philippines in 1939 when he was only just 20. He then entered the College of Medicine from which he graduated in 1944 during World War II. He managed to get to Chicago where, from 1956 -1948, he studied anesthesiology under Max Sadove. His interest in anesthesiology began after a meeting with Joseph Artusio while both were working at the 155th Station Hospital in Mandaluyong in the Philippines in 1946 just after the end of the war. In 1949, he joined the Faculty of the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines.
In due course, he was appointed Professor of Anesthesiology and pioneered the development of anesthesiology as an independent specialty in the Philippines. His reputation quickly grew and he became a highly respected figure in the specialty in the countries of the Pacific Rim. He represented the Philippines at the 4th World Congress in London in 1968 where he was elected Treasurer of WFSA, the first person from the Far East to hold high office in the organization. He was re-elected for a second term at the World Congress in Kyoto in 1972. In 1966, WFSA had established a Training Centre in Caracas. Quintin had swiftly seen the advantages that such a centre could bring to the development of the specialty in Asia. He led a committee which included Roger Bennett (Australia), Peter Lee (Taiwan) and Hideo Yamamura (Japan). The matter was referred to the next meeting of the Asian/Australasian Regional Section in Canberra in 1970. It took a little time but, in due course, a WFSA Training Centre was established in Manila and Quintin was appointed Director.Quintin’s dedication to the work of WFSA was acknowledged by the WFSA General Assembly.When he was elected President at the 6th World Congress in Mexico City in 1976. In his Presidential Address to the 7th World Congress in Hamburg in 1980, Quintin stressed the importance of WFSA continuing to develop its educational program and he was delighted at the subsequent growth in activities. It gave him great pleasure when the General Assembly agreed to Manila being the venue of the 8th World Congress and he proved to be a gracious host and, despite a number of local difficulties, these were overcome and the congress, his last before he became ill, was highly successful. He has left his mark on the organisation.