Christian Gil D. Tugonon
When the unprecedented health crisis struck in 2020, the world came to a standstill. Lives were abruptly disrupted and the bustling energy of “business as usual” gave way to global pause as societies confronted the harsh realities of the pandemic.
Defining the “new normal” was a by-line often used arbitrarily as communities scrambled to get back on track. It was amidst all this confusion that a few good men stood out, driven by an unwavering commitment and selfless compassion to continuously serve, despite the mounting fear and anxiety.
One of them is Dr. Bryan Albert T. Lim, an Infectious Disease specialist from Cebu who made bold strides in the healthcare industry. He offered different perspectives in approaching the pandemic and helped form policies that married both Science and systems with human compassion—all while continuing his medical practice, serving at the forefront during the pandemic.
With his distinguished academic background, having graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree from the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu and a Doctor of Medicine from the UP College of Medicine, Dr. Lim has consistently displayed a commitment to excellence in his career.
With a subspecialty in Infectious Diseases from the Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Lim’s contributions have been widely acknowledged by various sectors. His groundbreaking efforts in helping establish systems and models in addressing the pandemic with both the private and public sector earned him various recognitions from various local and national institutions.
And as the newly installed chief medical officer of Keralty Prime Cebu, Dr. Lim has been instrumental in pioneering transformative initiatives in primary healthcare, shaping the way primary care patient-centered services are delivered to the community.
Most recently, the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), an affiliate society of the Philippine Medical Association and a member-society of the International Society of Internal Medicine, recognized Dr. Lim asthe PCP’s Distinguished Health Care Advocate for 2023, chosen from among 9,111 members.
Being among one of the youngest doctors to have received this award, Dr. Lim’s dedication to his patients and the community is rooted in his personal experiences and core values. Reflecting on the transformative power of compassion, kindness, and scientific excellence, he shared: “I have learned firsthand the immense impact that dedicated healthcare professionals can have. It is this profound realization that has fueled my commitment to serve and offer compassion to those in need.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Lim has encountered significant challenges that have shaped his perspective and reinforced the importance of collaboration and empathy. Recognizing the role of healthcare professionals as collaborators and partners during the pandemic, he emphasizes the value of humility and the need to listen attentively and to work collaboratively.
“We don’t have all the answers. It’s tempting at times to believe that we, doctors, are the experts in all health issues, but solutions can come from the unlikeliest of places. The pandemic wasn’t only a health crisis, it was also a social crisis. As doctors and health advocates, our role goes beyond our medical expertise; it is to guide, collaborate, and most importantly, to listen.”
He continued: “Being a health advocate means embracing the responsibility of considering multiple perspectives and designing solutions that benefit everyone. It is about understanding that healthcare goes beyond the confines of a hospital or clinic—it is about making a positive impact on the lives of individuals and communities as a whole.”
When asked about what struck him most as his greatest lesson during the pandemic, Dr. Lim shared a personal story: “Be kind; everyone is struggling. It is important that we offer our help and assist with humility, patience, and always with compassion. When my father died from Covid early in the pandemic, I almost lost my will to work. My heart was drained, there was nothing left to give, and I had planned to quit. But I found sincere, silent compassion in the unlikeliest of places and that fueled my desire to serve even more. The most difficult times taught me that it is possible to transform pain to passion, grief to gratitude, suffering to grace. “
Dr. Lim continues to spearhead transformative patient-centered healthcare initiatives. His journey serves as an inspiration to his colleagues and the wider healthcare community. His relentless pursuit of excellence and dedication to improving the well-being of others make him a true healthcare trailblazer.
With his heart in the right place, Dr. Lim inspires hope, healing, and a brighter future for all. (SunStar Specials)