A Beacon Amidst the Concrete Jungles of New York City

By Bro. Dr. Ferdinand Magno, 13 Men and a Baby

ToshiFor his exemplary service to his institution during the height of the Ebola crisis last year, Bro. Dr. Alexander Manly Sy, Seven Deadly Sins, was given due recognition by the Metropolitan Hospital Center in East Harlem, New York City last June 16, 2015.

The plaque of recognition was presented to Dr. Sy, Toshi to Tauans and close acquaintances, by his mentor, Dr. Nora V. Bergasa, Chief of Medicine at Metropolitan Hospital Center and Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College. The simple ceremonies were held Tuesday night at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle, New York on Long Island Sound just north of the metropolis.

As the United States were gripped with Ebola hysteria last year when the first US case of the virus was diagnosed at a Dallas, TX hospital in a man who came from an endemic area in Africa, the country’s hospitals responded by establishing strict protocols in handling potential cases. The man would eventually die from the disease a few days later.

Two days after the Liberian man passed away, a nurse who took care of him came down with symptoms of the disease and was eventually diagnosed to have Ebola, the first person to have ever contracted the disease in the United States. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came under attack from all sides of American society claiming the agency was not ready and was ill-equipped to prevent the spread of the disease in the United States.

imageDr. Alexander Sy practices Primary Care at Metropolitan Hospital Center and is the Associate Program Director of their Internal Medicine Residency Program. To prevent contamination and spread of the Ebola virus, the medical staff of Metropolitan Hospital Center thru the Department of Medicine decided that only one physician will examine patients who present to their clinics and hospital with symptoms of Ebola.

When the hospital’s Chief of Medicine, Dr. Bergasa, asked her staff consisting of Primary Care physicians for volunteers, Dr. Toshi Sy was one of the first ones to sign up. After a patient is examined, they were transferred to Bellevue Hospital, one of eight designated Ebola treatment centers in the Big Apple.

imageToshi joined Tau Mu Sigma Phi, the Thomasian Medical Students’ Fraternity in 1998 with six other medical students who eventually named their batch Seven Deadly Sins. After graduating from the University of Santo Tomas – Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and passing his boards, Toshi Sy underwent residency training in Internal Medicine in New York City and has lived there since.

“Being a Tauan taught us to take care of others and be of service to our patients.”- Bro. Dr. Alexander ‘Toshi’ Manly Sy, Seven Deadly Sins

When asked how being a Tauan has helped him in his career as a physician, Toshi said “Being a Tauan taught us to take care of others and be of service to our patients.” His spirit of selfless giving and volunteerism was duly recognized by his colleagues and the institution he works for when they presented him with the plaque of appreciation for his service during the Ebola crisis of 2014.

Tauans are known to rise above the challenge, do the daring and at times think outside the box. We do it not only because we are adventurous but most of all because we have been taught to serve and lead. Two of our Tauan ideals are LEADERSHIP and SERVICE. Bro. Toshi Sy exemplifies these ideals and in a world full of skeptics and naysayers amidst a crisis, he is a shining light and a beacon to his institution, community and fraternity.


2 thoughts on “A Beacon Amidst the Concrete Jungles of New York City

  1. Toshy Manly Sy wont be called “Manly” for nothing. He is the embodiment of a True Pinoy Physician, a courageous Tauan clinical practitioner practicing in a concrete jungle indeed, but with a heart of a compassionate Doctor who went into harms way by volunteering into a potentially dangerous exposure to Ebola- stricken patients. Toshy, Hail Tau Mu!

  2. Keep it up Toshi.!!!!You are dealing with one of the most contagious
    virus around.Is this the case of the Physician from Liberia ?
    His parents lived here in Port Charlotte florida. Our Ebola rapid response
    team was activated in southwest florida and had two table top exercises.
    This is only the beginning with air travel we will expect more contagious
    viruses third world countries to go around . Now we have the MERS virus.

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