By Gene D. Torres, MD
For 22 years, DOC – Doctor on Call has been broadcasting updates on the latest healthcare trends and technological advances. The show was said to be the brainchild of Dr. Vivencio V. Villaflor Jr. and initiated to increase the awareness of people on health issues by interacting with the society on a LIVE medical show without the use of a script. Topics are based on relevant issues for the week/month. Among these is the August episode in line with the celebration of “TB Month” where the perils of not taking medications and taking them irregularly, causing even more danger in our community, are talked about. The February issue talked about the problems of the heart wherein permanent DDVMH consultants are invited as guests for the show. “DOC” was coined by Dr. Roberto Valenzuela as it is termed to be short for “Doctor On Call”.
For several years until today, “Doctor on Call” has been hosted by yours truly, Dr. Gene D. Torres, and over the years, guest co-hosts had visited the show. Some of them were Dino Zabala, Dr. Cherry Bernal, Dr. Juan Maximus Escario and Dr. Larry Sarito who eagerly supported the vision of Doctor on Call. The first few years of Doctor on call was aired every Monday, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm with replays on the weekends. The venue before then was in First Ilocandia Dagupan CATV brought to us by Sky Cable which was aired to several towns in Pangasinan such as Dagupan City, Calasiao, Sta. Barbara and Urdaneta City.
On March 19, 2018, the show was transferred and housed by the USATV, a local Channel here in Pangasinan. It is played on Channel 17 – The Kabaleyan Channel every Monday, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. This transfer was made possible by Dr. Betha Fe Castillo and was made official by Dagupan City Mayor, Belen T. Fernandez, and Mr. Kevin Fernandez. With this relocation of the show, it currently has a widened coverage area. “Doctor on Call” is now being aired through 32 cities and municipalities covered by USATV.
Similar topics are tackled every Monday but with a minimal twist from the former format. Dr. Gene D. Torres remains as the Main Host of the show and the co-hosts depend on the medical topics being discussed during that week, preferably a representative from the department or section assigned.