JOSE M. ALBERT
Patriot and pioneer pediatrician in the country, Dr. Jose Albert was born in Binondo, Manila on April 3, 1867 to Mariano Albert and Ruperta Mayoralgo. He enrolled at the Ateneo Municipal where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at the age of thirteen in 1880.
He went on to the University of Santo Tomas where he enrolled for the four year medical course. In 1884, he went abroad to continue his medical training at the Universidad Central de Madrid where he obtained the Licenciado en Medicina (Licentiate in Medicine) in 1887. Two years later he was named Doctor of Medicine by the same university.
A lover of travel and keen about learning other languages, he visited France, Germany, and Belgium. In Paris, he visited various hospitals studied medicine with Potaine, obstetrics under Budin and pediatrics with Grancher. He proceeded to Belgium with Dr. Jose Rizal on January 27, 1890 where he visited some hospitals. He then went to Berlin where he studied gynecology and obstetrics for three months under Olshausen. From Germany, he went to Marseilles, France where he look passage for the Philippines, which he reached in June of 1891.
He first practiced obstetrics but then turned to pediatrics, thus becoming one of the first pediatricians in the country. On September ;6. 1896, he was one of those arrested for complicity in the Revolution. He was imprisoned in Fort Santiago but released a few weeks later. This incident impelled him to join the Revolution. Under the revolutionary government he was appointed professor of pediatrics of the planned National University. Later. He was made Chief of the Military Sanitary Service of the Committee of Public Hygiene. He was one of the signers of the Constitution of the short-lived Philippine Republic at Barasoain on January 20, 1899.
Before and after the revolution, Dr. Albert wrote articles on liberty and freedom in the publications Independencia and Democracia. At the advent of American rule, being essentially a realist, he turned to politics and became president of the Purtido Federelista which was organized on June 8, 1900. However, his deep love far medicine and his widening interest in the preservation of human life made him give up politics. As evidence of this resolve to practice medicine, he helped found the Colegio Medico-Farmaceutico, the first medical society in the Philippines which he headed until 1906, the year he joined the Department of Pediatrics of the newly-created University of the Philippines.
In 1903, he was a prominent figure in the Committee on Opium at a medical seminar held in Manila. Other positions held by Dr. Albert in the University of the Philippines were: Professor of Medical Jurisprudence and Pediatrics, 1907, Acting Dean, College of Medicine, 1921;Chief of Clinics, 1927-;Professor and Head, Department of Pediatrics, until his retirement from the government service in 1945.
A member of the American Medical Association, he wrote scientific papers on infant mortality, concentrating his reasearch on beriberi.
Doctor Albert succumbed to chronic nephritis on August 13, 1946 at age 79. On that last day of his life - while gasping for breath - Dr. Albert told his daughter, Mrs. Calvo, "if the Almighty gives me a new life, I shall study medicine again as medicine has made my life beautiful."