Up Close and Personal with Dr. Ernesto ‘Ernie’ Santos of Santos General Hospital

“I started big….after passing the licensure exam, I asked my father for a clinic where I could practice my profession as a medical doctor and he gave me a hospital.  The rest is history…” This was the statement of Dr. Ernie Santos when asked about how he started his medical career. Dr. Santos traces his roots to a family of businessmen from the city of Malolos, Bulacan.  With a residential apartment in Andalucía St. Manila, close to Far Eastern University (FEU), the family decided that he take BS Psychology at the FEU Institute of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Santos vividly remembers his college days at the university with friends and classmates. On campus, Dr. Santos was a regular student who would go out with friends and watch movies during their break time. He loved to visit the University Chapel daily to find comfort and solace.

While his parents were running their fish business in Bulacan, he was trusted by his parents to live independently in Manila. According to Dr. Santos, despite the capacity of his parents to buy luxuries, they were taught how to value money. “We were provided by our parents with our basic needs but in terms of wants – primarily, we had to earn it,” he added. While he had his own hospital instantly, it took him years to establish his name and credibility. Challenges arose from being a new doctor and administrator of a hospital at a young age. Dr. Santos faced emotional and financial struggles but with persistence, he was able to overcome them all. The hospital is now on its 25th year of existence under his management.

His education at FEU gave Dr. Santos a good foundation in managing his business, particularly in dealing with people. “When I started running the hospital, it was difficult, because my father passed away 2 months after the hospital was purchased,” says Dr. Santos. The hospital formerly, Our Lady of Rosary Hospital, was purchased by his late father and renamed Santos General Hospital. “I am grateful to my parents because if not for them, I would never be the person that I am now. I will always value my father’s generosity and that is what I am passing on to my employees and children.”

Asked about his message for his fellow Tamaraws, Dr. Santos says, “I know that as a student, academics is the priority over friends. But choose your friends well because they will make or break you as a person. And always be grateful to your parents who have invested time and money in your education…dream big!”