Top Latino Physicians
Story By: Steve Penhollow
Latinos are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States, according to a study from UCLA’s Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture. Their numbers having risen more than 200 percent since 1980. Unfortunately, the number Latino physicians declined by more than 20 percent during that same period. Hispanics are the least likely racial or ethnic group to seek medical care, according to a Census Bureau report. Language and cultural barriers are to blame, say many experts. Many Latino patients fear confusion and misunderstanding in their encounters with non-Latino medical professionals. Here are ten Latino physicians who have tried to buck those trends.
Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa
Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, commonly known as Dr. Q, received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental and stem cell biology. His career began at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he became a Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology, Neurology, and Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Director of the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory. Nowadays, he is the “William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor” and Chair of Neurologic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Quiñones is known internationally as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist who leads NIHfunded research to cure brain cancer.
Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero
Dr. Garcia-Manero was born in Spain and received his medical degree at the University of Zaragoza in Spain. After completing his studies there and a research training period at the Royal Free Hospital in London, he completed a residency in internal medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Subsequently, he completed a fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Kimmel Cancer Center also at Jefferson Medical College. After his training, he moved to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He currently serves as the McCreedie Professor of Leukemia Research, Chief of the Section of MDS, and Deputy Chair for Translational Research in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center where he leads on the largest MDS research programs in the world. He has published over 550 research manuscripts and has received multiple awards acknowledging his work.
Dr. Catalina Esperanza Garcia
Catalina Esperanza Garcia, a Dallas-area anesthesiologist, was one of the first Hispanic women to graduate from the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School. Garcia attended the school at a time of racial strife: the 1960s.
“So many times I’d run into people who had misconceptions of Latinos,” Garcia said. “I realized what they had been telling me – that I was different. I wasn’t different; they just hadn’t met enough of us. I felt I was carrying a burden in a way.” Garcia was the only woman of four in her class to successfully complete medical school. Garcia is a founding member of the philanthropic Dallas Women’s Foundation. She teaches English to immigrant women. She is the 2013 recipient of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hispanic 100 Latina Living Legend Award. In 2016, she received a Distinguished Alumni and Gold Nugget Award from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Joseph E. Garcia
Joseph E. Garcia is a general surgeon based in Austin, Texas. He graduated summa cum laude from Texas Tech University with a degree in Microbiology and graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He performs surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System. The da Vinci Surgical System is a robot-assisted surgical method that translates a surgeon’s hand movements into smaller and more precise robotic movements.
Dr. Ramón Rodríguez
Ramón Rodríguez is a board-certified neurologist based in Orlando, Florida whose specialties are movement disorders, tremors, dystonia, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. He is also known for using non-narcotic methods of treating chronic migraine headaches, including Botox treatments. Rodríguez is widely recognized as one of the leading Florida-based experts on Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease, also known as Huntington’s chorea, is an inherited disorder that results in death of nerve cells in the brain. In addition to his work in the clinical practice of the University of Central Florida, Rodríguez teaches at the UCF medical school and sees patients at the Orlando VA Medical Center. As a member of the global Parkinson’s Study Group, Rodríguez works with researchers and specialists from the nation’s top medical centers to increase understanding of that neurodegenerative disorder.
Dr. Pedro Francisco Lopez
Pedro Francisco Lopez is director for retina and vitreous diseases at the Center for Excellence in Eye Care in Miami, Florida. Lopez attended the University of Miami School of Medicine, specializing in Macular Surgery. He graduated with a Distinction in Research. He has done work with such prestigious educational institutions as Harvard University, John’s Hopkins University, Emory University and the University of Southern California. Lopez is an examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Vitreous and Retina Societies, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Society of Heed Fellows, and the American Medical Association. He serves as a scientific referee for such ophthalmological journals as the American Journal of Ophthalmology, International Ophthalmology, Archives of Ophthalmology, and the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Annette Perez-Delboy
Annette Perez-Delboy is director of Labor & Delivery and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Operations for the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. She has expertise in amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, fetal reduction and fetal blood transfusions and has done research on preterm deliveries, recurrent pregnancy loss, cervical insufficiencies and cervical cerclages. Perez-Delboy is one of the few physicians who performs cerclages with the daVinci robot-assisted surgical system. Perez-Delboy is a member of the Fellow American College of Ob/Gyn (FACOG), the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE), the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), the New York Obstetric Society (NYOBS), and the Association of Maternal Fetal Medicine Management (AMFMM).
Dr. Raul Hernandez
Raul Hernandez is a board certified urologist based in San Francisco, California. He is the president of Golden Gate Urology, with several locations in the Bay Area. Hernandez has practiced urology in northern California since 1990. He also serves as the chief of urology at Seton Medical Center and at St. Mary’s Hospital. Hernandez graduated from the University of
Puerto Rico Medical School with high honors. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and has also served as president of the California Integrated Physician Practice Association.
Dr. Michael Perez Mendez
Michael Perez Mendez is a Family Practice Specialist based in Lubbock, Texas. As a member of Lubbock Family Medicine, Mendez provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient medical services including adult and pediatric care and sports medicine. He is also well versed in women’s health and geriatrics. He graduated with honors from Texas Tech University Health Science Center School Of Medicine. Mendez is the recipient of a 2010 Family Medicine Award and a 2011 Sports Medicine Fellowship. In 2014, he was selected for inclusion in The Latino American Who’s Who.
Dr. Gustavo Rivera
Gustavo Rivera is a gastroenterologist based in Naples, Florida. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and graduated with honors from the University of Puerto Rico. Prior to enrolling in the Central Caribbean University School of Medicine, he spent more than two years providing community health services in areas of Guadalajara, Mexico where the need was the greatest. He has conducted research into colorectal cancer prevention. Rivera has been a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine since 2011 and is a reviewer of the ACG Journal.