I came from a family of agricultural migrants who eventually settled into the inner city of a big metropolis. It was at the county hospital where I worked as a nurse’s aid that I saw the ravages caused by serious conditions that could have been prevented. Since then, public health and preventive medicine became my focus. Nursing was followed by medical school at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City. After graduation, I continued working in inner cities and rural communities. I attended residency training at the University of Southern California and the University of Washington. I completed a master’s degree in public health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and a post-doctoral fellowship with the University of California at Davis. Throughout those years of training, I always knew that it was my patients who taught me medicine; for what I know, I owe to my patients. Life taught me the importance of prevention and the need for universal medical care for all; access to health care is a basic human right.
My first experience with PAs was in the state of Washington, working with Army PAs who had been medics while serving in Vietnam. It was a privilege and an honor working together as a team and learning from them; they became my mentors and friends. After many years in medicine, nearing retirement, I realize that I have a lot to contribute and it is time to transfer all the accumulated knowledge and experience to the next generation of medical providers. I am honored to have the opportunity to share that knowledge with our future PAs.