My family had to leave from Nicaragua because of the war in the 1980s. Some of the family members went back to Spain, others to Argentina, Denmark, the United States, and all over the word. Since then, we’ve never celebrated a Christmas holiday in which the whole family has all been together.
At first, Miami was just a vacation destination we all knew and loved. During my college years in California, I began traveling extensively to reconnect with family members. It was Miami where I discovered all the women from my family–all grown up into smart, driven, and independent individuals with progressive thinking. It made me realize that life would have been so much better if these women had been around all this time. So, I kept coming back to Miami.
After my residency in Michigan, I made a difficult decision to decline a job offer from Baylor University in Texas and finally moved to Miami to be closer to my family.
My goal is to break the stereotype that being a surgeon is a man’s job. Throughout my school and professional years, I had to constantly prove to people that just because I speak with an accent doesn’t mean I think with an accent. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to become a surgeon. The American medical field is an extremely competitive male-dominated field. Many women get discouraged to apply to medical schools because men tell them the profession is too demanding. As a result, many women with big dreams never achieve their full potential and end up doing something else, often nursing or caring for the elderly. I was the first Hispanic woman in my residency program and we currently have only nine women among 120 surgeons at the University of Miami. My goal is to encourage all the women who are considering entering the field of medicine by letting them know that they can have great careers and be married, have children, and have fulfilling lives all at the same time.
My dream is to leave a lasting contribution as a cancer surgeon, a teacher, and a researcher. There is no greater feeling than when you have the ability to do something good for another human being. The day that I die, my daughter will be proud of me. It’s something that you cannot put a price tag on.