Medicine is not always about healing, but about healing and listening

One of the expert’s missions is the ability to create change, educate and positively influence Puerto Rican youth.

Dr. Barbara Rosado is a gastroenterologist with a subspecialty in liver transplantation. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.

Thanks to comprehensive training in medicine, Dr. Barbara Rosado It’s currently Gastroenterologist With a subspecialty in Liver Transplant. He began his studies at the University of Puerto Rico, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in biology, and then attended medical school on the medical sciences campus.

“I joined the Internal Medicine program at the Medical Sciences Campus, and spent an additional year as CEO. Later, I had the opportunity to enter one of the most reputable centers in the United States, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where I studied gastroenterology and completed an additional year in hepatology and liver transplantation. “. “Then, I go back to Puerto Rico, and join the faculty at Ponce College of Medicine, as an associate professor at that institution, when I establish my practice in Ponce.”

Dr. Rosado remembers that during her medical school years, she had great mentors, such as Dr. Esther Torres, who were an important pillar of her career.

“One of the reasons why I chose internal medicine is because it is a branch that allows me to create a differential diagnosis for patients. Being already in internal medicine, I realized that gastroenterology was the field that I was passionate about, because it could make early diagnosis and interventions, such as colorectal cancer screening, and reduce mortality From this point of view. Also, there are many diseases associated with women such as IBS, autoimmune hepatitis, among others.”

During her stay in this field of medicine, the specialist became aware of the increasing demand for patients who needed the help of a hepatologist, many people with advanced chronic disease arrived, and according to the expert, Puerto Rico did not have a transplant center and did not have specialized human resources, so he took The task of continuing his studies in gastroenterology

For Dr. Rosado, communication with her patients is essential in treatment. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.

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“My return from the United States to Puerto Rico was difficult. Our health system can be challenging from the point of view of barriers to accessing some treatments such as hepatitis C, which, fortunately, has been released, and the restrictions are less and less in terms of patient benefits,” he acknowledged. “Initially, providing treatments to some populations was difficult and these barriers were removed.”

After returning to the island, Dr. Rosado, along with other specialists in the area, took it upon themselves to develop collaborations with other institutions in the United States, such as the University of Tennessee and the Ochsner Clinic, with the goal of offering a patient the opportunity to have a transplant in Puerto Rico even without a specialized center in which it was performed.

“In 2005, when I came back to Puerto Rico, I had no privileges at Damas Hospital, but they called me to see a patient who was very ill. It was a young woman who had had fulminant liver failure unrelated to any viral infection, and we realized it was an autoimmune disease and it was She could be flown by air ambulance at the time to the Mayo Clinic in Florida. Today, that patient is fine, she is alive, she has a useful life, she has seen her children grow up, and 17 years later she is still sick.” “It was a challenge, but also a very big achievement.”

Women’s struggle for gender equality in medicine

Fortunately, the differential chasm between men’s and women’s participation is narrowing in some branches: “We see that women have overcome barriers, creating bridges and opening doors.”

“When I was at the Mayo Clinic, we had 85 consultants in the gastroenterology unit, of whom only two were women. Among us, we were also only two women and the others were men,” he recalls. “I think the fact that women are making their way into male-dominated branches and that we are doing a good job, has allowed us to see more and more empowered women who have multiple roles in their lives, occupying important management positions and leadership.”

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Likewise, the expert asserts that it is important for her to make her students and community understand, through education, that the doctor must not lose his human role by being a mother, wife, daughter and professional, and the ability to be a role model. Build that balance so they feel that everything can be done, and can be done well.

“There has always been this idea that we can’t do everything well, or that if you are a good professional you may not be present in your children’s lives. Those are stigmas that need to be removed.”

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“When that person walks out of my office with a smile, it’s so rewarding and there are no words or anything that can take its place.” Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.

Empathy and Active Listening: The Key Roles of the Physician

to me GastroenterologistOne of the greatest patient satisfactions is making the patient who enters your clinic feel cared for, listened to and respected. He stressed that “we should not only focus on treatment or treatment, because we will not always be able to do that, but we can heal and listen.”

Within the roles of the physician, it is not just the diagnosis, management, and treatment of diseases; On the contrary, he should transcend the role of the doctor and become an educator with his patients.

“For my part, one of the things I’m excited about is contributing to the training of future doctors, so one of the things I wanted when I made the decision to go back to Puerto Rico was to be part of a medical school. A doctor or medical school where I could help train future colleagues, students, and residents. “.

State-of-the-art medicine for patients

Dr. Rosado emphasized the importance of physicians continuing their education process to be aware of the basic needs of the general population, and of scientific and technical developments.

He emphasized that “medicine is not static, it changes and that is why we physicians must continue this educational process in order to provide patients with the best possible quality of service.”

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Another aspect to which the expert has devoted herself is research. This allowed him to participate in important studies that positively contributed to the development of treatment for hepatitis C and other conditions.

Physicians must have an appetite to contribute to the advancement of science; It’s something I wish we could include a bit more and should devote time to development, as it helps us bring about the necessary changes and provide better tools, while better understanding our population.”

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During his stay at the Mayo Clinic, he was always thinking of returning to his country and providing a specialized, high-quality service. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.

The family is the main driver

As mentioned GastroenterologistBeing able to maintain a proper balance between her career and personal life was a challenge for her. However, she maintains that with the help of her husband, Dr. Francisco Torres, the operation was more likely and possible in all their years together.

“I have two wonderful children, one graduating from fourth grade and my daughter in eleventh grade, and this part of their education, so that they are good human beings, and benefit society, has also been one of my business.”

On the other hand, his father, who still takes care of him, has been a major focus throughout his medical career, as he maintains that he learned from him important values ​​that govern his life today.

“My father always told me, ‘I won’t be able to leave you an inheritance, but the most important thing I will be able to leave you is education. “Since I was five years old, I played with stethoscopes and he told me that and I took it in and it is something I also try to pass on to my children and I believe that in society, it is essential that our children and our youth are educated in order for them to have a better country,” concluded Dr. Barbara Rosado.

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