I attended Medical School at Valencia University, and ended my medical studies in 1981.
Once finished my compulsory military service I started working as staff physician at San Rafael Hospital in la Coruña. I worked both in the emergency room and in the medical floor, mainly in the respiratory diseases area, then under the direction of Dr. Hector Verea Hernando.
Although the hospital was a private concern and lacked a formal specialty training program, the medical team was very experienced and motivated; under the vibrant leadership of the then Medical Director Dr. Antonio Del Rio Vazquez, it strived in pursue of excellence and undoubtedly increased my desire for further specialization.
The knowledge and medical skills acquired in those years were invaluable and greatly helped me to achieve my next step, joining a postgraduate medical training program in the United States.
In 1989 I moved to New York to start post graduate Internal Medicine training at St John´s Episcopal Hospital, in Far Rockaway, Queens NY, then under the energetic direction of Dr. C. Burnett.
St John´s Internal medicine program was affiliated with the State University of New York (SUNY), and included rotations in different hospitals suchs as Downstate Medical Center, Kings County Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn Va Hospital and one outpatient clinic located in the Rockaways, the Joseph P Addabbo family health care center.
The program was quite intensive, starting 7 AM sharp, and ending usually in the late hours of the evening. Besides the bedside teaching with the medical attending doctor it included a strong academic program, with three hours of mandatory lectures daily, including internal medicine, basic science, pathology, morbidity&mortality review, Grand Rounds and special guests lectures.
Many attendings did help us along those difficult training days, and I owe each and every one of them; They all deserve to be remembered for its dedication, but that would be too long, so I will mention Dr Nathan Rothman, chief of respiratory diseases and intensive care, Doctors Cuni and Pastore from hematology, and Dr. Sheldon Markowitz as homage to them all.
Monhly examinations were held through the three year period, and once completed it was expected that every resident would sit and pass the internal Medicine Board Exam, wich I did in 1993.
In 1992 after I finished my Internal Medicine program, I pursued further training on in hematology and Oncology at St Lukes Roosevelt Medical Center Hem Onc program, an affiliate of Columbia Presbyterian University Hospital, then under the direction of Dr. Harvey J Weiss.
Most of the program took place at Roosevelt Hospital, although rotations were also held at the St Lukes Site and the bone marrow transplant training was offered at the Hematology and Oncology Department of Columbia Presbyterian University Hospital.
The program was very intense; fellows were expected to prepare lectures almost on weekly basis, both for the hematology oncology department and for other departments of he hospital such as internal Medicine.
The faculty were a very nice and warm bunch of specialists intensely dedicated to our learning. I would specially remember Dr. Arthur Karanas, Dr. Levine, Dr. Frankel, Dr Gabriel Sara and Dr. Goldman among many others to whom I am heavily indebted.
After completion of the Hematology Oncology program I returned to Spain, back to San Rafael Hospital, this time to develop the oncology service.
At my return I saw that, typical to the accelerated improvement of the Spanish private health care sector, San Rafael had added in only six years a new wing wich expanded greatly its capacity, had its surgical rooms completely updated and expanded, and had a vastly improved emergency room and day care unit, all due to the leadership of its CEO Mrs Benigna Peña and its president, the late Dr. Rafael Hervada Sandeliz.
It was still a private hospital but did receive surgical and medical patients from the Spanish National Health System.
This improvements help greatly the launching of the new oncology service wich was mainly directed to non public health insurance companies and self paying patients. Day care unit, outpatient office consultations and in hospital oncology care were developed and sucesfully and smoothly run from 1995 to 2004.
In July 2003 I went on to organize the oncology department of the the USP Santa Teresa Hospital (later Quirón Coruña). Again oncology day care, outpatient office consultation and in hospital oncology care were developed.
At its peak the oncology service had two medical oncologists, psycologist, nuticion specialist and a program for physical exercise in the oncology patient. An electronic medical record specifically designed for the oncology department was developed and was, along with the physical therapy program one of the most interesting aspects of the service.
In 2007 I was offered the opportunity to move to USP Marbella (later Quirón Marbella) hospital to develop both the Internal Medicine and the Oncology areas.
An entirely new day unit with an oncology section was built. Outpatient care takes place in the capacious and modern outpatient clinic. The oncology inpatient care unit and palliative care are very active.
Weekly multidisciplinary tumor commitee meetings are held every tuesday.
Specific units (breast cancer, oncology abdominal surgery and invasive oncology) have been created.
When a new hospital from the Quiron Group was built at Campo the Gibraltar I was offered the opportunity to cooperate to develop the oncology unit, while still performing my duties at Quiron Marbella as it was only 75 km away from Marbella. Currently in its second year of existence, the hospital offers an excellent oncology day care unit and outpatient oncology consults.