School of medicine

I remember the happiness and relief I felt when I was accepted into the medical program at Ciudad University. UNAM has always been present in my life; My parents worked there, and my brothers trained in their classes; So, the day I saw my number on the newspaper page, I felt extremely proud to also be part of this organization.

I earned my medical degree in the middle of a strike that forced us to take classes outside the university for several months. I don’t remember how I received the information, but the General Hospital in Mexico received my group and the instructions were clear: I was to appear in white clothes, with a gown, at the pathology service classes. The following months of classes were complex, all the topics were new and it seemed impossible for me to understand the descriptions in the anatomy book. The great teaching skill and commitment of the teachers kept the group at the forefront. After we returned to the medical school classroom, we continued to the next semester. It was a luxury to go back to college. Not only did we have access to countless materials and books that undoubtedly made our lives easier, but I was also able to immerse myself in college life and understand the passion that defines it. Histology lessons ceased to be simple pictures in books and became real slides under a microscope; Biochemistry class moved from formulas on the blackboard to practices in the laboratory. The hallways were always full of life, with students studying for next classes, memorizing cranial nerve strengthening techniques or simply playing soccer. Thus, that first year, although difficult, was very inspiring and made me realize the power of belonging to a college.

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The second year was very different. I joined NUCE, a group of students who have a common interest in research. Coordinating with this group made it easier for us to access research laboratories, so I spent afternoons during that year in different laboratories. There I met researchers who were very dedicated to their laboratories and their teaching. I spent the entire afternoon reviewing slides with Dr. Ruy Pérez Tamayo, who explained to me all about inflammatory infiltrates and how the same protective mechanisms ultimately caused damage to the tissue we were reviewing. I also met several graduate students who spoke to me passionately about the importance of their projects. This experience made it very clear to me how research forms the basis for understanding diseases and how important it is in making medical decisions. This is how I first thought about doing biomedical research as a professional alternative.

In my third year, I started clinical rotations in hospitals, so, from that point on, I rarely returned to college. But every time I visit, I think about the importance of those years and the college as the place where I trained as a doctor and that inspired me to be a researcher, because it truly is a place that allows students to discover their own path. And follow your passion.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the UNAM Foundation on the occasion of its thirty-first anniversary. I would like to highlight the exceptional effort they have devoted to enhancing education, by supporting outstanding students. I wish you many years of success in this invaluable work.

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Senior Researcher “C” in Medical Sciences at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zuberan

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