Paloma Alejandro: Rheumatologist

The challenge for me is to realize that there are a lot of sick young people on the island who are struggling because they can’t get to the specialists on time.

Dr. Paloma Alejandro Silva, MD, a rheumatologist at the Soto Rheumatology Medical Research Group.

Working towards her goals was the path that led Dr. Paloma Alejandro Silva to success in her personal and professional life. One of the roles that the San Juan-born rheumatologist proudly performs is helping her patients and setting an example for her children.

medicine in your life

Studying medicine was something that today’s doctor, Paloma Alejandro Silva, decided from a young age. Some science classes would help her get involved in the profession, and she knew she would have to study and work hard to get there. “I think studying science in high school is that I realized I wanted to go to that branch and in college I always had that goal. I didn’t take a break, so I always made it all work out, because there are many people who don’t know what They want to study it all the way to the end. And I’ve always loved the part about helping people, the social part. And that’s what drove me the most to study medicine to help others,” said who graduated in 2012 from the University of Puerto Rico Medical School.

in a His fourth year of study In medicine, revelations about specialization arrived. “That was when I was in medical school and did an elective, a Rotation in rheumatology in the medical center With Dr. Villa this is what opened my eyes. That’s when I realized I wanted to become a rheumatologist because it’s a profession like Sherlock Holmes is a specialist where you look at a patient in a group in In general, on all devices And you can solve this question that no one can answer and I also like the autoimmunity part, the immunology of the profession where one has to really study very well how the condition affects a human being to know what treatment you are going to give them,” explained the doctor who did it after having it Internal Medicine Residency in New York, Study Specialist in Rheumatology at Medstar Washington Hospital Center/ Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Rheumatology is a challenge

Being a rheumatologist has not only represented a huge responsibility for this doctor but also a challenge due to the competitiveness of this field. Moving from Puerto Rico and studying in the United States as a woman and Latina was one of the first challenges she had to face. “Sometimes you experience a little bit of racism among your peers for being Latina, even if you don’t think that’s still there. Then try to make myself known among all my colleagues that they are all American,” she admitted. . How did you deal? Alejandro replied, “Okay, studying and struggling. Working long hours. Another challenge was getting into rheumatology, which is a very competitive specialty. When they pick you up, you have to go through an interview process and you have to have good grades,” replied Alejandro Silva, who worked a year ago. 2020 with Dr. Oscar Soto Raices at the Soto-Raíces Mindful Rheumatix & Medical Research Group.

Among her professional achievements, she has highlighted her work as an academic at MedStar Washington Hospital Center / Georgetown University Medical Center, a professional role that she wants to resume soon in Puerto Rico. “I continue to teach other internists who train in this specialty. I have been able to introduce myself, be a part of clinical research and share knowledge to help develop rheumatologists. In the future, I would like to teach classes here in Puerto Rico and treat the rheumatologists who train there. The island “Because most of them are leaving,” he said.

One aspect of rheumatology that worries him is seeing many cases of young people with different types of diseases without access to a specialist. “The challenge for me is to realize that there are a lot of sick young people out there The island Those who suffer because they are not able to reach specialists on time. I’ve come across many cases of young girls with lupus or other cases who come to me very ill and I realized the reality is different.”

surrounded by family love

On the family side, she said she was “surrounded by a lot of love” and many women because she has a twin sister and another younger sister. She is married to a maxillofacial surgeon and has two children: a two-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. In fact, a large part of the decision to return to their homeland was to be able to raise their offspring on the land of Puerto Rico. “We had already been in the States for many years and wanted to raise them in Puerto Rico. As a woman the priority, our children. Teach them that one can be a woman and work and also be a mother. But I also felt that (upon returning) I could bring something different The island, to help Puerto Ricans because every year more doctors leave and I think maybe I can help here more than there.”

From her parents, she said, she learned to trust herself to achieve all her goals. “They gave me self-confidence and self-confidence,” she said. “To be able to make sure that I no longer give up to achieve the goals I wanted.”

When asked which person he admires the most, he did not hesitate to respond to “Mom” on a personal level. Professionally, although he admires many people, there is one that he tries to emulate every day. “I have mentors in the States, but there is someone who, they say, has been my mentor and I try to imitate him every day. Her name is Florina Constantinescu, and she is a woman who specializes in rheumatology and has a family, but she is one of those people who balances everything and everything very well.” ‘, added who enjoys exercise and fashion in his spare time.

Alejandro Silva aspires to maintain a balance between his family and his career. “To have a good balance, a stable home, and also continue to work. And I think that also in part of being a woman, it is possible to have a successful career, but also a family because I had my children while I was in training, so I think anything is possible.”

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