I met up with Dr. Martha Cano three years ago while working as chief resident at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi. I clearly remember our visit and how the former UTPA graduate became visibly emotional when she talked about her love for her alma mater, her passion for medicine and dream of one day owning her own family medical practice back home in the Rio Grande Valley.
Dr. Martha Cano is a Family Physician and UTPA alumna "Being in a job where you can use your brain and use your heart all at the same time is unlike any other experience."
Here is Dr. Cano today...her dream now a reality. In addition to family health care, Dr. Cano's newly opened medical practice, Valley Care Clinics in Weslaco, offers general dermatology, weight management, aesthetics and family counseling among other services.
Dr. Martha Cano "I had the opportunity to make a move and we did. My family and I were glad to come back to the Valley and it's been everything that I've always wanted, my own practice with the help of South Texas Health System. I've been able to come into this office and do what I love and that's take care of the people of the Rio Grande Valley."
Dr. Cano credits much of her success to UT Pan American's pre-medical curriculum and some very convincing faculty.
Dr. Martha Cano "I took my first real upper level biology course with Dr. Scott Gunn and it was his genetics course and I guess he thought I was doing pretty well. He saw something in me and he asked me you know, are you interested in medicine, and I always had been, that had been in the back of my mind but I felt it was an unattainable goal. But through Dr. Gunn and all the resources made available to me at Pan Am, it was just a snowball effect."
In fact, she felt UTPA faculty had prepared her well when she was accepted into the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
Dr. Martha Cano "I was very well prepared for medical school and I was as competitive as my colleagues from MIT and other ivy league schools and we were all at the same level."
Upon receiving her medical degree at UTMB, she worked as a resident and then in a private practice in Corpus Christi, Dr. Cano before opening her own business here in Weslaco and looks forward to serving the community.
Dr. Martha Cano "I'm enjoying it. I'm living the dream. I've been so fortunate to have had the support that I've had even going back to my UTPA days. I never would have guessed that I'd end up here. But here I am and I'm fortunate to be where I'm at and I have a lot of people to be grateful to."
I'm Sandra Quintanilla reporting for UTPA and News Center 23.