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Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Carlos E. Rivera, M.D.

National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. We’re pleased to introduce Carlos E. Rivera, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation and the spine. He has treated Campbell Clinic patients for more than two decades.

Get to know Dr. Rivera in his own words:

Where are you from? Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

What is your specialty? My training, including undergraduate education, medical school, and Residency of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR), was at the University of Puerto Rico. I completed a fellowship on Spine and Sports Medicine in Buffalo, NY before joining Campbell Clinic in 2002.

What inspires or excites you most about orthopaedic care and medicine right now? Seeing my older patients working proactively in their health by exercising, improving their nutrition, and staying active, and being able to enjoy their family and retirement, is very inspiring. This aligns with what, I think, is the most exciting next step – the development and optimization of the Orthobiologics field, or using your own tissues or some derivatives to stop the progression and probably regenerate aging/degenerated tissues of the musculoskeletal system including cartilage, joints, tendons, or discs. If we can regenerate, or at least maintain these, we will be able to have a more active life. Improving the quality of life and healthspan is everyone’s goal.

What advice would you give a young person who aspires to be a physician?
Relax and enjoy the process. Don’t face it with fear and let yourself be scared by “med school.” Obviously, it will be an adjustment from what you are used to, but it can actually be fun!

Do your best and compete with yourself; don’t be looking over your shoulder to see what others are doing and work against them. Teamwork – and rooting for each other to be better – is always more fun.

Learn from everybody. There are a lot of non-doctors in the health field that have years of experience and can teach you a lot.

You can’t do medicine by yourself, you need a team. So, treat everybody with respect and appreciate what they do.

It is not about you, it’s about the patients… Listen to them and have empathy.

Treat everyone like you would like doctors to treat your grandma, your mom, or your wife.

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