The medical field is something Hugh Chatham’s newest surgeon Diego Pabon was exposed to early on.
“My mom is a doctor, so I was exposed to it early on,” Pabon said. “I wanted to do hands on surgery where you can see instant results and make an impact on someone’s life early on.”
Pabon was born in Colombia and began his medical career in South America. After finishing up in Colombia, he went to the University of Miami in Florida through an exchange program.
Going from Colombia to Miami, Fla. was an adjustment for Pabon. Not only did he adapt to a new culture and language, but also working with medicine in a new language.
“I knew some English, and I read some medical books in English, but medical school and all of our text books were in Spanish,” he said.
Medical lingo was also an adjustment.
“It took some time to learn all the acronyms,” he said. “It was different from what I was used to. In the states, doctors say C-section. We would say cesarean. We wouldn’t say IV. We would say intravenously.”
Pabon then continued his career at the Medical University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. and did a six year fellowship in San Antonio, Texas.
From going to the Colombia to the United States, the biggest difference in the health care systems was the availability of resources.
“In the states, all patients get the same treatment,” Pabon said. “The Main difference between health care in South America and in is the availability of resources for the public. People can’t afford insurance. Public hospital technology and supplies are limited.”
After working in Texas, Pabon and his wife were looking to return to the Carolinas.
“Elkin is a nice place to start a family and the people are very warm,” he said. “This is one area where I could create my own practice.”
Starting two weeks ago with Hugh Chatham Surgical, Pabon has been made to feel welcome in the Hugh Chatham hospital system. His office can be located with Doctor Timothy Barron’s at 201 Eldon Parks Dr. Suite B.
“Everything is very state of the art,” he said. “The administration has been very open and supportive and always asking, ‘What can I do to make things better.’”
Pabon says he enjoys the flexibility of being able to do whatever he wants.
“In South America you still have to look out for yourself,” he said. “You still have to be careful of where you go and what you wear. It is much safer here.”
“My idea is to stay here and establish a solid practice,” he said. “After so much moving, I’m ready to settle down.”
Name: Diego Pabon
Employer: Hugh Chatham Surgical
How long worked for employer: Two weeks
Favorite food: Sea food
Favorite pastime: Tennis
Pets: Two cats, Toulouse and Maggie
Family: Wife, Giselle
Born: Bucaramanga, Colombia
Live: Lewisville, N.C.
Reach Jessica Pickens at 835-1513 ext. 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org.