Talking with Dr. Carlos Corrales is easy and the dialogue becomes fluid when you know that you are in front of a simple professional who projects human sensitivity.
But what made him choose the path of medicine?
It was actually my grandmother who raised me. She always said that she would have liked one of her children to be a doctor, and I decided on medicine. Perhaps it was also because my grandmother followed what her doctor told her step by step, she lived in love with her doctor.
After graduating from high school in 1979 I went to literacy and learned to give vaccines and that was my first experience as a health provider, and I liked it.
In 1980 I entered the University in my country and graduated as a doctor in 1986, then I did a 3-year specialty in orthopedics.
When I came to the United States I did my revalidation in family medicine. I had to go to Chicago to a small hospital that only had family medicine and that helped me a lot
Why did you decide to come to the United States?
To be honest, it was a financial problem. I was never politically persecuted. The political situation in Nicaragua was horrible. I think that many of us who have come are more economic asylees than political ones.
His beginnings in this country after graduating as a doctor in his native Nicaragua?
First I came to Miami. In Nicaragua what he was earning as a doctor at that time was the equivalent of $ 200 a month, he lived in a precarious situation, rented in a room; So imagine, if a medical professional like me lived like this, how the rest of the population lived.
What would you take away and add to the practice of medicine here, compared to that of your country?
Well, the problem with medicine here is that it is a business, everything is profit, everyone wants to profit, and that makes medicine more difficult to practice and more expensive.
In my country it is a socialized medicine, at least when I was there. Something that really struck me when I came here and started working in hospitals is that patients were told clients and for us they are patients. That shocked me because we don't have that culture, but you get used to it over time.
If there is something that I would take away from medicine here, it is that commercial part, but the one that does the least business is the doctor. Everybody does it: laboratories, hospitals, insurance.
I would add to the medicine here that it be more humane, and that it be a right, not a privilege.
“The good thing about medicine in this country is that there is a license that you must always renew. That makes you keep studying constantly. In my country that does not exist and the need to keep up to date is lost. Almost half of what I learned in medicine in Nicaragua has changed a lot
Dr. Corrales has practiced medicine in the country for about 30 years, of which 20 he has been practicing in Margate where he has his office.
Do you have any patient anecdotes that you remember the most?
I have a lot, but going back to what we talk about medicine here in the United States is a business, I remember that I worked in an Urgent Care and in a week I had two similar cases with Canadian patients, the kind called snowbirds who come during the winter in their home country. There was a 55-year-old woman who had fallen off a bicycle and her humerus was fractured, and her case warranted surgery, and she immediately said no, to give her a letter because she was going to Canada because it was free and if he did it here he would be ruined, and he left. That really impressed me because his case was an emergency. That same week there was a young man with another case of emergency and had to undergo surgery and he did not want to do it here but in Canada.
Covid-19 has made life change, but how has yours changed for your patients?
"Covid-19 has affected us doctors and patients. It has made us feel vulnerable. Anxieties occur. In the practice of medicine I never thought it would become virtual, but now that we have had that experience, I think that part of medicine is going to have to be virtual. Hispanics like to be examined, to be seen, but now they understand that with the pandemic one can die, and they have assimilated the process. One of my colleagues who came with me from Nicaragua at the same time died of covid, and he worked in a medical center in Broward.
Do you plan to return to your native Nicaragua in retirement?
Well, that answer I had has changed over time. Just arrived I thought of leaving and retiring in my country. One has its roots in its country, but we are also putting down roots in the new one. One of my daughters was born here, I have a grandson here. I feel good here. I don't think I will retire in Nicaragua. I plan to continue working here and am doing part time at Urgent Care to keep myself busy on the weekends.
And so, with his spontaneity as a simple and jovial man who one day packed into this land of opportunities, we left Dr. Carlos Corrales in his office in Margate.
“I would take away the commercial medicine from here and make it more human; make it a right, not a privilege "
Hispanic Heritage Month ...