Alberto Rubio Tapia, M.D.
What attracted you to gastroenterology?
I loved gastroenterology since my first rotation as medical student. I think it is a specialty that allows you to manage a great variety of complex conditions and work together with multidisciplinary groups for best care of the patients. I especially enjoy working together with surgeons as I grown talking about surgical cases on a daily basis with my older brother who became surgical oncologist specialist. I also like that Gastroenterology requires integration of basic sciences, strong internal medicine knowledge, and superb endoscopic skills. Thus, it is a day-by–day challenge. Gastroenterology is also one of the “evidence-based medicine specialties” with extraordinary opportunities for research.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for fellowship training?
Mayo Clinic has a long tradition of academic collaboration with gastroenterologists in Mexico. I first came to Mayo Clinic after completing my gastroenterology training in Mexico with the goal to increase my research experience specifically on celiac disease epidemiology with Dr. Joseph Murray as mentor. I was most impressed with the resources, mentoring, and growth opportunities available at Mayo Clinic. Thus, I was easy to accept a research staff position at Mayo Clinic to increase my research skills. This was unplanned but a life-changing event. My academic career continued to grow in terms of publications, grants, and international reputation. However, I truly think that innovative translational research requires of the daily contact with patients and their ongoing challenges or unresolved problems. It was at that moment that I decided to complete clinical training in the U.S. to be able to help patients and continue working on patient-oriented research. I was very fortunate to be accepted at the Mayo Clinic for clinical training to continue experiencing the Mayo Clinic model of care.
What makes the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology Fellowship unique?
The world-renowned experts in all areas of gastroenterology and hepatology. At Mayo Clinic, you will find major authorities in almost every gastrointestinal condition. More importantly, Mayo Clinic staff has a true commitment with medical education. It is very satisfactory to learn medicine from world experts with the common goal to provide excellent care to every patient. Clinical supervision is excellent but at the same time you own your patients with constant opportunities for learning by direct patient interaction and staff input as necessary. You may also have access to all currently available therapies to help your patients including advanced endoscopic, radiologic, and surgical procedures as well as clinical trials to advance science and give hope to the patients with very complex medical problems. Program directors are very supportive of research-related trips to present at National and International meetings.
Anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
I was surprised to learn how humble, accessible, and welcoming the staff is. They are genuinely interested in our careers, very supportive, and with strong commitment to education. They are real-life role models in clinical practice, education, and research.
What is living in Rochester like for you?
I moved from Mexico City to Rochester several years ago. Rochester is a small town with low criminality, high educational level, and no traffic. I live with my wife and three children. Public schools are excellent and there are multiple options for after school activities for children. Cost of living is reasonable. I enjoy fishing in the nearby lakes or rivers during the summer and cross country ski during the winter. I continue to play soccer as I used to do in Mexico City.
What does your future look like right now?
I am looking forward to start my US career as an academic gastroenterologist in July 2019. I think my clinical and research skills are very strong, I feel very confident to achieve my ultimate goal to be a successful physician-scientist.