Enrique Wolpert, M.D. (GI ’69)
(originally published in 2016)
Consultant in Gastroenterology
American British Cowdray Medical Center and Clinica Lomas Atlas
Chair, Scientific Committee of the Mexican Liver Foundation
Mexico City, Mexico
“Mayo Clinic made me a true doctor, always trying to best serve my patients and do clinical research at the same time.”
- Fellowship: Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education
- Residency: Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran, Mexico City
- Internship: General Hospital, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
- Medical School: National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
- Native of: Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico
What did you decide to pursue medicine?
After almost a half-century since I received my medical degree, I often say that I have been a physician since I was born.
Why did you train at Mayo Clinic?
I was an internist trained at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition in Mexico City, but I thought that if I wanted to pursue an academic career, I needed additional postgraduate training in gastroenterology. Mayo Clinic was the best institution for that matter. The GI unit at Mayo Clinic with Dr. William Summerskill (GI ’59) as director was carrying on important research studies of the physiology of the GI tract and the liver at a time when hepatology was not considered a subspecialty.
What was your initial impression of Mayo Clinic?
I was really impressed with the number of patients seen in a rather small city. These were patients from all over the world looking for a cure for rare and common illnesses. I immediately noticed the friendship of the people of Olmsted County. Once they knew you were a fellow at Mayo Clinic, everyone wanted to help you and your family — all the doors were open.
How does Mayo Clinic influence your practice?
Mayo Clinic made me a true doctor, always trying to best serve my patients and do clinical research at the same time.
Mayo helped me understand the usefulness of communication with my peers on behalf of my patients and learn to listen more than I had before.
What valuable lesson have you learned at Mayo Clinic?
No matter how sick your patient is, you can always be of help to them and their family.
What do you contribute to the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association?
I have come to know most of the Mayo alumni in my country. We want to contribute to fulfill the mission of the Alumni Association.
I was undersecretary of health for the federal government and general coordinator of the National Institute of Public Health for the Ministry of Health in Mexico, so I also have the public health perspective to share.
What do you do in your spare time?
I play tennis and read fiction. I also read books about Mexican history.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I like Mexican ranchero music very much.