Betty and I were young and we knew what we wanted to do when we came to the United States. Our goals were set, we knew exactly what was going to happen. Our first year in the United States was fantastic. Everything was new and different. Things were in a different language with patients, hospitals, technology and all that. It was a tremendous experience and very challenging for me, but it was a great experience. The decision to stay here was very important and I believe that we made the right decision. We enjoy Des Moines and Iowa as a whole, everybody is wonderful and we like the low-key type of life you can live here.

The only thing I remember those first years that was difficult was being away from the family. Since we were young it was the first time that Betty and I were away. To go through events while being away from the family, every birthday, our anniversary- that was difficult, because we both have very close families. For me that was very difficult.

We didn’t have any family here in the United States, so friends were very important to us. The friends made a difference first starting out. We met many people other than just American couples, through the hospital. We met doctors from other countries from: Venezuela, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Korea, Japan and Pakistan. It was a great experience, we met a lot of very nice people. We still have a lot of friends from that time. It was a very interesting time in our lives those first six or seven years. We didn’t have children, so Betty was able to put her efforts on her master’s degree and I was able to finish my training.

Becoming A Surgeon