As a child, Dr. Pablo M. González-Montalvo knew he would become a pediatrician.
His interest in pediatric oncology emerged during his residency. He was working an emergency room shift at Hospital Infantil de Mexico, a hospital that focuses on cancer treatment and surgical procedures such as transplants. A patient’s mother told him that doctors at the hospital had cured her leukemia. It was an eye-opening moment for Dr. González-Montalvo. He realized the patient in front of him was there because a health care team took on case that many would have considered a death sentence.
Dr. Gonzalez-Montalvo earned his medical degree in 1997 from Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Mérida, México. He completed training in pediatrics in 2001 and pediatric oncology in 2003 at Hospital Infantil de México “Federico Gómez” in Mexico City.
He is currently a professor at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán and a pediatric oncologist at Hospital General O’Horán. The public hospital cares for approximately 50% of childhood cancer patients in Yucatán, a state in southeast México. The hospital also cares for patients from Belize, a neighboring country that lacks a pediatric oncologist or hematologist.
Dr. González-Montalvo is also a leader of The Bridge Project, an initiative by Mexico in alliance with St. Jude (MAS). The effort seeks to improve access, modernize and standardize diagnostic testing for childhood ALL. In addition, he serves on the MAS steering committee and the St. Jude Global Alliance’s Regional Advisory Committee for Latin America.
The impact of his work is felt in Mexico and Belize via telemedicine and an international collaborative effort involving non-profit organizations in Mexico (Casa de la Amistad) and Belize (Belize Cancer Society), the Belize Cancer Center at Dangriga and the Belize and Yucatan state Ministries of Health.
“I am committed to helping children suffering from cancer within my reach,” he says. “My efforts are focused on finding innovative strategies to give access to the best possible treatment for them. The prognosis for a child with cancer is mainly dictated not by the stage or biology of his disease, but where the child was born. I believe the Master’s of Science in Global Child Health will provide the skills and knowledge I need to help change this.”
Hometown: Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
Pediatric Oncology Degree: Hospital Infantil de México/ Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (2003)
Pediatrics Degree: Hospital Infantil de México/ Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (2001)
Medical Degree: Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (1997)