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Dr. Q, the farmer who grew to become probably the greatest neurosurgeons on this planet

30, 2021

6 min read

This article was translated using AI technologies from our Spanish edition. Errors can occur as a result of this process.

This story originally appeared on México Desconocido

Alfredo Quiñones Hinojosa, Popularly Dr. Called Q, is a Mexican neurosurgeon whose story can move anyone. He was born in Mexicali, Baja California, in 1968.

At the age of 19, Alfredo couldn't speak English, so he had to work on a farm in Fresno, California. According to his various testimonies, he had a very poor life in Mexico, which gave him enough courage to conquer himself and jump the 30-foot wall that separates Mexico and the United States.

“I left Mexico out of necessity. I realized how the system was treating my parents. In our countries it is a little more difficult to get ahead if you don't have financial support, if you don't know anyone, ”Quiñones recalls calmly.

Image: Brain and Life Magazine on Unknown Mexico

Although he earned little money, Alfredo Quiñones saved up to pay for English lessons at a community school. At first he only spent time in the USA to pay for his education at a normal school in Mexico. After graduating, he knew he had to take the next step: study medicine, inspired by his grandmother who was a healer.

“I would eat people's leftovers, go to restaurants and pick up what people left behind. I was thirsty to move on even though I became homeless, "he continues.

In 1991, Quiñones began his education at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California, and completed his BA in Psychology with Honors from the University of California. He later studied medicine at Harvard University, which he graduated with honors.

Image: Via Mexico Unknown

Dr. Q., an exemplary migrant

"They told me that our people at Harvard or Stanford are not accepted. I often doubted that I could achieve my dream," he said says in an interview for Channel 22.

During his student days, he also managed to obtain American citizenship. Finally, he completed his professional training with a stay at the University of California in San Francisco, where he worked on stem cell research with the Mexican doctor Arturo Álvarez-Buylla.

“I was made in Mexico, but the US gave me the opportunity. However, I keep coming back to Mexico to do altruistic work and build bridges between our countries, ”he says happily.

Image: Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa / Tom on Unknown Mexico

Dr. Q began his career at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, teaching Neurosurgery and Oncology, Neurology, and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. He also worked as director of the stem cell biology laboratory for brain tumors.

His clinical research focuses on the surgical treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors. He is also an expert on intradural spine, brain stem and brain tumors. He also specializes in the treatment of patients with pituitary tumors and the base of the skull and the use of radiosurgery.

Since 2016, the now well-known Dr. Q as a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. However, he continues his work as an NIH-funded researcher to find a cure for brain cancer. Dr. Q. has contributed to 50 book chapters and written several articles on his research.

In 2021, actor Brad Pitt announced his intention to end the life of Dr. Q to film about his production house, Plan B, which works with Disney. The production company is the same that made 12 Years of Slavery, an Oscar-winning film. For sure, Brad Pitt's film will shed light on the lives of Mexican migrants and people around the world.

Awards and recognitions from Dr. Alfredo Quiñones

986 BA Escuela Normal Urbana Bundesfronteriza, Mexicali, Mexico – Social sciences and humanities, multidisciplinary teaching license. 1991 San Joaquin Delta Community College, Stockton, California – Core curriculum transferred to the University of California. 1994 BA from the University of California, Berkeley, California – Top Honors. 1999 MD Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts – Cum Laude. 2000 University of California, San Francisco, California (General Surgery) – Most Valuable Intern Award. 2004 University of California, San Francisco, California (Residency – Neurosurgery) – Howard Naffziger Neurological Surgery Award. 2006 Howard Hughes Institute – Medical and Scientific Career Award. Association of American Medical Schools – Herbert Nickens Award. 2006 American Society for Clinical Oncology Foundation – Professional Development Award. 2006 Johns Hopkins University – Passano Medical Scientist Award. 2007 Johns Hopkins Hospital – Department of Neurosurgery – Faculty Teaching Award (Richard J. Otenasek). Robert Wood Johnson Award 2007. 2007 Popular Science Magazine – Award for the ten brightest scientists. 2007 Baltimore Magazine – US Top Docs 2008 Olender Foundation – America's Role Model. Science and Engineering Festival 2010 – Fifty-five Scientists. 2011 Baltimore Magazine – Baltimore Top Docs. Named a Super Doctor in 2012. 2012 winner of the Ohtli Award. 2015 VII Ibero-American Cortes de Cádiz Prize for Surgery, Spain. Forbes 2015, the most creative Mexicans in the world. 2018 Honorary Doctorate from the University of Santander.

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