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More About Roberto

Roberto and family

For most of my childhood my father was a Neurosurgeon for the Air Force and so we moved every couple of years. The frequent moves and love for my father helped to build my dream of becoming a "bush doctor". I wanted to fly into remote villages and administer medical care. When I was 10, my father retired from the Air Force and established a private practice in Colorado Springs where I lived until leaving home for college. Living in one place for an extended period of time allowed me to dedicate time to certain hobbies and so before leaving for Whitman College I had attained my black belt in Okinawan Shoinru Kenshin Kan Karate and my private pilot's license. A conversation with my Sensei sparked what would eventually lead me to pursue Oriental medicine and not Western medicine. I was lamenting to my Sensei that in college and medical school I will probably not have time to keep up with my martial arts training. He asked if I had heard of acupuncture or if I was aware that in ages past the great healers were also great warriors? I began investigation acupuncture but originally under the impression that I would do research on acupuncture once I became a doctor. I attended Whitman where I received my BA, majored in Spanish Literature and enjoyed all the pre-med classes. It is at Whitman where I met my wife and was introduced to the Peace Corps. I had been accepted to the Oregon Health Science University when my Anatomy and Physiology professor invited a Peace Corps recruiter to class. I returned home to find that Katie, my fiancé at the time, was also inspired to do two years of service in some remote corner of the world with the Peace Corps. Unfortunately, OHSU did not accept deferments and so it was that I declined my admission to medical school, graduated college, was married two days later and left for Peru with the Peace Corps before the end of the summer.

Roberto's Family

My service with the Peace Corps was amazing and ultimately life changing. I was a rural health promoter in exactly the type of town I envisioned as a child. The only problem was that the people did not understand or trust Western medicine. They did not get along well with the doctor in the near by community and I witnessed how they would grind their anti-biotics and apply them as a paste to a wound rather than take them internally as instructed. However, they had local healers who worked with their hands and herbs and though I found it infinitely more complicated the people would follow their instructions to the letter and would get better. Amazingly, there was a member of the community who had received some training in acupuncture. He explained to me how easily it fit in with the beliefs of the people and all he needed was a handful of needles.

It was because of this experience that when I returned to the US I applied for the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine and not the Oregon Health Science University. I graduated from OCOM in 2010 and am now a member of the Oregon Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (OAAOM) and a certified Qi Gong instructor through the Ling Gui International Qi Gong School. My philosophy is that a healer should be a guide to wellness. It is my goal to facilitate people's journey toward optimal health through compassion, listening, and the wisdom of Oriental Medicine. I maintain my connection to rural health promotion through my work with MEJOR Communities the nonprofit organization founded by my wife which promotes health in rural communities of Peru through youth empowerment. My long term goal to fulfill my childhood dream of being a "bush doctor" through acupuncture and Oriental medicine by practicing part of the year in the States and part of the year in remote communities.