The transplant surgeon Mikel Prieto.
Julio García. Madrid.
Spanish people have emigrated to almost every country of the five continents for many reasons. This happened mainly around the middle of the 20th century for political and economic reasons, but it was at the end of that century when that emigration had also an educational component.
That is the case of the Spanish surgeon Mikel Prieto, who has spent more than 25 years in universities and clinics of England and the USA, being trained as a surgeon and specialist of kidney and pancreas transplants. At the moment, he is the director of the transplant programme at the Clinic May, in Rochester (Minnesota, the USA).
Doctor Prieto is one of the hundred Spanish people who has recently been honoured by Marca España for his work, talent and effort and for taking Spain’s image, in this case, to North America.
This Basque surgeon settled in Rochester, pointed out to The Diplomat that “living abroad is always a challenge, you have to work hard, there are many difficulties, but in the end, and in my case, it gives much back”.
Among the difficulties, he mentions the language, leaving your birth country and moving to a foreign country, “but in the end, if there are opportunities abroad, the great advantage is to be able to develop the career that satisfies you, like it has been my case”.
The USA is a country of great opportunities and “all those who are good, succeed”
Mikel Prieto admits that his residence in the USA “has not been easy, but it has not been extremely difficult either. What you have to do is be willing to work, be excited, be ambitious and little by little you make progress and make the right decisions”.
The USA “is a country of great opportunities and all those who are good, succeed. You do not have to elbow your way through or push anyone. Everyone can look for their way and patiently, tenaciously and with willpower you can be anywhere you want”, he assured.
For the moment, Mikel Prieto rules out the possibility of coming back to Spain, except for holidays or to give lectures. “My career is already established in the USA. I think it would be very difficult for me to go back to Spain to work doing what I do at the moment”, he stated.
This expatriate surgeon considers transplant surgery in Spain to be very good. “It is one of the countries famous and prestigious for doing very well, especially, in transplants of organs from donated cadavers. The issue of living transplant donors is behind in relation to other countries, but it is starting to wake and some hospitals are already working on it”, he concluded.