By Rachel L. Autran T. Neto
This Voices in Pathology series was primarily dedicated to the energetic and lovely colleagues from Latin America.
Needless to say it was a great honor to be the host and mediator of this virtual gathering! The invited panelists proudly represented their respective nationalities and cultures: Drs. Ingrid Pardo (Colombia), Federico Giannitti (Argentina), Francisco Carvallo (Chile), Melissa Macías Rioseco (Mexico), Paola Barato (Colombia), Sofía Rosales (Mexico).
Our colleagues shared their heartwarming personal histories from childhood, upbringing, professional journeys, and dreams or goals still under pursuit. It always amazes me how unique our backgrounds are, yet paths of struggles, perseverance, and hope tend to be a common and relatable factor, which brings us together unconsciously.
Personally, I find it so comforting to listen from whom I have always admired their testimonies of obstacles they had to overcome, real-life internal and external battles, failures and victories that we all go through. It calms our hearts and minds, and serves as a potent fuel to keep going! And, in my view, sharing vulnerable stories like those is always a sign of empathy and modesty – so necessary for today’s world.
The second portion of our discussion was tailored to specific topics that we have all been through. Our panelists had a spirited deliberation about the Latin@ stereotypes – facts and myths (like spicy foods, siestas, underestimating our own professional training and self-doubts); expectations vs. realities of moving, studying, or working abroad; family and community support; and VERY useful advice for young latin@s pursuing career in veterinary pathology.
It was highly gratifying to be part of such vivid debate and interacting with participants from so many different countries. I am positive we all left the meeting in a high inspiring note and even more connected! ¡Viva la Fundación! Viva a Fundação!