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Dr. Juan M. Padilla, MD

2020 Winner: Neurosurgeon

1200 E Savannah Ave #3, Mcallen, TX 78503

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Dr. Juan Padilla, The Monitor’s readers’ Choice in neurosurgery, has served as Chief of the Neuroscience Department at DHR Health since 2016. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Padilla attended Universidad de Puerto Rico Recinto de Mayagüez in Puerto Rico, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He received his medical degree from Universidad de Puerto Rico Recinto de Ciencias Médicas in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Afterwards, he completed a surgical internship and neurosurgery residency training at Hospital Universitario de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “In medical school I had a professor that taught neurosurgery,” recalled Dr. Padilla. “He was working with patients with hydrocephalus, which causes a buildup of fluid in the brain, resulting in a large head. It occurs more frequently among infants and adults 60 and over. That was the turning point for me, in my first year of medical school.” Dr. Padilla came to the United States in 2008 after being hired by Valley Baptist Medical Center. After two years, he moved to the Upper Valley and started working with Dr. Gustavo Ramos at Valley Neurological Clinic before taking up his current position at DHR Health in 2016. “Before I was hired here, we started the stroke program here at DHR,” said Dr. Padilla. “In 2019, we became the first Joint Commissioncertified comprehensive stroke center. Level I. I’ve been here doing neurosurgery for almost 10 years. And we do work on the spine, and the brain, basically 70% spine and 30% brain.” While Dr. Padilla loves his work as a neurosurgeon, he says his first passion lies in his faith in Jesus Christ. He remembers becoming a born-again Christian at the age of 33. “I didn’t know what to do to serve Him,” Dr. Padilla said. “I was asking, ‘What should I do?’ and suddenly there was an opening for doing missionary work, so I started going to different places, and the first one was Haiti, actually. It’s a beautiful place, but there’s a lot of need there to help people.” In 2010, Dr. Padilla and several other local physicians and surgeons created an organization called HIMM – Heal International Medical Missions. Its goal is to communicate the message of Jesus Christ by equipping and sending surgical Christian ministry teams around the world. Each year, the team of doctors and support personnel travel to places like Haiti, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Colombia, and Dominican Republic. “Right now we have 10 places that we usually go yearly,” said Dr. Padilla. “We have several physicians from the area, like Drs. Griego, Peña, Vargas, and several others. It’s been beautiful, and basically it was the Lord who guided me through all this. I consider my skills as a surgeon as a gift from God, but I consider my missionary outreach as me real work. My job is to serve the Lord.” When asked how he felt about being chosen as The Monitor’s Readers’ Choice for neurosurgeon, Dr. Padilla was almost at a loss for words. “I don’t know what to say, really,” Dr. Padilla began. “I just want to give thanks to the people of the Valley for trusting me to be their neurosurgeon, and allowing me to help them with their neurological problems. I also want to thank the hospitals here in the Valley, in McAllen, Harlingen, and Brownsville where I have worked. I humbly thank everybody for giving me this honor.”


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