From community college to medical school – local doctor credits TSC for successful medical career

For Dr. Eduardo Uribe, an unfortunate event turned into opportunity when it set him on his career path, and Texas Southmost College was there to give him his start.

Uribe, a family practice physician and faculty for the Valley Baptist Family Practice Residency Program is also a Respiratory Therapy Medical Director for Valley Baptist Center in Harlingen, a field that was a first step in his medical career.

“I was in and out of hospitals for a period in my life and watching the medical staff take care of me and others around me, encouraged me to go into healthcare,” said the Brownsville native. “I couldn’t afford to go to medical school immediately though, so with good grades, financial aid, scholarships, an English to Spanish dictionary and God, I enrolled at TSC. It was the best decision I could have ever made.”

It was a motorcycle accident and near amputation of his leg that kept Uribe rotating hospitals, searching for healing and a way to keep his leg.

Uribe’s leg was saved, and he went on to earn an associate degree in Respiratory Care from TSC in 1993 and immediately began his career as a certified respiratory therapist.

He led a successful career in the field serving as supervisor of respiratory therapy at Valley Regional Medical Center, clinical instructor for Respiratory Care at TSC, a pediatric respiratory therapy clinician at Valley Baptist Medical Center and a specialty critical care transport respiratory therapist for Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi.

It was through his experience at Driscoll that he also trained to become an emergency medical technician. He currently serves as the Port Isabel Emergency Medical Services medical director.

“I was proud of the career I had built, but there was still a little voice telling me to become a doctor,” said Uribe. “So, I saved up, never took out a loan and went to medical school in Mexico.”

Uribe spent the next seven years working toward a medical degree at the Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas in Matamoros, Mexico.

He earned his medical degree in 1999 and went on to complete his internships and residencies in Mexico and Harlingen.

“This has been a dream come true,” he said. “Helping people improve their health and helping people heal is what I’ve always wanted.”

Uribe credits TSC and his instructors for shaping his professional career.

“My perseverance, focus, discipline and TSC instructors got me where I am today,” said Uribe. “They believed in me when I did not, they saw my potential and made me work toward higher standards and emphasized my need to continue moving forward. They created a well-rounded respiratory therapist and doctor.”

In addition to his work, Uribe is active in the medical community volunteering across the Rio Grande Valley, including the TSC Respiratory Care Advisory Board, sharing the latest advances and technologies with faculty and respiratory care students.

“Part of my journey is to share my knowledge and skills with others, to train our future respiratory therapists and medical doctors,” he said. “And I hope through my work and volunteer initiatives I’m able to help others believe in themselves, have confidence in their skills and never set limits on their dreams.”

For more information, visit TSC’s Respiratory Care Science program or call 956-295-3731.