|UFM´s and Medchool´s authorities and guests after the ceremony|
“I asked for the privilege to dictate this lecture because the moment to end my deanship has arrived”, Rodolfo Herrera Llerandi said, exiting dean of the Medicine School of the University Francisco Marroquín, during the inaugural conference of that academic unit celebrated on January 26, 2006.
When presenting Federico Alfaro, future dean, Herrera-Llerandi said that “his qualities justify the election. He is an excellent and successful doctor in his specialty, he is ethical, has the right age and experience, and it was an unanimous decision from those who participated in the election”.
During the act, while adressing the new students, Herrera-Llerandi celebrated the advances in diagnosis and treatment made by scientific progresses, but emphasized that the most important things are the patients. “During the last century I have seen closely the gigantic progresses in the antibiotic use that did not existed before 1942, and the use of images that didn´t exist at that time either, and how wonderful it is to see a tomography where you can see anatomical views that you could not visualize before. There is a tendency to emphasize on science and to use all the new methods to make diagnosis and decide treatments but, at the same time, ist´s turning away the doctor from the patient. I am not wishing to return half a century, but I am wishing that each one of you, when graduating as doctors of our University, feel that the patient continues being the most important and not his diagnosis, nor the number of his bed”, said dean Herrera-Llerandi.
Federico Alfaro, who soon will assume the position that leaves Herrera-Llerandi, is doctor and surgeon graduated at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala; he made postdegree studies at the Baylor College of Medicine and his specialy is cardiology.
When adressing to the students, during the inaugural lesson, Alfaro thanked his naming as dean of the Medicine School. “I accept with deep gratefulness, humility and sense of responsability. I identify myself totally with the ideals of the University and with the passion for freedom, its capacity to detonate the human creativity and promote prosperity”, he said.
“I want to express my deep admiration to doctor Rodolfo Herrera-Llerandi, man, patriotic and medical example. His sensitivity to alleviate those who suffer must be a guiding light for the generations of future and present doctors”, he added.
“I feel a great responsibility in continuing and perpetuating his work at the Medicine School, to which I will dedicate, with the aid of God, all my persistence and capacity. I hope to be able to transmit to the students and professors the commitment of an integral and ethical medical formation, a responsible and creative formation”, Alfaro indicated.
Among other distinctions, he was selected as the best medicine student at the USAC in 1964; he received the Physician Recognition Award of the American Medical Association in 1974; he was elected Fellow of the American School of Cardiology in 1976; he was named Father of the Pacemaker´s banks for people with limited resources, a program that exists in more than 40 countries around the world, in 1986; he was named Academic of Ordinary Number at the Academy of Medical, Physical and Natural Sciences of Guatemala, in 1993; he received the Special Recognition Award at the International Summit II of Houston in 1993; he was named Distinguished Member of the School of Doctors and Surgeons of Guatemala in 1995; he is member of the board of Directors of Heartbeat International since 1990; he was president of the Central American Society of Cardiology, in 2000; he was member of the medical team attending Pope John Paul II during his three visits to Guatemala; and he is president of the Central American Council and the Caribbean de Cardiovascular Investigation.
He is author of many publications and has held several positions of importance in medical organizations and charity like Rotary Club. He was president of the Guatemalan Association of Cardiology and founded the Central American Seminary of Cardiology. At the moment he works in deciphering why the Guatemalans suffer from the heart; and he has stimulated other associations of cardiology, in Central America, so that they become jumbled in studies on coardiology subjects in the region. He just concluded a study on the attention to acute heart attack patients from the Isthmus and the Caribean. He was involved with the UFM since the foundation of the Medicine School, like professor and thesis adviser; as well as with the Dentistry School.