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Hispanic Heritage Month

This Hispanic Heritage Month we are featuring Dr. Ivan De la Riva-Morales! Dr. De la Riva-Morales is second year resident on the AP/CP track. 

Ivan de La Riva

What is your role at Northwestern Pathology?

I am a second-year Anatomic Pathology/Clinical Pathology resident. 

Where did you grow up?

I was born in the state of Chihuahua in Northern Mexico, by the Texas/New Mexico border. When I was born, my parents were both medical students and I grew up following them across the country, first in rural communities in the state as they did their social service, then in Mexico City during their residencies, and then back to my home state. Later on, my journey took me to yet another place in the country, the city of Monterrey in northeast Mexico, where I attended medical school.

What is your favorite thing to do in your native country?

Enjoy gastronomy, be it in local restaurants, family reunions, or food stands. I also love vacationing in any of the stunning coastal cities, especially during the winter!

What is your favorite food from your native country?

The protocol would have me say I have no preferences, but…Chilaquiles. No better main course for a traditional breakfast… or lunch… or dinner. Also, tacos al pastor.

Can you describe any challenges you have experienced in your path to medicine?

The path to becoming a resident in the United States is a grand undertaking that requires conviction and resilience. The change of tone and treatment by some people after they ask where I completed my medical training is something I have become familiar with. Nonetheless, I have no qualms about my journey and destination. As a foreign-trained physician, who happens to be Latino and LGBTQ+, I have had to work hard to dispel any notion of being less talented or unworthy of being where I am. I am proud of who I am, what I've done, and where I come from. 

In what capacity do you serve in pathology organizations? 

I was recently confirmed as a member of the ASCP Resident Council, and am looking forward to being an active member and advocate in that capacity. I have standing membership with USCAP, CAP, the American Society for Cytopathology, and the Genitourinary Pathology Society. I am also a member of the Latin American Pathology Society (Sociedad Latinoamericana de Patología).

What can we do to increase the Hispanic physician representation in medicine, and pathology itself?

An important step is to recognize the diversity that exists within the denomination of Hispanic and Latin American, which encompasses more than 20 different countries. We must foment inclusion of people from every nationality in all aspects of medicine and pathology. We have to be open and proactive in guiding talented and passionate individuals from the community to our profession and showcasing the diversity in our specialty as one of our strengths.

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