After looking into the risk of heart disease in the Rio Grande Valley and his own family’s medical history, Justin Vasquez’s career choice became clear. He decided to attend the Harlingen School of Health Professions to get a head start in the field of cardiology.
Since the start of his freshman year at the HSHP, he has been able learn medical terminology and work on case studies that examine a patient’s history in order to diagnose and treat for cardiovascular disease.
“In the last case study we did, we used all the terminology we knew and what we learned in class to diagnose a patient with type two diabetes, stroke, and hypertension,” said Vasquez. “It has helped me understand how the heart is critical to all of the other functions in the body. This fist-sized organ must keep pumping for an entire lifetime”
Vasquez believes that if in some way he can bring awareness to his family, he can help future generations and the entire Valley to start moving away from heart conditions.
In addition to all he has learned, he has received valuable knowledge and advice from his mother and a cardiologist that treats his family members.
“My mom is studying to become a nurse,” he said. “She taught me a lot after my grandma suffered a stroke and I expressed my interest in cardiology. I’ve also had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Hilmy, a local cardiologist. He told me to keep studying and reading because it isn’t just about the heart but about the other body systems as well. The heart is the center of it all and if anything goes bad, it can affect he heart.”
A high achieving student, Vasquez has his sights set on the future researching medical programs at Baylor University, and Texas A&M University. He is also excited about the expanding local opportunities with the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
“It doesn’t matter where I decide to attend college, my hope is to return to practice in the Valley and help the people here at home,” he said.