A wicked streak of good luck allowed me to catch up with Dr. Luis Marcelo Argote Green at the Mexican Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery conference in Cancun for an interview.
Dr. Argote Green has been practicing in Mexico City for four years, since completing his fellowship in thoracic surgery at Brigham Women’s & Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He trained under the guidance of several of the most prominent American thoracic surgeons including the ever elusive* Dr. David Sugarbaker.
Dr. Argote maintains an active, and diverse practice as he is currently operating in several facilities within the supercity, including that National Institute of Medical Science. This gives him a wide range of exposure and experience to patients from all across the city, and across all demographic lines. As a surgeon at one of the countries more prominent public facilities, he also receives patients from around the country – particularly the more challenging or complex cases. He reports that this along with the high incidence of HIV and other autoimmune conditions such as scleroderma and lupus make his day-to-day practice different from the average small town physicians practice, or even the West Roxbury Veteran’s facility where he completed some of this training. “I saw maybe two or three cases with patients with this level of complex co-morbidities when I was training, but here I see it everyday.” He enjoys this aspect of his work which gives him a deeper level of experience than he might otherwise have at this stage in his career.
He has also embraced minimally invasive technologies such as VATS, and RATS, and currently performs uni-port lung biopsies, and VATS lobectomies. He also particularly enjoys treating patients with mediastinal masses, and uses a unilateral VATS approach for many of these tumor resections versus the traditional median sternotomy.
During our in-depth conversation, we also discussed some of the differences I had observed during my time in Mexico – particularly the inter-collegial relationships between pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons. He explained that this is due in part to a shared history, and that in Mexico – thoracic surgery was a outbranching of pulmonary medicine, as pulmonologists initially sought additional training in more invasive procedures, including surgery. While there is now more delineation between the specialties, there remains a sense of commonality often spoken of during this conference by the participants which is sometimes striking to outsiders like myself.
* Long-time readers know of our ongoing attempts to contact Dr. Sugarbaker for an interview.