Security concerns prompted Martha Patricia Rodriguez, PA-C, and her family to leave their home country in search of safety and better opportunities. Although Rodriguez was already a medical doctor in Mexico, the transition to the medical profession in the U.S. wasn’t easy.
“My life changed so drastically,” said Rodriguez.
She was navigating life in a new country as a newlywed and trying to continue her career in the medical field.
“I couldn’t practice as a doctor in the U.S. and finding a job in medicine proved to be difficult.”
Rodriguez eventually got a job as an elementary school teacher, but she still wasn’t happy.
She discovered the PA profession thanks to inquiries by her husband and a friend.
“I wasn’t sure in the beginning but hearing that I’d be able to see and treat patients made me happy.”
She applied and was accepted into the PA program at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Rodriguez currently works as an HIV specialist in the only HIV clinic in Rio Grande Valley, Texas. She provides HIV care and prevention services, sexually transmitted conditions education and treatment, Hepatitis B and C management and Hormone Replacement Therapy for trans female and trans male patients.
Although she had to learn the field from scratch, Rodriguez has grown passionate about HIV.
“It is most rewarding to know that I can help others by educating them about HIV prevention.” She enjoys speaking at community events and educating her patients about HIV prevention options.
Before she specialized in HIV prevention, Rodriguez practiced psychiatry for two years.
“Being able to change specialties is one of the great things about the PA profession. I was able to switch to a different health area that was more suitable to my family life,” she said.
“Words can’t describe how blessed I feel to be a Certified PA,” said Rodriguez. “I am practicing medicine at the best level, and I am grateful to make a positive impact on communities.”