Welcome Dr. Sergio Mendoza to Duke Medicine and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Prior to joining Duke in January, Dr. Mendoza was an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Originally from Chile, he went to school in 5 different countries including Germany, Ecuador, United States (South Carolina), Mexico and Chile. His wife, Sandra, grew up in Argentina and is from an Italian family. Dr. Mendoza speaks multiple languages including Spanish and German, and Sandra also speaks Spanish. He and his wife have 3 teenage daughters, Sofia (18), Consuelo (16) and Connie (14) – yes, 3 teenage girls.
Dr. Mendoza attended the Pontificial Catholic University in Santiago, Chile (medical school, graduate school (MBA) and residency). He completed his fellowship in spinal deformity from Stuart Weinstein in Iowa City, IA. When asked ‘what interest you in practicing medicine in orthopaedics’ Dr. Mendoza says ‘to improve the quality of life for our patients with highly complex and technologically-rich procedures. Spine surgery presents the beautiful opportunity of a vast array of differential diagnoses, complex cases, and inter-disciplinary care’.
Dr. Mendoza’s interest in Duke was the reputation of a great academic program, in the setting of an honor-roll hospital and surrounded by multiple world-class departments. Of course, coming from Iowa, the weather is much better than the Midwest! Additionally, his goal in coming to Duke is to strive to contribute to the national and international reputation of the orthopaedic program. Dr. Mendoza would also like to be involved as much as possible in the educational program for residents. I asked what advice he would give to an orthopaedic resident or fellow – ‘…always be humble and keep your eyes open to learning from every patient. Empower your patients by educating them about their orthopaedic conditions’.
When Dr. Mendoza is not working, he enjoys running (at least 2 marathons a year), hiking and travel with his family. Last summer he and his family spent some time in the Galapagos Islands.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Mendoza to Duke!
Below are 2 pictures of one of Dr. Mendoza’s cases: