Jose Ricardo Espinosa-Valle, M.D., is a preceptor with the Society, Community and Individual Course at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Texas Tech University Health Sciences (TTUHSC) at El Paso. Community preceptors are an important part of the SCI course because they allow medical students to visit their clinics or center locations to experience medicine outside of the campus setting. Last year, eight first-year and eight second-year medical students were assigned to his center.
Dr. Espinosa-Valle will soon retire after practicing 42 years in the El Paso community and three years in Juarez. This year he welcomed another eight first-year students before his impending retirement. What is most notable about Dr. Espinosa-Valle and his link with our Paul L. Foster School of Medicine is that he was the first graduate of the internal medicine residency program in 1979 at TTUHSC El Paso. He started at Thomason General in 1975 under the Rotating Internship Program. In 1976, the internal medicine residency program began under the direction of Dugly Dennison, M.D., chief of cardiology. Dr. Espinosa-Valle was the only one who completed the program in 1979. Steven Smith, M.D., was chief of internal medicine at the time, he said.
Born in Delicias, Chihuahua, he worked at the UMC Ysleta clinic for 10 years before becoming a preceptor for SCI, according to Joanne Bates, associate director of the SCI course. About two years ago, he and a group of staff at the Ysleta Clinic formed a non-profit organization Support For Health which was created to assist low income patients with their medications. In his spare time he enjoys singing and has recorded a CD with all proceeds from sales going to Support For Health.
In his letter to Texas Tech to inform the Medical Education Department of his retirement, he expressed his gratitude for allowing him to work with our medical students for the past two years. “I want to take this opportunity to thank you and express my appreciation in being allowed to participate in this program. Teaching has always been a great passion of mine and I have genuinely enjoyed the opportunity to work with and mentor these students,” he wrote.
Bates said we should probably be thanking him instead. “Dr. Espinosa-Valle and our other preceptors give our students something we cannot give them here at the school – the real life perspective of working directly with real patients in a real health care setting. We are so grateful for Dr. Espinosa-Valle and the valuable knowledge he has imparted to our students,” she said.