Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15, to pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have influenced and enriched the United States through achievements and contributions to society. Here, we recognize four members of the Internal Medicine Residency Program (Indianapolis) whose Hispanic heritage influences their work as physicians.
Janina Quintero Bisono MS, MD | PGY-2
Janina Quintero Bisono, MS, MD, was born in Puerto Rico to a Dominican mother and Colombian father. “I’m proud of my multicultural background and embracing where I’m from,” she said.
Quintero attended Ponce Health Sciences University in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She said she chose to complete her residency in internal medicine at IU School of Medicine because of its great academic program, but was additionally pleased by the program’s welcoming and supportive environment.
“I love the people and the way they make me feel at home away from home,” she said. “In residency, you will have good days and difficult days, but I know I can always count on my residency family to get me through those days with a smile on my face.”
For Quintero, having Hispanic heritage means having the opportunity to understand and address the barriers patients from diverse backgrounds face within our healthcare system.
“I strive to be better every day to give excellent care to the Latinx community and my patients from other countries,” she said.
Mariel Luna Hinojosa, MD | PGY-2
After attending medical school here, Mariel Luna Hinojosa, MD, knew that IU School of Medicine was the “perfect” place to complete her residency in internal medicine.
“Everyone in this program has always been kind, supportive, and genuine, and is always encouraging more to my full potential,” she said. “Also, I love the diverse patient population and various pathologies we encounter in all our different hospital systems.”
She has always known she wanted to work with the underserved, particularly within the Latinx community, and this program has given her the opportunity to do that in both inpatient and outpatient settings, she said.
Luna Hinojosa was born in Lima, Peru. She moved to the US when she was 14 years old and was raised in Northern Virginia. She said that her roots have helped her foster relationships with her patients and provide them with better care.
“My Latinx heritage gives me the opportunity to be an advocate for my Latinx community, especially now being in the role of a physician,” she said. “This program has given me the opportunity to do so in both inpatient and outpatient medicine.”
Diego Izquierdo | PGY-1
Diego Izquierdo, MD, loves “movies and old rock and jazz” and attended medical school at Anahuac University in Mexico City.
“My Latine identity is the core of who I am,” he said. “It reminds me of everything important to me: family, friends, joy.”
He knew that he wanted to pursue his residency in internal medicine at IU School of Medicine after meeting current residents, who made him feel welcome and invigorated.
“Talking to the Hispanic residents that were already in the program and listening to their experience at IU made me realize the extraordinary place it is to grow both personally and professionally,” he said.
Izquierdo appreciates that the program gives him the opportunity to work as the primary care provider for a broad Hispanic population in Indianapolis. As a physician, he loves to translate his shared cultural background with patients into stronger relationships and better care.
Montalvan-Sanchez, who received his medical degree from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, is already off to a great start. He has conducted several research projects; is as a liaison to the National Hispanic Medical Association; serves on the Department of Medicine’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee; and is the founder of Latin American Doctors for America (@AmericaDoctors), which advocates for decreasing health disparities.
“I chose IU because I was looking for the combination of a high-volume medical center and an academic university-based program. Now IU is part of my familia," he said. “I will always be grateful to be here.”
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Hannah Calkins is the communications manager for the Department of Medicine.