Mexicali: mini-gem guide to surgery in Mexicali, Baja California
Special thanks needs to be given to my Mexicali team; the people who made this project possible.
This includes my co-author, Dr. Carlos Cesar Ochoa Gaxiola who provided me with invaluable
information and opportunities during the research and writing of this book. In many cases, he
introduced me to Mexicali surgeons and opened doors that might have otherwise remained closed
without his assistance. However, I would like to note, for readers who may question my
impartiality in assessing Dr. Ochoa’s surgical skills that preliminary interviews and surgical
observation were performed in November – January 2011 & 2012, well prior to my arrival in
Mexicali. It was this foundation that served to deepen my interest in writing about the surgeons of
Mexicali. In fact, despite all of his contributions, I have not extended Dr. Ochoa the courtesy of an
advanced proof-reading of data compiled regarding his practice and my observations thereof. In
addition, in fairness to Dr. Ochoa and his colleagues, he did not participate in the critiques or
interviews of his peers. So, hopefully, this book does not serve as an unpleasant insult to a surgeon
who has been a colleague, mentor and friend. As a co-writer and collaborator on this project, Dr.
Ochoa has been invaluable for his input on Mexicali and Mexican culture.
This project would certainly not have been as much fun without Dr. Joanna Calzada, MD who
adopted the role of unofficial historian, chauffeur, tour guide and companion and eventually
morphed into one of our major contributors. No question was too silly to research, no venture too
ridiculous to explore during our wild rides in and around Mexicali. As a Mexicali native, her keen
insight and insider knowledge really brought some of the more intriguing facets of the city to life. I
am indebted to her in some many ways. When I first arrived at Hospital General de Mexicali, things
could have gone much differently, but she immediately embraced me, and became a close, trusted
and beloved friend.
Dr. Cuauhtemoc Robles Cairo, from the faculty of architecture and design at the Universidad
Autonoma Baja California (UABC) was exceedingly gracious, helpful and informative to my
inquiries about the history of architecture and design in Mexicali. Without his assistance, much of
the depth of this work would be lost.
Thanks again to Elizabeth “Libby” Warren, my dear friend, who has been editing and reviewing
my work since we were roommates in college. Without her grammatical expertise, this manuscript
would certainly be lacking.
Special thanks to Carla Kanatt, and all of the other friendly guides at local museums and UABC
archives who bent over backward to help me find historical photos and other documents to give
shape to Mexicali and its fascinating history.
As always, I need to extend my gratitude to my friends and family who served as my support
system and lifeline during this project. There are few people in the world more supportive than my
husband, Peter Gustafson. He is endlessly patient and understanding of my drive and need to
contribute to the betterment of patient care through these books. He is also skilled at packing and
remains uncomplaining despite the various situations that my travels have often engendered.