Claudia Perez, a neurointensivist at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and member of Neurocritical Care Associates of Fort Worth, was led into medicine after contracting hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease during her pregnancy.
Perez started digging into her illness and discovered a new spark. She shared during an interview with Texas Health, “It sparked my ultimate passion for neuroscience and my career in medicine.”
Alongside her family, Perez came to the United States at the age of five from Guatemala. During her weekends, she would help her mom clean houses. As a child, she had a dream of owning an environmental business.
“I didn’t remember much, but during visits and a medical mission trip, I was struck by how easily I felt at home, even the food I grew up eating was available at every restaurant. I loved witnessing a shared culture, language, and a strong sense of community.”
During her interview with Texas Health, they asked her, “What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?”.
Dr. Perez responded saying, “Along with being fluent in Spanish, I’ve been on several trips to Guatemala, including a medical mission trip. I also love traveling outside of the country with my family, ballroom dancing, and educating medical students. Outside of Texas Health, I hold a position as the neurology clerkship director at Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center Medical School.”
The interview concluded with the question, “How do you honor your heritage, especially during this observance, and what do you hope resonates with others during National Hispanic Heritage Month?”.
Perez said, “I find that for many of us who are from Latin America, we honor our heritage by maintaining our eternal love for our shared culture, language, and intimate focus on family and community. Understanding that being part of a larger community and feeling safe and unafraid to celebrate your culture is very important.”