Celebrating Hispanic History Month - A Profile on Lorena De Marco Garcia, MD
Lorena P. De Marco Garcia, MD, is a vascular surgeon in Eastern Long Island, New York and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Plainview Hospital and South Shore University Hospital within Northwell Health System. Her prior affiliation was with Virginia Mason Memorial in Yakima, Washington. She received her medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
Lorena De Marco, MD, honors her Argentinian culture in every facet of her life. While at home, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, bonding over food and music. She serves as the vascular director and vascular ultrasound medical director for Northwell’s Eastern Region, as well as the chief of vascular surgery and wound care medical director at Plainview Hospital, on Long Island, where she forges meaningful connections with her patients by sharing the same language or talking about the latest soccer match. For her, Hispanic Heritage Month is her way of living, not limited to a one-month celebration.
“I don’t think I celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in any different way. I am who I am; my family is part of me, so I live it daily. My family is Hispanic every day, from our language to music to food, so I don’t feel like I have to choose a month to do something different because it’s ingrained in me,” said De Marco.
De Marco was born and raised in Argentina until she was 26 and had her sights set on a medical career. She attended the Universidad de Buenos Aires for medical school, where she met the man who would later become her husband. In 2003, they both received an opportunity to train in New York and left Argentina to pursue their goals. De Marco completed a vascular surgery fellowship at North Shore – Long Island Jewish Health System. Her training led her to work in a medically underserved area in Yakima, Washington, where they both worked there for nine years serving the heavily Hispanic population. Though the rural American scenery was nice, De Marco’s family grew, and she moved back to New York for her children’s education and to be closer to family.
This Hispanic Heritage Month, she encourages her fellow Society for Vascular Surgery members to serve the communities they represent and express themselves in their heritage in their practice for their patients to feel comfortable. As a medical professional who has worked for underrepresented areas, she advises SVS members that language is the first barrier they must overcome to improve the relationship between patients and providers.
“If you can speak the same language, most of the patients will get closer to you, and the patient/provider relationship will get easier,” said De Marco. “My advice is to find out what is available within your institution and make sure that you have translated forms in Spanish within your office, as it’s way more important than what we think.”
De Marco encourages everyone to donate to the SVS Foundation as an investment for future programs that would allow providers to attend to underrepresented populations. She believes everyone deserves to have access to treatments.
“Hispanics across the nation are an important force, with a high number of them still living in underrepresented areas. The impact of not having them around needs to be made more public. The fact that they are not documented doesn’t mean they do not count,” said De Marco.
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