At MedVet, we are proud to celebrate the beauty of individuality and the unique contributions that make our world a better place. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we wanted to share stories from some history makers who have made an impact on the veterinary profession. We’re excited to highlight their accomplishments and honor their contributions to the profession.
Aurora Velazquez Echegaray, DVM
Dr. Aurora Velazquez Echegaray (1916-2013) was one of the first women to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Husbandry of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (FMVZ-UNAM).
During her 60-year career in veterinary medicine, Dr. Velazquez not only founded the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at FMVZ-UNAM, but her advanced work in virology led to the mass production of a vaccine for foot and mouth disease. She was a key player in the Mexican National Campaign to eradicate this deadly livestock plague in the 1940s.
Dr. Velazquez’s influential career made history in the fields of research, teaching, training, and outreach for the veterinary profession.
José Arce, DVM
Dr. José Arce. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dr. Arce made history as the first Puerto Rican veterinarian elected as AVMA president (2020-21). Dr. Arce brings 26 years of veterinary experience to his presidency. He advocates for diversity and inclusion in the veterinary profession and is dedicated to promoting careers in veterinary medicine as a viable option for underrepresented groups.
Sofia Gonzalez, DVM, Diplomate, ACVIM (Neurology)
Dr. Sofia Cerda-Gonzalez, a Board-certified Veterinary Neurologist at MedVet Chicago, is leading the way by working to clarify the veterinary profession’s classification of canine movement disorders. Dr. Cerda-Gonzalez chaired the International Veterinary Dyskinesia Task Force under the umbrella of the European College of Veterinary Medicine (ECVN). The work of this task force, consisting of an international group of Veterinary Neurologists, will allow veterinarians to more easily discuss and compare cases of movement disorders, ultimately improving patient care.
Marilucy Quiñones DVM, MS, Diplomate, ACVS
Board-certified Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Marilucy Quiñones is the lead veterinarian and owner of Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Juan, the first veterinary referral hospital in Puerto Rico. She was the first woman to become a board-certified veterinary surgeon in Puerto Rico and currently one of only two women veterinary surgeons on the island. Dr. Quiñones is an inspiration to other specialists with her mission to advocate for providing her community the highest technology in veterinary medical care and compassion.