By: Orlando Valenzuela
Karen Mojica Álvarez was born in Managua, is the second of three brothers and the first doctor in the family. She attended the Colegio Bautista where she completed her primary and secondary studies, and then joined the Universidad National Autónoma de Nicaragua, UNAN-Managua where she studied general medicine. After completing her residence and social service she specialized in Otolaryngology at School-Hospital Antonio Lenin Fonseca, then enrolled in a postgraduate program at the University of Oklahoma, and received a training course on endoscopic nasal surgery in Jacksonville. Each year she receives medical training and travels to medical congresses in her specialization.
Why did you choose this specialty?
I was amazed by the complexity and because it is a specialty which there were only a few of us in the country. When I started the program there were only 20 otolaryngologists in the country, today there are currently 59.
Of those 59, how many are women?
Compared to other countries where males predominate (in the medical field) in Nicaragua, between 70 and 80 percent of specialists in Otolaryngology are women.
Of the three areas you serve, ear, nose and throat, what seems more complex to you?
Each area has its own complexity, but if I have to choose, I would say that the airway, larynx, because when I perform surgeries you have to be very fast, in fact be instantaneous, because if a patient comes in with a foreign body airway (larynx) that is blocking the air passage, we must act quickly, if not the patient can die.
What are the most frequent cases that come in?
The most common are ear problems, nasal tumors, sinusitis, acute or chronic infections, and perforations of the tympanic membrane as a result of infection or trauma, also problems with the larynx by infection or tumors at the level of the vocal cords, among others.
Any advice to parents in preventing emergencies with their children?
It is important parents don’t purchase very small toys for children under three years old, because it’s the time when children introduce anything into their mouths, at that age it’s very common to see parents bringing their children with foreign bodies in any of the three orifices.
How do you feel in your profession?
I am very satisfied and as they say, if I had the chance to born again I would be a doctor, again.
Already a physician, specialist, with graduate training and many studies, have you considered additional training?
In order to provide quality care to the patient, a doctor always has to be studying, updating, and if I have the opportunity again to go and study abroad I will definitely do it.
How do you describe yourself?
I am a very patience and very tolerant person, but obviously, everything has its limit, when I get upset, I can be extreme, I have a lot of energy, and yes I do not get upset easily.
I am very energetic
Karen Mojica Alvarez
Profession: Medicine specialist ORT- Otolaryngology
The doctor speaks three languages, Spanish, English, and Portuguese. Her hobby is going to the movies and watch action, drama and comedy films. Her favorite music is salsa, merengue and samba. She adds that she dislikes and bores the monotony, and is always looking for something new to do.
To read the original story in Spanish, please visit the link:
Mayflower Medical Outreach Inc.
~ “ Supporting hearing health and deaf education in Nicaragua” ~
PO BOX 75449
Oklahoma City, OK 73147