Dr. Quiñones Medical Q & A
Dr. Manuel Quiñones has been practicing medicine for more than 35 years. Born and raised on San Antonio’s West Side, he graduated from Holy Cross High School. And received his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University where he completed his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. With a special interest in treating adult patients with chronic conditions, he has treated dozens of families spanning three to four generations.
Dr. Quiñones is consistently recognized as a Best Doctors in America, Top Doctor in America, Texas Super Doctor and Best Doctor in San Antonio. His proudest recent achievements — an appointment by Gov. Gregg Abbott to the Texas Medical Board and bestowment by the Bexar County Medical Society with its Golden Aesculapius Award. When not working, one can find him doing community service at his clinic at his famous Q-Boy breakfast. Giving away fans to seniors during summer months and working with the Texas Cavaliers. He also provides free CPR classes through his chairmanship with the Harper’s Embrace Lifesaver Program.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in the medical field and why?
I was inspired by my parents. My father encouraged us to reach for the stars. He would hold us on his shoulders as long as he could. My mother provided all the support of a loving home. I spent a month at Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital when I was 10 years old after a motor vehicle accident. That’s when I found my calling in life.
What was your first job, and what lesson did you learn that is applicable to what you do today?
My first job was collecting newspapers to recycle for money and mowing lawns in the neighborhood. I didn’t earn very much, but I realized that I could control what I achieve and where I could go by working, earning and saving. I learned the value of a dollar and how hard it was to keep one in your pocket.
Tell us about a patient or a medical case that upon reflection explains “this is why I do what I do.”
There have been many events that reinforce why I do what I do. The most powerful one I can recall was a good patient and friend who stopped his blood thinners after some improper advice from a family member, and he died of a stroke a week later. It prompted me to write an article when I was president of the Bexar County Medical Society entitled “Everybody Wants to Do What I Do But Nobody Wants to Be Me!”
It spoke of the great advice given backed by years of experience and knowledge along with the sacrifices a health care professional makes every day that nobody knows about. And it reminds me every day of the words of a mentor in medical school who told me, “Take care of all of them like family, and I can’t promise you it’s going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it.”
What characteristics or traits must a person have or cultivate to effectively work in health care?
To work effectively in medicine, you have to be well-informed, objective and most empathetic. The education and drive to be better should never stop. And I always teach my medical students that they have to establish strong relationships with their patients.