The A Estrada health center is hosting a very special visit today. This is Dr. Manuel Seco Fernández, who at 74 years old, and after 9 years of retirement, has decided on his own initiative to share his knowledge and experiences with the residents and students of the Estrada service. Thus, at 12:00, and arriving from Ourense, he will begin the first of twenty theoretical and practical sessions on physical examination, radiology reading and discussion of an open clinical case.
Seco has an unquestionable career behind him, and speaking with FARO, he recalls that “I was a village doctor in Tarragona, in Guadalajara, Villalba, in Torremolinos and in Malaga, until I arrived in Santa Comba and my father taught me medicine, because I hadn’t learned it in college. After years as an assistant in centers, I took out the opposition as a deputy in Ourense and as head of section at Juan Canalejo in A Coruña. I spent three years as chief in the ER and finally returned to internal medicine. Meanwhile, I have always cared about sharing my knowledge with others, especially in the field of medical history. It is crucial to know how to ask people, be patient and explore well to be able to make a differential diagnosis without asking for too many things, adjusting to what is there”.
This is how he created his Physical Examination Workshop, while also teaching electrocardiography, reading x-rays and discussing clinical cases, combining his two passions, medicine and teaching. He did it as a colleague helps another, without pretending to replace traditional teaching but knowing that there is always room to share and improve. However, when he turned 65 he had to say goodbye to one of those facets “they forced me to retire, it was the year I fell from grace”, he jokes.
Vocation is not lost with age and Manuel is a good example of this, since even when he retired he wanted to “continue giving free classes to sixth-year students in regional and provincial hospitals. They were sessions of two hours a week. At first he did it during school hours, with the permission of the hospital management, then I had to change, he gave them a little on the sly, in the afternoon. This required his students to stay two more hours after their shifts, but the information they received was well worth it, as they ended up publishing a compilation book of their notes in 2018. He continued to do so until 2020, with the appearance of COVID, which put your project on pause. Now he is back, motivated by the curiosity that the Estrada center produces in him “since it has been named the best health center in Spain seven times, I told myself that they were still interested in my knowledge, so I contacted Juan Sánchez (coordinator service) and here we are”. His greatest illusion today “is that the Minister of Health see what I do and be able to implement it in other centers, where they train two internists and that they share it with their colleagues.”