Interview with Mauricio Jalife Bucay
A Conversation with Mauricio Jalife Bucay, Assistant Clinical Professor
Who has been the greatest inspiration to you?
I was born in Mexico City into a very large and close-knit family that’s part of the Jewish community. I’d eat with all my aunts and uncles and cousins at my grandparents’ house every Friday and Saturday. My Uncle Moises inspires me the most, and I take after him the most. We have similarities, such as we worry about everyone but also have a good sense of humor. He’s the best doctor I know. I got to round with him when I was in medical school and observe how he treats patients. He’s incredibly empathetic both in work and in family and is always working to keep his family and friends united.
What got you interested in your current field? What advice would you give your younger self?
In Mexico, you have to choose a career when you’re 17 years old, and then you immediately pursue that field of study. I was initially drawn to medicine because it struck me as the best way to directly help the most vulnerable. Having gone through all of the schooling and training and work of an internist, I would let my younger self know that it is more work than I imagined, that there will be a lot of challenges and frustrations along the way, but that as long as I keep at it and keep working hard, it will be worth it.
If you didn’t need money, what would you do?
I would still be a doctor even if I didn’t need to make money, because I love getting to interact with new people every day, offer them support, and be intellectually challenged. If I had to do something outside of healthcare though, I would want to be an airline pilot and see the world, or a chef because I absolutely love cooking, experimenting, and experiencing culture through food.
What do you regret not doing in the past year?
I think similar to a lot of people, I wish that last year I had traveled more, gone out to public spaces more, and seen my family more, given that now it’s almost impossible for me to do so. If I didn’t have to sleep, I’d love to go out every night and just walk around the city, explore it, and read while everyone else slept.
There are a lot of spoken languages in the world, which one would you like to learn?
Without a doubt, I’d learn Chinese languages, because where I live there are many people who only speak Mandarin or Cantonese and I’d like to be able to communicate with them. Also, a lot of my patients speak these languages and I’d like to be able to talk with them directly to better understand them.
You mentioned earlier that you regret not traveling more this past year. What city would you visit over and over?
I’m completely torn between Paris and Jerusalem. I love the architecture of Paris, getting to wander around the city—especially at night—sit around in the terraces of various cafes. And Jerusalem has an energy that is unmatched by any other city. Of course, I feel a religious connection to it, and also my grandma and her ancestors were from Israel, so when I go, I feel connected to history and my roots.
- by Lena Loo