Although his place in the world is Mendoza, Roberto Zaldivar has moved a large part of his present outside the country. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, while his Mendoza priest, Roger Eleazar, an advanced physician of the time, earned a master’s degree at Yale University.
The unique son, Roberto was born and raised alongside great figures in the world of ophthalmology. Perhaps for this reason, at 66 (and well over 50 since joining the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, at only 16), he is convinced that his fate is sealed and although He never felt obligated to study medicine, but he wanted to continue his priestly legacy.
From the United States, where he finds himself resting for a few days, he remembers his priesthood in a conversation with the nation, without diminishing his pride: “From that mastery in 1957, my priesthood great innovations He returned to his native Mendoza with projects such as the Corneal Bank and the first ruby to create the Zaldivar Institute, the Ledger de América Latina. All this, without ceasing to practice teaching throughout his life or to give talks and conferences”, he says.
– What do you think your father would think about what he has been doing in recent decades?
– He was also educated in the United States, where he was born, and then decided to return to Argentina. He led a very traditional career as Head of Service and Professor at the Faculty for 30 years. Of course, I was surprised when I also decided to return in 1985 and bet on a more specialized clinic next door to my stay in Boston. But surely today he will be surprised and proud, above all to see his children: Roger as a doctor and Mercedes, lawyer and the man in charge of managing the operations of various offices in Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Uruguay. And of course, I would be more proud to see that from 33 years ago we continue the Zaldivar Foundation, an organization that the same funds and that continues to provide visual health aids to patients who do not have access to medical coverage. Is.
-Do you follow actively as always?
-Si. These days I am returning to Argentina to participate in a very important congress called FACO Extrema, which will bring together professionals from all over the world. And then I’ll travel to Vienna, Austria, where I’ll be part of the European Askers Congress, one of the most important in our expertise.
-How do you feel, that Argentina has always been the chosen one, when you see that great talents, mostly young people, migrate in search of other horizons?
It is sad to see young and talented professionals migrating out of Argentina in search of better opportunities. I believe that in fact, we can be a prosperous and talented country in many aspects. Let’s not forget that we are full of great talents.
-What did you find in our country at the time of professional development?
– I lived in the United States, where I completed my specialization and held an important position, and served in one of the most prestigious hospitals in Saudi Arabia. But even with the right conditions abroad, I prefer the decision I made together with my wife (Stella Gabbazzi), which was to return to Argentina and bet on doing something different at the clinic in Mendoza.
– What are you saying to Mendoza?
This is the place in the whole world where I feel most comfortable. Time has told me the reason, as today it is a center of attraction for national and international tourists. People from all over the world choose this province to settle, probably because of its peaceful lifestyle and its organization. I know many places in the world, but I chose Mendoza because it has a mix of conditions that make life here pleasant: distance, climate, friends and other aspects.
-Speaking of pleasure, ¿cuáles son los suyos?
– I like sports, I practice as much as possible. At the moment I am playing tennis and paddle, but I practice even more. I enjoy watching big tournaments or important championships in tennis, football, rugby. Some of the other pleasures in life include getting together with friends to have dinner and of course savoring some wine.
–¿Is it a pleasure?
-Only, during Congress, I generally like to travel, enjoy and prefer not to talk if it coincides with a sporting event.
-What do you consider your added value to be recognized worldwide?
-Many factors have gone in favor. I joined university at a very young age and graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the age of 22. Everything has its own explanation: in a conversation with a friend in secondary school, it occurred to us to skip the fifth free and go straight to university. A way to save a year. But more than that, once obtained, Beka was important in the United States, because it allowed me to reach Mendoza with new ideas. Eli began working with my father on the anterior segment, ie the front part of the eye, whose main function is to focus the rays of light entering the organ onto the retina. This includes refractive and cataract surgery. If I have an adelantado era, yo le turn his head and start a new phase with me. It was a process and a huge effort to develop these ideas.
How do you envision your return?
– I never think about it too much, nor do I imagine it as a traditional retreat, but rather as a change of purpose, a decision to replace my professional activity with another line of work. Anyway, at the moment I am still very active and working a lot.
– Will your son be your successor?
I believe that change will be as natural with my son, Roger, as it was with my father. He is doing a very important job, growing at a rapid pace and with international importance, but all in a natural way.
-Many celebrities, such as Susana Jimenez or Brad Pitt, trusted their eyes when filming in Mendoza. Why do you think he did this?
-During my stay in Boston I spent a lot of time with very important people, not only with doctors, but also with politicians, businessmen and others, and I think that’s probably what many people are seeing in the clinic today. . I believe that I am lucky that I have chosen a profession that I love and I practice it in the right place. I feel privileged.
Last year, he received one of the most important awards of his career in Washington for his contributions to refractive surgery. what did i feel
For the first time in my life, too much nervousness and emotion. I was able to enjoy this award, but I also suffered greatly, perhaps because of the presence of so many colleagues or because I was the first foreigner to receive it.
Some time ago he was included in The Ophthalmologist’s list of 100 most influential ophthalmologists in the world.
-This list is voted on by peers around the world. what should i say It would have been a true honor if you had woken up from me.