Susana Escalante-Glorsky loves her job. She has loved the field of gastroenterology ever since stumbling upon it during her second year of internal medicine residency. After completing a series of rotations in radiology, dermatology, pulmonary, and cardiology, it was ultimately the practice of gastroenterology that fit her like a glove.
“It was like a light went off in my head,” she recalled. “Everything about gastroenterology made so much sense to me. I hung on every word my mentors said. I soaked up everything I could about it. And it just clicked.”
So in 1987, Escalante had found her calling.
Her story is one that traces all the way back to her childhood days in Cuba. From an early age, Escalante knew that she wanted to help people. “My initial interest in a career in medicine was engendered by my paternal grandfather,” she said. “He was a cardiologist in Cuba.”
Escalante lived with her grandparents in Havanah so that she could attend school there; meanwhile, her father defected to the United States and her mother lived in the countryside. Monday through Friday, Escalante lived with her grandparents, and on the weekends she lived with her mother. Those living arrangements proved beneficial for Escalante, who was ultimately inspired by her grandfather to pursue a career in medicine.
“My grandfather used to talk to me about his work all the time,” said Escalante. “He would tell me fascinating stories about his patients. I was in awe of how he could help so many people. I wanted to be able to do that. And I longed to make my grandfather proud.”