SAN DIEGO — Surgeons from the UC San Diego will be training doctors in Tijuana as part of a cross-border collaboration.
"The one that really benefits the most is the patient at the end of the day. The fact that we can bring experiences across the border we learn from them and they learn from us," said Dr. Santiago Horgan, Director of the Center for the Future of Surgery at UC San Diego.
Horgan runs one of the largest surgery training centers in the world at UC San Diego. A second training center will be opening in Tijuana focused on weight-loss surgery.
"This collaboration is a no brainer," said Dr. Ariel Ortiz, the director of the Obesity Control Center in Tijuana.
Ortiz and Horgan have been friends for decades.
"Patients from the U.S. were going to Tijuana all the time and we said why is there no connection here," Horgan said. "Two cities that are so connected but so disconnected medically."
They decided a collaboration between the two countries was far overdue.
"I've done 26,000 surgeries on mainly U.S. and Canadian patients even though my center is in Tijuana," Ortiz said. "Almost three decades of taking care of Americans."
U.S. and Mexican doctors will share their hands-on experience and surgery techniques with one another through the new collaboration.
"The exchange of people from one side to the other is huge," Horgan said. "I think we need to take that into consideration to work together as a unit and not two divided countries."
Ortiz said the new surgery training center in Tijuana is expected to open in October.