By. Nicole Michelle Arroyo
When we are kids and are asked what we want to do when we grow up the answer is usually something glamorous, like basketball player, doctor, fireman, policeman, and many other professions that make a difference in other people’s lives. For many of us, the answer changes as we grow older and gain different interests. For José Gaudier, the answer was always the same, a doctor and a basketball player.
Joche, as his friends call him, has always played many sports including volleyball, baseball, soccer and, his favorite, basketball. When he graduated high school he went to the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Biology. In 2009, on his third and fourth year in the UPRM, he coached for Colegio San José’s mini and junior teams. The first year he was with the team they did not win a game, but he told them to continue practicing and persevere.
At the beginning of the second year he said “I had high expectations because I knew they were getting better. So at least I expected one win.” However, no one expected what happened next. They won five invitational tournaments and they made second place in the Athletic League of Catholic Schools.
The decision to become a doctor was definite when he was admitted to the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. He recalled “I knew my time as a coach for Colegio San José was coming to an end, but I would continue to be a role model for the kids I coached.” Joche considers himself a grown kid; he always wanted to be looked up to by his players. Today, thanks to this experience, he is applying for a residency in pediatrics, where he can continue being a good influence on children and help them in the process of growing up physically and mentally.
As the oldest of 13 cousins, he remembersthat he, “was always looking out for my little cousins.” He said that his family has played a very important part of what he has become today. He described his family as numerous, supporting and close, for Joche, there is never a dull moment; nor a moment of silence in large families.
Mónica Gaudier, Joche’s sister, said he has always been very team oriented because of the influence sports had in on his life. She said he has always been very close to his family. She also said that he has always had role models and that for him it has always been important to be a good role model for his siblings and cousins. He has been responsible, funny, respectful and honest with his family.
Joche said that during his rotation in obstetrics and gynecology on he realized on August 2012 that he did not visualize himself doing that for the rest of his life. While completing his rotations in pediatrics he knew that he wanted to become a pediatrician because he had found the specialty that combined his two passions. He referred to Patch Adams, is one of his inspirations, and role models. “The best experience in my medical school rotations has been singing to an 8 year old girl who wanted to sing a duet of “Let it Go” from Frozen.” He did not know those lyrics in Spanish; however, he did know the Aladdin song of “A Whole New World.” He said he didn’t mind singing in front of the doctors, residents, the patients family and other patients , just because of the smile of the little girl. “Of course it won’t hurt it if I am the pediatrician of the next Michael Jordan,” he said joking.
Joche, 25, is currently in his fourth year of Medicine School. His toughest challenge in Medical School? “being away from my family.” His response was being away from his family. He explained how he was used to study in a loud room and now he has to turn on Phineas and Ferb from Disney Channel.
During his third year in Medicine School he had an ankle fracture that prevented him from practicing sports and exercising. He calls this time of his life “the crash to obesity.” He explained that sports and exercise were his escape methods, and for six months he could only escape by watching ESPN sports and eating. Once the leg healed he got back in shape, and is now “better than ever.” He is back into jogging every other day and playing basketball with his classmates twice a week.
As he waits for his interviews and acceptance to the pediatrics training program, he is hopeful to match with University of East Carolina or University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. He has also been called to interview in Michigan and Chicago, and still has many other applications that have not answered yet.
If you ever cross paths with Joche you will be amazed at the way he speaks of his life experiences. From his funny laugh, to his bowtie and white coat you can tell he will become a great pediatrician.