It seems Dr. Gino Sedillo has been on the move his whole life. Literally, as a youngster and, as an adult, professionally.
“I had an interesting childhood, much in part due to my father,Arthur’s, profession,” said Dr. Sedillo, who was born in Albuquerque, N.M. A former Golden Gloves boxing champion and U.S. marine, Dr. Sedillo said his dad began his law enforcement career as a state patrolman and eventually became the first Hispanic agent in the Drug Enforcement Administration. “As such he was transferred to cover all of Central and South America. We relocated every two or three years on average, because of security issues and in an attempt to respond to the rapidly expanding illegal drug trade,” he said.
But Dr. Sedillo credits his mother Mariana with being “the rock that kept the family together. You can imagine that raising six kids in foreign countries, with my father gone doing undercover work for months at a time, would require a strong, special woman,” Dr. Sedillo recalled.
“As a child I was fortunate to live in several different countries … I experienced a broad spectrum of socio-economic and cultural diversity not seen by most,” he said, noting that he was fortunate to attend private schools while abroad. But seeing how others in the western hemisphere lived “gave me a much greater appreciation for what we have here in the U.S.,” Dr. Sedillo said, and it was “key in being able to attain the academic foundation that would be required later in pursuing a medical degree.”
When he was 14 years old Dr. Sedillo’s family returned to the U.S. It was the first time he had set foot on American soil since he was 6. In Laredo, Tex., he accepted his first job in a hospital – buffing floors. Two years later he was an old-school orderly, emptying bedpans and making beds. A stint as “monitor tech in the ICU” gave him his first “real exposure to what it takes to be a doctor,” he said. “My lifelong dream of becoming a doctor became a quest.”
Dr. Sedillo met a cardiologist at the hospital who became an inspiration. He had trained at the Texas Heart Instituteand “I wanted to be just like him,” he said. But another job transfer by his father took him to Monterrey, Mexico, where he eventually attended medical school at the Universidad de Monterrey.
After graduation, Dr. Sedillo began residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He was chosen to be chief resident, which helped him realize his penchant for teaching and also achieve his coveted goal of being accepted at the Texas Heart Institute. “This setting provided an excellent environment to learn from many brilliant, experienced cardiologists, and obtain a level of experience not possible at most other training programs,” Sedillo said. He was selected Chief Interventional Fellow his third year.
After 15 years of training, Dr. Sedillo said “It was time to get a job!” His search led him to the Bradenton Cardiology Center in 1995, where “they were looking for a fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist who had the additional skill-set to perform peripheral vascular procedures,” he said. During that time Dr. Sedillo said he performed more than 1,000 procedures a year. “The volume I was doing (top 1 percent nationally) attracted industry. I began teaching procedures and techniques to other practicing cardiologists, vascular surgeons, and interventional radiologists,” he said. He also was director of the cardiac catheterization lab at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton.
In May 2011, Dr. Sedillo founded his independent practice, CardioVascular Solutions Institute, with an office located in Bradenton.
Since then Dr. Sedillo has been named director of the Percutaneous Coronary Intervention program at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota, an association that is a good fit for him, the hospital and area residents, he said.
“Doctors really has worked hard on this…They built a state-of-the art, $2-million cath lab just for this program. I really have to give Doctors kudos. They not only met but exceeded the required standards for a PIC program,” Dr. Sedillo said.
And the benefit to patients, especially in emergency cases, is tangible, he said. “People who lived to the east used to have to drive right past Doctors Hospital” if they needed a coronary artery intervention, he said. “The program is progressing very well.”
When he’s not seeing patients, teaching other physicians or doing clinical research, Dr. Sedillo cherishes time with his children. Although no longer married, “their mother and I share common values and expectations when it comes to raising our kids. She is an amazing, dedicated mother,” said Dr. Sedillo.
I have been blessed and could not have asked for more perfect kids. So far, three of the older children have expressed interest in careers in medicine,” Dr. Sedillo said. “I eagerly await to see if they will go on to pursue such careers. I encourage all of them to follow their dreams.”
Dr. Sedillo said he passes on the same advice his father gave him: “If you know in your heart that what you are doing is right, don’t let anything stand in your way.”