Hispanic American Heritage Month: Dr. Gonzalez

Hispanic American Heritage Month: Dr. Ernesto Gonzalez

Dr. Ernesto Gonzalez joined Southcoast Health two years ago as an Obstetrics and Gynecology Physician. He can often be found in the office, seeing patients for physical exams, discussing birth control, and supporting and assisting women through pregnancy and various health issues.

He works in many different parts of the health system in this role, sometimes all on the same day. Along with office visits, he is regularly in the hospital overseeing deliveries and even performing surgery.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in California, Dr. Gonzalez considers being Latino an important part of his identity. In recognition of Hispanic American Heritage Month, he shares how his heritage influences his life and work.

A blended background has shaped his personality interests

“I was born in Puerto Rico but grew up in California which offered me an upbringing mixed with not just Puerto Rican customs but also Mexican-American through both friends and extended family,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “This blended background has shaped my personality, interests and has afforded me the opportunity to continue speaking Spanish.” 

Hispanic American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the various Latino and Hispanic cultures and traditions and increase awareness of these diverse cultural groups. “This month is also a time to celebrate the contributions that these cultures make to the diversity and the shared history of these groups in the US, as well as the issues and struggles we continue to work through as a community,” he says.

Dr. Gonzalez is proud to celebrate his background and heritage through cooking and traditions

Today, Dr. Gonzalez is proud to celebrate his background and heritage through cooking and maintaining the importance of family and shared traditions in his life.

He is thankful that his upbringing allowed him the opportunity to continue speaking Spanish. Today, he uses this language as a physician to communicate with many patients. “My ability to speak Spanish allows me to connect with my Spanish-speaking patients more deeply through a shared cultural background,” he says.

Dr. Gonzalez shared that he did not always know that he wanted to be a physician. Exploring many fields when he first got to college, his experience shadowing and volunteering at a local hospital solidified that he wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

“In medical school, I knew I wanted to pursue a specialty that was hands-on, but it was during my clinical rotation in Ob-Gyn and assisting in my first delivery that made it clear what specialty I wanted to be part of,” says Dr. Gonzalez.

In the future, Dr. Gonzalez is looking forward to growing his practice and expanding his involvement in the community. As a Spanish-speaking provider, he also wants to continue helping and connecting with patients who share his Hispanic American Heritage and values in the region.

Learn more about how Southcoast Health is celebrating Hispanic American Heritage Month and employee diversity.