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Neurological letter from Mexico
  1. Raul Medina-Rioja1,2,
  2. Javier Andrés Galnares-Olalde2,
  3. Sergio Saldívar-Dávila2,3
  1. 1Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Neurology, Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugia Manuel Velasco Suarez, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
  3. 3Neurology, Ottawa General Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Raul Medina-Rioja, Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5, Canada; raulmedinarioja{at}

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‘To become aware of our history is to become aware of our singularity.’ - Octavio Paz, 1990 Nobel Laureate for Literature.

Mexico is located in the southern part of North America. Its population is about 125 million people who live in an area of 1 972 550 km2 distributed in 32 states (figure 1). Mexico is famous for the warmth of its people, its history, food (figure 2), the culture, ancient traditions (figure 3) and the natural wonders that range from beautiful deserts to exotic jungles and beaches (figure 4).

Figure 1

Mexican flag.

Figure 2

Día de los Muertos tomb decoration.

Figure 3

Sonora style tacos.

Figure 4

Monte Albán, Oaxaca.

In recent years, all these gifts have been overshadowed by a wave of crime and violence that gave the world the impression that we had lost everything of which we were once proud. Even though there is truth in these words, not everything is lost. We still have the best qualities that destiny gave us: our generosity, humour and creativity—there in all we do—and especially in neurology.

Medical training and becoming a neurologist in Mexico

Unlike other North American countries (USA and Canada), Mexican students can apply to the many different medical schools across the country after finishing high school. There are public and private medical schools in every state. The biggest medical school is in Mexico City, and belongs to the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, figure 5). Each year, over 16 000 medical students finish medical school, and so qualify as general practitioners. Afterwards, most students seek a place in a postgraduate medical training programme (also known as medical residency).

Figure 5

UNAM, central library. UNAM, National Autonomous University of Mexico.

To become a neurologist, general physicians must apply first to an internal medicine programme. After at least 2 years of internal medicine residency—some choose to …

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  • Twitter @MedinariojaMD, @jagalni

  • Contributors All authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Colin Mumford, Edinburgh, UK and Kristiina Rannikmäe, Edinburgh, UK.

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