The vocation and deep desire to help others, made important figures in medicine the key to counteract the various diseases that affected the population in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Their stories are impressive because they studied abroad and the knowledge acquired they preferred to bring it to Tampico and the region.
The names of these illustrious doctors can be remembered by people as a guide as they walk, as city streets bear their names in homage to their legacy.
The Canseco; Two generations that saved lives
Doctors Carlos Canseco, father, and son, left an indelible mark in Tampico for their contribution to saving lives.
The first was born in Ciudad Victoria in 1889 and is recognized for having fought strongly against Spanish fever and bubonic plague, creating the first health committee. In his honor, the Civil Hospital of Tampico was named after him, as well as a street in the center of the city.
Graduated from the National School of Medicine, he practiced surgery at the General Hospital of Mexico City; but he decided to start his professional practice in Tampico, where his parents lived.
He was appointed director of the Civil Hospital and in 1920 he was elected municipal president. In 1922 he served as the first director of the Casa de Salud of the Spanish Center of Tampico and two years before he was appointed president of the Mexican Association of the Red Cross when it was founded.
He was married to Esperanza González, granddaughter of the former President of the Republic Manuel González. Days before his death, his son returned from abroad to create the Mexican Society of Allergy and Immunology, which he achieved after changing his residence to Monterrey.
The latter’s participation in the eradication of poliomyelitis in the world led him to be named “Hero of Health in the Americas”. He was recognized by the Pan American Health Organization as one of the eleven people who most influenced public health.
Antonio Matienzo, a legacy of wisdom
Antonio Isidoro Lucio Matienzo y Ederra is the most important doctor that Tampico has had, the city that saw him born in 1859.
He was orphaned at the age of five and was taken to Spain, where he received his medical degree in Paris. He returns to his homeland to leave a great legacy in health, mainly for his research work on various ailments. But his work was not only limited to medicine.
In 1893 he founded the Tampico Meteorological Observatory, equipped with the most advanced of its time and whose meteorological predictions set an international precedent. It was he who established that Tampico was located at 11.6 meters above sea level. He was the municipal president (1908-1911).
His observations on tuberculosis, yellow fever, and malaria made him one of the wise men of his day. Mayor Vicente Inguanzo (1963-1965) and his Cabildo imposed their name on Altomonte Street, on the eastern side of the Red Cross Square; The plaque was unveiled on January 31, 1965.
Alfredo Gochicoa; The health delegate against the bubonic plague
Alfredo Esteban Gochicoa Olhausen is another of the doctors who stood out in Tampico. Born in 1882 in Ciudad Victoria, he was a surgeon at the Military Medical School and arrived in the city in 1917 to take charge of the management of the El Águila Petroleum Hospital and at the same time develops great work within the Mexican Red Cross.
He was appointed health delegate against the bubonic plague, an epidemic that caused a great impact in the country. He took part in the formation of the Tampico Medical Society, which in 1924 at his proposal, became the Tampico and Madero Medical Union. In 1950 he founded the Tampico School of Medicine, today belonging to the UAT; He passed away in October 1963.
The City Council (1963-1965), imposed its name on the old Águila Street, the respective plaque is located in front of the Red Cross Square, in the southeast corner of the intersection with Carpintero Street.
Alfonso G. Alarcón; Affection for childhood
Born in Chilpancingo, Guerrero in 1884, Alfonso G. Alarcón Martínez was a renowned pediatrician in Tampico, whose name was imposed on what was Amargura Street.
He graduated as a doctor in 1911 at the Puebla State College, but during his stay in Paris, he consolidated the training and professional experience that he brought to the port city.
He was here a federal health delegate, director of Children’s Hygiene, and head of the campaign against bubonic plague. Due to his contact with childhood, he lovingly dedicates himself to Pediatrics.