He began his journey into medicine while pursuing his undergraduate degree. He had the opportunity to shadow internists at Thomason Hospital in El Paso, TX, and he was amazed by their ability to diagnose and treat complex diseases. After that experience, he felt there was no other career path that would be more satisfying than that of a physician. He chose gastroenterology because it requires a strong background in Internal Medicine as well as a surgical understanding of the human body.
Dr. Alvarez graduated from Trinity University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, followed by a Master’s degree in Public Health from the UT Houston School of Public Health. He next attended medical school at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine, where he also completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine.
Dr. Alvarez received specialty training at Baylor Scott & White, and he worked with an innovator and specialist in the field of endoscopic ultrasound and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). That training has helped him to establish himself as a gastroenterologist in San Antonio.
Although all aspects of gastrointestinal disease fascinate Dr. Alvarez, he is especially interested in pancreatic and biliary diseases. Because of his specialized training, Dr. Alvarez has the advantage of diagnosing and treating a wide range of pancreatic and biliary diseases. Endoscopic ultrasound is a great tool that allows him to view, evaluate, and biopsy organs and benign or malignant tumors, both within and outside of the gastrointestinal tract. The use of endoscopic ultrasound in combination with ERCP has decreased the need for ERCP as a diagnostic tool over time, thus minimizing the associated risk of performing this particular procedure.
When he’s not working, Dr. Alvarez enjoys many different types of exercise, including weight lifting, golf, basketball, tennis, snowboarding, and riding his mountain bike. He also likes to listen to live music.
I think education is key to good patient care. We live in a fast-paced environment and sometimes this aspect of patient care gets lost in the shuffle. It’s important to me to take the time necessary to make sure my patients understand the disease that affects them. Education is really empowering and allows them to take control of their health and overall wellbeing
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