I was born on May 22, 1967, in Lima, Peru.
My parents grew up in the same town, Chiclayo, and were friends as children, each excelling in their desired fields of health and medicine. My mother, Lida, trained to be a clinical dietitian and became head of her department of Diet and Nutrition at the hospital where she trained and worked. My father, Dr. Julio Cesar Novoa, Sr. (V), aspired to be a doctor from an early age and eventually became a well-respected Obstetrician/Gynecology (OBGYN).
In 1968, my dad was accepted into an OBGYN residency at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) in Baltimore Maryland, USA. Based on this acceptance, my family, which included my father and mother and my younger brother, Cesar, emigrated to the United States.
My parents lived a traditional lifestyle, with my mom staying home to raise us while my dad worked through his OBGYN residency to become a Board-certified OBGYN.
My brother and I originally went to public school but later were enrolled in a private Catholic elementary school, Immaculate Heart of Mary, and later went to a private Catholic high school, Calvert Hall College High school.
It was during elementary school and high school that I become interested in the martial arts, specifically karate, and obtain my black belt in the Shōrin-ryū style. I still appreciate the Martial Arts and love to watch Mix Marital Arts (MMA) as a sport.
Although both my parents were professionals, they did not push me to become a doctor and were great role models and mentors in my education. They encouraged me to be the best I could be without making me feel that I had to be better than everyone else. As an adult and parent, I look back on those times as a great learning experience because my parents provided an incredible amount of support for my education but allowed me to make my own decisions as to the path I would lead. It is with this same philosophy that I have encouraged my own children and my students in their education.
Despite my parents allowing me to find my own way, I already knew from an early age that I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my father. I too wanted to be a doctor.
It was based on this personal choice and personal drive that I entered into college in 1989 on scholarship at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and studied Biology as my major.
However, in the first semester of college I didn’t feel focused in studying or in my education. It was at this time that I was recruited into the US Army and took 2 years off from college to study and practice medicine as a 91-A combat medic.
I entered the US Army in 1989 and went to Basic Training at Fort Bliss, here in El Paso. The Army was rude awaking in how well my life had been up to this point and I truly saw how immature I was before entering the Army as compared to after. Nevertheless, I excelled in the Army, having graduated from my advanced training Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and the Distinguished Honor Graduate of my program rotation.
During my MOS training at Fort Sam Houston, I was recruited to be a human research volunteer for experimental vaccines and work at the United States Army Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in the research of biodefense. I volunteered in two research protocols, which are diseases that most people have never heard of called Tularemia and Chikungunya. When not serving as a human vaccine volunteer, I worked in the department of Experimental Pathology Electron Microscopy developing photos of some of the most dangerous viruses that are known to man such as Marbury, Ebola, Dengue and HIV. Today, USAMRIID is still the leading military research facility in the world in the study of infectious diseases and works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the research and management of diseases such as SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
During my enlistment, I continued to go to college and returned to UMBC after I completed my 2-year enlistment in the Army.
I finished college in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology and was accepted to medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. I graduated from Meharry in 1995 with honors and had the honor and privilege of being accepted into the same medical residency program at GBMC that my father had completed back in 1968.
I completed my residency at GBMC in 1999 and during my senior year of residency, I was offered a job in El Paso, Texas. I considered this offer to be a sign from God since I had been in El Paso when I was in Basic Training during my Army dates. I immediately took the job offer and I moved to El Paso in 1999.
Since 1999, I have been a resident of El Paso, and I have had a very successful medical career.
Currently, my primary practice is Obstetrics and Gynecology with an emphasis on minimally invasive surgeries, complicated deliveries and Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section (VBAC).
I also specialize in fully conscious AWAKE cosmetic surgery and am the only OBGYN and only cosmetic surgeon in El Paso offering this special type of service.
My greatest personal medical achievement is my influence on having helped to remove the Essure Permanent Sterilization Device (ESSURE) off the US and World market and having been included in the Academy Award nominated medical documentary, THE BLEEDING EDGE, which you can see on Netflix. My work with ESSURE has helped over 100,000 women world-wide.
Currently, as I approach my later years of life, I am happy to say that I have a good relationship with my three children and am happily married to my wife Danielle.
I am also still greatly appreciative of my parents, who are both still alive, and what they instilled in me as a child to thrive to be the best person I can be without needing to live the life that everyone else wants me to live.
In the end, be your own person. Be happy with who you are and don’t ever let anyone say you are not as special as everyone that truly knows you, loves you and believes in you, thinks you are.
Dr. Julio Cesar Novoa, MD