Featured Doctor

Dr MILLAN CATALAN, Don Manuel

Zaragoza, SPAIN: Rural Hero (1954 - )

Biography:

Don Manuel Millán Catalán was born in Maella (Zaragoza, Spain) on March 2, 1954.

He did not start school until the age of 8. Before this he spent long periods living in the mountains in a small farm without running water and without electricity.

Along with his maternal grandfather, his main activity was hunting, living a way of life based on self-sufficiency and bartering. He always comments that in those years he acquired a wealth of survival skills that have never left him, and served him well throughout his life.

He started secondary school at the age of 13, combining this with a job at an ADIDAS factory sewing soccer balls. This activity was very common in the villages of Bajo Aragón at that time providing necessary additional income for families with financial difficulties. He continued to work at ADIDAS to pay for his studies until the age of 19.

In October 1973 he began to work in Zaragoza as a singer in a musical group (South American music, boleros, tuna etc.) that allowed him to live more comfortably and to pay for his medical studies. During summer he sang in the streets of the main cities of Central Europe and he supplemented his income with a little smuggling of appreciated objects such as Bohemian glass and cameras that he resold to professional photographers in Zaragoza.

For his artistic rather than intellectual qualities he was admitted at the Faculty of Medicine of Zaragoza and graduated in 1979. Despite having been offered to stay at the hospital he decided to go to work as a doctor in the rural areas of Guadalajara.

He began work as a rural doctor in Cañizar (Guadalajara) on February 1, 1980 where he stayed until 1986. From 1986 to 2004, he worked as a rural doctor in Mondejar (Guadalajara).In 2004 he moved to Brihuega, where he worked until he retired in November 2015.Rural Hero:

During his 36 years of practice, in addition to his work as a rural doctor, he has put his diverse training as speaker, musician, painter and good cook to the service of the community in numerous events in schools, libraries, town halls, cultural associations, and more.

He has organized numerous concerts to collect funds for NGOs over the years, and has given the proceeds of the sale of his 2,500 music CDs to "ILUMINAFRICA", an NGO that provides free operations to avoid blindness in the Republic of Chad and to a mission of children in MARAYÓ at the Amazon.

He is member of semFYC (Spanish Association of Family Doctors) Rural Medicine group, with which he collaborates actively defending with dedication the proximity of the doctor to the "person" and not only to the "patient".

He is a big advocate of the "Rural Rotation" for primary care doctors in training and he can be considered a pioneer on this field, as he was one of the first rural tutors in Spain in early 2000.

He has a very peculiar means to finance conferences he attends- giving performances in significant venues in order to raise money.

After his retirement in November 2015, he has begun to travel through different countries with his backpack, his guitar and as he says: "with time, with space and with little money" ...

He is looking forward to his next project with AMBALA an NGO that takes care of people without resources in northern Cameroon. In mid-January 2017 he will leave to Cameroon to work as voluntary medical collaborator.

You can download a video of Dr Millán singing live on :
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B62CAYbo-A8KTHhjdmFLR1Y2XzQ/view