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Becoming Dr. Q

Becoming Dr. Q

My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon

eBook - 2011
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Today he is known as Dr. Q, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and neuroscientist who leads cutting-edge research to cure brain cancer. But not too long ago, he was Freddy, a nineteen-year-old undocumented migrant worker toiling in the tomato fields of central California. In this gripping memoir, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa tells his amazing life story—from his impoverished childhood in the tiny village of Palaco, Mexico, to his harrowing border crossing and his transformation from illegal immigrant to American citizen and gifted student at the University of California at Berkeley and at Harvard Medical School. Packed with adventure and adversity—including a few terrifying brushes with death—Becoming Dr. Q is a testament to persistence, hard work, the power of hope and imagination, and the pursuit of excellence. It's also a story about the importance of family, of mentors, and of giving people a chance.

Publisher: University of California Press


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May 03, 2017

Currently reading book and for what I can tell you its like watching a lifetime movie. One questions such resilience due to extreme hardships and obstacles. Once one brings fantasy differentiate from reality and yet its a product of non-fictional character. Its inspiring and warmth feeling of hope.

College of Marin, in Novato and Kentfield, California, chose this inspiring autobiography as our very first college-wide book this past academic year. It was a success, since many people, especially Latina/o students and ESL students, were moved by his amazing story. Dr. Q is a very generous and kind person, and community college made a huge difference in his life. Please see videos and other resources related to this book at

Sep 22, 2013

Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa sums it all up simply, “my less-than-conventional journey, the story of a little boy from Mexico who had been encouraged to be the architect of his own destiny”. What he shares in Becoming Dr. Q is how he came to be who he is today: an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and neuroscientist who leads the search to cure brain cancer while at the same time holding onto his heritage as the son of a hard-working and poor gas station owner and grandson of a natural healer. Dr. Q details his life from his youth without opportunity in Mexico to his time working as a young adult in the fields and cleaning out tank cars at the rail yards in the United States, to learning English and then his education to be a neurosurgeon. Dr. Q’s story is one of dogged determination, of creating opportunity where none would be found and creating a life for one’s family. This is a book for anyone who has a dream, is dealing with a hardship, or looking for motivation. Dr. Q’s story will help get readers through the hard times. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a true tale of hope and inspiration.


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