When it comes to teaching, Dr. Emilio de Jesus Vazquez suggests people do before they teach.

Vazquez has long worked with students who are working toward careers in medicine. He serves as medical director for Trine University’s Master of Physicians Assistant Studies.

And when you look at his resume, he definitely was a doer before he became a teacher.

“If possible, spend some time doing the work you are going to teach. If medicine, have a clinical practice, if biology or other scientific discipline, do field work, if in English/writing or whatever, do it before you try teaching it,” Vazquez said.

Vazquez joined Trine University from DeKalb Health where he served as chief medical officer/vice president for medical affairs. He was also medical director for the Chest Pain Center at DeKalb Health and for the DeKalb Health Home Health and Hospice. In addition, he has also been serving as the medical director at Laurels of DeKalb in Butler, Miller’s Merry Manor in Garrett and Wesley Health Care and Rehabilitation in Auburn.

In addition, he finds time to do volunteer work in the community. He volunteers at St. Martin’s Health Services, a free clinic in Garrett, and also with Blue Heron Ministries and Little River Wetland Project.

Vazquez arrived in northeast Indiana after a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. He had held six different commissioned leadership positions with the Navy. He had been a director of emergency medical services; department head of a medical department; director of a family medicine clinic, anesthesia services, laboratory services and clinical services; associate director of a Family Medicine Residency and sector medical liaison in Croatia.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in medical technology from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and his medical doctor degree from University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. He served an internship at Naval Hospital Bremerton in Bremerton, Wash.; a surgical residency at Naval Hospital Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Virginia.; a family medicine residency and was chief resident at Naval Hospital Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina; and was a fellow in advanced women’s health and faculty development while completing a residency at University of Tennessee.

Vazquez was born in Habana, Cuba, in 1952 and emigrated as a refugee with his family to the United States in 1962. They eventually settled outside of Washington D.C. in Bethesda, Maryland, where he attended high school.

After graduation, he attended two years at The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., before enlisting in the U.S. Navy as a seaman recruit in May 1972. He started recruit training in August 1972 and graduated in December 1972 as a seaman.

He entered Hospital Corpsman School, graduating in April 1973 as a 3rd class petty officer. He then attended medical laboratory technician school, graduating in June of 1974 as a 2nd Class Petty Officer. In 1976, he completed requirements for a bachelor’s degree in medical technology and passed the American Society of Clinical Pathologists Medical Technologist Certification exam. He subsequently was promoted to a 1st Class Petty Officer and became senior instructor for the Navy’s School of Medical Technology, leading the inaugural and subsequent class though their training.

In 1976, he married his wife Deanna. In 1978, he started medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, graduating in 1982 as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He returned to full-time active duty with the U.S. Navy and was sent for an internship at Naval Hospital Bremerton in Washington state.

After a 25-year career in the Navy, he retired from active duty with the rank of commander and was, for a year and a half, the associate director of a residency program in Madisonville, Kentucky. Leaving that program, he began work for DeKalb Memorial Hospital — now Parkview DeKalb Hospital — holding first a practice position in family medicine at a small rural clinic and eventually becoming chief medical officer and subsequently interim chief executive officer, a position held for almost a year. During this time he taught physicians assistants, nurse practitioners and medical students in his office and in didactic lecture halls, and became certified in long-term care medical direction as well as becoming a certified ringside physician through the American College of Sports Medicine.

In 2016, he became part-time medical director of the Masters of Physicians Assistant Program at Trine, moving to full-time medical director in 2018. In August of that year, he became program director and associate professor in the program.

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