Local medical professionals honored

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vicksburg family practitioner Dr. Carlos LaTorre has been named to the first class of the Mississippi State Medical Association’s Physician Leadership Academy, according to information from the MSMA.
He is one of two local medical professionals who have been honored by their respective medical associations. Sarah Figarola, a physician assistant at River Region Medical Center, earned a certificate of added qualifications in emergency medicine from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.
LaTorre is one of 11 doctors selected to the inaugural Physicians Leadership Academy, Chairman Kanosky, MSMA executive director, said. He attended sessions at MSMA’s offices in Ridgeland and participated in additional sessions at the State Capitol during the 2015 legislative session. When he completes the program, he will be honored as a doctor of distinction.
The academy was established as part of the association’s effort to ensure strong and sustainable physician leadership with organized medicine.
“The MSMA Physician Leadership Academy is an intensive training course to mentor and develop physicians with leadership potential,” Kanosky said, adding the program provides doctors the skills necessary to thrive in the healthcare arena and develops future medical leaders in the state.
“Things have been changing so fast in medicine lately; (there’s) so many new regulations,” LaTorre said.
When doctors go through medical school and go through their residency training, he said, learning to deal with new regulations and how to talk with legislators about regulatory bills affecting doctors and patients are not covered.
“It’s all how to work with the patient, diagnose medical conditions how to treat them,” LaTorre said. “It doesn’t have anything in this type of area, like regulations in medicine, and we don’t know how to advocate for the patient except taking care of them.
“It’s not part of your medical curriculum, and when you have to go talk to a representative or a senator to discuss medical issues, their time is limited. You have to use your time wisely and get to the point of what you want to say, and it should be constructive and ideas that are based on facts how it can help the people. We’re trying to do this for the people and the medical profession to help everybody.
Part of the academy, he said, involves developing a project for the community, adding he wants to use the information developed during the project to have health-related programs for the public.
“We’re going with the saying ‘an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of medicine,’ so if we can help the public make informed decisions, if they have the facts, they can make good decisions,” he said. “It’s just getting good, general information and getting it to the public so they can work with that information.”
Latorre has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and received his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. He completed a residency in family medicine at University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he was named chief resident.
He is a member of the staff at River Region Medical Center, where he serves on the medical staff committee, and as medical section chief; director of clinical integration and physician orientation; medical executive committee and peer review committee.
He is a member of the Vicksburg Rotary Club, serves as a scholarship judge for the Miss Mississippi Corp. and volunteer physician for Sanderson Farms Golf Classic, International Ballet Competition and Vicksburg Baptist Church Free Clinic.
He and his wife Nalini reside in Vicksburg and have one daughter, Alana.
• Figarola is one of 240 certified physician assistants to receive the certificate of additional qualifications. To qualify, PAs must meet licensing, education and experience requirements and pass an examination on their specialty.
Certified physician assistants are licensed and certified health care professionals who practice medicine. They can take medical histories, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, advise on preventative health care, assist in surgery, perform a variety of medical procedures and write prescriptions.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John