Dr. Aurelio Espinola – One of a kind

Dr. Aurelio Espinola

At left is the actor Jack Klugman the lead star in the famous TV series Quincy M.E. (Medical Examiner) as a Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. The TV series was a hit during the late 70’s to the early 80’s. Jack Klugman actually took some coaching lessons from Dr. Espinola on how it is to become a medical examiner.

If I will be asked by someone to describe a man at the age of 70 years and above, I’d probably say white-haired, wrinkle-faced grandpa with thick reading glasses, sitting on his fave chair or the like, or maybe someone walking with a cane.

A typical old man who talks-slow and walks slow. Someone who has spent many years of working, enjoying his retirement fishing along the coast and caps the night with a warm glass of milk. An old man pretty much like your typical dad who happens to be a grandfather to your kids also.

In this generation where I belong, where everything moves seems pretty fast where food is served in an instant with the emergence of technology that lessens interaction amongst people, it is at some point surprising to see an old aged-man living up to his profession up to this day….a well-experienced, respected and still practicing doctor at the age of 76.

On this issue, not only that it is timed on the Halloween season, we are taking it also in the different perspective as another “Pinoy“ will treat us with a little humor, chilling, and yet inspiring experience as we enter his office as the doctor is now in.

Meet the Doctor
Dr. Aurelio Espinola is one of many Filipinos who have been working on Guam for almost 25 years. In fact, he’s the only Filipino here in Guam that has the stomach to really dig deep into the truth, examine dead bodies and ultimately give justice to the family of the victim. How’s that for being bold and brave? Guam is indeed so lucky to have him as the one and only medical examiner on Guam and the entire Micronesia, and very hardworking at that.

In fact it was very difficult for me to obtain an interview with this man who seems to have tons of things to do. But I do not regret taking him as a subject as he turned out to be one of the most interesting one I had in years.

At a very young age, due to lack of money, two of his brothers died yielding to sicknesses that could have been resolved if only his family had the money for medical treatment. This served as his motivation to one day become a doctor and be of help to those who are sick and don’t have a single penny in their pocket. That’s what he basically did when he became an OB/Gyne back in the Philippines. He attended to women who cannot afford to pay. He by the way is an Anesthesiologist as well.

But the one field that he really thrived in and was greatly needed was being the only forensic pathologist on Guam and other islands for the past 22years. I am sure that none of you my dear readers would want to ever meet and have an appointment with him in your lifetime. Just imagine dealing an average 500 dead bodies a year, half of which you need to open up in order to give the much needed info to lawyers, policemen, and the family.

As he mostly deals with crimes, he has developed his abilities to analyze crime scenes, think like a criminal and unravel questions leading to the solution of a crime. His job seems like one of those you see in Criminal Investigation (CI) Channel, but the truth is that it requires so much time, critical thinking and patience just to solve cases and chase the truth.

He has gone on retirement two years ago but was called back to service as it was difficult to find a replacement for him. So now, he’s back in his office all too willing to work for as long as he can.

At his age, Guam is fortunate enough to have a man who’d readily do anything to give justice and closure to untimely deaths with the hope of bringing peace to the family that will help them move over a loss.

Dr. Espinola hails from Isabela in the Philippines (an Ilocano). He obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from Manila Central University and postgraduate trainings at Detroit-Macomb Hospital Association (Detroit, MI) as a Straight Pathology Intern, Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) as a Pathology Resident, and was Fellow in Forensic Pathology also in Detroit. After his postgraduate training in Detroit, he worked as a pathologist and medical examiner at various institutions in Texas before moving to Guam.

He is Board Certified by American Board of Pathology as Anatomic pathologist, clinical pathologist, and forensic pathologist. He has licensure in the Philippines, Michigan, Texas, Guam, Palau, and CNMI.

The Island is really proud of having you Sir! And I am more proud because you are a Filipino.

Galing Pinoy!