Carlos Simon MD, PhD
Carlos Simon was born in Buñol, a small town in Spain. Having lost his father, his mother instilled in him the four most important values that have governed his life: effort, willpower, honesty, and service to others.
During his childhood Dr. Simon always had the desire to become a medical doctor. He has always believed that the ability to cure and to prevent suffering is the highest aim achievable. His main objective has always been to acquire the knowledge and experience needed to accomplish this goal.
During his school years, Dr. Simon worked and studied with scholarships. During his summer vacations he worked as a painter, first as an apprentice, then as the group leader of his own colleagues.
After obtaining an average grade of over 9/10, he was accepted into the Valencia University School of Medicine in 1979. There, his dream began to be realized.
During a year-four Obstetrics and Gynecology practical, the lecturer Fernando Bonilla approached him and said, “Come with me; today you will help me in a delivery.” Evidently, Dr. Simon’s performance during that birth was irrelevant, as he did nothing but sweat; however, he still has the cap and mask he wore that day, a day he will doubtlessly never forget.
After ranking 119/5000 for Medical Resident candidates, Dr. Simon began a four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Clinical Hospital in Valencia. Here, he met his mentor and friend, Antonio Pellicer, to whom Dr. Simon owes his pursuit of research. Indeed, it was Antonio Pellicer who planted the seed of doubt that prompted Dr. Simon to question what physicians do routinely simply because they have always been done a certain way, stimulating a new way to search for truth.
With a three-year grant from the Spanish government, Dr. Simon moved to Stanford University to learn about medical research in his specialty. That experience changed his life forever, creating the clinical-scientist hybrid that he is today. His patients’ problems not only inspire his research, but also help him to improve existing diagnoses and treatments.
As a Professor at the Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Valencia University School of Medicine, Dr. Simon has taught new generations of doctors, helping them to see that a doctor’s work begins after consulting; “indeed, they must continue learning and innovating to serve better to their patients each day”.
Dr. Simon’s scientific career has involved asking clinically relevant questions that have remained unresolved, trying to resolve them using new and existing technology, being at the forefront and generating new knowledge. Among other subjects, he has concentrated on understanding the mechanisms that the human embryo uses to implant in the mother’s endometrium for pregnancy to begin. To understand this, he has delved into the foundations of biology, biochemistry, and genetics.
Dr. Simon´s wife, Diana Valbuena, helped him and grew with him throughout his career. His four children are his pride and strength.
Going running every sunday with his neighbor and his children and participating in races and marathons are Dr. Simon’s way of escape from routine.
He believes in personal freedom, responsibility, respect for others, and in helping patients as the best way to help himself.
He is the living example of the principle, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” He is very proud of his background, his humble origins, and has enjoyed every step of his life’s journey.
Today, after 30 professional years, he insists that his work is much better than he ever dreamed it would be.