Taking a biology class in high school started a career path toward medicine.
“I was amazed at how beautifully we creatures were made and how interesting the human body is,” says Gabriel Zevallos, MD, hospitalist at St. Dominic Hospital. Dr. Zevallos provides acute care for patients admitted to the hospital and joined the St. Dominic’s team in September 2016.
Honoring His Hispanic Heritage
Dr. Zevallos was born in Lima, Peru, and his wife, gastroenterologist Mabel Zevallos, MD, is also from Peru. Their three daughters were born in the U.S.
“There is no day of the year that we don’t enjoy a piece of our culture,” Dr. Zevallos says. “It can be the dish of the day on the table, listening to traditional Peruvian music and other Latin music like ballads and salsa, dancing together, and our prayers, which are mostly in Spanish.”
The family celebrates important Peruvian holidays and tries to travel regularly to Peru to enjoy the celebrations.
Cultural Connections Through Food
Food is a way to connect, both to our own culture and to experience others’ cultures.
“My favorite and also most important part of the day is having dinner with my wife and daughters,” Dr. Zevallos says. “This is our sacred moment along with evening prayer: we get together eat and chat, talking about everything.”
The family removes distractions, such as TV and cell phones, but enjoys background music while they bond over a meal.
“We carry this from my childhood, sitting with my parents at the table. My dad found that so important, he learned this from his father,” he says. “Nothing better than delicious food with the family.”
Favorite Cultural Dish
“Ceviche is Peruvian,” Dr. Zevallos says. A typical dish from coastal Peru, ceviche is made of fresh fish marinated in lemon juice and salt, with corn, baked sweet potato, lettuce. “It’s prepared then you wait a few minutes before it can be eaten to be perfect. Ceviche goes well with beer or with Inka Kola, our Peruvian soda drink.”
Finding Fulfillment in Service
Dr. Zevallos’ parents made a great effort to send him to Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos where he studied medicine and met his wife. The university emphasizes not only academics but also building social responsibility.
“I had the opportunity to participate in different help programs for the communities. That created in me a sense of service more than anything else,” Dr. Zevallos says. “The satisfaction of working with the poor and having the mission accomplished not expecting material gain is priceless.”
That commitment to serving those most in need aligns with the mission of St. Dominic Hospital and our health system.
Our DEI Commitment
Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, including during Hispanic Heritage Month each September 15 to October 15.