Rojasí road to long medical career began at Victoria College
Dr. Rojas
Dr. Peter P. Rojas began his college studies at Victoria College in 1962.

Dr. Peter P. Rojas is thankful that his route to medical school made a two-year detour to Victoria College.

After graduating from high school in 1962, Rojas had planned to start his higher education career at the University of Houston’s Main Campus. But at that time, UH was a private school.

“I knew UH was going to turn into a state-supported school in a year or two, so I decided to get my basics done at Victoria College,” Rojas said. “I also chose VC because I could live at home and I could work.”

The youngest of nine children born to Mexican immigrant parents, Rojas had to finance his college education by working as an orderly at a local hospital and performing other part-time jobs. He said the two years going to VC during the day and working at night allowed him to mature into an adult and prepared him for a four-year university and medical school.

“There’s a lot of difference in maturity between a 17-year-old, which was my age when I graduated from high school, and a 19-year-old that went to University of Houston,” Rojas said. “Victoria College provided a foundation for my last years. I had no trouble fulfilling the credits for a Bachelor of Science degree and getting accepted to medical school.”

Rojas graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1966. He earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1970 before serving as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1971-73, which included a one-year stint as director of emergency room services at Fort Hood’s Darnell Army Hospital.

Rojas completed his residency at UTMB in 1978 and soon joined the medical staff as a general surgeon at DeTar Healthcare System, where he had worked as an orderly 16 years earlier.

During his four-decade medical career, Rojas, 72, has served as Chairman of the Board at DeTar Healthcare System, president of the South Texas Chapter of America College of Surgeons and a member of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons. He began directing surgical mission trips to Guatemala in 2002 and often brought with him his three daughters, all of whom followed their father into medical fields. One of his daughters is an obstetrics and gynecology resident at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The other two are registered nurses with college degrees.

In June 2014, Rojas received the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award from UTMB.

Rojas, who moved his practice to Port Lavaca’s Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Clinic in June, serves on the VC Foundation Board of Directors.

“The Victoria College Foundation is grateful to have Dr. Rojas on our board,” VC Foundation Executive Director Amy Mundy said. “As an alumnus of Victoria College, Dr. Rojas knows firsthand what it takes to be a success and have an impact on his community. Having someone that relates to our students and sets an example that they can look up to is invaluable.”

Rojas said he recommends students to mature academically as he did during his two years at VC before making a big investment of time and finances at a four-year university.
Published: Wednesday, 26 October 2016

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