Page 28 - NM Winter 2023
P. 28

                 Daydream Believer
 Miguel Gallegos and Lookin For Trouble
Patricia Herrera
 ``I’m Going To Make It Because I’ve Always Made It’’: Dr Miguel Gallegos by Pete Herrera
 Fresh out of medical school and flush with confidence, the newly minted plastic surgeon was ready to launch his practice.
Miguel Gallegos was on the cusp of writing the next chapter in his life and couldn’t wait to get started. After all, he had already checked all the boxes, done the heavy lifting.
He had spent 16 years of educational excellence getting ready for this moment.
Pharmacy school at the University of New Mexico, followed by medical school at UNM. Then on to Houston for his studies in general surgery and finally graduation from the prestigious plastic surgery residency program at Northwestern University.
For aspiring plastic surgeons, it doesn’t get much better than Northwestern. The Chicago school is home to what’s considered one of the oldest and best plastic surgery programs in the country. And one of the toughest to get into. Every year the program offers only three residency positions.
So, the young man who had grown up in the northern New Mexico village of Sapello, N.M. (population less than 900) was naturally brimming with positive vibes the day he walked into an Albuquerque bank in search of some seed money to get his clinic going.
Miguel figured a $100,000 line of credit would do it.
Oh, the sweet nectar of eternal optimism. That feeling when daydream believers are certain all things are possible, and the best is yet to come. Theirs is an aura of assurance that proclaims, “I’ve got this.”
So, who would dare play the grinch to this young man’s grandiose plans. Who could possibly not be impressed by the resume Gallegos carried with him into the bank that day?
The loan officer who met with him, that’s who. Bankers, you see, are by nature conservative folks. They prefer physical collateral over character references. Security instead of sincerity. Risk takers they are not.
The question posed by the banker to Gallegos that day remains vivid in Miguel’s memory.
“How do I know you’re going to make it?” the bank official asked him.
Gallegos’ response was straightforward and sincere.
“I said, because I’ve always made it. I’ve gone all over the country to get trained. I’m bringing (that training) to New Mexico and I’m going to make it.”
Unimpressed, the bank officer turned down Gallegos’ loan application.
It was time to go with Plan B. Time to tap the back home lifeline.
With the help of a co-signature from his dad, Miguel got a $60,000 loan from The Bank of Las Vegas. His dad, Tino, at the time was a pharmacist and well-respected member of the Las Vegas business community.
“The (bank) president and vice president were friends of mine,” says Tino. “I told them my son just got his residency in reconstructive
26 New Mexico Horse Breeder

   26   27   28   29   30