UNM School of Medicine Faculty Memorial

UNM School of Medicine
Reginald Heber Fitz Hall
MSC09 5040
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Remember a faculty member

Submit remembrances to hsc-somadmin@salud.unm.edu


Alonzo Atencio, PhD

Alonzo Atencio, MD



From Dr. Howard D. Sanchez:

I first met Alonzo "Al" Atencio in the late 1970s when I was a Minority Biological Sciences (MBS) student at UNM working with Dr. Donald Priola in the Physiology Department. After graduation I had the opportunity to work with Al for a year, and he became a great partner and leader for many initiatives that we undertook to advance minority students with significant potential to contribute in careers in medicine and other areas of the health sciences. Al was one of the earliest visionaries who recognized that across New Mexico and other states there was an untapped pool of talent that would not able to advance through what were in those times barriers for minority students. He took on the political aspects, as well as the educational agenda to identify the funds to support these efforts but was also a passionate and involved facilitator and leader of numerous programs that had a lifelong impact on students and on the profession as a whole. For me, he became an inspiration, and his spirit helped drive my journey that has included several degrees, including a doctoral degree from Harvard University.

From Tom Kellner:

I first knew Dr. Atencio when I was undergraduate in about 1985. I later knew him in medical school and afterward. I valued the rapport I had with him and he always seemed to believe in me even when I didn't. I have since left medicine and am studying to be a hospice chaplain. Maybe it is fitting that I have known people who have later traveled to the next life. I know that Dr. Atencio is somewhere beautiful.

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