RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – On Saturday morning the Rio Grande Valley gained 39 new doctors.

The graduates are part of the UTRGV School of Medicine inaugural class 2020.

The vision of a medical school for the Valley began back in the 1940’s, and when it became a reality in 2013, officials hoped students would graduate and stay in the Valley to practice.

One of the students graduating is Valley native Dr. Ramiro Tovar. Tovar became a doctor after his mother’s unfulfilled dreams.

“She wanted to be a doctor in Mexico, but she didn’t get the opportunity to. Nevertheless, she would learn a lot about it she would tell us interesting things she would learn, and that kind of stuck to me. ‘Oh, that seems really interesting, that seems really fun,'” said Tovar

Dr. Tovar would have an experience with a doctor after his aunt Pera experienced an aneurysm. The prognosis was bleak and she was on her deathbed but a doctor who happened to have flown into town came to the rescue.

“’I’m one of two doctors in all of Mexico who can perform this surgery to save her, let me do it.’ You know we said we don’t have the resources, I’m sorry. He said, ‘don’t worry just get the O.R. and I’ll do it,’” said Tovar recounting his experience.

It was at that moment the vision of Dr. Tovar began.

“As a kid you see that and your like ‘I wanna be like that guy when I grow up.’ That really cemented my idea. You know I need to go into medicine. I want to be able to go into someone’s life and impact it, because you know you’re not just saving that person, your impacting everyone else that they touch,” said Tovar

Dr. Tovar will now complete his residency in internal medicine at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, and plans to open a practice in the Valley.