AMALIA MARTINEZ PICO, MD, FACC
Dr. Amalia Martínez Picó graduated with honors, as a member of the second class of the School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico in 1955, receiving the RUIZ ARNAU award and admitted to the ALPHA OMEGA ALPHA Honor Society.
She did a rotating internship at the San Juan Municipal Hospital, where she was awarded the honor of Intern of the Year.
The Director of the Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Antonio Ortiz, convinced Dr. Martínez Picó to pursue a double specialty.
These trainings included a residency in pediatrics followed by training in Pediatric Cardiology at the Kansas University Medical Center in 1959, thus becoming the first formally trained Pediatric Cardiologist in Puerto Rico.
She returned to the Department of Pediatrics as an Instructor. She accepted the responsibility of establishing and developing the clinical pediatric cardiology service, as well as the cardiology educational programs for residents and medical students.
She secured the funds for the establishment of a non-invasive cardiovascular unit and for the first heart catheterization laboratory dedicated to children. This included biplane angiocardiography, basic electrophysiologic studies, pacemaker’s implantation and life saving procedure such as atrial septostomy.
Dr. Amalia Martínez Picó obtained a donation of the Variety Club for the development of the first Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She established a unique dental service program for high risk cardiovascular patients that continue to be part of the School of Dental Medicine.
In 1970 Dr. Amalia Martínez Picó, designed, organized and obtained the financial resources to establish the Regional Medical Pediatric Cardiovascular Program for the prevention of Rheumatic fever in Puerto Rico, known as Coralito. As part of this initiative, studies of children with hypertension were done in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration.
She collaborated with Dr. Luis Soltero Harrington in the management of pediatric surgical procedures in newborns with intractable heart failure.
Dr. Martínez Picó established the first training program in Pediatric Cardiology at the University of Puerto Rico.
At the School of Medicine she was promoted to Professor of Pediatrics. In 1985 she served as Dean of Academic Affairs of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, providing an invigorating and innovative leadership and establishing educational program and research in AIDS and an information technology center.
In addition to her academic endeavors, in 1960 she established a private practice in Hato Rey where she continues to treat her patients.
Dr. Martínez Picó was recipient of many awards including the 1969 Cardiologist of the year, awarded by the Puerto Rico Heart Association; 1986 Distinguished Professional Woman of the Year awarded by the Association of Professional Women of Puerto Rico, the 1987 Medal for Excellence in Pediatric Cardiology awarded by the Puerto Rico Pediatric Association. In 1987 the Academic Senate of the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico honored Dr. Martínez Picó for her valuable contribution to the Pediatric Cardiology. In the 2009 XXII Inter-American Congress of Cardiology honored Dr. Amalia Martínez Picó by dedicating her a Symposium entitled “Congenital Cardiovascular Disease from the Fetus to Adult”.
In view of her outstanding achievements and her professional contributions to pediatric cardiology the Puerto Rico Chapter of the American College of Cardiology dedicates this meeting to her.