The Dr. Is In: Giving back to the community

SAN ANTONIO – Dr. Daniel Perez, with the School of Dentistry at UT Health San Antonio, was born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica.

After moving to Colombia and witnessing the country at war, Perez said he was inspired to become a doctor.

“I wanted to be able to help people and have interactions with patients,” Perez said.

Perez said he began his journey to becoming a dentist by shadowing doctors in Costa Rica who had training in oral surgery.

But dentistry isn’t all that Perez said he is passionate about.

He and his wife rescued their Great Dane from an abusive environment, and they both volunteer regularly.

“For the past six or seven years, I’ve been going to this mission trip were we see about a thousand kids (who) have different deformities in their face. Surgeons from Dallas, Austin (and) New York travel to Bogota for a week to assist local doctors. We screen about a thousand kids, and then we do about 200 operations,” Perez said.

He said helping other people is what drives his passion for medicine.

“The School of Dentists with UT Health has given me the opportunity to take care of really complicated patients, to belong to a community that I really like, and give back to San Antonio -- even if it’s in a way that may seem small to other people, like rescuing a dog that nobody else wants to save," he said.

To learn more about UT Health San Antonio, visit: www.UTHealthPhysicians.org.