Wednesday, August 8, 2012


We all knew the Haggarty / Logan stranglehold on the DAC Club Champion title couldn’t last forever. What we didn’t know was that it would end so soon. Barely a month into his membership and this guy has already etched his name into immortality. Now the question begs is who can challenge him? We have a number of contenders, but can they catch this baby-faced 28 year-old…?


The Squash Joint (TSJ): Give us the rundown of how and where you learnt to play squash. 

When I was 12 my main sport was soccer, during that year I developed a very severe allergy to grass so I had to stop playing soccer. In order to get better and be able to play any sport, my physician recommended starting swimming to increase my lung capacity so that the allergy attacks would not be that severe. I started swimming almost every day for a long period of time in a club near my house that also had squash courts. One day my uncle, that played squash in that club, invited me to play. He gave me a wooden squash racquet as a present and that was my first squash match. By coincidence, this club that I enrolled to swim was the best squash club in the country. I had the chance to grow up playing with the best players of the country and had very good coaches and people to play with.

TSJ: How is squash set-up in Ecuador (or Quito)? Are there leagues? Tournaments? Junior and school development programs? What was your participation?

During the last 20 years, Ecuador’s squash has increased its popularity around the country. Now days we have an average of 8 national tournaments per year and 8 state tournaments per year. Every national tournament has an average of 140 players as well as the state tournaments. We do not have any leagues because there are so many state and national tournaments. The nice thing about the tournaments is that they always give trophies and money prices and people get motivated to play more. We do have junior and school development programs, especially in Quito and Ambato, the big squash cities. They just opened new public courts in Quito were anybody can go play without having to be a member of a club. When I was actively training as part of the national team I was always very involved in coaching the juniors too. Two of the juniors that started training with me became national junior champions. 

TSJ: How did you end up landing in the US? And then specifically Detroit?

When I finished my medical school in Ecuador I wanted to get the best training for my subspecialty. US have the best residency training in the world and that motivated me to apply here. During my application process I had to apply to 100 programs around the US. From those I got a couple of interviews mostly in the east coast. One of them was here at Henry Ford Hospital. I loved the place and I found that this hospital would also provide me with the most difficult patients and diseases in order to get an excellent training.

TSJ: What are your favorite things to do in your time off (except playing squash)?

 I love traveling (whenever I have time off, not very often), hopefully when I finish my residency I can have more time to do it. I also like dancing. I studied salsa dancing for 3 years and I had my own group of “rueda de casino”. It is a salsa style originated in Cuba.
TSJ: What was the last gift you received that you genuinely disliked? What did you do with it?
I cannot recall any gift that I have really disliked, but if I will get one, I will save it and give it to somebody that I think would like it or find it useful.

TSJ: Dr. Buitrón. What do think this rash is that I have on my… oh hang on, this isn’t the place for that… What is your area of specialty? Where do you see yourself professionally in 10 years?

 I am doing my residency in Internal Medicine. I want to continue my training applying to Cardiology fellowship and hopefully in 10 years I will be able to go back home and use all what I have learned here to help people in my country.

TSJ: Even though you have only been a member since March, what has your DAC experience been like so far? 

It has been wonderful. Since the beginning I have felt like I would have played here for years. Everybody is very helpful and always motivated to play. I like the courts too and what I love the most is that I have the chance of playing at any time I want.
TSJ: Do you get back to visit your family often? Would you return to live in Ecuador if the opportunity presented itself?

 I have not been back home in more than a year. My parents came to visit this summer as well as my brother and sister. If I could, I would go back at least once a year but being a resident physician I do not get that much money to travel that often. I would like to go back home after I finish my training and after I have been able to save some money to open my own practice back home.

TSJ: Tell us about a ‘secret’ talent you have? Tell us what talent you don’t have that you would like to.

I guess I like innovation very much. I always find different ways to do things my own way. Now days I am developing a new methodology to study medicine. This is one of my biggest projects. I have finished my first electronic book that I have been working on for years. I am hoping it gets published during the next 4 months. I used to be part of the chorus of my middle school, then adolescence ruined my voice haha, I was never able to bring that talent back.
TSJ: Complete these sentences…

a)             The worst movie my girlfriend took me to was… She has never missed one yet. I am the one usually picking the worst movies haha, like sucker punch.
b)      The one house chore I despise above all others is… laundry 
c)      Happiness for me means… believing that I already have everything I need.
d)      The biggest difference between Ecuador and the US isfamily culture, I might be wrong but I feel we spend more time close to our families.
e)      I am still a child when it comes to… everything. I always try to feel and think I am still a child; no fears and a big ability to be amazed by all things in live. 
f)       The one food I cannot resist no matter how full I am is…  pizza.

TSJ: If you didn’t play squash, which sport would you take up (You are not allowed to choose soccer)?

Ping pong or biking. 

TSJ: The concluding question. The one that tries to expose you and make you a little vulnerable, embarrassed and defenseless. Ready? What does your girlfriend consider to be your most irritating habit? Tell us a story when this really made her annoyed!

For some reason, whenever I use something from the refrigerator that is close to being empty, instead of putting it in the trash I leave it there. When Andrea finds this out she gets really annoyed. I have improved a lot though but I still unconsciously do it.   

I wonder if that refrigerator thing is a male trait… my wife would believe it to be so. A huge “Gracias” to Pablo for spending quality time and sharing some personal information with us. A much needed (and welcome) addition to the DAC in not only his squash ability but also personality. You cannot not like him! Let’s hope he stays with us for the long haul and we see him vying for more nametags on that championship board.

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