The doctor Francisco José Martínez Amo is awarded the Gold Shield of the Province.

The President of the Provincial Council, Javier A. García, has highlighted Martínez Amo’s work and efforts to improve the welfare and health care of all Almerians.

The Patio de Luces of the Provincial Council of Almeria has once again been filled to celebrate a memorable event with the awarding of the Gold Shield of the Province, one of the most important distinctions granted by the institution, to the president of the Official College of Doctors of Almeria, the otorhinolaryngologist Francisco José Martínez Amo. The Escudo de Oro de la Provincia is awarded in recognition of a lifetime dedicated to improving the health, healthcare and quality of life of all Almerians.

The presentation of this distinction was held in an emotional and solemn ceremony attended by a broad representation of the whole of Almeria society, including the Mayoress of Almeria, María del Mar Vázquez, among other authorities and, in particular, the province’s health sector. The President of the Provincial Council of Almeria, Javier A. García, welcomed the public and presented the Shield to the honoree, whom he described as “a brilliant doctor, but above all, an excellent person”.

In this sense, the provincial president said that “the story of Francisco José Martínez Amo is the story of the men and women who, with their effort and dedication, have built the present we enjoy. It is the story of people who have applied the inheritance of the wisdom of our elders who gave their all for others, to improve the province and the world in which we live. Our admired ‘Chico’ belongs to that almost extinct lineage of people whose great vital objective has been to spread goodness and happiness throughout society”.

Finally, García highlighted some of the characteristics of Martínez Amo’s personality such as “transparency and sincerity, giving himself to others without tolls or restrictions, doing so openly and honestly, with respect and admiration as great allies. The same allies with which he has treated the thousands of patients he has treated during his career, and the thousands he has yet to treat, as he continues to be at the forefront and understands medicine as a way of life, as an innate vocation”.

A life dedicated to health

The honouree, very moved, thanked the Provincial Council and its president for this recognition which he dedicated to his family and to all the people, patients and professionals, who have accompanied him during all these years practising medicine. He described this recognition as an act that “makes me a prophet in my own land”, and recalled the love story of his parents, who met in Cordoba, and therefore stressed that “I am a doctor from Almeria, born in Cordoba”.

One of the most emotional moments was his thanks to his children and 13 grandchildren and, in particular, to his wife, Soqui Gámez, “an inseparable companion since 1968, when we met on a beach in Fuengirola, and the photo of that moment is still in my memory”.

Regarding the Official College of Doctors of Almeria and healthcare in Almeria, Martínez Amo pointed out the implementation of the Degree in Medicine at the University of Almeria in the academic year 2021-22 as one of the most important milestones in recent years because “these studies were needed because Almeria needs these future professionals and we want them to have the best possible training”, he also pointed out that Almeria has experienced an important health development in recent years and that in many fields of medicine we are being relevant.

Finally, Martínez Amo defended equality between the different autonomous communities and in defence of the work of all doctors and healthcare staff, and concluded with a resounding “Long live Almería, long live Andalusia and long live Spain”.

Also speaking at the event was one of his six children, Antonio Martínez-Amo, an anaesthetist, who described his father as “marvellous, who just by being by his side makes you feel important, loved and at ease. His support and opinion are always welcome and his discretion, strength and temperance are praiseworthy. Overcome problems with reality and optimism because to my father nothing is obscured”.

Another of the people who took part in the event, and who was a surprise for the honoured man, was his granddaughter Eugenia Martínez-Amo, who spoke on behalf of all his grandchildren.

On the professional side and as a member of Martínez Amo, his friend, colleague and secretary of the Official College of Doctors of Almería, Antonio Romero Monedero, emphasised the drive, strength, selflessness and enthusiasm that have characterised the honoree’s mandate as president of the College since 2009.

Another of the surprises of the evening was the broadcasting of a video in which two of his children, Begoña and José Luis Martínez-Amo, shared some of their father’s experiences and the emotion he felt at receiving this recognition from the whole of Almeria society. Both have highlighted the human and professional qualities of their father, the constant and firm support of their mother, Soqui Gámez, in all his achievements, and having sustained his life on the axis of the family as the main pillar on which everything else is articulated.

More than seven decades in the profession

Francisco José Martínez Amo was born in Cordoba in 1947 and has devoted his whole life to medicine. In June 1970 he graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the Faculty of Medicine in Granada and that same year he began his specialisation in otorhinolaryngology. In 1977 he moved to Almeria to work as an assistant surgeon. In 1981 he began his career in the Official College of Doctors of Almeria performing different functions until he was elected president in 2009, a position he still holds today. His father, Francisco Martínez Zamora, was also an otorhinolaryngologist and two of his six sons, José Luis and Antonio, are also dermatologists and anaesthesiologists respectively.

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