The last decade has been a wild and wonderful ride for former Allan Hancock College student and current emergency room doctor Hugo Razo. He has gone from Santa Maria to a New York emergency room and now to national television.
The Santa Maria native, who received an Emergency Medical Technician certificate from Hancock in 2004, will soon appear regularly on ABC’s hit reality show NY Med. The second season of the medical documentary premieres at 10 p.m. Thursday, June 26.
“It is crazy,” the 33-year-old Razo said. “I was on the East Coast for so long. Now, my family and friends will finally get to see me in action doing what I love.”
Television crews shot behind-the-scenes at University Hospital in Newark, N.J., for six months last year. Razo, along with television personality Dr. Oz, were among the nearly 20 emergency room employees who took part in the filming for the show.
Razo graduated from Thomas Jefferson University Medical School in Philadelphia and was completing his residency in University Hospital’s emergency room during the filming.
“It was really strange working around camera crews at first because I tried to act and say what I thought the crews wanted,” Razo said. “Fairly quickly, I forgot they were even there because in an ER there was no time to think about your actions because you were trying to save someone’s life.”
Since the filming, Razo started working as an emergency room physician at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, which is about 10 miles outside of Palm Springs.
“The first time I saw a commercial for the show I kept rewinding and rewatching the clip. It blew my mind that I was on television,” he recalled. “I grew up idolizing medical shows like ER, so to be a part of a real emergency medical show is a truly unique opportunity.”
The network released a series of advertisements to promote the show, during many of which Razo can be seen running down the hallways in his scrubs. He said his mobility took some getting used to for the camera crews.
“The photographers who were assigned to me knew they had to be on their toes because I am always in motion and I run everywhere," he said. "I mean, every second counts if you are an ER doctor.”
Razo graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in molecular cell biology. He enrolled at Hancock to gain experience in the medical field while applying to medical schools. Razo said the college’s EMT program and experienced instructors played significant roles in where he is today.
“After I graduated from Hancock, I knew all the basics and was able to hit the ground running," Razo said. "I had been in an ambulance before and experienced a taste for emergency medicine. The exposure created a hunger inside me to become an ER doctor.”
The Razo family’s roots run deep at Hancock. His father and mother are both graduates. He hopes his story inspires current, former and future Hancock students to reach for the stars.
“I was a normal student who just worked harder than others," he said. "I grew up not worrying about boundaries or what I could or could not achieve. I want people to realize it pays to go for your dream. My time at Hancock played a huge role in my career path. Now, I am living my dream. ”
Razo plans to watch the series premiere at home in the Palm Springs area with his family and friends.
— Sonja Oglesby is a public affairs coordinator for Allan Hancock College.