April 24, 2018

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Dr. Lucio Minces & Dr. Carlos Franco Palacios: Friends, Doctors, Colleagues

Dr. Lucio Minces and Dr. Carlos Franco Palacios at ACMC

Dr. Lucio Minces (left) and Dr. Carlos Franco Palacios (right)

Both Dr. Lucio Minces and Dr. Carlos Franco Palacios are from South America. Dr. Minces from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Dr. Franco Palacios from Asunción, Paraguay. It wasn’t long after Dr. Minces joined ACMC’s team of health care providers that Dr. Palacios came on board, too. But their friendship didn’t start there.

The Beginning of a Friendship

“We met on orientation day during our residency at Detroit Medical Center. There were about thirty of us from all over the world, and we had to pick one person whom we had to learn everything about,” said Dr. Franco Palacios. “It was funny because as I was looking around, I thought he (Dr. Minces) might be from South America even though he didn’t look very South American at all. And so our friendship began.”

“We completed rheumatology rotations together, and we’d see each other around the hospital. But we also lived in the same building in Detroit. Even though we were busy, we used to meet up for dinner or weekend barbeques with our friends,” Dr. Franco Palacios said.

Dr. Minces adds, “By that he means he’d come over to my house and I’d cook for him.”

“He’s a good cook,” Dr. Franco Palacios laughs.

“And I still cook for you!” Dr. Minces said.

The two reminisce about residency, long rotations, playing tennis, barbeques at their apartment complex, baseball and NBA

Can you find Dr. Lucio Minces and Dr. Franco Palacios?  This photo was taken in 2008 of internal medical residents at the Detroit Medical Center.

Can you find Dr. Lucio Minces and Dr. Franco Palacios? Hint: They’re on the left side of the photo in the third row.  Dr. Minces on the end and Carlos third in.  This photo was taken in 2008 of internal medicine residents at the Detroit Medical Center.

games – although Dr. Minces would often skip those outings – with fellow residents and friends.

“As I got to know Carlos, I realized he likes to march to the beat of his own drum–sometimes. I’d be standing over the grill slaving and sweating, and he’d show up in a suit,” said Dr. Minces. “But then there are times when he has a tendency to follow others. Like the time when he went out and bought the exact same car I had because he liked it.”

Dr. Franco Palacios laughs at the memory. “It’s true.”

Life after Residency

After their residency was complete, they left Detroit and went their separate ways—Dr. Minces to Pittsburg, Pa., and Dr.

Franco Palacios to Rochester, Minn.,—but they kept in touch when they could.

“Lucio would always tease me because I lived in a colder climate than he did, but after he moved to Willmar, he couldn’t do that anymore,” Dr. Franco Palacios said.

“I was looking to get out of Pittsburg, and when I came to ACMC in Willmar, I really liked the atmosphere of the clinic and community,” said Dr. Minces. “The physicians are great to work with and the staff is amazing. It’s a very supportive environment.”

A year later Dr. Franco Palacios had just finished up his fellowship training and was looking for a job. “I was in Rochester, – and after Lucio made the move to Willmar he talked about how much he liked being there. So I made the decision to come here, too,” said Dr. Franco Palacios.

Together Again

“Because our fields compliment one another – he in infectious disease and I in nephrology – we often share patients,” Dr. Franco Palacios explained. “It’s really important to me to have a good infectious disease doctor to confer with about our patients.”

“And I like when he sends me patients,” jokes Dr. Minces. “But in all seriousness, it’s been great working with Carlos again.”

And though it isn’t quite like it was in residency—they no longer live in the same apartment building and Dr. Minces is now a father—they make time to get together outside of the clinic setting as often as they can.

Two friends, two doctors – settling into work and life.