ANESTHESIOLOGIST, SPECIALIST IN CHRONIC PAIN AND PALLIATIVE CARE, EXPERT IN MEDICAL CANNABIS.
The loss of a very close relative, marked by the characteristics of violence along the 90’s in Colombia, led Dr. Mafer to be interested in what is experienced at the end of life. Thus, she decided to study Medicine at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, to later specialize in Anesthesiology at UNAM and the ‘Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán’ in Mexico City.
“Death taught me to live,” explains Dr. Mafer, who sees the end of life as the closing of a stage that allows us to reach another dimension. With people’s life and well-being as her main focus, she specialized in Chronic Pain Management and Palliative Care, helping people with terminal illnesses and their families in the process of dying. “Death is a normal, natural and inevitable transformation. Life is nothing more than a stage that we come to transcend ”, explains the specialist.
Years later she moved to Montreal, Canada, where she completed a clinical fellowship related to anesthesia and pain management at McGill University. At that point, in a constant determination to find tools that could help her patients to obtain better pain control and optimal symptom management associated to end-of-life care, she experienced, for the first time, the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis treatments. “It was love at first sight, because I observed an evident improvement in the quality of life of patients and their families with this therapy,” explains Dr. Mafer.
Her passion and dedication were key to continue her studies and completing a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Medical Cannabis and Supportive Care in Cancer at the Department of Oncology, McGill University, and at Santé Cannabis, a leading specialized clinic in medical cannabis in Canada. From then on, she has participated in the development of various research protocols, and has treated hundreds of patients with medical cannabis. She has participated as international speaker and faculty in more than 50 international conferences and medical meetings, contributing to the training and education of more than 5000 health care professionals in Latin America, Canada and the UK, among other countries. She has also participated in international panels and forums dedicated to medical cannabis patients and caregivers.
“Improving people’s quality of life and well-being has always been my main focus”.