Legends of Diving Articles

 

Dr. Jorge Dario Gómez Castillo
Mayan Riviera and DAN Referral Physician

Diving was a passion that launched a career for a young doctor from Mexico City, Mexico. Nearly a decade later Dr. Jorge Dario Gómez Castillo is trusted with the lives of many as Medical Liaison for the Mayan Riviera and DAN Referral Physician.

His charge is the Hyperbaric Chamber on Cozumel, a public chamber and one of three on the island. The hyperbaric chambers are kept busy throughout the year with approximately 120 cases of decompression sickness.

He said about 10 of those annual cases are those associated with professional fisherman who push themselves in order to make a living and

Dr. Jorge Dario Gómez with his wife Jennifer.
The couple celebrates their first anniversary in May of 2010. Both are accomplished divers.

feed their families. He displays some pride in his education of these professional divers, but also tells of his frustration in that they have no other means to support their families and put themselves in peril.

But his studies of applying pressure with oxygen on the human body have led to new treatments of non-divers. He has co-authored publications on Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) in the treatment of acute hypoxic encephalopathies.
Dr. Gómez has lectured and taught

courses on the subject in his old home town of Mexico City and in the United States. He has been involved in a Maya Community Epidemiology Study in 2003, clinical trials, Hyperbaric Sedation Control with the BIS
Hyperbaric Unit and Neuro Pshycometric Battery for DCI.

He turned his medical pursuits into the study of hyperbaric medicine while an avid diver. Dr. Gómez is certified as a Dive Master through PADI but admits he doesn’t get to dive as much as he would like to. His diving travels has taken him to the waters of Mexico, the Caribbean, Thailand, Australia and the United States.

June 5th, 2010, he was the recipient of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society (UHMS) Young Scientist/Medical Doctor Award. The UHMS award is awarded annually and is sponsored by an affiliate society, the Japanese Society of Hyperbaric and Undersea Medicine. It is to

recognize the work of a young medical doctor or scientist whose performance is consistently outstanding. The recipient can be either a clinician or researcher practicing in hyperbaric and/or diving medicine, and must not be older than 40 years of age. He received the award at the annual meeting in St. Pete Beach, FL.

It was appropriate then that his wife is also a diver. Celebrating


Dr. Jorge Dario Gómez accepting an award
from Laurie B. Gesell, M.D. UHMS President

their first anniversary in May of 2010, she has also excelled in diving. Jennifer learned to dive while working on cruise ships and took that knowledge to be co-owner of a dive shop in Thailand. Originally from Canada, she admits freely that she prefers warm water diving.

He also is a world traveler, lending medical assistance in times of disaster. Before his current position he was part of a Medical Volunteer Tsunami relief effort in Walhi/Aceh Indonesia.

In 2005 Dr. Gómez was appointed to his current position. He is the Medical Liaison and Medical Hotline Director for México and Insular Caribbean Divers Alert Network (DAN) America. He supervises the hyperbaric treatment of DAN America members.

He is also responsible for planning, developing, coordinating and implementing DAN medical research and training opportunities in the Maya Riviera.

And if that isn’t enough he reviews the translation of relevant materials for the region. What is relevant changes, as his research continues on hyperbaric medicine.

On Cozumel Island Dr. Dario Gómez with his wife Jennifer (center) meets with Legends of Diving contributors (from left) Tom Briggle, Sherry Lantz, and Linda Briggle (right).

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