Throughout his time in medical school and residency, Dr. Jaime Arana, a general surgeon at Santa Paula Hospital, had one goal in mind following graduation: to return to Ventura County to practice medicine in his hometown.
Arana is the son of farmworkers, although his mother did work as a seamstress for a time at The Olga Company in Santa Paula, which closed many years ago. One of eight children, Arana says his interest in the medical field was sparked by a beloved babysitter who had several health issues. “I’m going to be a doctor and take care of you when I get older,” he recalls telling her. He admits that once he verbalized that career decision at five, it took hold. “I never wavered and knew that one day I would practice medicine.”
And he now holds the unique distinction of practicing medicine in the same hospital he was born in. “I was born in what is currently the Gastrointestinal Lab,” he laughs. While he knew he wanted to be a doctor from the time he was five years old, he never dreamed he’d one day become a surgeon. He was in his third-year surgical rotation during medical residency when Arana knew he’d found his passion. “Becoming a surgeon wasn’t something I’d seriously considered,” he recalls, “But once I started doing it, I knew I’d found my niche.”
Working at Santa Paula Hospital has been extremely fulfilling for Arana, and he would like the Santa Clara Valley community to know that he and the entire hospital staff are committed to serving their health care needs. “One of the best things about my job is serving this community,” he says. “There are a lot of Aranas in Santa Paula and throughout Ventura County, and that’s frequently a topic of discussion when a new patient comes in. I often find out my patients will know someone in my family, whether it’s a sibling or cousins. That’s one of the great things about living in a small, tight-knit community.”
He hopes everyone who uses Santa Paula Hospital for their care knows how dedicated he and the staff are. “You get very personalized care here at Santa Paula [Hospital],” he says, “Everyone is very committed and available to serve everyone, 24/7. I speak fluent Spanish and I find that someone who comes in and is not feeling well is visibly relieved and seems comforted when they learn I speak their language. We are a wonderful resource for the community and I’m proud of the work we do here.”
Arana, a graduate of Michigan State University, College of Medicine has been practicing medicine in the county since 2012. Her earned his medical degree in 2007 and completed his residency at University of California, San Francisco at Fresno.