By Erin Register
Jose Montemayor is a former graphic designer from San Francisco, California. After 15 years, he began to burn out in the graphic design industry and was not sure what was next for him. “I just knew whatever I decided to pursue, I thought it would be great if I could be in a situation where I could help people,” said Montemayor. He received an associate degree in science in diagnostic medical imaging at the City College of San Francisco. Today, he is a radiologic technologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center’s Parnassus campus.
Montemayor was nominated to be featured as a Rising Star by UCSF Medical Center Principal Radiologic Technologist Supervisor David Poon, who said Montemayor has “already made a significant impact in our department addressing the needs of COVID-19.”
ICE magazine learned more about Montemayor and his career in a question-and-answer interview.
Q: Why did you choose to get into this field?
A: A friend of mine suggested X-ray. After doing some research into the field, I thought this might just be what I was looking for. It’s a huge risk to change your life and go back to school for something you may or may not end up enjoying as a career. As I progressed through taking all of my pre-reqs, getting into an X-ray program, taking classes and going through clinical rotations, I found that I really enjoyed everything about radiography.
Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: I like the variety of what I do. I rotate to different parts of the hospital each day, so it’s never boring. I can be in the OR one day, the ER the next and portables after that. I feel like I’m always able to keep my skills up. I also really enjoy working with patients. It makes me feel good to know that I can have a part in helping someone out each day. This is truly a fulfilling career for me.
Jose Montemayor pictured with his family.
Q: What interests you the most about the imaging field?
A: While the process of taking an X-ray has fundamentally remained the same – exposing a body part with photons onto a treated plate – the equipment used to do this has evolved tremendously, well beyond anything Röntgen could’ve ever imagined! I like being able to use the latest and greatest tech at our disposal. I’m sure at some point in the future we’ll be taking X-ray from an app on our phones!
Q: What has been your greatest accomplishment in the field thus far?
A: For me, just being able to successfully switch careers and finding something that I love to do is huge. Not everybody can say they love their jobs, but I’m in a great place, and I work with a group of wonderful, supportive people.
Q: What goals do you have for yourself in the next 5 years?
A: I feel like there is so much I can learn just being in diagnostic X-ray. I see myself continuing to learn and improve my skills. Maybe further down the line, I might consider MRI, but that will be closer to when I retire!