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DR. RICARDO CUEVAS

Downtown dentist

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DR. RICARDO CUEVAS

Dr. Ricardo Cuevas and his wife Richa look over a patient’s chart.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED February 18, 2012 1:33 a.m.

NAME: Ricardo Cuevas   

JOB: Dentist

BORN: Tegucigalpa, Honduras. “At the time, in 1964, the United States needed internists and my father was able to come up on a professional services visa and we stayed. One of the biggest problems in the Midwest at the time was stomach cancer, and he wanted to go where he was needed so he could help prepare the patients so the surgeons could do their job.”

GREW UP: Dubuque, Iowa. “The people of the Midwest were amazing. That’s really what ended up attracting me here. The two places were very similar with the agricultural background.”

ATTENDED COLLEGE
: University of Iowa in Iowa City – University of California, San Francisco

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR PARENTS: “To work hard, be honest and fair with people and be understanding when people come in wanting or needing help. A lot of times they’re here because they’re wanting to avoid disease – to get better and avoid being sick. My mom also taught me the value of education – she was a school teacher.”

GREATEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO YOU: “Probably the day that I got married and the day that my daughter was born. Those were both amazing things in my life.”

PET PEEVE: “I’d have to say breaking appointments without calling. Aside from that – there really isn’t anything else. Just the kinds of things that make your work a little bit harder.”

LAST NICE THING A STRANGER DID: “The big thing was when I was in my accident and a stranger stopped his car and got me out of mine – that was a major one. But just recently when on a vacation in Boston somebody helped us as we loaded our luggage. That was nice.”

FAVORITE DINING HAUNT (RESTAURANT) & MENU ITEM: “I’d have to say Athens Burgers. I really like their burgers and their gyros.”

BEST GIFT EVER RECEIVED
: “The golf clubs that my brother gave me when I graduated from dental school. He told me that I was going to need them.”

IDEA OF A GREAT DAY
: “Having everything go well at work and being able to spend time with my family. It’ll be a sunny day and we can enjoy the outdoors at the park. That would be an ideal park.”

CURRENT BOOK READING
: The Voyage of Christopher Columbus by John Cummins

FAVORITE PLACE TO GO HANGOUT IN MANTECA: “The AMC Showplace Theater.”

FAVORITE MOVIE: “The Patriot”

FAVORITE ACTOR AND WHY
: “Steve McQueen. He was young and he just had this way about him in the movies that he played – ‘The Great Escape scene with the baseball – Bullitt.’ He was just great.”

BIGGEST CHANGE IN MANTECA OVER PAST 10 YEARS: “The increase in sporting events with places like Big League Dreams and the expansion of shopping centers – adding places like Target, Applebee’s and Staples. I’m still excited that we’re able to have stores like Tipton’s that are still here and a part of the community.”

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A BUSINESS OWNER IN MANTECA?
“The people. The people that we take care of here really take care of us – it’s like a big family. The kids that we were taking care of almost 20 years ago are now bringing their kids in to see us – it’s great to see that.”

WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF 2011 FOR YOU AS A DENTIST AND BUSINESS OWNER? “It would definitely be when I was voted the Best of Manteca. It meant a lot to me and the people of our office.”

WHAT IS THE MOST STRESSFUL PART OF YOUR JOB? “You never really know 100 percent what the day s is going to be like. People are people and it’s not like working on a car – you have to customize everything. It can also be the most rewarding part as well – every time you’re up there you want to swing for the fences.”

FAVORITE GETAWAY?
“I like to go to San Francisco with my wife Richa for a play – maybe visit a restaurant and enjoy the seasons. We met in San Francisco so it’s nice to go back to the place where we had our first date.”

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR EXERCISE? “I’d like to go to the gym more, but we try and run a mile together when we can. I also like to play tennis and basketball. Baseball used to be in there, but that was when I was younger.”

HARDEST THING YOU EVER HAD TO DO? “Academically it was finishing dental school. Physically it was completing the Des Moines Register Bike Ride Across Iowa. I did that twice – my senior year in dental school and when I was a sophomore. I thought it would be a good challenge and see if I could complete it in seven days.”

WHO DO YOU ADMIRE? “We just got back from Boston so I’d say the founders – John Adams and Paul Revere and men like that – amazing people that did so many things in their time.”

IF YOU WERE SOMEONE ELSE AND YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE WHAT KIND OF PERSON RICARDO WAS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? “Hardworking, honest, responsible, dedicated as a professional and empathetic – able to treat people how they want to be treated.”

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE 10 YEARS FROM NOW?
“Seeing my daughter, Eva, graduate from high school and, if she wants to, going on to college. Just enjoying my life.”

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?
“Make sure that my daughter gets to school on time. We have breakfast as a family so that we can lay everything out.”

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MANTECA THAT IT CURRENTLY DOESN’T?
“I think that a bigger library is definitely needed, and more entertainment choices for people – maybe an aquatic park – would be something that would benefit everybody.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PROGRESS OF THE DOWNTOWN MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION AND THE RESPONSE OF THE CITY COUNCIL TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE DISTRICT? “I think that there needs to be a united front to solve some of the problems – that people are going to have to step outside of their safety zone. That’s what would be needed to bring things from other cities that we want to see in Manteca – getting a bunch of people together and on the same page would be necessary for that to work”



— Jason Campbell
staff reporter

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