José Ignacio Quemada


Head of the Brain Injury Service at the Aita Menni Hospital

I have been working at the Brain Injury Unit of the Aita Menni since it first opened in 1992. It all started as professional cooperation centred on Psychiatry and has become a big professional project that includes healthcare and management challenges at the Brain Injury Service of the Hospital Nuns.

I studied at the Medical School of the University of the Basque Country, specialising in Psychiatrics in the UK, in different hospitals in Cambridge. I got an MS degree from the University of Cambridge and returned to Bilbao to work at the Basurto Hospital. After some time cooperating in the brain injury project of the Aita Menni Hospital, I decided to accept the position as Head of the Brain Injury Service of this hospital. Since then, our team have developed a network of healthcare and social services that offer support to brain-injured individuals and their families. I presented and defended my doctoral dissertation in the University of the Basque Country in 2000.

My job consists in alleviating patients’ suffering and getting a deeper knowledge of the human mind, two subjects that have always interested me. With time, I have learned to enjoy working in teams, understand team dynamics, and help accomplish the convergence of individual and common goals.

Academic background

- Physician and surgeon. University of the Basque Country. 1980-1986.

- Physician specialising in Psychiatrics. Hospitals in Cambridge, UK.

- PhD Degree Cum Laude from the University of the Basque Country. PhD programme advisors: Professor José Guimón (University of the Basque Country), Germán Berrios (University of Cambridge). Dissertation: “Motor disorders in depression.” 2000.

- MS Degree from the University of Cambridge. 1995.

Recent publications

- M.L. De Francisco, G. Portero, E. Echeburúa, and J.I. Quemada. “Guía para la evaluación clínico-forense del daño psíquico consecutivo a los traumatismos craneoencefálicos,” Cuadernos de Medicina Forense, 15 (55), January 2009, 37-54.

- J.I. Quemada Ubis, A. Sagasta Errasti, J.I. Marín Ojea, and A. F. Pérez González. “El paciente con daño cerebral adquirido,” in M. Salazar Vallejo et al., Tratado de psicofarmacología. Bases y aplicación clínica, Editorial Médica Panamericana, 2004, 167-175.

- J.I. Quemada, M.L. De Francisco, E. Echeburúa, and A. Bulbena. “Impacto de las secuelas psiquiátricas y neuropsicológicas de los traumatismos craneoencefálicos sobre la duración de los tiempos legales,” Actas Españolas de Psiquiatría, 38(2), 2010, 101-107.

Research activities

My research is centred on changes in behaviour following acquired brain injury.

I was a dissertation advisor for:

- “Neuropsychological assessment of brain-injured patients with disinhibited behaviour.” I. Sánchez Cubillo. Complutense University of Madrid. 2010.

- “Contributions to the clinical-forensic assessment of the neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological sequelae of traumatic brain injury.” M.L. de Francisco Maíz. University of the Basque Country. 2007.

Work experience

- Assistant teacher and therapist. Internship. Outpatient Unit, Basurto Hospital. 1984-1985, 1985-1986.
- Adult Psychiatry. Residency. Fulbourn Hospital. February 1988-July 1988.
- Geriatric Psychiatry. Residency. West Suffolk Hospital. August 1988-January 1989.
- Adult Psychiatry. Residency. Fulbourn Hospital. February 1989-July 1989.
- Emotional and eating disorders. Residency. Addenbrooke’s Hospital. August 1989-January 1990.
- Psychiatric rehabilitation. Residency. Fulbourn Hospital. February 1990-July 1990.
- Adult Psychiatry. Residency. Fulbourn Hospital. August 1990-January 1991.
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Fulbourn Hospital. February 1991-July 1991.
- Psychiatry Service. Medical internship. Basurto Hospital, Bilbao. September 1991-September 1994.
- Consultant physician at the Psychiatry Service. Basurto Hospital, Bilbao. Until September 1993.
- Physician at the Inpatient Unit. Aita Menni Hospital. Since May 1993.
- Consultant in Neuropsychiatry at the Brain Injury Service of the Aita Menni Hospital in Mondragón. I took part in the initial planning of the unit while still in the UK and got in situ supervision from British doctors. November 1992-December 1996.
- Head of the Brain Injury Service. Aita Menni Hospital. Outpatient Centres were established in Bilbao and Donostia-San Sebastián, and Day Care Centres in Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastián, Guernica, and Mondragón. Some of them are managed by the Aita Menni Hospital, while in others we contribute part of the staff. January 1997-present.
- Coordinator of the Menni Brain Injury Network, including all the Brain Injury Services run by the Hospital Nuns in Spain. 2007-present.



Hobbies and interests

I enjoy outdoors activities and wildlife watching. I like taking photos of deer in Cameros, La Rioja, or scuba diving in Fuerteventura. I play tennis and go mountain biking. As time goes by, I become more interested in history and arts, which is why I like travelling across the country looking for cultural spots.