The medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) in San Antonio has just achieved the top rank for Hispanics nationwide, according to a recently released report in Hispanic Business magazine.
Last week, August 20, Hispanic Business magazine released the results of a nationwide survey for their Annual Diversity Report: Best Schools for Diversity Practices: Best Medical Schools, which UTHSC’s School of Medicine topped.
The survey took note of how many Hispanic students were enrolled, the rate at which they were retained in the school, financial aid stats, the number of Medical Degrees awarded, Hispanic composition of the faculty, and existence of programs that take in and guide Hispanic students.
During AY 2012-2013, 176 Hispanic medical students were enrolled at UTHSC. At the end of the year, 48 medical degrees were awarded to graduating Hispanics.
Even across all of the Health Science Center’s branches in Harlingen, Edinburg, Laredo, and San Antonio, the total of about 150 full-time faculty members is the largest Hispanic composition in the country. In the Rio Grande Valley, the school takes part in the Med Ed recruitment and mentoring program. The Facilitated Admissions for South Texas Scholars is another program which selects and helps students from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas A&M International University in Laredo and the former UT Pan American in Edinburg to be admitted to the School of Medicine.
The dean of the School of Medicine, Francisco González-Scarano, said that it has been UTHSC’s mission to reach out to and accept more Hispanic students throughout San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley, and the rest of the state of Texas. Patients feel more at ease when relating with healthcare professionals who are culturally sensitive, hence the need to graduate more diverse classes of physicians that can cater to the state’s patient demographics.
According to David J. Jones, Ph.D., the senior associate dean for admissions of the School of Medicine, while the task of screening applicants is rigorous, the process and criteria is quite holistic. They assess the qualifications of the applicant as a whole, inclusive of academic achievements, education, socio-civic participation, as well as their personal understanding of what a competent and compassionate doctor’s aims and traits should be.
In the Health Science Center’s School of Medicine, the student body is almost 20% Hispanic. The country’s medical schools average at about 9%. This is according to a report by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Not only is there a growing need to have a more diverse body of healthcare professionals in the country, but a more diverse selection of research participants as well. Physicians from UTHSCSA previously launched efforts to remind the larger research community of the need to include more Hispanic participants in clinical trials in order to provide more accurate and reliable outcomes. Click here to read more.