Abstract

Liaison Committee on Medical Education standard MS-8 requires medical schools to partner with other educational institutions or develop programs to make medical education more accessible to potential applicants from diverse backgrounds. From 1994 to the present, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) have partnered to offer a BS-MD program to increase access to medical education for students from South Texas, a predominantly Latino, largely medically underserved region. Since its inception in 1994, the Premedical Honors College (PHC) has produced 134 medical school matriculants (as of 2008), an average of 12 students per year since 1998, when the first program graduates matriculated to medical school. This represents a significant increase; only 10 students entered medical school from the region's five undergraduate institutions at baseline year 1994, including six from UTPA. Of those matriculating to medical school, through the PHC 110 (82%) are from underrepresented minority backgrounds, and 106 (79%) are Latino. In addition, the program has produced 65 MDs to date; 55 (85%) are Latino. Twenty PHC participants have already completed residency training and are practicing, 12 of those in or near South Texas. As of 2008, 44 were completing residencies or fellowships, 9 in South Texas, and several have expressed a desire to return to South Texas eventually to practice. Six PHC graduates are academic faculty members (four clinical instructors and two assistant professors), all of them Latino. These results suggest that pipeline strategies involving academic partnerships can have a meaningful impact on diversity in medical education.

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