The $3.2 million grant from the Health Research Service Administration will support various UTMB programs and will specifically help about 400 Hispanic high school, college and medical school students. Dr. Lauree Thomas is the associate dean of admissions at the UTMB School of Medicine and says the grant continues the school's efforts to recruit more minority students. "It's critically important that we continue to educate and train a workforce of physicians which mirror the population of our state and nation," she says.
The grant will take effect next September after a similar one expires. Thomas says the money helps Hispanic students prepare for medical school. "If we have students who are disadvantaged, who are not exposed, who are first generation college graduates, they may not on their own be able to perform as well as they should in order to be competitive for medical school. These programs will help them. It helps them academically by providing supplemental instruction and support service and letting them know how competitive medical school really is and preparing them academically," she says.
Of Texas medical schools, UTMB ranks first in overall minority enrollment, with 21 percent of its 800 medical students coming from underrepresented communities.