Arizona Students Sharpen Their Chances for Medical School

Aug. 30, 2000


Three dozen minority undergraduates from throughout the state participated in a nationally recognized pre-med enrichment program this summer at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, Ariz. The Minority Medical Education Program (MMEP) helps promising, highly motivated minority college students gain admission to medical schools.

For six weeks, through July 21, the students lived on campus and participated in a variety of activities to improve their competitiveness in the medical school application process.

"The program focuses on academics, admission orientation and clinical observation," says Linda K. Don, director of the Office of Minority Affairs, UA College of Medicine.

"Activities include review sessions for the Medical College Admissions Test and science course preview sessions, clinical experiences with UA College of Medicine or community physicians, and regular interaction with medical students, physicians and guest speakers to learn about specialties, medical ethics and current issues."

MMEP also offers guidance in selecting medical schools and in the application process, mock interviews and recruitment visits from medical school representatives, and long-term follow-up counseling.

Participants from Arizona and the schools they currently attend included:

Avondale
Gary Grassi - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, Va.

Chandler:
Nafeez Ahmed, Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe.

Gilbert:
Mary Maymana, Fabricio Zapata, Monica Benavidez, Meaza Ejigu and Luke Garcia - ASU

Mesa:
Melika Eskalaei and Mischel Green - ASU

Phoenix:
Elizabeth Allen, Yazmin Bautista and Bich Huyen Nguyen - ASU;
Agnes Ovienmhada - University of Phoenix, Phoenix

Rio Rico:
Enye Gomez - Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff.

Scottsdale:
Farshad Fani Marvasti - ASU

Sierra Vista:
Autumn Stowe - University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson

Tempe:
Shelley Ashford - University of Colorado in Boulder;
Tana Goettlicher and Renee Goldtooth - ASU;
Stacie Jewell - Scottsdale Community College in Scottsdale

Tucson:
Richard Cunes, Evalavinia Kerkhoff, Jamie Koflanovich, Dawn Medler, Cecilia Urquides and Stareen Velarde - UA;
Angelica Macias - NAU;
Trisha Martinez - Pima Community College in Tucson;
Victor Olivieri - ASU

Yuma:
Richard Montague - Arizona Western College in Yuma.

More than 200 minority premedical students have participated in the UA MMEP since it was established in 1994. A study of the national MMEP revealed that participants have a medical school acceptance rate of 49.3 percent, compared to 41.6 percent for minority applicants who did not participate in MMEP.

The UA program is part of the Western Consortium MMEP, which includes the University of Washington School of Medicine. Established in 1989 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to increase the number of minority physicians in the United States, MMEP identifies promising, highly motivated minority college students who are interested in medical careers and gives them additional educational and practical experiences to improve their competitiveness in the medical school application process.

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