Dr. Pedro Mancias presents to AMP attendees.
Dr. Pedro Mancias presents to AMP attendees.

The UTHealth Medical School Office of Diversity and Inclusion welcomed its inaugural group of high school students to campus as part of its Aspirations in Medical Professions (AMP) Nov. 13.

Nearly 30 juniors and seniors from Spring High School visited McGovern Medical School as part of AMP to spend time in the gross anatomy lab, tour school facilities, and mingle with medical students who have also volunteered to mentor them.

The day started off with an inspiring presentation, “If not You, then Who?” given by Dr. Pedro Mancias, assistant dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Admissions and Student Affairs, who spoke about his path to becoming a pediatric neurologist and the work ethic required of aspiring physicians.  The program concluded with lunch in the Fifth Floor Gallery for the AMP members, who were joined by many UTHealth residents and students and Dr. LaTanya Love, assistant dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Admissions and Student Affairs.

The AMP program actively seeks participation from high schools that have significant proportions of students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and those traditionally underrepresented in medicine.  The success of this program is largely contingent upon the participation of our medical students (and some residents) who not only serve as teachers in the gross anatomy lab and lead tours, but who also volunteer to keep in touch with and mentor these students for years to come.

This same group of high school students returned to campus Nov. 20, and on this visit toured the UTHealth Schools of Dentistry and Nursing.  Both the Schools of Dentistry and Nursing have been gracious participants in AMP and have decided to join forces with McGovern Medical School to bring this same experience to other area schools, including some middle schools.

“We are extremely excited about this new partnership and look forward to bringing this amazing experience to many more Houston area students,” Love said.

-Crystal Parker, Office of Diversity and Inclusion