By Jennifer L. Berghom
Mega Doctor News
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS—The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine gave prospective students who have been accepted for its second cohort a chance to take another close look at its campuses.
During the SOM’s Welcome Back – Class of 2021 event, held April 8 and 9 at locations across the Valley, 31 of the 50 applicants accepted visited UTRGV’s Clinical Education Building in Harlingen and its Medical Education Building in Edinburg.
Candidates on Saturday also toured Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, as well as a colonia, to get a feel for what the next four years of medical school would be like if they accept the offer to study at the UTRGV School of Medicine. That evening, the candidates and their families celebrated with university and medical school faculty and staff at a fiesta on the Edinburg Campus.
The following day, they attended information sessions where faculty discussed the medical education experience, including academics, wellness, financial aid and student government. They also were fitted for white coats, which, if they choose to attend medical school at UTRGV, they will receive at the White Coat Ceremony in July.
Prospective students have until June 1 to formally accept or decline the offer to enroll at the UTRGV School of Medicine, but some already have decided to begin their medical career at UTRGV.
Angel Rendón, a Mission resident who is finishing his undergraduate studies in public health at UT San Antonio, plans to attend the UTRGV School of Medicine because he wants to be closer to his family. And, he has a strong desire to give back to the community where his family has lived for seven years.
“My family came here from Mexico seven years ago – I was actually born and raised in Monterrey, and my father is a U.S. citizen,” Rendón said. “When we first got here to the Valley, the people were very welcoming and received us with open arms. So, I really feel like it’s time to serve and give back to the community.”
Rendón especially likes that students and faculty at the School of Medicine share a love for serving the community, and he is impressed with the resources available to students, most specifically the smart hospital at the Clinical Education Building in Harlingen.
“I think it will be a great experience for us and a great learning tool, to prepare us for when we transition into the clinical setting,” he said.
Brownsville resident Elizabeth Cuevas, a licensed paramedic who completed her doctoral dissertation in biomedical science at Texas A&M University, said she is glad to fulfill her dream of becoming a physician while continuing to serve the communities where she has provided emergency health care.
“It’s really a privilege to get to serve people in their moment of need, but I really want to be a physician because I feel like I can do so much more to help, maybe even prevent what was going on in the first place and look at ways to improve their health,” she said.
“The thing that interested me most about coming to UTRGV is the ability to do clinical patient care in your first year, and really get to work with the local community,” Cuevas said.
Orientation for the Class of 2021 begins July 5.