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STC, PSJA ISD Dual Credit Alumna Pursues Medical Degree at Home

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Pictured left to right: STC President Ricardo J. Solis, Ph.D.; Pamela Campos, UTRGV medical school student, STC and PSJA alumna; and PSJA Superintendent Alejandro Elias, Ph.D. STC Image
Pictured left to right: STC President Ricardo J. Solis, Ph.D.; Pamela Campos, UTRGV medical school student, STC and PSJA alumna; and PSJA Superintendent Alejandro Elias, Ph.D. STC Image
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By Amanda Sotelo

Pamela Campos just completed her third year of medical school and said it was her time as a dual credit student at South Texas College that prepared her to meet the demands of medical school.

The 25-year-old reminisces about her time as a PSJA T. Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School student and how it was that she learned about STC’s dual credit program and how she could get a head start on her medical career.

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“I’ve always had a passion for helping others,” said the San Juan native. “I was always that little girl with her doctor toy set, turning family and friends into patients and now I’m nearly there because of PSJA and STC.”

Pamela Campos just completed her third year of medical school and said it was her time as a dual credit student at South Texas College that prepared her to meet the demands of medical school. STC Image

In fact, Campos was the first in her family to graduate from college in 2017 with an associate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from STC, before even earning her high school diploma.

“My time as a high school and college student was challenging, but also so motivating. And even as a high school student, STC offered so many resources, that I always felt supported,” she said. “This is where I started developing my independence and when I realized I needed to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. All the extra work, extra years of school would be worth it, and I could do it. STC and PSJA T-STEM taught me all of this.”

Campos added, that in addition to everything she learned about herself and college at STC, this opportunity also helped her save time and thousands of dollars in tuition. To date, STC’s dual credit program has saved Hidalgo and Starr County families more than $350 million.

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“I am so grateful to PSJA and STC for not only saving me time and money, but for guiding me and teaching me how to be a successful college student. I am where I am because of both school systems and I can’t thank them enough,” said Campos.      

Campos, who was able to earn her undergraduate degree in three years instead of four because of STC’s Dual Credit program, is now looking forward to beginning her fourth year at the University of Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and has just completed a rotation at Valley Medical Arts Clinic with Dr. Joel Solis.

“I learned a lot from Dr. Joel Solis during this four-week rotation,” she said. “There are so many aspects to family medicine. This rotation gave me the tools that are instrumental to my career moving forward.”

In August, Campos will continue her rotations in San Antonio entering her specialization of obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN). This rotation will focus on surgical and primary care.

“Women’s reproductive health is a top priority for me, now more than ever,” said Campos. “I will have to leave the RGV to pursue a residency within this specialization, but I will return to the Valley to promote reproductive health care and take care of the residents of where I’ve grown up.”

As an OB/GYN, Campos’ goal is to expand primary care to strive for a healthier region and advocate for reproductive health.

By this time next year, Campos will be a medical doctor and while her journey has been filled with ups and downs, she hopes her story can inspire other young women and men to pursue their dreams and start early.

“Besides providing and advocating for health care needs, I also hope to inspire my sister and other younger generations to take dual credit and follow their dreams,” she said. “I want them all to realize that you don’t have to leave your home anymore to become the person you aspire to be. The RGV is expanding with opportunities with programs like dual credit and institutions like STC and UTRGV. It’s all possible now, right here at home.”

STC President Ricardo J. Solis, Ph.D., said Campos is an exemplary example of the opportunities students can find in the RGV.

“Ms. Campos is the perfect example of the impact dual credit can have on students. It reinforces our commitment to academic excellence,” he said. “Her success validates what STC is doing as pioneers of dual credit programs. We take great pride in providing high school students with this opportunity of jumpstarting their college education. Through our dual credit initiatives, we are ensuring that students gain the confidence they need to excel.”

For more information on STC’s Dual Credit program, visit southtexascollege.edu/dual.

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