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Camino Diferentes: Crossroads in Medicine, Young Latinos Can and Should Go to Medical School  

 

Though nearly 40% of the general population is Latino, only a small percentage of California physicians (less than 5%) are Latino[1].   “From 1980 to 2010, the shortage of Latino physicians worsened despite the unique benefits that Latino physicians provide, especially in caring for the rapidly growing Latino patient population.”[2] MiMentor (www.mimentor.org) and Cerritos College’s, Chicanos/Latinos for Community Medicine, wants to change that dynamic by showing young people how to start early on their journey to becoming a doctor.

It is a long journey, and the community partners hosting this one-day conference want to make sure that the parents and high school students know how to get connected early on. Additionally, workshops will be hosted to support young students who are about to complete the rigorous applications and exams they will need to compete for the limited, highly competitive slots to medical schools in California and other states.

Students need support to get through medical school. There will be parent workshops to show parents how to support their aspiring students make it through the rigors of applying and once accepted, completing the work required to graduate and to seek funding for their education. They will be greeted, informed and supported by Latino physicians and health professionals, and academic counselors from medical schools.

Dr. Efrain Talamantes says, “This longstanding disparity has to stop. This conference is being held to inform young Latinos (and their parents) from underserved communities about the opportunities and ways they can pursue a career in the health professions.”

The conference is sponsored by the Latino Physicians of California (LPOC) the largest physician, statewide organization dedicated to serving Latino physicians and the communities they serve. The LPOC also serves as the fiduciary for MiMentor. Additionally, the conference is supported by a grant from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the Health Workforce Development Division.   Note: Participants must register to attend. Register at: www.eventbrite.com/e/caminos-diferentes-crossroads-in-medicine-mimentor-health-careers-conference-cerritos-college-tickets-22614067284

[1] Paxton, C. (201) California physician facts and figures. California Healthcare Foundation. Retrieved from www.chcf.org/publications /2010/07/california-physician-facts-and-figures

[2] Advancing the Latino Physician Workforce – Population Trends, Persistent Challenges, and New Directions, Sanchez, J.P., Poll-Hunter, NI, Acosta, D. Acad Med 2015 Jul; 90(7)849-53

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