June 14, 2005

Contact: Luke Frank, Senior Public Affairs Representative,272-3679

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALBUQUERQUE , NM For the first time, the number of female medical school graduates at the UNM Health Sciences Center 's School of Medicine (SOM) was more than double that of males. In the SOM class of 2005, 46 females crossed the stage transitioning from student to Doctor of Medicine, while only 21 males completed the same journey.

In addition, minority students made up nearly 40 percent of the graduating class, with more than 13 percent being Hispanic, more than 10 percent being Mexican American and nearly 6 percent being Native American.

"The face of medicine in New Mexico is changing," observes Paul Roth. M.D., Dean of the School of Medicine . "This is great for UNM's School of Medicine and New Mexico . We're educating, training and retaining medical professionals who more closely reflect the state's population. There's more cultural understanding and empathy for patients and families, therefore treatments and outcomes have a greater opportunity for success."

One focus of the School of Medicine 's medical student recruitment program(s) is to lure native New Mexicans, with emphasis on Hispanic and Native American high school and college undergraduate students, into the medical school and ultimately the profession.

" New Mexico has a very rural population," explains Robert Gomez, M.D., SOM Associate Dean of Students. "In order to better serve such isolated communities medically, we want to nurture New Mexico students interested in medicine who understand and appreciate the local lifestyles and cultures in our state."

T he University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center provides added value to health care through leadership in providing innovative, collaborative education; advancing frontiers of science through research critical to the future of health care; delivering health care services that are at the forefront of science; and facilitating partnerships with public and private biomedical and health enterprises. For more information on the UNM Health Sciences Center , visit .