November 7, 2006
Contact:Luke Frank, Senior Public Affairs Representative, 505/272-3679; 505/907-9525 (cell)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALBUQUERQUE, NM The University of New Mexico is looking for the next wave of New Mexico high school seniors who can demonstrate strong academic achievement and a commitment to practice medicine in New Mexico.
In its second year, the combined BA/MD Degree program is a partnership between UNM's School of Medicine and College of Arts & Sciences, designed to help to recruit and retain New Mexico health practitioners in the state, according to Paul Roth, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at UNM.
This innovative approach to growing native New Mexican physicians will shepherd a diverse group of 28 high school seniors annually from throughout the state into a progressive undergraduate curriculum and, pending academic performance and fulfillment of specific program requirements, an automatic reserved seat in UNM's nationally ranked School of Medicine.
"The very things that attract people to New Mexico, our rural nature and cultural diversity, challenge us to provide adequate medical care in the far reaches of our state," Roth remarks. "With the generous support of the State Legislature, the BA/MD program will continue to support aspiring physicians in underserved areas to pursue an exceptional education at UNM and return to their communities to practice medicine."
In addition to the specialized enrollment and curricula, the program offers scholarships and financial aid programs, specialized advising and tutoring, faculty and community mentoring and other student activities and support services.
UNM and School of Medicine representatives will be visiting New Mexico high schools to introduce the program and identify potential candidates. The application deadline for the BA/MD program is December 1, 2006.
"We need to recognize and nurture the real academic talent in our small towns, while developing practicing physicians in underserved areas of New Mexico," imparts Program Director Valerie Romero-Leggott, M.D. "The BA/MD combined-degree program creates unprecedented opportunities for high school seniors in our state to pursue a medical degree with tremendous academic and social support throughout the process, with the ultimate goal of improving the health and well-being of all New Mexicans."
Last year's class the first for the program saw 141 total applicants, nearly half of which hailed from outside the Albuquerque-Rio Rancho area. More than 40 New Mexico communities were represented from all areas of the state, including Newcomb, Dulce, Questa, Des Moines, Texico, Hobbs, Deming, Gallup and others.
For more information on UNM's combined degree program, visithttp://hsc.unm.edu/SOM/CombinedBAMDor call 877/977-BAMD (2263). In Albuquerque, call 952-4500.
Contact: Luke Frank, 272-3322