News

PA Summer Enrichment Program runs through July 1 at UTPA
Contact: PA Studies Program 956/381-2298
Posted: 06/20/2005
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The University of Texas-Pan American Physician Assistant Studies Program is continuing its recruitment and retention efforts for minority and disadvantaged students through a pilot program initially tested at UTPA - the Physician Assistant Summer Enrichment Program.

Pictured left to right are participants in the UTPA Physician Assistant Studies Program George Aguero, Myrna Martinez, Christina Granado, Patricia Rivera; and Elias Villarreal Jr., program director. Sitting front left to right are Eric Hettler and Erika Gonzalez, program participants.
UTPA faculty member Elias Villarreal Jr., PA-C of the Physician Assistant Studies Program, created the two-year-old program - which began June 6 and runs through July 1 on the University campus - as a project dedicated to the development and enrichment of potential physician assistants.

"There are no other programs like this in the country. I devised this unique program to benefit the many Hispanics who need close mentorship in the admissions process and to bring some prestige to our PA program here at UTPA," Villarreal said.

The four-week program has achieved national recognition by the Association of Physician Assistant Programs at its national conference in Nashville, Tenn. in October 2004. The program began as a doctoral research endeavor for the UTPA Department of Educational Leadership.

Participants in the program learn academic, professional, social, and technical skills that will aid them in becoming a better applicant to physician assistant educational programs. The program has been successful in placing all six of its inaugural, Hispanic participants in physician assistant programs throughout the state of Texas. Up to 30 participants are chosen from the pool of applicants for the program.

For more information on the summer program or to learn more about the Physician Assistant Studies Program at UTPA, contact Villarreal at 956/381-2298 or e-mail him at elias@utpa.edu

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