HSC to host Latino Medical Student Association’s Conference

Lmsa LogoWhile the U.S. Hispanic population is the fastest-growing demographic in the country, the percentage of LatinX doctors isn’t rising anywhere close to the same rate. The Latino Medical Student Association is trying to change that by appealing to the next generation of health care providers.

From Feb. 3 to 5, The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth will be the site of the Latino Medical Student Association’s 11th Annual Regional Conference. HSC’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine will host the event.

The first day of the three-day event will be dedicated to high school and undergraduate students considering a career in medicine. From 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., LMSA’s High School Day will include a wide range of presentations, speakers and workshops. Prospective medical students will get a roadmap to medical school, attend a panel discussion about health care professions and take part in TCOM student-led suture and splint-casting workshops. They also will have the opportunity to interact with current medical students and practitioners.

“HSC is proud to host the LMSA’s Annual Regional Conference,” said Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams, HSC president. “One of our most noble pursuits as a university is working to reduce disparities in health care through our diverse student body and faculty, curriculum and practitioners. LMSA’s mission and work is critical to taking on these challenges.”

“With every generation, we grow closer to bridging gaps in care, and we’re excited to welcome the next generation of students.”

LMSA is a national organization created in 1994 that represents more than 50,000 Hispanic physicians in the U.S. The organization fosters connections between physicians, medical trainees and premedical students to promote career development. LMSA empowers Hispanic physicians and other health care professionals to improve the health of Hispanic populations through Hispanic medical societies, resident and medical student organizations, and its public and private sector partners.

The High School Day is the only part of the event open to nonmembers. On the conference’s second day, Antonia Novello — the first Hispanic and woman to serve as U.S. surgeon general — will be the keynote speaker.

Victoria Ibarra-Aleman is a fourth-year TCOM student who also serves as the LMSA Southwest Region’s chief information officer. She said the High School Day event is an important step in helping the organization achieve its goal of increasing Hispanic representation in health care.

“For many of the LatinX high school students, becoming a doctor or entering the health care field might seem like a goal they cannot achieve,” she said. “High School Day gives us an opportunity to not only encourage them to achieve their goals, but also help show the students that there is a space for them in medicine by allowing them to meet medical and health care students, ask questions and get a glimpse of medicine through our workshops. High School Day is a great example as to why representation in medicine matters.”

Latinos account for 7% of the overall physician and surgeon workforce and 9% of all health care practitioners and technicians, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis. Meanwhile, almost one in five Americans, or 62.6 million, are Latino, according to the latest 2020 census numbers. This is a 23% increase from 2010.

Physicians who speak the same native language and are able to relate to the cultural experiences of their patients have been linked to better patient outcomes, a notion that is supported by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The nonprofit group, which accredits all graduate medical training programs for physicians in the U.S., emphasizes the need to educate physicians who are more likely to work in underserved areas or with minority patients on these nuances.

“TCOM is extremely proud and honored to be hosting the LMSA Southwest Regional Conference on our campus,” said Dr. Frank Filipetto, TCOM dean. “We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion at TCOM, and I’m thrilled to give so many high school students a chance to learn more about medicine. There will be so many students with diverse backgrounds attending, and we want them to know that a career in medicine is possible.”

To attend LMSA’s High School Day, register here.

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