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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


PMAP adds more diversity to medical program


Courtesy of UA News

Marisela Mariscal (left), Sylvestor Moses and Lacy Manuelito are among 10 students admitted to Pre-Medicine Admissions Pathway at the UA College of Medicine. P-MAP is a program designed to help economically disadvantaged students get into medical school.

A recently introduced yearlong medical program to give economically and educationally disadvantaged students a chance to attend medical school aims to bring more diversity to the College of Medicine.

According to Francisco Moreno, deputy dean of diversity and inclusion, Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway seeks those who are registered members of affiliated American Indian tribes, but disadvantaged people from border areas, such as blacks, Asians, whites and Hispanics are eligible to apply as well.

“Race should not be a disqualifier or qualifier, necessarily,” Moreno said. “We definitely want all those populations that are traditionally underserved in medicine.”

According to Moreno, the program currently has 10 students, two of whom are black.

Moreno said he believes the biggest benefit of this program is that it will facilitate students’ success in their academic performance during medical school.

“We also hope that it will help us accomplish our mission of serving the broader diversity of our state,” Moreno said.

Tanisha Price–Johnson, executive director of admissions and financial aid, said P-MAP offers opportunities for students who may have a distinct pathway into medicine to expand their clinical opportunities, and participate in the molecular and cellular major.

P-MAP does not necessarily seek only American Indians. It is also available to students that are first generation, as well as students who are culturally diverse.

“We are also looking for applicants to be conversant in Spanish, if possible, and in other languages that are commonly spoken within Arizona specifically in our tribal communities,” Price–Johnson said.

Dr. Violet Siwik, the interim dean of student affairs, said the students in the program are diverse, and studies have shown patient populations prefer to have physicians with similar cultures and backgrounds.

The program was initially designed to enhance diversity, and applicants who reflect that will stand out when studying in the College of Medicine.

Students who are accepted into the program will receive a master’s degree in molecular and cellular biology by the end of their one-year term and will use that to serve Arizona’s local communities.

“The goal, ultimately, is to create diversity in our College of Medicine that will ultimately reflect the diversity of our state,” Siwik said. “We are trying to become more diverse in our faculty, in our student population and all throughout the College of Medicine.”


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