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UTRGV School of Medicine Launches Specialization Program to Address Medical Specialist Shortage

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UTRGV School of Medicine Launches Specialization Program to Address Medical Specialist Shortage

UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg Announces New Specialization Program

The UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg is gearing up to launch a specialization program in the field of medicine, aiming to address the lack of medical specialists in the Rio Grande Valley.

A recent study by the Rio Grande Development Council revealed that in 2018, a staggering 80-90 percent of a thousand patients referred to a medical specialist did not end up seeing one. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for more specialized medical professionals in the region.

In a recent ceremony held on Friday, March 15, over 200 medical students were informed about the universities where they will pursue their specialties for the next four years. Among them is Samuel Álvarez, a first-generation college graduate, who will be studying psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, Fresno.

Álvarez emphasized the importance of having Spanish-speaking psychiatrists who understand and share the cultural background of their patients, especially within the Hispanic community where mental health is often a taboo subject. His achievement is not only a personal milestone but also a source of pride for his immigrant parents, who were unable to attend the ceremony due to work commitments.

According to Michael Hocker, chancellor of the UTRGV School of Medicine, there is a significant scarcity of specialized doctors in the Valley, making the launch of this program even more crucial for improving healthcare accessibility in the region.

The competitive process of matching medical students with their preferred specializations was carried out simultaneously across the country at 11 a.m. Central Time on Friday. The selection process involves students ranking their preferences, which are then processed by a national algorithm to assign students to medical schools with their chosen specialties.

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This new specialization program is set to benefit not only Álvarez but also around 200 UTRGV medical students who will embark on their respective specialties, aiding in bridging the gap in specialized medical care in the Rio Grande Valley.

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