Toward Health Care Careers Eager for New Medical School
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS –
FEBRUARY 28, 2014 –Robert Arreola, 16, a
junior at The University of Texas at Brownsville’s Mathematics and Science Academy, enjoys doing ride-alongs with his father
Ronaldo Arreola, a firefighter and paramedic.
Dr. Francisco Fernandez, founding dean for the The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's School of Medicine meets with UT Brownsville Mathematics and Science Academy students Michael Flores, Anjel Villafranco and Principal Wilma Smetter.
“It’s a good feeling
helping other people,” said the young Arreola of Brownsville.
His father’s work
fighting fires and assisting people in need has inspired the younger Arreola to
someday attend medical school and become a trauma registered nurse.
“I was planning to go
to one of the heath science centers here in Texas,” said Robert Arreola. “But
now I have this option at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.”
The University of
Texas Rio Grande Valley will be created by the merging of UTB and The
University of Texas Pan American and open in fall 2015. A new medical school
will open as part of the new university in fall 2016.
Arreola and some of
his MSA classmates along with students from the Associated,
Professional Relevant Integrated Medical Education – Transformation in Medical
Education initiative in
the Department of Biomedicine in the College of Biomedical Sciences and Health
Professions heard from the newly chosen leader for the medical school.
Dr. Francisco Fernandez, Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the
University of South Florida in Tampa, was named earlier this month as the
medical school’s founding dean. He visited Harlingen, Edinburg and Brownsville
on Wednesday, Feb. 26 to meet students, staff members and faculty.
He officially starts work on Monday, April 28.
A reception welcomes Dr. Francisco Fernandez, founding dean for the The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's School of Medicine.
“I think it is
critically important that the people who train here will provide service to the
people of the Rio Grande Valley and will provide opportunities for others to
come to be part of this family,” said Fernandez.
Anjel Villafranco, 16,
a junior at MSA from Brownsville, aspires to be a surgeon. He is still deciding
where to do his undergraduate and medical academic work.
“It seems like he
knows what he is doing,” he said. “He seems he has been preparing for an
opportunity like this. I’m sure he will build a team way beyond the 18-month
deadline (before the university opens in fall 2015). I am sure he will hit the
Samantha Olvera, 19, a
freshman biomedical major from Brownsville and a graduate of the Brownsville
Early College High School, said she is interested in learning more about the
medical school’s course and degree offerings, research opportunities and
“I like his
(Fernandez’s) plan to train students and have them give back to the community,”
For more information
on UT RGV and the medical school, click here .