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Biomedical Students Attend Academic Boot Camps in Brownsville, Harlingen

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – AUGUST 4, 2014 – Students in the Accelerated Professional Relevant Integrated Medical Education – Transformation of Medical Education initiative are participating in academic boot camps to prepare for the 2014-15 academic year. The day-long summer enrichment sessions running from late July to early August are bringing together for the first time students from The University of Texas at Brownsville and The University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg to learn academic and medical skills.

“One thing we do have in common is we have the same goal to be a medical professional,” said Hector Filizola, 17, a UTB freshman biomedical sciences major and a 2014 graduate of Saint Joseph Academy in Brownsville.

Students participate in a patient-doctor scenario during a group activity on Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014 at the TSTC University Center in Harlingen, Texas.

The APRIME-TIME initiative is a partnership between the University of Texas System System, The University of Texas at El Paso, UTB, UTPA, The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Participating students can earn a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of medicine degree in six years.

UTB’s Department of Biomedicine in the College of Biomedical Sciences and Health Professions started offering the APRIME-TIME track for the bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences in fall 2013.

Esther Chavez, 19, a UTB sophomore biomedical sciences major from Laredo and a graduate of Laredo Alexander High School, is interested in pursuing reconstructive surgery after graduation.

“It was eye opening,” Chavez said about her first year in APRIME-TIME. “It was the college experience on steroids. You are doing what regular college students are doing and learning what medical school will be like.”

Summer 2014 Clinical Skills Program
The Summer 2014 Clinical Skills Program hosted more than 30 sophomore UTB and UTPA APRIME-TIME students from Monday, July 28 to Friday, Aug. 1 at University Center at Texas State Technical in Harlingen. Faculty members from The University of Texas Medical Brach at Galveston and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston worked with students in workshops and led discussions on writing prescriptions, interviewing pediatric and geriatric patients, trauma, health care privacy, empathy and communication skills.

Dr. Michael Ainsworth, Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Educational Assessment in UTMB at Galveston’s School of Medicine, said it was gratifying to work with the students who asked challenging and serious questions.

“The very satisfying part as a medical school faculty member is to work with college students on their academic campus,” said Ainsworth. “I get to work with them and shape their academics.”​

David Castillo, 19, a UTB sophomore biomedical sciences major from Brownsville and a grad​uate of Saint Joseph Academy, is interested in internal medicine and cardiology.

“The boot camp has been an excellent learning experience and reinforcement for the clinical experiences we had during the year,” he said.
           
APRIME-TIME Boot Camp
The APRIME-TIME Boot Camp began Monday, July 28 and ends Friday, Aug. 8 at Main’s Salon Cassia at UTB. UTB faculty and invited guests are working with first-year UTB biomedical students on chemistry, physics, English, mathematics, medical terminology, reflective writing and other topics. Twenty-three freshmen are part of APRIME-TIME this year.

Students participate in a patient-doctor scenario during a group activity on Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014 at the TSTC University Center in Harlingen, Texas.

The APRIME-TIME program has a full-time coordinator for the first time. Dr. Manuel G. Saldivar began in late June. The Brownsville native graduated in 2005 from UTB with a master’s degree in education in educational technology and is a 1992 graduate of Brownsville Hanna High School.

Saldivar, who has also has bachelor’s degree in history from The University of Texas at Austin, a joint doctoral degree in cognitive science and educational psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and post-doctoral work at Florida State University, said he wants to see students understand the technology being used in the medical field. He said the students can see this first-hand as they shadow area medical personnel as part of their classwork.

Saldivar said he hopes the students grasp what is expected of them during the two-week enrichment activity.

“We knew from the application process that they were impressive on paper,” Saldivar said about freshman biomedical students. “They have proved to be just as impressive in person.”

The induction ceremony at the end of the boot camp will be at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8 at Main’s Salon Cassia with Dr. Francisco Fernandez, Founding Dean of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, serving as the keynote speaker. UTPA and UTB will merge in summer 2015 and open as The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with a medical school opening in fall 2016.​
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