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Freshmen Attend Biomedical Academic Boot Camp to Prepare for New Semester
 
BROWNSVILLE, TEXASAUGUST 15, 2013 Arnulfo Garza, 18, of Valle Hermoso, Mexico has dreamed of becoming a doctor since he was a child.
 
This week, Garza began the first of several steps along his career path at the Accelerated Professional Relevant Integrated Medical Education – Transformation of Medical Education 2013 Summer Pre-Matriculation Boot Camp hosted by the Department of Biomedicine at The University of Texas at Brownsville.
 
Dr. Juan Raymundo Iglesias is Associate Professor and Chair of the university’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences.Dr. Hugo Rodriguez in the Department of Biomedicine makes a presentation to APRIME-TIME students earlier this week at an academic boot camp.
“They are telling us what a good doctor is made of and they tell us we are not going to be just another doctor, but the best out there,” said Garza, a recent graduate of First Baptist School in Brownsville and a freshman biomedical sciences major.
 
Garza and more than 20 incoming UTB freshmen are attending the two-week summer program to prepare for the start of the 2013-14 academic year on Monday, Aug. 26. The day-long sessions began Monday, Aug. 12 and end Friday, Aug. 23. Some of the topics being covered include medical ethics, critical thinking skills and refresher lessons in chemistry, English, mathematics and physics.
 
“The classes are a lot of what the MCAT is based on,” said Vanessa Botello, 18, a freshman biomedical sciences major from Brownsville and a recent graduate of Hanna High School. “Some of it is from high school. Some of the material is new. I’ve never taken statistics before. We are getting clinical cases now which are neat.”
 
The students are the first cohort of the APRIME-TIME initiative, an academic track in the bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences in the College of Biomedical Sciences. The APRIME-TIME initiative is a pre-med/medical program enabling students to complete a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of medicine degree in six years.
 
For the academic track, the first three years of academic work would be for the bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences.
 
Students will take classes for full semesters and for partial semesters. Besides the general core curriculum, biomedical students will take classes like Introductory Molecular Biology, Introductory Cell Biology, Neurochemistry and Introductory Medical Genetics.
 
The first-year students are taking 18 semester credit hours this fall.
 
“I think it’s really going to be challenging,” said Garza. “It’s not the same scenario as in high school. You have to be fast and strong with these classes. I think all the people here are going to adjust.”
 
Dr. Hugo Rodriguez, an Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in the Department of Biomedicine and Director of the APRIME-TIME initiative, gave students a preview of the rigorous work they would do. He held an afternoon session earlier this week on Flip Teaching involving students listening to lectures and watching videos online at home and solving real-life case studies in the classroom. He is using the teaching method in his Gross Anatomy course.
 
“I really like these students,” said Rodriguez. “I was pleased. They are so similar to the biomedical students from last year. They are challenging us and asking a lot of questions. They are active learners.”
 
By the end of the third year, students would have already received acceptance letters from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
 
The fourth year would be combined with undergraduate work and the first year of medical school. The fifth and six years would be at the medical school.
 
The initiative is a partnership between the UT System, UTB, The University of Texas – El Paso, The University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg, The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
 
 
Cutline: Dr. Hugo Rodriguez in the Department of Biomedicine makes a presentation to APRIME-TIME students earlier this week at an academic boot camp.
 
 

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