The event, held Sept. 22-23, aimed to develop innovative solutions to improve health care delivery in rural Texas.
The PLFSOM students’ solution proposed a network of community health care centers that worked with local high schools and churches to connect small-town hospitals to a broader network of Texas medical schools. The plan incorporated telemedicine and rotating specialty services.
The second-place award brought not only pride to a team representing one of the youngest medical schools in Texas, but also a $3,000 cash prize.
“We were absolutely thrilled,” third-year PLFSOM student Jacob Winters said of his team’s performance. “We were most proud of the fact that we were able to represent our school, to put our school’s name out there, and to give a testament of the strength of our education.”
Members of the TTUHSC El Paso team included fourth-year medical students Brandy Mills and Alex Palmer, third-year medical students Brittany Harper and Winters, and second-year medical student Roxann Lerma.
The team’s Shift 2018 presentation can be viewed below.
Staff Report July 30, 2018NewsComments Off on Gallery+Story: 100 Future Doctors Receive White Coats
In front of family and friends, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) class of 2022 received their first white coats as part of the time-honored White Coat Ceremony.
As a symbol of their entrance into the noble profession of doctoring, the 100 future doctors comprising the class of 2022 were cloaked by Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., president of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) and dean of the PLFSOM, in the presence of family and friends.
The White Coat Ceremony is a traditional rite of passage for entering medical students. Started in 1993 by Arnold P. Gold and his foundation, the ceremony is designed to remind students of the humanism inherent in their chosen field. In addition to being cloaked for the first time, the 100 future physicians recited an oath they wrote together.
Since its inception at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the white coat tradition has expanded to 97 percent of medical schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.
At other medical schools, students may transition from the classroom to clinical care much later in their academic careers. But the PLFSOM is unique—in their very first year of studies, students serve in clinics and hospitals, learning the importance of compassionate patient care. The school is also noted for its Spanish-language requirement, which helps prepare physicians for careers in El Paso and other underserved communities.
For native El Pasoan Valeria Varela, receiving the white coat made her dream of becoming a doctor that much more tangible.
“I’m excited,” Varela said of receiving the white coat. “I feel like I’m finally going to be immersed into the medicine part of it, compared to the prerequisites.”
Varela also looks forward to interacting with patients as part of her education.
Part of what made this year’s ceremony special is that the coats were all funded by white coat sponsors.
Before the start of the ceremony, Varela reached into her coat pocket and found a card from the donor who sponsored her coat. On the back of it was a message that made her smile and chuckle.
Varela’s was among 100 inspirational messages from donors in support of the first-year students’ journeys.
“Never forget that your goal is to serve. When you do good work, good compensation will follow. No need to make money your goal. We are proud of your achievement and will always support you,” one read. Another, said, “Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy life!”
The ceremony took place On Saturday, July 28 at the Plaza Theatre in Downtown El Paso.
All photos by Tommie Morelos / Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. To view more photos from the ceremony, click here.
Staff Report March 16, 2018NewsComments Off on Video+Gallery+Story: Record Number of PLFSOM Students Match to Residency Programs
For thousands of graduating medical students, Match Day is a moment they will never forget. As part of the annual event, students gathered at medical schools throughout the nation last Friday and, at noon Eastern time, opened envelopes to reveal their “match” results—where they’ve been placed for their residencies.
TTUHSC El Paso President and PLFSOM Dean Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., said Match Day is one of the most rewarding events to experience as an educator and administrator.
“It’s right up there with the White Coat Ceremony and Commencement in terms of the pride and joy you feel for these students who’ve worked so hard to achieve their dreams,” said Dr. Lange.
“On Match Day, our graduates learn that their education is held in high value by residency programs across the country. These programs are competing for their skills, talent and experience, as well as their unique ability to provide culturally competent care in English and Spanish. It’s a great time to be a Paul L. Foster School of Medicine graduate!”
Among the hopefuls were 90 students from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM), part of the largest graduating class yet.
This year’s PLFSOM class applied to residency programs throughout the country. Their matches included prestigious institutions like George Washington University, Baylor University; the University of California Irvine, Texas A&M, and New York University.
Of the students matched, over half will remain in Texas; two will serve the country through military matches; and four will continue their medical training right here at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso), serving the community where they first started on the path to becoming medical doctors.
Kathryn Horn, M.D., associate academic dean of Student Affairs, describes Match Day as the culmination of months of hard work and planning.
“They have spent the past six months applying to residencies, waiting to hear about interviews, going to interviews and then deciding the order in which to rank the programs,” said Dr. Horn. “It’s exciting as an institution to see where our students go and how they proudly carry the name of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine out into our state and country.”
The match process is completed by the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). The NRMP is a private, non-profit organization that has paired students with residency programs since 1952. The organization provides an orderly, efficient, and fair process in the matching preferences of both residency programs and applicants. Medical students are obligated to go to the institution to which they have been matched.
Match Day 2018 comes on the heels of TTUHSC El Paso’s five-year anniversary as a stand-alone institution; until 2013, the university operated as a regional campus of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas.
To date, TTUHSC El Paso has graduated 328 physicians.
Staff Report August 10, 2016Local NewsComments Off on Second Annual Hearts for Sparks Golf Classic set for Saturday
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) will hold its second annual Hearts for Sparks Golf Classic to benefit the Sparks Medical Student Run Clinic. So far, more than 40 players have signed up to participate.
Started in 2013 by PLFSOM medical students, the clinic operates every Thursday evening in the Sparks community. Located in far east El Paso county, Sparks is home to residents who lack health insurance and sometimes cannot afford a trip to a doctor; forty-three percent of its residents live below the U.S. poverty line, according to U.S. Census data.
The clinic provides free health screenings, triage services and vaccinations. Run entirely by students with faculty oversight, the clinic not only benefits the Sparks community, but gives students real-life opportunities to hone their medical and Spanish language skills.
Proceeds from the Hearts for Sparks Golf Classic event will go directly toward funding for the Sparks Medical Student Run Clinic. Participants will receive breakfast and lunch, unlimited range balls, a goodie bag, and 18 holes of golf, with cart.
What: Hearts for Sparks Golf Classic
When:9 a.m. Saturday, August 13 (shotgun start)
Where: Butterfield Trail Golf Club (1858 Cottonwoods)
On Friday, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso will graduate its fourth class of physicians and its fifth class of nurses.
Seventy-two students from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) are eligible to earn their Doctor of Medicine and receive their doctoral hoods Friday evening. TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., will give the keynote address.
Of the GGHSON, 27 students are eligible to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing Saturday morning. Susan Ruppert, Ph.D., R.N., professor and coordinator of the Master of Science in Nursing program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, will keynote the ceremony.
Please note that the 46 GGHSON students who graduated in December 2015 and participated in a December pinning ceremony have also been invited to also participate in this Saturday’s commencement.
The PLFSOM and GGHSON have graduated 170 doctors and 223 nurses to date.
With the addition of this spring’s graduates, TTUHSC El Paso will have played an integral role in a total of 242 physicians and 250 nurses earning their health care degrees.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) spring commencement ceremonies
Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m.
Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON) Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m.
The Plaza Theatre, 125 Pioneer Plaza, El Paso, TX 79901