UNT Health Science Center recently matched seven students from various universities in Texas participating in the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) to be part of Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine's Class of 2015. Now, more than 20 JAMP students have been accepted to TCOM, with the first three graduating in 2010.
Created in 2000 by the 77th Texas Legislature, JAMP was designed to support and encourage highly qualified, economically disadvantaged students to pursue medical careers in Texas. Students in the program receive financial support, mentoring, hands-on experience and guaranteed admission to a Texas medical school. Each summer, JAMP students go to one of the eight medical schools in Texas and complete a rigorous curriculum of courses. During the five-week summer program at the Health Science Center, JAMP students attend seminars and lectures, take tours of the various medical and research labs on campus and participate in a clinical preceptorship which includes mentoring, preparation for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and teambuilding and leadership-development activities.
"The summer programs gave me a glimpse of life as a medical student," Vanna Stotts (TCOM '13) said. "It gave me the opportunity to talk to JAMP students that were in medical school at that time and ask questions. When I started medical school, I felt more comfortable knowing I had already been through classes made to simulate first-year courses."
Since 2003, 195 JAMP students have been accepted to medical school in Texas. The first class of JAMP participants graduated from medical school in the spring of 2010. Seventy percent of the first graduating class matched to residency training positions in Texas, and 61 percent selected primary care for residency training.
Fernando Vasquez, assistant director of Medical Admissions and JAMP coordinator at the Health Science Center, said JAMP has provided hundreds of economically disadvantaged students with additional mentoring and financial support over the past seven years. The program has grown from 81 incoming students in 2003 to 152 in 2009 and recently received the 2010 Texas Higher Education Star Award.
"By focusing on student success, JAMP has positioned itself to be a viable pathway for students who otherwise may not have considered medical school," Vasquez said. "JAMP is now a recognized and formidable program that enhances the educational opportunities for these students who have the academic talent to succeed, while diversifying the face of medicine."
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