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UIWSOM's First-Generation Medical Student Alliance Hosts Mini-Med School Event for High School Students

Devin S. Castillo, University of the Incarnate Word / The Center / June 20, 2024

University of the Incarnate Word first-gen medical event

University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM) students in the First-Generation Medical Student Alliance (FGMSA) recently invited local high school students to the UIWSOM campus to attend a mini medical school event. The student-led organization represents and advocates for first-generation medical students by fostering a supportive environment that provides accessible resources crucial to personal growth, autonomy and educational advancement.

Neriah Sosa, founder and former president of FGMSA, along with the rest of the organization’s members, organized this event to allow young students to view demonstrations of medical simulations and osteopathic manipulative medicine in the past.

“FGMSA desired to invite a local, public high school with students interested in a career as a physician,” explained Sosa. “The goal was to host an outreach event to positively impact the local community. Mini-Med School introduced the possibility of a career in medicine early, especially to local students.”

University of the Incarnate Word medical showcase
At the event, 36 students from Health Careers High School caught a glimpse of the world of osteopathic medicine and had the opportunity to hear about what it is like to study the field from the perspective of current medical students. FGMSA members answered questions regarding their experiences, curriculum and other inquiries related to pursuing an education in medicine and healthcare.

As first-generation students, FGMSA members understand the challenges that come with being the first in one’s family to navigate the college experience, particularly when pursuing an education in a STEM field. Their experiences as first-generation students inspired the visiting high schoolers, emphasizing the message that medical school is for everyone and that anyone can apply.

The UIWSOM students extended the support that they give to each other to young aspiring medical students, demonstrating that the next generation of physicians and healthcare professionals will always find community within their chosen field.

“I was grateful for the excitement of the high school students and the opportunity to expose them at a young age to our medical school,” added Sosa. “The opportunity to visit a medical school in high school is not common, and I was happy to encourage the students to become physicians.”

For more information on University of the Incarnate Word's approach, please visit their website here.