Chicano and Latino medical students from California, Nevada and Arizona gathered at UC Davis Medical Center in April to mentor and support students interested in pursuing careers in medicine.
Sponsored by the school's Chicano/Latino Medical Student Association and Clinica Tepati, the conference brought together hundreds of Latino high school students, premedical undergraduates, medical students, graduating physicians, residents and practicing physicians interested in the health-care needs of the Latino community. The theme of the conference, "Pillars in the Community: The Quest for Universal Health Care," included workshops on the decreasing numbers of Latino physicians; delivering good care in managed care; Latinos as leaders in medicine; and physicians as mothers and wives.
State Sen. Deborah Ortiz and former state Supreme Court justice and UC Davis law professor Cruz Reynoso attended the conference.
"At any given university, the number of Latino premedical and medical students tends to be small," said Jessica Nunez, a UC Davis School of Medicine graduate who first attended a Chicano/Latino Medical Student Association conference as a UCLA undergraduate. She now serves as the California Department of Health Services' preventive medicine chief resident and public health fellow.
"The conference allows students to gather with other aspiring physicians and with medical school graduates and practicing physicians who serve as role models and demonstrate that Latino physicians are part of the health-care profession.".