The Latino Center for Medical Education and Research (LaCMER), located in Fresno, California, was established in 1996 by the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine to address acute professional healthcare provider shortages in central California, and the lack of access to healthcare among medically underserved Central San Joaquin Valley residents. Our program is defined as an educational pipeline employing an active partnership with educational institutions in Fresno County beginning in middle school and continuing onto a four-year university.
Our effort is organized and supported by key educational partners representing each of our program segments including a four-year university, three K-12 school districts, public health and clinical agencies.
The focus of our mission is to prepare students for admission into college as health career majors by providing multiple activities supplemented by a curriculum designed to prepare low-income, first-generation disadvantaged students for careers in the health professions.
The results of our interventions are demonstrated by student scholastic performance throughout the three segments of our educational pipeline (middle school, high school, and four-year college enrollments). Our interventions are designed to improve academic skills, graduation from high school, admission into and graduation from college, and gain admission into health professional schools.
Currently, 692 students are enrolled throughout all three segments of our pipeline. Since our first graduating Doctors Academy class in 2003, 99% of our graduating Doctors Academy high school students applied to college, 97% gained acceptance and enrolled in college, with 89% entering a four-year college or university. Of those students who did not enter a four-year college, 9% enrolled in a community college. Out of the 770 (659 high school DA, 111 college HCOP) who have graduated from our high school and college program, 133 (17%) (78 DA, 55 HCOP) have been accepted into health professional or graduate schools.
This program was recognized as an Honorable Mention for making innovative and/or significant improvement in increasing Latino student success.