Finding the Hispanic Center of Excellence at UIC was a gift. Not only did I find people who were kind enough to guide me in the process and educate me about the health field, but they were professionals who cared and wanted to see me succeed. Having experts who are dedicated, who encourage you, who want to see you achieve your goals and carry along their mission is a type education you should not take away from any aspiring student, physician or Center of Excellence.
--Cleo Garcia, UIC College of Medicine, Class of 2010
The path to a medical education is difficult, lengthy and costly. Without the assistance of HCOP and COE many of the Under Represented Minority (URM) healthcare students may not pursue and successfully complete their training. This would be a costly mistake. Often, they are the only medical professionals who will treat those in underserved areas. These bilingual and bi-cultural healthcare professionals may be able to get their patients to address medical problems at an earlier stage and improve compliance thereby reducing overall healthcare related expenses.
--Dr. Paul Ramirez, UIC College of Medicine, 2005 Graduate
The encouragement and support HCOE provides for students that, otherwise, would not have received it, is the most commendable service I have found in many years. These programs influenced my direction during my undergraduate and now graduate years through weekend conferences, such as ESCUCHA, summer enrichment programs, cultural competency presentations, clinical and research experiences, MCAT prep, mock interviews, application and admissions counseling, and post-baccalaureate programs. This is just a short list of a few ways these programs have helped shape who I am today. I believe, though, most importantly, that the ongoing emotional support and encouragement that was provided in thousands of ways has been
instrumental in make me the humble servant that I plan to be for others.
--Sylvia D. Trevino, UIC College of Medicine, Class of 2006
I received a tremendous amount of academic training, support and strong encouragement that ultimately led me to becoming a doctor. As an undergraduate I attended ESCUCHA Network meetings which are a part of the Hispanic Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The ESCUCHA Student Network is a program structured to help recruit, mentor, and advise students at the high school, undergraduate and medical school levels. The Network was instrumental in providing me the resources, skills, information and most importantly the support needed to go through the rigorous medical school application process.
--Dr. Humberto Sifuentes, UIC College of Medicine, 2005 Graduate
I was the first in my family to pursue higher education and with the outstanding help and
support from the Hispanic Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois at Chicago I was able to graduate from the UIC College of Medicine. The Center provided support and guidance throughout the medical school application process, preparing for admissions interviews, and ultimately getting accepted to, entering, and graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago- College of Medicine. As a college student, I participated in the Academic Enrichment Program sponsored by HCOE. This program helped to prepare me for the rigorous course of study of medical training. After completion of my Pediatric residency training at Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL, I again received outstanding support from the HCOE at UIC-COM. I participated in their HCOE Faculty Fellowship Program which included academic seminars, professional development conferences, and ultimately my enrollment in the prestigious Masters of Health Professions Education Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Medical Education.
--Dr. Imelda Huerta, Pediatrician/Clinical Instructor, Hope Children's Hospital, UIC COM Graduate
As a current student, I depend on the HCOE for guidance in my journey to becoming a physician. My career in medicine began one year ago, when the dedicated staff of HCOE invited me to join the academic community at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. Since that time, I have become a member of the National Network of Latin American Medical Students- La Raza Medical Student Association (NNLAMS-LaRaMA) at the University of Illinois. This organization depends on the vital support of the Hispanic Center of Excellence in order to fulfill its goals of scholarship fundraising, community-wide bilingual health screenings and health education for underserved populations, as well as providing student support to current and aspiring medical students.
Through HCOE I have also had the opportunity to attend national conferences focused on providing healthcare to underrepresented populations and developing leadership skills for our future healthcare workers. Currently, I am conducting research in transplant surgery to help treat the devastating effects of renal failure from Diabetes- an opportunity made possible by HCOE.
--Christian Badillo, UIC College of Medicine, Class of 2009