The online magazine of the University of Texas System
Helping Texas Students Achieve their Dreams of Medical School
Why is the Joint Admission Medical Program important to The University of Texas System?
JAMP excels at encouraging highly qualified students to pursue careers in medicine and that is not only important to the UT System but to the health and well being of Texas residents. JAMP is a unique partnership between all eight Texas medical schools and sixty-five public and private four-year undergraduate institutions that is funded through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Programs of this type allow institutions across Texas to leverage existing resources and provide greater opportunities for students, increasing access to degree programs. With our growing population comes an urgent demand for quality healthcare in Texas and the need to provide broader access to professional medical and allied health education.
According to the U.S. State Department, minorities make up 34 percent of the
current U.S. population. Together, Texas and California have nearly a third of the
nation’s minority populations. How does this diversity impact healthcare?
If we are going to have an effective healthcare system, it is absolutely essential that we see the diversity among healthcare providers that we see in the population itself. Research shows that underserved patients are many times better reached by physicians from similar backgrounds. And, as the minority population continues to grow within our nation, our patients are more diverse than ever. The UT System enrolls 64 percent of all underrepresented minorities in health-related professional degree programs in Texas. Nationally, UT System institutions rank high for health-related degrees to minorities with eight institutions in the top 50 — three in the top five — of Hispanic baccalaureates in health professions/ clinical sciences; four in the top 20 of Hispanic master’s degrees in health professions/clinical sciences; and two institutions in the top 30 of African-American professional degrees in medicine. All four UT medical schools are in the top 10 of Hispanic professional degrees in medicine. I think these numbers indicate we are in an exceptional position to help ensure that the faces of our future healthcare professionals more accurately reflect our population.
How does JAMP increase student success?
JAMP provides highly qualified and economically disadvantaged students who are interested in becoming physicians with the guidance and support they need to succeed. Students have an opportunity to visit the campuses of Texas medical schools, talk to working professionals and — with hard work — be guaranteed a position in one of these schools. Whether it’s a lack of access, funding or encouragement, JAMP helps remove obstacles that might otherwise block a gifted student's path. Through the JAMP program, students receive both undergraduate and medical school support through mentoring and scholarships. They receive a stipend to attend a summer internship at one of the eight Texas medical schools following their sophomore and junior years of college and assistance to prepare for medical school as undergraduates. The first JAMP class began medical school in the fall of 2006. We now have JAMP students in three of the four years of medical school.
Texas’ rate of uninsured is 25 percent, the highest in the nation. How can programs
like JAMP keep Texas residents healthy?
Currently, Texas faces two important healthcare challenges: shortages of physicians and nurses and the rapidly escalating cost of uncompensated care. The UT System is striving to meet the challenges facing our state by providing the best education and research opportunities for health professionals, by developing innovative cures and treatments for illness and by providing uncompensated care for Texans who are uninsured or underinsured. The UT health institutions provide a wide array of healthcare services to Texas’ uninsured. Three quarters of the medical residents at public health-related institutions in Texas are trained by UT System institution faculty. These medical residency programs are key to retaining physicians in Texas. And, residents play a significant role in providing care to indigent patients. While Texas is producing more doctors than it was at the beginning of the decade, the rate at which physicians are earning their licenses is perilously close to losing pace with the state’s fast-rising growth. Through outreach programs like JAMP, we will continue to attract and retain highly qualified students, who with appropriate support, have great potential to be Texas’ next generation of medical care providers.
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