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Media Advisory: Stanford Hosts Conference Encouraging Latinos to Go to Medical School.

STANFORD, Calif. -- More than 1,000 Latino high school students, undergraduates and health-care professionals will gather at the Stanford University School of Medicine on Friday and Saturday to discuss ways of encouraging Latino leadership in medicine as part of the 22nd annual regional Latino Medical Student Association.

The theme of this year's gathering is "Creating leadership: Striving to improve Latino health care." While Latinos now make up nearly 40 percent of California's population, only 4 percent of physicians are of Latino descent, according to the LMSA. "Teaching Latinos at all different levels how to become leaders will go a long way toward improving health care," said Geoff Krampitz, one of the conference coordinators and a fourth-year medical student at Stanford.

Ronald Garcia, PhD, senior lecturer and assistant dean for minority student affairs at Stanford, noted that many potential Latino medical school applicants do not have the same educational opportunities as non-minorities, don't understand how to navigate admissions systems or are put off by high tuition fees. "It's a very, very powerful insight and belief for someone to get it into their head that they can do this, and to hear what other medical students who might have similar backgrounds have gone through," said Garcia, who will be one of the speakers on Friday. "I want them to walk away and say, 'I can be a doctor.' In the absence of the conference, where would they get such encouragement?"

Friday's seminars are geared toward high school and undergraduate students and will present various professional medical opportunities and advise potential candidates on how to get into medical school. Saturday's focus will be on access to health care, community health and encouraging Latino leadership in medicine. Speakers include Gabriel Garcia, MD, associate dean for medical school admissions at Stanford, and George Flores, MD, MPH, senior officer of the Disparities in Health program at the California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation in San Francisco.

For more information, visit http://lmsa.stanford.edu/conference/index.html.

Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions -- Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of Communication & Public Affairs at http://mednews.stanford.edu.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 6, 2006
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