How to Become a Physician

Junior Medical School

Some say minority health providers could help solve the problem of health disparities in the country. The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine wants to tackle that issue with its award-winning STEM program: Junior Medical School. Created in 2016, Junior Medical School inspires Fort Worth ISD students to explore the medical profession through interactive learning and mentorship by School of Medicine faculty and counselors. The program was made possible by Arnold and Harriette Gachman and Family, local physician volunteers, a partnership with Fort Worth Independent School District and a community grant from Constellation Energy. “Our goal was to create an environment that excites students and inspires them to explore the possibilities of higher education through activities that many won’t have the opportunity to experience until they reach college,” said Tara Cunningham, Ed.D., associate dean of admissions and student diversity for the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine. The summer camp program received one of the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Awards from Insight Into Diversity magazine. Winners were selected on the basis of efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people from underrepresented groups to consider careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields through mentoring, teaching, research and successful programs and initiatives. “Building the pipeline of a diverse physician workforce is a shared effort among us, our local community and school district. We celebrate our responsibility to provide opportunity and improve access to medical education and are thrilled to receive this recognition as validation of our efforts,” Dr. Cunningham said. In 2018, Junior Medical School expanded to two weeks in 2018. In the first week, July 23-July 27, eighth- and ninth-grade students will focus on developing healthy personal habits, including nutrition, adequate rest and goal-setting. Each student will create a community service project proposal and one recipient will receive up to $500 to implement their project. In the second week, seventh-grade campers will learn about the various specialties in medicine, engage in hands-on activities and visit area healthcare facilities. Campers will experience surgical knot-tying, casting, and in groups, will create and deliver a skit about the traits of an Empathetic ScholarTM. Both camp sessions will be celebrated during a closing reception. Forty-six students from 12 area schools were selected to attend Junior Medical School. Schools include Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Young Men’s Leadership Academy, J.P. Elder Middle School, Stripling Middle School, Trimble Technical High School, Northside High School, Pascal High School, Benbrook Middle-High School, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences and others. Nine college students, all of whom attend or are alumni of Texas Christian University, were selected to serve as camp counselors. All women, each counselor is interested in applying to medical or other health professional programs.  

AAMC Aspiring Docs

Aspiring doctors provides resources and inspiration to help you get started on your path to medicine. Visit the AAMC website for more information here.