"Señora Gómez, welcome to the doctor's office. Please take a seat, and the doctor will see you in 500 years." -- Dr. David E. Hayes-Bautista
WHO WE ARE
The UCLA medical preparation and education pipeline program Médicos, Enfermeros, y Dentistas Para El Pueblo (MEDPEP) was founded to address California’s Latino physician shortage by supporting low-income Latino and other underrepresented minority (URM) students wishing to have a career in health care. Administered by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC), the leading research institution providing reliable data on Latino health, MEDPEP has introduced over 3,500 underrepresented minority students to a variety of health care career options since its founding in 2002.
We provide these students with mentors, training opportunities, workshops, test preparation, and more, so that they will have the skills and confidence to pursue successful careers in health care, all at no cost to them.
MEDPEP has contributed to my pathway as a future health professional by building a community of resources, mentors, and academic support. The need for this program is crucial, especially for minorities. MEDPEP allows us to meet others of the same socio-economic and cultural backgrounds whom we can relate to. Here, we find a support system that encourages and empowers us to do better. Without MEDPEP and its understanding and support, this journey as a pre-health major would be very difficult. The funds will continue to strengthen this pipeline of minorities who desire to become future health professionals and will help students like myself throughout our pre-health journeys. -- Omar Mercado
WHY ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM?
The number of Latino and URM health professionals who are bicultural, bilingual, and willing to serve under-served populations is decreasing. This means that, for many Angelenos and other residents of southern California, there are fewer and fewer doctors who can provide health care services in the patients' language and understand their situations.
"We need more Latino physicians because they are far more likely to speak Spanish and practice in under-served barrios than non-Latino physicians." -- Dr. David E. Hayes-Bautista
MEDPEP works to reverse the current under-representation of minority groups in the health professions and to ensure adequate health care access and workforce diversity in California.
The challenges faced by our target population in entering health care professional programs include: a lack of awareness of health care career opportunities, poor academic preparation and study skills, limited academic and professional guidance, financial hardships, familial responsibilities, and a lack of role models with similar first-generation status.
As it stands, about 500,000 Latino students begin community college every year; yet very few eventually transfer to a four-year university, and fewer still go on to enter a health care graduate program.
This is where MEDPEP comes in. The work we do is vital because it:
MEDPEP’s curriculum has established a platform for disseminating information about Latino physician, nurse, and dentist shortages and the impact future health care professionals can have in improving access to health care for medically under-served communities.
MEDPEP serves pre-health students and their families at NO COST to them.
A program of this size, bringing in over 600 students each year, needs financial support from donors like you. Donations of ANY SIZE allow us to afford many things that go into our free year-long pipeline program.
MEDPEP resources, including everything from journals and planners to workshops and mentoring, are free for all students, because many of them come from low-income families and may not have access to academic and personal support in their communities or colleges.
Los Angeles is recognized around the world as a melting pot of cultures, meaning it’s even more important for our health care systems to include bilingual medical practitioners who can care for patients who don’t speak English. Your donation helps ensure that, through MEDPEP, health care professionals in Los Angeles and southern California will be able to overcome language barriers and offer the best possible care to every patient, no matter what language they speak.
Don’t just take it from us. Here is what some of our current and former students have to say:
Encountering the MEDPEP program my junior year was the beginning of a period of self-discovery and reflection which led to immense academic and professional growth. -- Maria de los Angeles Almaraz
"MEDPEP provided me with a community of physician and medical student mentors and like-minded peers who could share their experiences with me and provide me with the insight and guidance I needed to make my goals attainable. I learned about leadership and health policy, especially with regard to patients who are under-served. I attended workshops that helped me develop my study skills and prepare for the MCAT, and taught me to advocate for myself in my community. When I was ready to apply to medical school, I had mentors who reviewed my application essays and helped me practice my interview responses. Thanks to MEDPEP's support, I am now finishing my third year of medical school at UCLA." -- Mithi del Rosario
"I am extremely proud to be an alumnus of the UCLA MEDPEP program because they were influential in helping me succeed at U.C. San Diego. During my first year as a mentee, I was exposed to a plethora of information, ranging from the various jobs in the medical field to crafting my personal statement and resume. A MEDPEP alumnus was assigned as my peer mentor, and over the course of the program shared valuable information regarding what classes I should take, what programs and conferences I should investigate, and tips to succeed at a four-year university. I was so moved by the power of this program that I continue to be involved as a peer mentor with the current cohort." -- Kevin Artiga
MORE ABOUT THE MEDPEP PROGRAM
We have a half-million underrepresented minority students in community colleges, and that number will be growing in the coming decade. These students need a path, and MEDPEP is the road." –- Lisa Montes Tan, M.D., CEO and President, Alliance in Mentorship
MEDPEP targets underrepresented minority students who are educationally or economically disadvantaged, belong to a minority or marginalized group that is underrepresented in higher education and the health care professions, come from a medically under-served community, or lack legal immigration status.
MEDPEP exposes pre-health students to:
MEDPEP has been successful at hosting an annual pre-health conference and resource fair at UCLA, at which over 500 pre-health students and their parents learn and network with various health care professionals from URM backgrounds about how to pursue graduate health education.
"Please donate to our UCLA MEDPEP SPARK campaign, so that Señora Gómez will not have to wait 500 years to see a doctor." -- Dr. David E. Hayes-Bautista
MEDPEP is administered by the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC) at UCLA. Since 1992, CESLAC has provided fact-based, cutting-edge research, education, and public information about Latinos, their health, their history, and their roles in California. CESLAC was established to educate the public about ongoing important contributions by Latinos to California and the nation, and to address issues important to Latinos.
Want to learn more about our research?
- Latino Physician in the United Sates, 1980-2010: A Thirty-Year Overview from the Censuses
- 5 Centuries to Reach Parity: An Analysis of How Long It Will Take to Address California's Latino Physician Shortage_Policy Brief
- California's Language Concordance Mismatch: Clear Evidence for Increasing Physician Diversity_Policy Brief
- The Current State of the Latino Physician Workforce: California Faces a Severe Shortfall in Latino Resident Physicians