UST: Preparing Students for Medical School
UST tied its own record for the number of students accepted into Texas’ coveted Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) in a single year. With five students entering the program in 2019, St. Thomas leads the pack of participating private universities.
Dr. Larry Nordyke, professor of biology, is the JAMP director for UST. “Competition is high, and positions are limited,” Nordyke said. “But St. Thomas has great applicants, and we do a terrific job of preparing our students.”
In Texas, 67 universities — 34 of them private — are eligible to participate in this initiative, but not all do. Of the 34 possible positions for private institutions this year, UST students claimed four. A fifth St. Thomas student was selected as an alternate in case another position opens up.
Director of JAMP, Paul Hermesmeyer, said, “Eight of UST’s applicants made it to the interview stage, which speaks highly of the university’s pool.”
How JAMP Began
JAMP was created by the Texas legislature in 2001 to help highly motivated, economically disadvantaged students to prepare for, and succeed in, medical school. One big value they get is the pricey Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) prep course.
Nordyke said, “You have to do well on the MCAT. It’s one of the measures that med schools use to determine whether they will accept you. The MCAT preparatory course is vital and would be outside the budget of some students without JAMP.”
JAMP participants also receive support such as summer intern experiences at the state’s nine participating medical schools, clinical enrichment opportunities, personal and professional mentoring, and this priceless plum — guaranteed admission to medical school if all criteria are met.
2019 JAMP Students from UST
Congratulations go to the 2019 JAMP students from UST: Cecilia Nguyen, Jenny Tran, Noah Ortiz, Viet Tran and Nicole Fakes.
They follow in the footsteps of a UST trailblazer who made history in 2010 when JAMP saw its first 23 graduates from medical school. Among them was UST’s Liliana Nanez. Today, Dr. Nanez is a vascular surgeon.
Twenty-year old Cecilia Nguyen plans to be the first doctor in her family. She said, “The JAMP family is going to help me pursue my dreams by lifting some of the financial burden off of my family’s and my shoulders.”
Since JAMP began, nine UST participants have graduated from medical school, and another 12 are in, or about to enter.
UST is proving itself to be a great jumping off point to JAMP.