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FSU ranks among the nation's best for Hispanic medical students

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Aug. 28, 2012

Hispanic Business magazine has ranked the Florida State College of Medicine No. 7 nationally for Hispanic students.

The magazine ranked colleges of business, engineering, law and medicine. It based its rankings on percentage of Hispanic student enrollment; percentage of Hispanic faculty members; percentage of degrees conferred upon Hispanics; and progressive programs aimed at increasing enrollment of Hispanic students. The medical school was ranked seventh in 2009 and ninth in 2007.

“This is great news," said Dean John P. Fogarty. "The College of Medicine strives to create a diverse physician workforce for Florida’s diverse population, including rural and inner-city residents. So it is critical that we recruit outstanding students from backgrounds and areas who are most likely to serve those areas. These rankings tell us that we are doing just that.”

More than 20 percent of the Class of 2016 was admitted by way of College of Medicine outreach programs. As a result, 37 percent of the class is minority – including 12 percent Hispanic.

Also of note: The school’s six regional campuses have nearly 200 Hispanic clinical faculty members; many students participate in global medical trips to Central America, while others do rotations in high-density Hispanic migrant-worker areas such as Immokalee; the school offers conversational and medical Spanish classes as electives; and in 2010 the Association of Latino Medical Students was named FSU’s graduate student organization of the year.

“Although Tallahassee seems far from other cities in Florida with higher concentrations of Hispanics, the FSU College of Medicine is not ‘just Tallahassee,’” said Ricardo Gonzalez-Rothi, M.D., chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences. “We are omnipresent throughout the state in our regional campuses. Our current students and graduates like the atmosphere at FSU because they are valued and respected and because we value and respect our patients. I anticipate that FSU will become the top choice for Hispanics for medical schools around the state.”

Here are more reactions from the College of Medicine:

•    “The students are offered experiences with a wide variety of Latino patients reflecting the diversity of Latinos in the state,” said Elena Reyes, Ph.D., the medical school’s regional director for Southwest Florida.

•    “The FSU College of Medicine is a great place for Latino medical students because of its close-knit family atmosphere,” said assistant professor José Rodríguez, M.D. “No other medical school offers so many opportunities for students to form meaningful, lasting mentoring relationships with so many faculty members.”

•    “As a Hispanic student at FSU’s College of Medicine, I feel  my ethnicity is seen as a valued trait that gives me an advantage,” said Alejandro Chavarriaga, president of the Class of 2016, who last year was part of the Bridge pipeline program. "This school leads the way in producing culturally aware physicians.”

The Florida State College of Law was ranked among the nation’s 10 best law schools  for Hispanic students.

This is the complete list of medical schools in the Top 10:

1. University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

2. Stanford University School of Medicine

3. University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

4. Baylor College of Medicine

5. University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

6. University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

7. Florida State University College of Medicine

8. University of New Mexico School of Medicine

9. University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine (Galveston)

10. University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

Visit the Hispanic Business website for details about all 10 schools.