EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Two pipeline programs for UTRGV School of Medicine students are progressively recruiting talented and diverse students.

The Vaqueros MD Early Assurance Program formed by UTRGV and the Joint Admission Medical Program created by the Texas Legislature is helping to eliminate the stress when applying for medical school, said the university.

“Anybody who wants to apply to medical school should really feel that they can,” said Dr. Cristel Escalona, M.D., UTRGV School of Medicine division chief and assistant professor for the Department of Pediatrics. “The pipeline programs are good because you don’t have to be one of 7,000 applicants. It’s great to have that early assurance that if you are a good student and keep your grades up, you have an accepted seat into a school of medicine without being one of several thousand.” 

For many of the Rio Grande Valley students who are part of the Vaqueros MD program, the convenience of being close to home is essential.

Escalona said the UTRGV School of Medicine’s class sizes in general were designed to be small.  

“We can get to know everybody when we are small. We get to know all our students extremely well,” she said.