Hard Work Pays Off:
5 TAMIU Grads Head to Medical School
This fall, five Texas A&M International University graduates will launch their future on a new academic platform as they attend medical schools and healthcare programs at various universities.
The graduates, all of whom earned their bachelor’s degrees in biology from TAMIU in 2012 or 2013, are Diego Mascorro, Analee Benavides, Monserrat Montesinos, Hector Ramírez and George-Thomas Pugh.
Off to Med School
Five Texas A&M International University graduates will attend medical schools and
healthcare programs at various universities this fall. Pictured from left to right with
their TAMIU pre-med advisor, Dr. Carolyn Kellogg (center) are George-Thomas Pugh,
Diego Mascorro, Analee Benavides and Hector Ramírez.
Not pictured is Monserrat Montesinos.
As TAMIU students, they were all involved in pre-med programs and received advising from Dr. Caroline Kellogg, TAMIU pre-med advisor.
Dr. Kellogg advises TAMIU students on how to submit competitive applications to medical school and early acceptance medical programs such as the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP), Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP), Facilitated Admissions for South Texas Scholars (FASTS), and Partnership for Primary Care (PPC).
While Mascorro will begin studies at the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) to become a physician assistant, Benavides and Montesinos will attend the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (UTMB), respectively. Ramírez will attend medical school at the University of Texas El Paso while Pugh heads to Texas A&M University (A&M).
“As faculty, we are very proud of the accomplishments of our students,” Kellogg said, adding that admission into medical school is highly competitive, “Students have to be personally motivated. They have to be passionate about pursuing a career in medicine.”
She said she advises those who aspire to attend medical school to maintain a high GPA and read in their free time.
Mascorro, the first in his family to attend graduate school, said he feels blessed as he was one of 40 students chosen from a total of 800 applicants for the Physician Assistant program at UTPA.
“It’s a big change,” Mascorro said of his transition to UTPA, “I’m the youngest one in my family and they know that all their time, hard work and money they invested is going to something great and they’re happy their son is going to grad school.”
Benavides said she is both excited and nervous about her life at UTHSCA.
“I’ve worked during the past three or four years preparing for this and I can’t believe I’m here,” she said.
Benavides, who is the first in her family to pursue a medical degree, said she would not have been able to reach her academic goal had it not been for the support she received from TAMIU faculty members and advisors.
When her mother passed away during her junior year at TAMIU, her faculty members, advisors, family and friends encouraged her to continue with her education despite the pain, Benavides said.
“I know that my mother wouldn’t have wanted me to put my life on hold,” she said, “I felt that if I could continue my education even after my mother passed away, I could deal with anything.”
She said strength is the key to achieving academic success.
“The most important thing is not to give up,” she said.
Ramírez and Pugh said becoming a physician has been their life-long dream.
They said health issues they suffered at a young age led them to both have to spend extended times at doctors’ offices, thus, providing them with opportunities to interact with physicians.
After spending so much time at doctors’ offices, they eventually became interested in the healthcare field, they said.
Both Ramírez and Pugh said TAMIU provided them with the support they needed to reach medical school.
“Professors at TAMIU, they really help you as much as possible,” Ramírez said, “They want you to visit them and to let them know how you are doing.”
Ramírez said although his first biology class at TAMIU was difficult, he learned to enjoy the subject after Dr. Ruby Ynalvez, assistant professor of biology, took the time to introduce him to the “world of biology.”
“Her class was tough, but it’s where I really got into biology and learned the way the body works,” he said.
Pugh, who was a D.D. Hachar Honors Program student while at TAMIU, said faculty members at the University prepared him well for the rigors of medical school.
“All the professors did an excellent job at challenging me,” he said, “The education here is of high quality. Everyone here wants you to succeed. It’s been a motivation that they pushed me to be the best I can be.”
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