Jarvis Christian University President Dr. Glenell M. Lee-Pruitt, seated at left, shakes hands with UTT Tyler President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun, seated at right, as JCU Provost Dr. Cynthia Hester looks on. - Photo courtesy of Jarvis Christian University

Special to The Dallas Examiner

HAWKINS – On Aug. 16, The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine, collaborating with Jarvis Christian University and other colleges and universities, gathered for the Early Assurance Program Signing Day.

“This is a significant milestone for UT Tyler School of Medicine and our partnering colleges,” said President Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP. “The Pathways program reflects our commitment to recruiting local talent and promoting excellence in medical education. Through this program, we are creating a pathway for East Texas students to pursue a career in medicine.”

The early assurance program, known as “Pathways to Medicine,” will prepare 40 students each year from local colleges and universities for a successful career in the medical field by providing clinical exposure and developing necessary study skills for medical school. Up to 15 will be admitted into the School of Medicine.

The eight partnering institutions include:

    East Texas Baptist University

    Jarvis Christian University

    LeTourneau University

    Stephen F. Austin State University

    Texas College

    Texas A&M University – Texarkana

    The University of Texas at Tyler

    Wiley College

The Pathways program encompasses a 1–2-year curriculum for junior and senior years. Program activities include professional development, speakers and panel discussions, standardized test prep, including MCAT, volunteering, and physician shadowing. Participants undergo the same rigorous admissions process and interviews as other prospective students, and their selection is based on a holistic evaluation of their qualifications.

“With a strong emphasis on community engagement and preventive care, the Early Assurance program will encourage and support greater numbers of students interested in medicine,” said Dr. Gisele Armond Abron, associate dean of admissions. “This initiative is not only shaping the future of health care but also ensuring that our region welcomes more dedicated and competent physicians.”

Students who attend a participating institution and are interested in enrolling in the Pathways program can email sompathways@uttyler.edu to obtain contact information their institution’s early assurance program designee.

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