Strengthening the community college pathway to medical school: A study of latino students in California

Efrain Talamantes, Karla Gonzalez, Carol M. Mangione, Gery Ryan, Alejandro Jimenez, Fabio Gonzalez, Seira Santizo Greenwood, David E. Hayes-Bautista, Gerardo Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: One third of Latino medical students begin their premedical undergraduate education at a community college (CC) or 2-year college, compared to a 4-year university. This study explored the academic and personal experiences Latino premedical students commonly encounter at the CC. METHODS: In 2013, five focus groups with Latino premedical and medical students (n=45) were conducted in Los Angeles and San Jose, CA. All students were enrolled or attended a CC. In addition, 20 CC key informants participated in semi-structured interviews to further describe the Latino CC premedical experience. The focus group and key informant transcripts were transcribed and analyzed for common themes using qualitative methods. RESULTS: Content analysis of 2,826 distinct comments identified major themes: (1) Personal health-related experiences in underserved communities, (2) CC relevant premedical guidance, (3) Limited preparation in navigating the pathways to medical school, and (4) Competing demands and college affordability. CONCLUSIONS: Early CC enrichment programs with direct ties to health professions advising programs, 4-year universities, medical schools, and physician mentors are needed to support Latino pre-medical students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-710
Number of pages8
JournalFamily Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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