The UT Health Science Center has been named by Hispanic Business magazine as the top medical school for Hispanics in the U.S.
Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, dean of the UT School of Medicine in San Antonio, said the honor is representative not only of the school’s diversity but also its efforts to represent the South Texas community it serves. He said in an evolving medical environment, training focuses on patient-centered care and San Antonio students are ahead of the game in offering cultural sensitivity in the doctor’s office.
"It really does help to speak Spanish," Gonzalez said. Gonzalez said speaking Spanish helps providers have a broader conversation with patients about their care. And it helps them feel comfortable.
"Little things, like having the waiting rooms be particularly large because we understand that Hispanic families and many other ethnic families prefer to go to the doctor with someone in addition to the spouse -- a daughter, a son, often a grandchild. And so being culturally sensitive isn't just about language. It's about understanding the mechanics of making someone feel comfortable in that physician's office," he said.
Gonzalez also expressed the need to increase the number of physicians graduating from medical school to serve the growing population of the state as well as the growing Hispanic population of South Texas.
"We have 26 million Texans and when we have such a relatively low population of physicians, it really does affect a lot of people," he said.
Gonzalez said there are 700-800 residents and interns in the school’s graduate medical education program at a time, with family medicine particularly underrepresented.
UTSA placed schools in the top 10 of other Hispanic Business categories. The College of Engineering ranked number five in best engineering school and the College of Business graduate program ranked number 10 in best business schools.