Deadline Feb. 1 for medical school early admission program

SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 25, 2011) — High school students in the Lower Rio Grande Valley are invited to apply for early acceptance into the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio through the Facilitated Admissions for South Texas Scholars (FASTS) program. The application deadline is Feb. 1. Students can apply for the program as early as their junior year of high school.

The three FASTS partner universities are UT Pan American in Edinburg, Texas A&M International University in Laredo and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Each is invaluable in helping selected students transition from their undergraduate programs into the School of Medicine.

In 2010, five students entered the School of Medicine through the FASTS program with UT Pan American, including Melecio Medina.

Medicine was already part of Medina’s heritage when he applied to the FASTS program as a senior at McAllen High School in 2007. “My first attraction to medicine came from my mother, Bertha Medina, M.D., who is a family practice physician in McAllen,” he said.

He majored in biology at UT Pan American and strengthened his training during the summers through FASTS. “The program helped me transition into medical school in three years instead of four, and in the summers it provided preceptorship experiences with doctors in San Antonio and classes at the medical school in anatomy and embryology and taking the MCAT,” he said.

To learn more about the FASTS program, which is open to all students in Texas, please visit Prospective applicants may also call the School of Medicine admissions office at 210-567-6080 or send an e-mail to

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $744 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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