A new undergraduate organization wants to help more Latino students become doctors.
The UF Latino Medical Student Association started in Spring 2017, said Robert Cueto, the organization’s president. Cueto, 20, said it is the first such organization to cater to the Hispanic community.
Cueto, a UF applied physiology and kinesiology junior, created the organization after finding out that only 5 percent of the medical school graduates nationwide are Latinos.
He also hopes to help health issues specific to the Latino population, like diabetes and sexually transmitted diseases.
“We want to help students and empower students to take the leap to get into the pre-medical program,” Cueto said.
Students in the club can join any of five different committees based on their interests, said Sophia Eikenberry, the vice president of the organization. Committees offered are international outreach, community outreach, fundraising, student outreach and health disparities.
“Our primary goal is to make sure that all of our members have been exposed to enough information to make an informed decision about what they want to do and how they want to go about it,” the 19-year-old said.
Eikenberry, a UF neurobiological sciences sophomore, said she wants students to get hands-on experience to inform their future decisions.
“We really want to make sure that our members feel like they are making a change and feel like they are getting just as much, if not more, out of the organization as they are contributing to it,” Eikenberry said.