SMU eNews

FACES Summer Medical Academy Offered in Partnership with SMU

FACES for the Future Coalition’s Summer Medical Academy, designed to spark interest among young people in advanced education, will take place for the second year in a row at Samuel Merritt University (SMU) in July.

Dr. Tomás A. Magaña, Assistant Professor/Medical Director in the Master Physician Assistant Program at the University, is the co-founder and director of FACES, a program that provides healthcare internships, academic support and wellness training to underserved high school students.

"The program was created as an opportunity to expose students to different healthcare careers and encourage them to attend college after graduating from high school," said Michael De Rosa, PhD, chair of the Master of Physician Assistant (MPA) Program.  "At Samuel Merritt University, the Summer Medical Academy program allows the young students to experience how simulation-based education, human anatomy, and clinical skills are integrated into academic programs."

During last year’s Summer Medical Academy at SMU, more than 100 students spent 11 days participating in educational activities that exposed them to various aspects of medical training and clinical practice. 

Begun at Children’s Hospital of Oakland by Dr. Magaña in 2000, and now a project of the Public Health Institute in Oakland, FACES for the Future has served several hundred youth, many of whom have gone on to college educations and careers in health-related fields.

The 2013 Summer Medical Academy takes place July 8-19, and is aimed at high school students 15 years or older who are interested in a career in medicine. The Academy offers clinical skills workshops, lectures, simulation lab activities, health career information, and field trips.

Last year, SMU Physician Assistant (PA) students hosted a talent show and silent auction that raised more than $3,000 for the FACES for the Future program.

Dr. Magaña and the FACES for the Future program were recently featured on NBC's Nightly NewsClick here to see the NBC Nightly News videos (scroll down to see a second video interview with Dr. Magaña) and to read the article on the NBC website. Dr. Magaña also recently received Diablo Magazine's 2012 Threads of Hope award. Read more here.

Dr. Tomás A. Magaña.  (Photo by Cody Pickens, via Diablo Magazine)
Dr. Tomás A. Magaña. (Photo by Cody Pickens, via Diablo Magazine)