Conference Goals

  • To further strengthen students’ medical school applicant dossier with workshops on a variety of focused topics such as constructing a memorable personal statement, medical student panels, mock interviews, and medical school admissions presentations.
  • To create a vision for an “expanded” pipeline that does not simply produce clinicians, but instead inspires students to become socially-conscious physicians who are civically engaged and are leaders in their communities.
  • To actively seek out URM students with leadership potential and expose them to role models and career opportunities (in academia, the non-profit sector, the public sector, etc.) designed to develop that potential.
  • To bring together leaders/faculty from a variety of graduate/professional schools (medicine, public health, public policy, business administration, education, social work, law) to expose students (high school, undergraduate, and medical students) to the different intersections that exist between these fields and medicine itself.

Discovering Specialties in Medicine

LMSA Alumni/Faculty Mentorship Program is proud to present

“Discovering Specialties in Medicine”

When: November 26th from 6-7:30pm @ Wilson Lounge

What: This will be the first of many events that we will be hosting throughout the year. It is a great opportunity to meet LMSA alumni and faculty members who will share their stories and experiences as they navigated their path through medicine. This panel will serve to introduce students to different specialty fields. The panelist will share information about what it means to practice in their field, what opportunities are available, and the day to day aspects of their practice. In addition panelist will discuss such topics as different subspecialties within their field, community vs university residency programs, and tips on becoming a competitive residency applicant. After the panel, student will have the opportunity for Q & A session.

Who: Guest speakers will include

  • Dr. Don Portocarrero is a GI fellow at Loma Linda.
  • Dr. Rafael Lemus-Rangel is a General/Trauma Surgeon in Lancaster.
  • Dr. Caitlin Gomez who is completing her Rad/ONC residency at UCLA.

We hope that you join us! Light refreshments and appetizers will be served.

Below are short introduction biographies of our guest speakers.

Dr. Donald Portocarrero, is a gastroenterology fellow at Loma Linda University medical center in Loma Linda, California. He was born in Lima, Peru and immigrated to the United States when he was 10 years old. He grew up in Santa Ana, California. His motivations to become a physician stem from his early childhood experiences where he witnessed his family struggle to get medical care. A greater challenge was his documentation status at the time, but despite getting discouraged by others- he continued working toward his dream- transferred from Orange Coast Community college to UCLA. Pre-med groups like Chicanos/Latinos for community medicine at UCLA gave him the opportunity to provide free health education and care to Latino patients. He was also inspired by another physician mentor, Dr. Ismael Nuño, a cardiothoracic surgeon at USC. He continued to find ways to balance his studies and social commitments to prepare for medical school, and with the help of the UCLA post-bac reapplicant program got into Western Health Sciences Mentorship changed his life, and he continues to thrive as a physician by giving back to his community through his service, and mentorship!

See Biography

Dr. Rafael Lemus-Rangel, was born in Michoacan Mexico but grew up in a small farming community of less than 10,000 people. The town was called Lindsay and lay in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, in between Fresno and Bakersfield. Drop outs, drugs, poverty and pregnancies were the name of the game. He grew up poor but with a loving family. His father taught him to work hard, his mother told him to go to school. So he did both. As the oldest in his family he was the “responsible one”. Unlike his friends and relatives he was very aware that education was the key to a better life. So he read books and raised his hand in class. Soon enough teachers noticed that he wasn’t an ordinary “brown kid”. So he was placed in the advanced classes. Dr. Lemus-Rangel graduated and went onto UCLA. Family tragedy struck the first month he was at UCLA. My brother died. Such a tragedy did not hold him back but motivated him to continue with school. He struggled his first 2 years however he soon changed his studying habits and his grades improved. He wanted to become a “doctor” but his grades would hold him back. He then participated in a summer program at the end of his 5th year in Seattle Washington. From there he went to a post-bac program in San Francisco. With much perseverance and determination he applied to 30 medical schools and ended up at UCLA. From there he went onto a career in General Surgery at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles. Now he is in private practice in General, Trauma, Vascular Surgery in Lancaster California.

Dr. Caitlin Gomez, is a 3rd year resident in Radiation Oncology at UCLA. She graduated from UCLA in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and the David Geffen School of Medicine in 2010. She completed an internal medicine preliminary year at Olive View Medical Center before starting her residency at UCLA.