Letter from the Dean
Health Careers and CLAS
Among the many groups of students who come to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for a world class education in the liberal arts are those who are interested in careers in the health sciences. In this edition of Pinnacle, we highlight two of the signature programs of the college that serve these students—the BA/BS-MD program and the BA and BS programs in Public Health—as well as two students who used their undergraduate degrees in CLAS as springboards to careers in medicine. I hope you will enjoy learning more about the programs and the fascinating stories of two very determined individuals.
With all best wishes,
- BA/BS-MD Program Innovating Undergraduate Pre-Med Education
Flourishing CLAS Collaboration Reserves Spots in CU Medical School for Students Who Achieve on Auraria Campus
If you are a Colorado high school student who dreams of becoming a doctor, but you come from a family with limited resources or a geographical area where few people get graduate degrees – where can you turn for the kind of support to get you through the eight years of school required to become a physician? Since 2010, such students have found their way to the BA/BS-MD program, which the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences launched with the University of Colorado School of Medicine. CLAS partnered to create a combined-degree program that offers students from a variety of academic, economic, geographical, and cultural backgrounds a continuous path to obtain a baccalaureate degree and a medical degree within eight years; four years of undergraduate work and four years of medical school.
In This Issue
- Alumni Profile - Some Paths to Med School Are Longer Than Others: the Determination to Become a Doctor took One Alum All the Way to Mexico
Many students find the challenge of getting accepted to a graduate health program daunting: they are required to take difficult course loads while pursuing hands-on research or clinical experience outside the classroom, often while working to support themselves and families. Anthony Piccone, a practicing anesthesiologist in Denver for over twenty years, and 1978 alumnus of CU Denver's Biology program should serve as a beacon to those struggling to achieve their med school dreams. He applied no less than six times before finally being accepted to the University of Colorado Medical School and earning his MD in 1985. The path that led him into medicine made him the fighter he remains today.
- Alumni Profile - Fresh from CLAS Education, One Alumnus Finds Med School and Residency an Enjoyable Interlude on the Way to Her Calling
This semester nearly eight hundred students are studying in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with the goal of going on to a graduate level medical program. Whether they are pre-medical, pre-pharmacy, pre-nursing, pre-physical therapy or another pre-health specialization, many of them are drawn to the downtown campus because they are looking forward to applying to the University of Colorado programs on the Anschutz Medical campus.
With so many students vying for so few positions the competition can be fierce, and only the most qualified applicants advance. Anna Neumeier, now in her second year of residency at the University of California San Francisco, represents the success story that these hundreds of students aspire to replicate.
- Frontlines - Public Health a Growing Field and an Exciting New Program for CLAS
In May, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with the Colorado School of Public Health, will graduate the first cohort of students from the University of Colorado Denver with an undergraduate degree in public health. There are fewer than fifty undergraduate programs in public health in the US, and CU Denver has the only program in the Rocky Mountain region that offers students the chance to pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Now in only its second year, enrollment for the program is far ahead of what was projected, according to Associate Professor of Health and Behavioral Sciences and Anthropology, and the first Director of public health, David Tracer. "I think students are seeing the full flexibility inherent in the program. They are becoming aware of the need for public health workers and the looming shortage of public health workers in the US, and those two factors are coordinating with one another to make it a very popular major."