Pre-med student conference set for Saturday, Jan. 19, at CSUSB


A one-day conference for pre-med and pre-health students will address issues of health disparities, emergency medicine and applying for medical school when participants gather Jan. 19, 2013, at Cal State San Bernardino.

Pre-med conference

Medical and Pre-Health Student Society members: (front row from left) Jacqualyn Paredes and Marlene Noriega; (back row from left) Rick Cordova, Anthony Menacho,Eddie Menacho and Ricardo Juarez. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

The Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Conference, organized by the Medical and Pre-Health Student Society at CSUSB, will offer panel discussions, workshops and  keynote speakers highly respected in the area of healthcare and health education.

A conference like this one is needed in Southern California, say event organizers, a committee of six Cal State San Bernardino students.

“For the students who live in Southern California, our goal and our hope is that they come back to the community and actually help their community; serve their community in the healthcare profession,” says Oak Hills resident Rick Cordova, a CSUSB biology major and member of the executive committee.

This conference, organizers add, aims to promote the health sciences and career opportunities in healthcare and to inspire, encourage and increase retention and graduation rates of pre-medical and pre-health students across Southern California.

Keynote speakers for the conference include Alejandro Andrade, a 2009 graduate from the Keck School of Medicine at USC and a 2005 graduate with a bachelor’s in biology from Cal State San Bernardino, and Dr. G. Richard Olds, the dean for the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside.

Also speaking at the conference will be Christine Crispen, director of admissions and outreach for the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine; Neal L. Schiller, senior associate dean for student affairs at UCR’s School of Medicine; Jesse F. Martinez, vice dean for the College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences; and Virginia Tancioco, who performed her medical school prerequisite studies at CSUSB and is now an M.D. candidate at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

Workshops for the conference also will include primary care, application and admission processes for medical school, surgery, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine and health disparities.

The idea for the conference first came to Cordova more than a year ago after attending a similar conference at UC Davis. Following that trip, he spoke with the president of one pre-medical student organization at CSUSB, Ricky Juarez, of San Bernardino, and then with twin brothers Eddie and Anthony Menacho, both of Fontana. All agreed that Southern California had a real need for a conference that focused on encouraging pre-med students to ultimately practice medicine in their communities and a conference that addressed the serious gap in meeting the health care needs of different populations.

Along with CSUSB biology major Marlene Noriega, of San Bernardino, and Jacqualyn Paredes, a nursing major who lives in Riverside, Cordova, Juarez and the Menacho brothers comprise the conference’s executive committee.

The committee is organizing the conference even though CSUSB has no department dedicated to pre-med students and is not affiliated with a medical school. It is these schools, the committee says, that almost always put on such conferences.

The Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Conference is being sponsored by the CSUSB President’s Office and the Associated Students Inc.

Conference organizers have invited professionals from the health care industry and students from colleges and universities throughout Southern California.

Participants can get more information or register for the conference online at the Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Conference website. Cost to attend the conference is $25, and registration at the door is $35. A group registration is $25 per person and CSUSB students also are $15 with a valid CSUSB student I.D.

Digital images of the executive board for the Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Conference are available through the CSUSB Office of Public Affairs.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit