Marlene Garcia, Austin College Class of 2006, grew up in a poor community of El Paso, Texas, and doctor visits were rare, but the occasional encounter was life changing: she determined to become a physician—and she’s almost there. In her final year of internal medicine training at UT Southwestern Medical School, she has been accepted for a cardiology fellowship at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. Her eventual goal is to practice preventive cardiology in underserved areas of El Paso and work in academic medicine, teaching and recruiting.
The Austin College health sciences advisor was a true mentor in all aspects of Marlene’s journey, including experiential learning opportunities in medicine that solidified her career choice. But Marlene’s education wasn’t all about science; in fact, she majored in political science (with a biology minor), studied abroad, and was active on campus. “Austin College helped me value the importance of a well-rounded education, and I carried that with me—prepared not only for rigorous coursework at my medical institution but also to become a leader.” She served two years as president of the Latino Medical School Association at UT Southwestern.
Marlene advises pre-medical students considering Austin College to work hard, but to enjoy the experience. ”A liberal arts degree is enlightening; don’t major in biology or biochemistry. You’ll have plenty of time in medical school to learn all the science you need. Austin College professors are amazing and approachable. Become friends with them.” That certainly worked for Marlene.