University of Houston has been the constant backdrop for Diego Martinez's journey to achieve his dreams and become a doctor. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from UH in 2021, Martinez decided to continue being a Cougar and attend the University of Houston Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine, thanks to the school's offer of financial support.
"After receiving my scholarship, I felt that the Fertitta Family College of Medicine wanted me to attend their school just as much as I wanted to be there," he explains.
UH's support of his ambitions in medicine began before he applied to medical school. As an undergraduate, he was accepted to the College of Medicine's Shadowing Opportunity and Application Resource (SOAR) program. The SOAR program selects 10 to 12 undergraduate pre-med students from diverse backgrounds and provides them with firsthand experiences of what it's like to be a doctor. Martinez describes the SOAR program as "eye-opening."
"This program gave me the opportunity to shadow clinicians in underserved communities and gain insight as to how social disparities impact access to healthcare," he shares, emphasizing how it clarified the importance of the College of Medicine's priorities. "Being able to listen to patients and their difficulties in accessing healthcare demonstrated why the medical school established their mission."
As he continues to work towards becoming a doctor, he reminds himself of what he has learned so far: "School has taught me to have trust in your work ethic. With a strong work ethic comes confidence and success in any field. Class can be overwhelming at times, but I always feel grateful to be there and to finally be learning medicine."