deas at the open house
April 8, 2024

Open House 2024 Welcomes Community to the SOM

The annual event invites prospective students and community members to learn more about medical school.

Author: Erika Klein
April 8, 2024

On Saturday, the UC Riverside School of Medicine hosted Open House 2024, an annual event that helps attendees learn more about the school and the path to entering the health professions.

More than 600 people attended the event, including prospective students, medical school applicants, high school students, and their families.

Crowd in Room 104 during opening session

Deborah Deas, MD, MPH, the vice chancellor for health sciences and the Mark and Pam Rubin dean of the School of Medicine, welcomed the attendees. “I hope that you take the time to attend the events,” she said, “but also and more importantly, the time to connect with each other and connect with School of Medicine staff, faculty, as well as our students.”

Open House 2024, which took place from 10 am until 2 pm, offered the opportunity to attend student panels and faculty presentations, tour the Center for Simulated Patient Care, and explore the new SOM Education Building II. Attendees could also speak to representatives from UCR Health and learn more about the SOM’s new Master of Public Health (MPH) program, which will begin in fall 2024.

Linda Castro, from Norco, CA, came to this year’s event to get more insights into medical school. A first-generation college student attending Riverside City College, Castro said she always wanted to go into medicine but wasn’t sure how until she joined the California Medicine Scholars Program (CMSP). As one of the UCR SOM Pathway Programs, CMSP supports community college students on their journey to medical school.

Linda Castro at Open House
Linda Castro

Castro said she was looking forward to touring the Center for Simulated Patient Care while increasing her motivation to get into medical school and pursue her dream of becoming a dermatologist. “Especially because I grew up with a lot of hyperpigmentation,” she explained, “being able to help little girls that went through the same thing but didn't know what was going on would really be my end goal.”

For students applying to medical school, Open House also presented an opportunity to learn more about the SOM and visit the campus.

"Being Black and a woman, I'm aware of the disparities in terms of representation in physicians,” said one medical school applicant, Destiny, who requested to be identified only by her first name. Destiny grew up in Rancho Cucamonga and her firsthand experience of some of the region’s challenges, such as the lack of representation and few available doctor’s appointments, helped motivate her to apply to medical school.

She added that she appreciates the UCR SOM’s commitment to diversity, its collaborative environment, and its dedication to addressing health challenges in the region. “Given my background, it's something that I definitely want to pursue here in the IE,” she said.