UOG gets premedical students in clinics with shadow program

TRITONS: University of Guam students participating in the Health Opportunities and Medical Exposure program for the first time give the UOG Tridents symbol at the completion of the program in early August. From left are Victoria Flisco, a biomedical track biology major and program coordinator for HOME; students Gabriel Borg, Ella Macatugal and Vincent Borja; Dr. Amanda del Rosario, a pediatrician at American Medical Center and HOME executive director; and students Terance Comacho and Amanda Cruz. Meghan Swartz/The Guam Daily Post

University of Guam partnered for the first time with nonprofit Health Opportunities and Medical Exposure to give UOG students on-the-job experience with local physicians.

Victoria Flisco, a UOG biology student who co-founded the university's Premedical Chapter of the American Medical Student Association, volunteered to serve as HOME's program coordinator, based on her belief that Guam was in need of more opportunities for premedical students.

"I have experienced shadowing before and have had amazing medical doctors as mentors," Flisco said in a news release. "I am happy to assist a program that paves a way so that other students who have no shadowing experiences can have the opportunity to learn from doctors and experience persevering through the challenges of practicing medicine to help the people of Guam."

More than 80 high school and college students applied for the program, and five UOG students were chosen from among UOG's AMSA chapter: biology majors Gabriel Borg and Vincent Borja, chemistry and biology major Amanda Cruz and biomedical track biology majors Ella Macatugal and Terance Camacho.

Each student was paired with a local physician from clinics around the island, including Guam Radiology Consultants, FHP Health Center and One Love Pediatrics, who they shadowed for two months during the summer.

Borja, a premedical biology student who hopes to pursue dermatology, shadowed Dr. Erika Alfrod, an endocrinologist at American Medical Center.

"I know I can always go to her for any advice I may need in my journey in the medical field," Borja said.

Flisco said she hopes the program will grow even more in 2019, with plans to bring on more volunteer mentors and host clinics.