A Blessing in Disguise

The students will join the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine's Class of 2013.

The students will join the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine's Class of 2013.

When dozens of medical students at the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine in Puerto Rico learned their school could no longer provide them with a medical education, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine admissions officials stepped in to help.

“We are pleased to welcome these students to join the class, and potentially also become future doctors for El Paso and our region,” said Manuel Schydlower, M.D., associate dean for admissions at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.


In response to a request from the Association of American Medical Colleges, Carlos Encarnacion, of San Antonio; Gemmie Devera, of Chula Vista, Calif.; Ariana Nieto Meraz, of Mansfield; and Emmanuel Rodriguez, of Caguas, Puerto Rico, were accepted into the Class of 2013.

Encarnacion said he was shocked when he learned the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine lost its accreditation.

“No one saw it coming, not even the faculty,” Encarnacion said. “I went home that day and started contacting medical schools. I didn’t want to lose a year.”

Meraz, who is originally from Juarez, Mexico, said although she is saddened by the closing of her former school, she is grateful to have the chance to continue her training on the Texas/Mexico border.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to be here and for the school opening its doors to me,” Meraz said. “I am also excited to come home.”

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