TAMPA, Fla. — According to the American Association of medical colleges, a little over five percent of physicians identify as Latinos. A number that the university of south Florida is hoping to increase.

What You Need To Know

  • The Tampa Bay Latin American Association partners with USF to provide scholarships for Hispanic students

  • Ely Olivares is a Graduate Student who received the scholarship in her undergraduate years

  • According to the last Census, the Hispanic population is continuing to grow while the number of Hispanics in the medical field isn’t increasing

Ely Olivares spends most of her day inside her room, studying for lectures and preparing for exams. She describes her program as a job. “You have to commit 60 hours of studying.”

Ely is a graduate student at the University of South Florida, with a goal of becoming a doctor. She says it’s a career you really must love. “It’s hard, but you know this career is a very hard field. You have to be determined, you have to be motivated to just keep going.”

According to the latest census, the Hispanic population is continuing to grow, but the number of Hispanics in the medical field isn’t.

it’s why there’s non- profits like the Tampa Bay Latin medical society helping students like Ely, with scholarships.

“They provided so many resources for us and told us you’re not alone and so that helped me too because I know I’m not the only one doing this,” says Ely.

Ely received the scholarship during her junior year of undergrad. a scholarship that is helping pave the way not only for herself, but for her family as well.

She recalls why it’s so important for her to continue pursuing her career, “When they came over, they didn’t know much English, so my mom would go to appointments when we were smaller and back then there weren’t as many translators for people who spoke Spanish and I felt like this needed to be changed.”\

Ely says as a Mexican American and a first-generation student, the scholarship has helped her continue to dream big. “I always go back to that moment, like this is a whole room of Hispanic Doctors and I want to be that pus one in that room.”

As Ely pursues medical school, she hopes to inspire others. “That’s what the scholarship did for me. It helped me, so now I’m hoping in the future that I can help somebody else.”

The Scholarship is intended for Latino students pursuing a career in the medical field.