Medical schools trying to address shortage of future doctors by - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Medical schools trying to address shortage of future doctors by reaching out to undocumented students

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Uriel Sanchez was born in Mexico and brought to the U.S. illegally as a child.

Now a junior in college, he's still not a U.S. citizen but he's planning to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.

"I wanna have that same chance, that same shot in going to medical school," Sanchez said.

Until now, medical school hasn't been an option for some of the country's best and brightest undergrad students like Uriel.

Loyola University's Stritch School of Medicine, outside Chicago, has become the first medical school in the country planning to accept undocumented students who qualify.

"As a medical school, we're always interested in recruiting the best of the best applicants to apply to medical school and become Physicians who can serve our patient populations here in the United States," said Mark Kuczewski with Loyola University's Stritch School of Medicine.

Loyola emphasizes that its admissions process is highly competitive, and says the same standards will continue to apply to every candidate.

"There is no preferential status here. It's simply um the right to compete on a level playing field with everybody else," said Kuczewski.

But some state lawmakers fear the school's new policy sends the wrong message.

"I don't think we should give special privileges and treatment to people who have come here against the law and broken the law," said Illinois Senator Jim Oberweis.

Loyola's Medical School receives about seven thousand applicants each year and of those it accepts one hundred and fifty students.

With the application process in full swing the medical school is anticipating that it will accept maybe five or six of those dreamers to start classes in the fall of next year.

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