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Local medical program educates medical students pursuing healthcare careers

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY-TV) We always talk about "shop local" but what about "stay local?”

Every year thousands of high school students leave our area and end up staying in other cities,  instead of coming back to Yuma.

A program at Yuma Regional Medical Center is trying to change that keeping locals in the healthcare industry caring for patients in our community.

The Mentor Me M-D Program started about 3 years ago.

It's for local students pursuing healthcare careers.

“I remember when I decided to go into medicine and started my path and all that and how being a physician here in Yuma giving back to the community this way is so satisfying,” said Dr. Natalia Galarza, Core Faculty Lead on Community Medicine Residency.

They interact with medical professionals, patients, and clinical staff to get real-world hospital experience.

“Definitely feel very prepared right now while I’m a sophomore in college and I think all these experiences really have built me to become a better student,” said Adriana Medina, a YRMC volunteer, and medical student. 

Last year the program shut down due to covid the workshops became available again just last month.

This week they're focusing on healthcare scholarship opportunities, career opportunities, and the best path for pre-med students.

“Sometimes just what they need is someone, someone you know pointing them in the right direction, a co-pilot or cheerleader. They need to know that someone is in their corner,” said Dr. Galarza. 

If you want to become a member of the Mentor Me M-D Program contact the volunteer services office at Y-R-M-C or you can visit their website.

You also have to be an active college student or high school junior or senior.  

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Melissa Zaremba

Melissa Zaremba joined KYMA in November 2021. Melissa is a weekday morning weathercaster and reporter.

She graduated from Arizona State University at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2021, earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.

If you have a story idea or want to share any weather pictures with Melissa, you can email her at

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