Message from the Director

Marja M. Hurley, M.D.Marja M. Hurley, M.D.

Associate Dean
Department of Health Career Opportunity Programs
Founding Director, Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative

The Department of Health Career Opportunity Programs is an integral part of the School of Medicine’s and School of Dental Medicine educational community at UConn Health. The School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine are actively committed to the recruitment, retention, and graduation of a medical and dental student population capable of providing culturally competent health care.

Since the inception of the department in 1986, one of its goals has been to develop and identify an outstanding applicant pool. It is our belief that early exposure to the various fields in the biomedical sciences will ultimately increase the diverse pool of students who pursue careers in medicine and dental medicine and biomedical research. The outstanding programs and activities that are designed, coordinated, and implemented through this department, have proven to be top-notch. Statistics indicate that  students, who have participated in the pipeline of programs, have successfully completed their undergraduate degrees, and have actualized their goals of entering medical school. It is for this reason that the Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative programs and activities sponsored through the Department of Health Career Opportunity Programs have been recognized as a national model. To date we have accomplished our goals and continue to develop new programs and fine-tune existing ones.

An equally important goal of the department is to help create a supportive environment for those students who are accepted and choose to matriculate in our medical or dental school. All students who matriculate in the medical or dental program will find a caring faculty who are willing to provide mentoring and support. This is facilitated in part by our relatively small class size. The department supports student organizations such as the Student National Medical Association, the Latino Medical Student Association, Student National Dental Association, Hispanic Dental Student Association and the ever-popular "Culture Shock."

We are very proud of the students who have matriculated and graduated from our medical and dental schools, and we look forward to welcoming you into our community. If you desire additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at 860-679-3483 or 860-679-3484.