JSerra Announces New Pre-Med Professional Magnet Program

JSerra Catholic High School issued the following press release this morning.


Students will shadow surgeons, neurologists, orthopedists and other medical professionals
• Summer practicum includes clinical rotations
• Creative partnership with medical community further distinguishes JSerra’s curriculum
• Programs in Law and Business up next

Jan. 14, 2009 – (San Juan Capistrano, CA) – JSerra Catholic High School and Mission Hospital announced a Pre-Med Professional Magnet program designed for students interested in careers in medicine and healthcare.

Students will shadow Mission Hospital’s industry-leading surgeons, neurologists, orthopedists, nurses, as well as hospital professionals who do not practice medicine.

Peter Bastone
Peter Bastone

The high school and hospital are developing a rigorous four-year science-focused curriculum.

When they graduate, pre-med students will receive a special citation on their diplomas – and be prepared to compete at the nation’s most prestigious universities, said Frank Talarico, JSerra’s CEO.

“We are committed to innovating new ways to prepare our students for the next stage of their educational development – and for their professional careers,” Talarico said. “We are blessed to have such a great friend in Mission Hospital and CEO Peter Bastone. We believe his partnership will result in a higher percentage of our brightest students choosing careers in medicine and healthcare.”

California and Orange County face a shortage of doctors and nurses – and there’s a shortage of surgeons in U.S. hospitals, Bastone said.

“Our vision is to engage parents and students in a different way,” Bastone said.

Bastone envisions students’ summer rotations to include trauma simulations with dummies that breathe, move and bleed.

During lectures about the circulation system, he added, “we will broadcast an open-heart surgery live from the operating room into the classroom.”

The pilot program begins in spring with 25 students.

It’s designed to be a four-year program, but a select group of current freshman, sophomores and juniors will participate.

The students will enroll in an intensive curriculum that includes honors and Advanced Placement courses in biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy/physiology and religion. Supplementing the coursework will be regular lectures from Mission’s professionals. Doctors from St. Joseph’s in Orange and St. Jude’s in Fullerton will also participate. Seniors will be required to complete a project – similar to a thesis, and graduates must also complete hospital internships and a service project.

Frank Talarico

“This illustrates our commitment to our students and their long-term needs.  High school is not a terminal degree.  We have an obligation to our students and their families to offer experiences that will serve them a lifetime,” Talarico said.

The number of freshman admitted into the first four-year class and other details are still being finalized.

“We are confident this program will attract those interested in challenging themselves in a way that will prepare them to compete at the top colleges in the world,” he said.

JSerra plans to follow-up with magnet programs in law, business and vocations, Talarico said.

About JSerra Catholic High School
Just seven years old, JSerra Catholic High School is quickly becoming one of the region’s top university preparatory institutions. Its graduates include National Merit Scholarship winners, Ivy League university students and Division I collegiate athletes. Located in San Juan Capistrano, the school features $110-million facilities, including a state-of-the-art $40 million athletic complex. For more, visit www.jserra.org.

About Mission Hospital
Mission Hospital provides south Orange County communities with access to advanced care and advanced caring through two convenient locations. Mission Hospital has been serving the greater needs of the community for nearly 40 years, improving the quality of life in the communities we serve.  Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, the region’s only designated trauma center, offers 24-hour emergency care and specialized services for imaging, heart, stroke, maternity, and women’s wellness needs.  Its second campus, Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, offers 24-hour emergency, intensive and medical-surgical care as well as the South County’s only behavioral health services and hospital-based chemical dependency and chronic pain medicine abuse center. A member of the St. Joseph Health System, Mission Hospital is one of 14 not-for-profit hospitals sponsored by the St. Joseph Health Ministry.