As health care providers face crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, they also face unprecedented levels of demand around the world. Some Fresno State students have pressing questions about the future of health care provision and what it might look like in a post-COVID-19 world.

The Health Careers Opportunity Program is dedicated to preparing students for careers in medicine (allophathic or osteophathic), dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, clinical psychology, clinical lab science, chiropractic, physician assistant, podiatry, veterinary or public health. Many graduates of this program attend prestigious health professional schools and often return to serve in the Valley.

Since its inception over 30 years ago, the program has served more than 1,000 students.

Alyssa Rivera, a student in the College of Science and Mathematics at Fresno State, describes the program as “a vital aspect of my undergraduate career. It means that I have opportunities and resources to go to.”

Each week students in the program receive a tailored email with various learning, internship, research and virtual event opportunities.

Alumni who were part of the program return and offer mentorship to current students.  The program is designed to equip pre-professional students with the opportunities and support that is crucial as they embark on their academic journey.

Alumnus Dr. Kevin Martinez said, “The Health Careers Opportunity Program really created an environment for me to explore different career options with respect to the health care field. I was able to connect to a mentor who was a physician. Prior to that I never thought about medicine. Through that mentor/mentee relationship, I realized my calling in life to become a physician, and I never looked back after that.”

The program accepts students from various backgrounds, regardless of their financial situation. Applications are accepted year-round:

The Health Careers Opportunity Program relies on private support. Those supporting the program are helping students on their journey toward health careers, thereby increasing the number and diversity of health care professionals in the Valley.