June 19, 2024

HACU appoints DoctoreX executive director to expand Hispanic representation in medicine

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has announced the appointment of Ricardo Del Castillo Lupio, M.D., as the executive director of DoctoreX, a new program designed to address the underrepresentation of Hispanics in medicine through domestic and international collaborations. 

“The DoctoreX program is a necessary step for providing access to quality healthcare for the Hispanic community. Hispanic-Serving Institutions are strategically important pipelines to partner with international medical schools accredited in the U.S.,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “Dr. Del Castillo is an excellent choice to lead the DoctoreX program, demonstrating an international perspective in his work as a medical school academic and professional, and we look forward to what the future of the program will bring.”

Increasing representation in the physician workforce is key to improving quality of health care provided to a growing and diverse U.S. population, yet Hispanic medical school enrollment and medical graduation rates remain marginal. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, Hispanic medical doctors represent 6% of all the practicing physicians in the nation. This disproportionate representation creates a health care crisis for the Hispanic community, especially for individuals whose primary or only language is Spanish. The doctor/patient gap is expected to worsen over the coming decade.

The DoctoreX program will leverage a large pool of diverse undergraduate talent enrolled at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to pursue careers in medicine. A DoctoreX Task Force was established by the Association last year to address increasing Hispanics with medical degrees, preparing bilingual, bicultural physicians, and reducing medical school attendance costs. The Task Force, made up of members from the U.S. medical community, stateside and international medical schools, seek ways to address these important needs.

Del Castillo most recently served as interim dean of student success at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine, leading initiatives to enhance student outcomes and engagement, bolster retention rates, student satisfaction, and overall performance. Prior to that role, he served as the associate dean of medical education and clinical affairs at the school of medicine’s International Educational Program shaping the curriculum for international students, fostering partnerships with healthcare institutions, and managing clinical affairs. He earned a medical degree from Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara.