The latest updates about ATSU news, current events, research, and more.

Still Magazine
ATSU President
Scholarly Activity
Museum of Osteopathic Medicine
Story Idea?

Story Idea?

Click here to attach a file

ATSU-CHC student named as fellow of LBGT PA Caucus and PAs for Latino Health

A.T. Still University-College for Healthy Communities (ATSU-CHC) student Efren Torres, PA, ’24, will be representing ATSU’s Central Coast Physician Assistant (CCPA) program as a PA Student Leader Fellow, making strides for LGBTQ+ Hispanic students in the PA profession. 

The PA Student Leader Fellowship program is a joint fellowship between The LBGT PA Caucus and PAs for Latino Health (PALH), a caucus of the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA). Designed for PA students of Hispanic/Latino/a/x heritage who identify as LGBTQ+, the fellowship is a one-year leadership and mentoring program.

“I was told multiple times growing up that being gay and Latino would hinder me from being able to accomplish anything,” Torres said. “Being ‘different’ should never keep you from your goals, on the other hand, it should be celebrated. There are many great opportunities out there and if you follow your passion, you will accomplish your individual goals and dreams.”

Torres, a first-generation college graduate whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, was born and raised in California’s Central Valley, where he grew up in the small farming community of San Joaquin.

He said of his upbringing, “I was not ashamed to be who I am and wanted to show others that they could be gay and become someone in life. Your sexuality and upbringing should never hinder your education and should not limit who you are or what you can do.”

As a fellow, Torres will develop his professional network, work to improve the organizational culture within the PA profession, demonstrate service through leadership, and will also attend the AAPA annual conference.

Torres said he is thankful for the inclusivity he found in the CCPA program, which includes courses where students learn more about the health disparities often faced by those in the LGBTQ+ community, and how important it is to learn more about different cultures, ethnicities, and sexualities. 

“ATSU’s CCPA program has prepared me by giving me the best thing possible by letting me be myself. It is a very diverse school and program that welcomes people of all backgrounds and shows the utmost respect to all,” Torres said. “We have faculty who are very passionate about these matters and it has helped to shape us as future providers.”

He also holds a bachelor’s in environmental science from the University of Phoenix, and after graduating from ATSU’s CCPA program Torres hopes to further his education through ATSU-Arizona School of Health Sciences’ (ATSU-ASHS) Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program. 

ATSU’s DMSc program provides a PA-specific doctorate degree, and is designed for practicing PAs to further their knowledge of the profession and become leaders in the growing field.

Torres is looking forward to improving his skills to become the most inclusive and culturally humble provider he can be, and also hopes to use his passion for learning and teaching as a professor to one day educate the next generation of PAs.  

“I am excited to represent both my Hispanic and LGBTQ+ communities and to give back by providing the correct care needed. For me, it’s still surreal that I was chosen for this opportunity but I am excited to learn as much as I can and hopefully in the future inspire others to do the same as well as to become leaders in their respective fields,” he said.


Never miss out—get the feed today!