St. Michael's High School

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Medical Magnet Program

The Medical Magnet Program (MMP) at St. Michael’s High School, a component of the STEM program housed within the Science Department, is a specific and rigorous sequence and selection of health science classes available to students in grades 9–12 grade who have specific interests in pursuing medical programs in college and beyond.


The MMP consists of a curriculum that focuses on the sciences and math disciplines and intends to build a lasting connection between health care and students, linking them with the local hospital and the Santa Fe community. The differentiating classes in the MMP include Intro to Medical Terminology, Introduction to Medical Ethics, Anatomy & Physiology, Concepts of Genetics, Introduction to Neuroscience, and a clinical context program at Christus St. Vincent Hospital. A student in the program would take these classes in addition to the required classes in math and science the school already requires of students.

An anticipated outcome of the MMP is for our students to return to Santa Fe as medical practitioners—serving all populations in Santa Fe and the surrounding counties, especially the poor and marginalized communities in Northern New Mexico.


Program Faculty & Coordination

MMP StudentsThe Medical Magnet Program is coordinated by faculty in the Science Department because it is housed within the Science Department at St. Michael’s. Faculty in the MMP are current or former medical practitioners, bringing real-life experience to the classroom. Faculty in the MMP are especially charged with having a knack and talent for building rapport with new, young, curious, and eager students with the intent on building passion and enthusiasm for the health sciences in our students and promoting the health sciences into college and beyond. Faculty and guest speakers have ranged from retired and current MDs to health care administrators, radiology techs, surgery specialists, surgeons, or nurses. Faculty in the MMP report to the Science Department Chair, Mr. Rob Madril. 


Rob Madril earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and his master’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College. He has teaching endorsements in science, math, and social studies. At St. Michael’s, Mr. Madril teaches AP Physics C Mechanics, Physical Science, Honors Environmental Science, and Honors Intro to Engineering . Mr. Madril reports to the Principal. 

Jessica Balladeras serves as the Medical Magnet Teacher/Director. Ms. Balladeras holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and is a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), a Registered Phlebotomist Technician (RPT) and is currently the Allied Health Program Coordinator at the Santa Fe Community College’s Health and Science Department. She is a gifted teacher and brings experience, enthusiasm, and stability to the MMP.

Measuring Success In MMP:

GraphicAs with any program, measuring success is important.  Three criterion have been initially implemented to measure success in the MMP. They are:

  1. ACT Math & Science sub-scores. Students in the MMP are expected to score higher on the science section of the ACT. We will compare the science sub-scores of our MMP cohort to the rest of the student population to determine how much better our MMP and STEM students did than the non-MMP student population. This data will inform the success of our program and provide a foundational data point for changes to the program year by year.
  2. College Major Selection. We expect more students at our school to declare health science majors upon graduation than currently declared. While we realize students change majors, we also know many students are focused on health science careers as early as age 15 (sophomores in high school). We have never tracked declared majors vs finished majors but do intend to measure the effectiveness of STEM and MMP on our student college major decision-making process.
  3. MMP Retention. If curriculum and pedagogy are working—and dare we say, “inspiring”—our students the way we expect, attrition in the MMP program should be low and retention should be high. In other words, the same 16 or 32 students who start in the program as freshmen should be the same 16 or 32 who walk across the stage at graduation, identified with a special MMP cord with their cap and gown.

"Dr. Smith inspired me and introduced me to a subject I never thought I would be interested in.

Going into this class, I did not want to be a doctor. But now, because of Dr.Smith, it is all I think


-1st Cohort Student in MMP