Student Affairs

Society Purple

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Paulina Cardenas

Dr. Paulina Cardenas


Welcome medical students!

I was born in Texas and grew up in the Rio Grande Valley area. I spent 8 years studying in the Boston area before coming back to San Antonio as a medical student. I graduated from UTHSCSA in 2000. I did my anesthesia residency and a clinical obstetrical fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. I joined the faculty in 2015 after a decade in private practice in Arizona. Fortunately, I was able to find my way back home to Texas where I belong. I am an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology where I like taking care of pregnant patients. I enjoy anything that is physically challenging (especially triathlons), spending time with my two children and speaking Spanish with anyone who will listen to me.

Mentors in Medicine/MiMs (MSIV)

David Dalton

David Dalton


Hi everyone! My name is David. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and attended Rice University where I played one year as a defensive end for our football team and majored in psychology. After college, I went straight to medical school and have been in San Antonio since! Medical school has been both challenging and fun and I have appreciated the opportunities to be involved in international medical service trips, acapella groups, and ultimate frisbee teams while learning as much as I possibly can about being a good doctor. I also have developed a love for coffee. Late in my third year, I discovered that I love urology, and plan to apply for a residency position in the upcoming year. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife Tristanne, hiking, brewing beer, singing opera, being involved with my church, and watching Dr. Who. I love mentoring and teaching and look forward to serving you as a MiM in the upcoming year! Welcome to medical school!

Jason John

Jason John


Hello all! My name is Jason and I love being a medical student. I was born in Boston, Massachusetts and spent 10 years living in New England before moving to Fort Worth, Texas. I attended Central High School in Keller and then Texas A&M University in College Station, where I majored in Microbiology and Nutritional Sciences.

My medical school experience in San Antonio has been amazing. I have made lifelong friends, been mentored by brilliant faculty, and been primed to take on residency at any program that will have me (let me at ‘em). I have done a little bit of this and that during my time here, but the Veritas program has been one of my nearest and dearest extracurricular activities. In my spare time, I like to play soccer, cook, watch movies, and travel. I am a very big sports fan, and particularly enjoy cheering on the Aggies, Red Sox, and Patriots. This year, I will seek a spot in an Internal Medicine residency program, with aspirations of becoming an academic hospitalist or intensivist.

Medical school is hard, but it should also be fun. You will make many friends in your class, but you will also have a friend in me. I look forward to working with you individually and as a group, passing down any and all wisdom I have acquired over the years, providing a direct line to the “seniors”, and networking you with some pretty amazing physicians. I am honored to be your Mentor in Medicine!

Lauren Kraut

Lauren Kraut


Hi! My name is Lauren and I'm excited to be a MiM for the purple society! I grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI but moved to Plano, TX for high school. I went to UT Austin, studied nutritional sciences and business and was involved in Greek life and student government. I'm a traditional student so I didn't do anything cool between college and med school (other than travel around Europe). I plan to pursue a career in emergency medicine and possibly a critical care or global health fellowship, or both! In my spare time I love baking sweets, trying new cuisines, running (because I bake and try new cuisines), hanging out with my cat and doing outdoorsy things, especially in Austin.

Diana Labrada

Diana Labrada


Hey y'all! So excited to have you joining the UT Health San Antonio family!

I was born and raised in Laredo, TX, but moved deeper in South Texas for undergrad. I received a BS in Biology with a double major in English and a minor in chemistry from the University of Texas Pan-American (as it was known in my day) back in 2014. I started med school right after and will be applying to an Emergency Medicine residency this fall. I have a passion for medical education and know that I will ultimately end up at an academic institution working with medical students and residents.

In my spare time, I deeply enjoy baking and am always looking for new recipes. I watch more TV than I probably should and am a huge Game of Thrones fan. I love spending time with people, whether going dancing, to a museum, catching up over some tacos, anything! I also spend an unhealthy amount of time on Buzzfeed.

Med school can be daunting, but it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I hope we can make it so for you too. So excited to work with you!

Veritas Peer Advisors/VPAs (MSII)

Myrna Garcia

Myrna Garcia


Hi,

I'm super excited to be a VPA this year!!! I am originally from Mexico (Monterrey, NL) but moved to the US when I was super young and grew up in Houston. I went to UH (#GoCoogs) and graduated in the fall of 2015 so I don't think I count as non-trad. During my semester off I worked at BCM researching obesity in children (because I'm an MD/PHD student and research is all I know haha). I love running, yoga and dancing, you can also catch me at gold's doing body pump when I'm feeling too cool for school! It going to be a great year :D

Mitchell Katona

Mitchell Katona


I am a native San Antonian (Go Spurs Go!) and a fourth generation Longhorn. In 2016, I graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. I am still undecided on a specialty, but I plan to use my undergraduate degree in my practice through medical device innovation, perhaps in emergency medicine or surgery. I'm privileged to be involved in other great organizations on campus such as the San Antonio Refugee Health Clinic, the Business in Medicine interest group, and intramural soccer.

I have a younger brother and sister that are both in college and two loving, dedicated parents. I enjoy playing soccer, watching movies, a good IPA, and when I make it far enough north, skiing.

Lara Slesnick

Lara Slesnick


My name is Lara Slesnick and I was born and raised in Austin, Texas. Instead of going to the University of Texas (where my dad teaches), I decided to break the trend and attended Texas A&M University to swim competitively (whoop!). I loved my four years there, but I decided I needed an off year before I began medical school, so I am a non-traditional medical student! I worked in the Emergency Room as a scribe during my senior year at Texas A&M and for a little bit after graduation. During my off year, I worked as a medical assistant in a dermatology clinic where I loved assisting in MOHs micrographic surgery as well as the general dermatology practice.

I have two older brothers who were also collegiate competitive swimmers. In my off time, I enjoy swimming and teaching others how to swim better! I also enjoy running my pup, Finn. I ran my first half-marathon last year, and I am planning on running a full marathon soon. I love to travel and a good glass of wine! I am so excited to be your VPA!