Centre’s medical school acceptance rate continues to exceed national percentage

Posted by Centre News in Biology, News, Pre-Med 17 Jun 2014

Fourteen members of the Class of 2014 have been accepted into medical schools across the nation, bringing the first-time acceptance rate among this year’s graduates to an impressive 86 percent. This far exceeds national acceptance rates in recent years—numbers that also include those who apply over multiple years. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 44 percent of total applicants were accepted into medical school in 2013, while national acceptance rates for the previous five years hovered around 45 percent.medschool

“It is a given that students who are accepted to medical school will have excellent GPAs and MCAT scores,” says Joe Workman, professor of chemistry and medical school advisor. “What stands out about successful Centre applicants, however, is the wide variety of extracurricular activities they have done.”

Of the 2014 grads accepted into medical school, eight were varsity athletes, eight did scientific research at Centre or another institution and 13 studied abroad. “It’s clear to me that these graduates have fully experienced a liberal arts education,” says Workman.

Nine of the graduates will be matriculating at medical schools in Kentucky, while others plan to attend places like the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga., and Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H.

Meghan Holliday, a behavioral neuroscience major from Newark, Del., will be attending Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“I could not have asked for a better experience as a pre-med student,” says Holliday of her experience at Centre. “When I was looking at colleges, I wanted to be able to pursue a variety of areas, including athletics, academics and leadership.”

Like two of her fellow 2014 grads accepted into medical school, Holliday was a member of Centre’s swim team, and she also studied abroad in Glasgow, Scotland, and completed an internship at the Commonwealth Cancer Center in Corbin, Ky.

Internships were also an integral part of Lily (Brooks) Weddle’s pre-med experience at Centre. The biology major from Harrodsburg, Ky. grew up on a goat farm, and working with animals helped spark her interest in medicine.

She gradually became interested in human health, and while at Centre, she volunteered at a hospital during a study abroad term in Merida, Mexico. During her junior year she served as an obstetrics intern in Kasoa, Ghana.

“This was one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding experiences of my life,” says Weddle. “I was exposed to the challenges of providing health care to those who cannot afford it or who lack access to it for other reasons.”

Weddle will be attending the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in the fall, and she is eager to expand her knowledge and work with patients. “I really enjoy interacting with different people and look forward to being able to use my knowledge and critical thinking skills to medically help others,” she says.

Not all Centre grads accepted into medical school are science majors. Of this year’s group, five received degrees in non-science related areas, including Matthew Lohr, a Spanish major,  who will be attending the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

“So many professors helped me reach my dream of attending medical school,” says Lohr, who cites the impact of Workman and Stephen Asmus, professor of biology and biochemistry & molecular biology. “Dr. Asmus made learning difficult material exciting and fun, and Dr. Workman was particularly helpful throughout the application process.”

Students on the pre-med track and those interested in other health professions are mentored by Centre’s Health Professions Advisory Group. The group is comprised of eight faculty members who assist students as they pursue their chosen path of study.

In addition to those in this year’s class, 10 other Centre graduates from previous years have been accepted into medical school and plan to begin this fall. Workman says it has been gratifying to see alums achieve this goal. “The stories of alums entering medical school this year are compelling,” he says, “because most of them have overcome significant hurdles.”

Workman emphasizes that students interested in the pre-med track should weigh their options and make an informed decision. “Make sure you know the profession,” he says. “Take time in the summer to shadow your family physician or volunteer at a nursing home for a week. The quest to become a physician is extremely difficult and expensive, and you should know what you’re doing.”

by Laurie Pierce

Pictured above: Centre graduates accepted into medical school gather with Medical School Advisor and Professor of Chemistry Joe Workman. From left to right: Rahul Joseph, Connor Ludovissy, Julia Springate, Bailey Nelson, Meghan Holliday, Matthew Lohr, Joe Workman, Lauren Fall, Lily (Brooks) Weddle, Sarah Bugg, Alexander Savage and Mathieu Assercq. Graduates not pictured: Ashley Boerrigter, Travis Carrol and Ashley Christian.