University News

Lucky Seven for SUU’s Future Docs

Published: September 02, 2008 | Category: Academics

One week ago, at the University of Utah’s Kingsbury Hall, seven Southern Utah University students matriculated to the U’s School of Medicine and received their white coats in the traditional “White Coat” ceremony.

According to Rita Osborn, associate director of the Utah Center for Rural Health, this many students from SUU gaining admission to the University of Utah’s program set s a new record for any given year’s med school acceptances for SUU students into the University of Utah. The University of Utah Medical School has a total of 102 spaces for incoming medical students each year. This means that of the more than 2500 colleges and universities nationwide, SUU’s pre-med students will now represent nearly seven percent of the incoming 2008 med school class. The previous record for SUU student acceptance at the U was a total of four students in 2004.

Overall, 19 out of 21 SUU students to apply for medical school this past year gained acceptance into at least one school of their choice. These statistics cap an exciting year in terms of acceptances for SUU health-related students in general. In addition to high med school acceptance rates, 12 out of 14 SUU applicants will matriculate into dental school this year, and 100 percent of all SUU students who applied to pharmaceutical school were accepted into programs of their choosing.

Osborn credits such high acceptance rates to the well-roundedness of SUU’s applicants. States Osborn, “In addition to excellent academic skills, our students also have strong backgrounds in leadership, community service, research and other extracurricular experiences – perhaps more-so than many students at larger institutions.”

In addition, SUU Biology Professor Paul Pillitteri, who is also an advisor for many of SUU’s post-graduate bound science students, acknowledges the high level of undergraduate research available to SUU’s students as responsible for SUU’s high acceptance rates.

States Pillitteri, “At larger schools, undergraduate students just do not have the opportunity to do research with faculty members. That level of research is readily available to our students. Paired with the academic rigor of our entire program, a lot of our current students remark on the level of preparation and involvement they’re afforded at SUU.”

Considering SUU’s current reputation as aptly providing a private school type educational experience at a public school price, it’s no surprise SUU’s students are provided ample opportunities to get involved and to engage their interests beyond the standard classroom setting.

Case in point, a majority of all SUU’s medical, dental and pharmaceutical students recently accepted into doctorate programs participated in the Rural Health Scholars Program, an enhancement program for pre-health students at Southern Utah University.

As to the “White Coat” ceremony at the University of Utah, the newest Thunderbird representatives include Colton Arrant, a biology major from Hooper, UT; Andrew Carpenter, chemistry major from Cedar City, UT; Justin Chandler, a biology major from Idaho; Benjamin Dowse, a chemistry major from Kanab, UT; Jude Sells, an interdisciplinary major from Hawaii; Namea Sells, an interdisciplinary major from Cedar City, UT; and Wiley Thuett, a biology major from Cedar City, UT.

For more information about the Southern Utah University’s Rural Health Scholars program, please contact the Utah Center for Rural Health at 435-865-8520.

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