This is a great idea for folks in the Detroit area…
Ten students who attend Wayne State University in Detroit will be getting a huge helping hand toward their dreams of becoming doctors.
The goal is to help get talented students from low-income background into medical school and help them through it. The university wants to help them work toward addressing the issues of health disparities.
“I want Wayne State to be known as the place for training biomedical scientists and MDs,” Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson told the Free Press in an exclusive interview. “We want kids who can go anywhere, but choose to go to Wayne.”
The idea was inspired by Wilson’s own academic career. Wilson, a doctor who focused on researching glaucoma and blindness in people from the Caribbean to West Africa, applied a year early to Harvard’s Medical School. He received a response, placing him on the wait list.
“It wasn’t quite a guarantee that I’d get in, but it said I was a really strong student and they wanted me to finish up my undergraduate degree,” Wilson said. He did get in and graduated with his MD.
“Medical school is so difficult to get into, even for people with good credentials,” he said. “Knowing that I was in early meant I didn’t have some of the anxiety some of my classmates had. It allowed me to take classes like philosophy and advanced English that really helped me be a better person and a better physician ultimately.
“Students who are in this program will really be able to emphasize learning and not competition with other students.”
Wayne Med-Direct, the name of the program, will include four years of paid undergraduate tuition, room and board for university housing, as well as four years of paid medical school tuition, totally to $251,000 in savings.
The program will admit 10 new students each year beginning next summer. The university is accepting applications until January 15, 2016.
In order to be accepted to the program, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and a 1340 SAT or 30 ACT score, be a US citizen or permanent resident and be a new freshman. Students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds who want to study health disparities will be given preference.
“We expect a large part of each cohort will be underrepresented minorities,” Wilson said. “That will also help us in terms of diversity in the medical school over time.”