Springfield College Announces Pre-Medical Scholars ProgramSeptember 21, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 21, 2011 -- Springfield College launched a new pre-medical scholars program in September 2011. This dedicated office for academic advising and counseling for students intending to pursue a career in medicine is directed by Mary Healey, Ph.D., former dean of the college’s School of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies, who has been at the college for more than three decades.
According to Healey, “The pre-medical scholars program creates a dedicated focus for what we have been doing at Springfield College for a number of years. We have long advised students interested in medicine on appropriate pre-medical paths as undergraduates—from choosing the right academic courses to guiding them through the application process. In addition, we have affiliations with a number of top-rated medical schools. Because many of our graduates have become general practitioners, dentists, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, chiropractors and podiatrists, we have alumni working in these fields who provide internships for students. The pre-medical scholars program centralizes all of these resources and provides students looking to go into medicine with a unique and supportive program.”
Springfield College currently holds a number of fast-track affiliation agreements with medical schools, including the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM), the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Arizona School of Health Sciences. The purpose of these agreements is to provide medical school admission opportunities for Springfield College students. For many of these programs, students are accepted at the end of their sophomore year and upon meeting graduation and other requirements and fulfilling internships or practicum experiences are guaranteed placement in the partnering medical school. In particular, UNECOM accepts students after three years at Springfield College, with students’ senior year at Springfield College simultaneously serving as their first year at UNECOM. This allows exceptional students to shorten their academic career by one year.
“Medical school programs are highly competitive, and the application process can be daunting,” Healey said. “The pre-medical scholars program is a win-win situation for the students and the medical schools. The students benefit from help with course selection and assistance through the application process, and the medical schools benefit from students who have an appropriate undergraduate experience suited for success in a medical program.”
Internships are offered at hospitals, clinics and medical offices, and opportunities are available for physician shadowing.
Springfield College already has a number of alumni working in the medical field. One recent alum is Dr. Mark Kenton, the head of the emergency department at Springfield’s Mercy Medical Center. Kenton earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Springfield College in 1994 and 1996, respectively, studying under Healey.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without Dr. Healey. Everybody at some point in their career needs someone who believes in them, and she was the one person that truly believed in my potential,” he said. “Springfield College prepared me both clinically and from a hands-on standpoint. Academically, it made me much stronger going into medical school.
“The new program is outstanding,” he added. “It’s going to give students a lot more experience early on, and allow them to determine what direction they want their career to take. The connections Dr. Healey has established with these impressive medical schools makes things much easier for the students.”
Students who participate in the pre-medical scholars program also can join the college’s Pre-Medical Club, which brings guest speakers to campus and offers volunteer opportunities and activities related to different health fields.