December 15, 2016
Several Susquehanna University students scored in the 99th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test, positioning them excellently for admission to medical school.
Top scorers include Oliver Beale, a senior chemistry major from Port Trevorton, Pa.; Megan Wright, a senior biochemistry major from Winfield, Pa.; and Dillon Warr, of Philadelphia, who graduated in May with a degree in biology.
Beale and Wright attributed their varied, liberal arts educations with preparing them for the exam that is administered by the American Association of Medical Colleges.
"I don't think any student fully appreciates just how much they've learned until they crack open six MCAT books bigger than most of their textbooks and realize they actually know the majority of what they're reading," Wright said.
Beale agreed: "I think that the variety of courses that the liberal arts offers let me hone my intellectual skills so that I could study for the exam more efficiently."
Outside of the classroom, Susquehanna's science professors devote time and energy to mentoring students, and helping them refine research techniques, prepare for tests and successfully apply to graduate and professional school.
In addition, a new biomedical sciences major prepares students for entrance to multiple medical professions and graduate school. Biomedical sciences combines a solid foundation in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry and physics with more applied courses related to the study of the human body.
Beale and Wright are now applying to medical schools, with Wright looking toward a career in emergency medicine or public health.
"Going to a liberal arts school is viewed increasingly favorably in medical education. They like that you're well-rounded and have done things other than take biology classes," Wright said. "They like that you're an athlete, that you minored in a foreign language or fine art, that you engaged in your community. It makes you human."
Beale is leaning toward pursuing surgery, with plans to possibly return to rural Snyder County to practice medicine.
"The application process is long, but it's extremely satisfying," he said. "I got my first acceptance the other day. It was a really satisfying experience. Now I'm looking forward to hearing back from more."