Twelve students from The University of Southern Mississippi have
been accepted into medical school at the University of Mississippi
School of Medicine in Jackson next fall.
of admissions is a significant increase from previous years, said
UMC Dean of Admissions Dr. Steven Case.
years, it would be more typical to have between three and five students
accepted, so for Southern Miss to jump to this number is a tremendous
change this year," Dr. Case said.
seven students were admitted to medical school at UMC, and over
the last three years, the number of applicants admitted has more
Dr. Case, two
assistant deans from UMC and two Southern Miss alumni who recently
completed their first year of medical school in Jackson visited
the Hattiesburg campus April 22 for a luncheon honoring the newly
The list of
students accepted include the following: Olivia Berry of Gulfport;
Blaine Britt of Wesson; Jason Jones of Hattiesburg; John Logan of
Laurel; Amber McIlwain of Waynesboro; Brian Newman of Pearl; Daryl
Pollard of Heidelberg; Amanda Smith of Laurel; Patrick Whipple of
Tupelo; Chasity Carpenter of Wesson; and T.J. Lawrence of Hattiesburg.
Amanda Winters of Petal was also accepted but has selected to attend
Tulane Medical School.
of Pearl, a senior nutrition major, said UMC was the only medical
school he applied to because it was the only one he's ever wanted
to attend. "I hear it's a totally different ballgame than undergraduate
school, but I'm looking forward to the challenge."
he wants to specialize in surgery because he's "always been
a hands-on type of person."
Dr. Case said
UMC medical school looks for several things when selecting an applicant.
A strong academic foundation in science and math is essential, he
said, as is the evidence that "you can take that information
and use it under standardized testing conditions."
the way physicians get licensed nowadays," Dr. Case said.
are communication skills, he continued. "Our goal is not simply
to train skilled physicians, but effective ones, and we think those
personal attributes are what make the difference. So the group of
kids we have here today have all those academic skills, but make
no mistake, that's about half of why we selected them," Dr.
Dr. Rex Gandy,
dean of the College of Science and Technology, said two components
were responsible for Southern Miss' success. "We have outstanding
students to work with, and our pre-professional advisor, Jan May,
works very hard and is dedicated to helping these students apply
and to helping them through the application process," Dr. Gandy
students have the technical background, but they also have people
skills and the ability to present themselves. My college and other
colleges at Southern Miss do a good job of preparing students to
go out and sell themselves."
alumna Stephanie Brookshire of Hattiesburg, who just finished her
first year of medical school at UMC, said the new recruits can expect
the unexpected next year. "It's nothing like you see on TV.
You won't know what it's going to be like until you get there, and
it's extremely challenging. There is a big adjustment period, but
it's definitely rewarding," Brookshire said.
said she benefited from the strong undergraduate programs at Southern
Miss. "You really need a strong background in certain courses
or you get to medical school and it just blows your mind. But Southern
Miss has a lot of professors that know a many of their students
are looking toward medical school, so they gear their classes toward
that," she said.
Dr. Case said
incoming medical students today face challenges physicians of yesteryear
did not face. He said the increase in the volume of information
medical students they are responsible for has continued to grow,
but the time they have to learn it has remained the same.
to be that when you came out of medical school in four years, you'd
learned everything there was to know. Today, when you come out in
four years, you've just scratched the surface," Dr. Case said.
May, who serves
as pre-professional advisor for the premedical, said she's not surprised
that the majority of students who applied from Southern Miss this
year have been accepted.
they received the strong science and math background they needed
from the fine faculty of the College of Science and Technology.
Second, these students are exceptional. Not only are they outstanding
academically, but I know from working with them that each is a compassionate
person, each has a quality of humility and earnestness that I found
reassuring. They're going to be great doctors," May said.