John Carroll University prides itself on its successful job placement rate after graduation, and JCU’s Medical School Early Acceptance programs that partner with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine for Ohio students contribute to this high success rate. The program helps both prospective high school seniors and current JCU students gain early acceptance to medical school.
Kathy Lee, chair of JCU’s Pre-Health Professions program, started the program with the assistance of George Lewandowski, physician-in-residence, and Tanesha Lee, pre-health professions department assistant. Lee launched the program after about a year of building relationships with LECOM and OU-HCOM, two schools that JCU graduates commonly attend for medical school. Lee approached the two schools about forming affiliations with JCU, and both have started their official affiliations with JCU in the past year. LECOM’s program began last fall, and OU-HCOM’s program began just this month.
“I feel like I need to do whatever I need to help students achieve that goal [of going to med school],” said Lee.
As JCU’s physician-in-residence, Lewandowski is involved in counseling, program development and interacting with alumni and recent students.
Through Lee’s work, there are three students at JCU who are enrolled in the LECOM program, more interviewing for it this semester and about four or five high school students who are applying to JCU that have already been accepted to LECOM’s program.
There are two methods of applying to LECOM’s early acceptance program. The first option is to apply as a prospective high school senior. Aside from contacting JCU’s Office of Admission, the prospective student also has to meet other requirements, including a minimum high school GPA of 3.5, SAT score of 1170 and completion of LECOM’s own application requirements. The second application process is for current JCU students. This application requires proper notification for the Pre-Health Professions Office of your interest, and (if selected) an interview in person or through video conference.
While the OU-HCOM program’s application process shares similarities with LECOM’s process, there are some differences. OU-HCOM only offers 10 spots to students who are from the state of Ohio, whereas LECOM offers a total of 20 spots to JCU students. OU-HCOM’s program specifically emphasizes rigorous high school education, and the required minimum SAT score is 1250 (combination of math and critical reading). In order for an applicant to stay eligible for OU-HCOM, they must maintain a 3.7 overall GPA and a 3.6 science GPA during their undergraduate years at JCU. The most notable difference between OU-HCOM program and LECOM program is OU-HCOM’s rule that applicants only have to take a practice Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), whereas LECOM’s program requires an MCAT score of 25, and a score of seven in each section of the test.
Lee said the best part about this program “for students would be they don’t have that stress, they don’t have to be constantly thinking ‘What do I do if I don’t get into medical school?’ Students can say ‘You know what? I’m going to college; I already have a seat waiting for me in medical school; I can focus all of my energy and all of my attention in my courses, [because] I don’t have to worry about going through the application process.’”
Lee and her team do not plan on stopping with just LECOM and OU-HCOM. There are future plans for affiliations with schools based in Chicago (specifically Loyola University Chicago), Toledo and Cincinnati.