Bates students score 100 in medical school acceptance

All of the 27 Bates College seniors and alumni who applied to graduate programs in the health professions in 2001 were accepted, according to a report by the college’s medical studies committee.

The report, presented to Bates faculty in December 2001, stated that 14 of the applicants went on to medical schools, including the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, Dartmouth Medical School and the Tufts University School of Medicine. The other 13 applicants were accepted into public health, veterinary or other health-related graduate programs.

The 2001 statistics represented a significant improvement in an already strong acceptance rate for Bates applicants. In 1999 and 2000, 87 percent of Bates applicants to medical school were accepted.

Nationally, in 2001 34,859 people applied for 16,365 medical school seats, giving a matriculation rate — as opposed to an acceptance rate — of 53.1 percent, according to statistics from the Association of American Medical Colleges. In Maine, 31 of 65 applicants to medical schools, or 52.3 percent, matriculated. In New England, 675 of 1,366 applicants matriculated, or 49.4 percent.

“I think the development we’ve done to improve med studies at Bates in the last five or six years is the reason our acceptance rates are high,” explains Lee Abrahamsen, associate professor of biology at Bates and chair of the medical studies committee.

During that period, Abrahamsen explains, the college has instituted an advising system for students interested in health professions that begins during their first year. The committee and the Office of Career Services provide a wide range of assistance, including job-shadowing and internship opportunities, personal advising, letters of recommendation and assistance with grad school applications and interviews.

Bates, Abrahamsen points out, doesn’t “get students into med school.” Instead, she says, “They get themselves in through their own dedication, planning and hard work. But whether they are current students or alums, they clearly need guidance and advice throughout the decision-making and application process.

“We now have a system in place that provides it.”

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