COHS Students Headed to Prestigious Med Schools
By Doug Carroll
You’d think that a musty locker room or a day’s practice in the broiling Arizona sun wouldn’t have much to do with going to medical school. And you’d be wrong.
GCU’s Tyler Ladue and Dane Hill say their experiences as Antelope athletes may have made the difference in their acceptance into prestigious medical schools at the University of Michigan and the University of Washington, respectively.
Ladue, from Tempe, played baseball at GCU and Hill, from Evanston, Wyo., played basketball.
“Athletes have an advantage (in the application process),” Ladue said. “Participation in sports shows a continued commitment, something you stuck with throughout your life.
“Everything you’ve done that somebody else hasn’t done gives you a leg up.”
With high GPAs and outstanding test scores a given, the best medical schools often look at resumé builders such as extracurricular activities and community involvement to decide who gets in. GPAs of 3.9 and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores of 33 are considered common among applicants.
Med schools “want to see if you can handle pressure, and athletics is a way of their seeing that,” said Hill, who also went on a missions trip during his time at GCU.
Although the MCAT “is a beast, for lack of a better term,” Ladue acknowledged, the projection of an air of confidence throughout the application process can be a significant factor.
“You have to see yourself as successful,” he said. “You have to make them say, ‘We just can’t say no to this person.’”
Ladue and Hill credited GCU’s College of Health Sciences with preparing them well.
“I received very personalized instruction and incredible access to faculty,” said Ladue, who listed the University’s cadaver lab as what he loved most about GCU in the 2008 baseball media guide. He was president of the Pre-Health Professions Club.
“The faculty-to-student ratio here is one of the most outstanding things GCU has to offer,” Ladue said. “I also was able to assume certain leadership roles that I might not have had elsewhere. Along the way, I developed a brand of independent leadership that I’m really proud of. These things will go a long way toward making me successful in medical school.”
Hill, who is considering a career as an orthopedic surgeon and would like to work specifically with athletes, said GCU’s cadaver lab “merits all the buzz” it receives.
“The things we were able to learn as we prosected the bodies will definitely give us a leg up on our peers in med school,” he said. “Traditionally, it’s a first-semester course in med school.
“GCU really gave me some great tools and experiences that helped me get into medical school. The intimate classroom feel and availability of good instructors were things I couldn’t find at larger universities.”
Reach Doug Carroll at 602.639.8011 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.