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Furman, USC School of Medicine Greenville forge new early admissions agreement

A unique agreement between Furman University and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville (USCSOMG) will allow up to five Furman juniors each year to gain early admission to the medical school.

Rachel Donaldson Nelson, who graduated summa cum laude from Furman in 2013 with a degree in music, is a third-year medical student at USCSOMG. She participated in the 2013 announcement about the new academic partnership between Furman and GHS.

Rachel Donaldson Nelson, who graduated summa cum laude from Furman in 2013 with a degree in music, is a third-year medical student at USCSOMG. She participated in the 2013 announcement about the new academic partnership between Furman and GHS.

The arrangement, announced today by Furman and USCSOMG, is designed to help Furman’s pre-med students avoid the expense, travel and stress of the regular medical school admission process as they complete their degree programs at the university.

“This benefits both institutions,” said Eli Hestermann, Ph.D., a Furman biology professor and Executive Director of Health Education/Undergraduate Studies and Students. “For our students, it allows them to enter their senior year with the peace of mind that comes with knowing where they will be going to medical school. For USCSOMG, it allows them to lock in really good Furman students early in the admission process.”

Launched in 2012, USCSOMG will enroll its fourth class in July. Two hundred and eighty students, including 33 Furman graduates, are enrolled in the four-year program, which is located on Greenville Health System’s (GHS) Greenville Memorial Medical Campus.

Aspiring physicians typically apply to medical school after their junior year. Application fees are generally $160, and applicants are required to participate in on-site interviews. Under the new arrangement, Furman faculty may identify and recommend up to five students during the first semester of their junior year for admission to medical school. After a screening process, which includes an interview, the students are notified of their admission status during the second semester of their junior year.

Rising juniors at Furman, or members of the Class of 2017, are eligible to participate in the new early admissions program.

GHS president and CEO Mike Riordan (left) and Furman interim president Carl Kohrt signed the agreement in the fall of 2013 creating the academic partnership between the two institutions.

GHS president and
CEO Mike Riordan (left) and Furman interim president Carl Kohrt signed the agreement that provides Furman students with unique opportunities to study and work with health care professionals at GHS.

The agreement is the latest in a long list of initiatives that have helped to forge a strong partnership between Furman and GHS. For decades Furman faculty have partnered with GHS personnel to conduct research and provide job shadowing and internship opportunities for students. In 2013, Furman and GHS formed an academic partnership that allows Furman to develop innovative programs for undergraduate students interested in health-related careers and provide them with an array of hands-on experiences at one of the Southeast’s largest health systems.

As part of the agreement, Furman is GHS’s primary undergraduate partner, providing its faculty and students with distinctive opportunities to study and work with health care professionals at GHS. Last year, 95 Furman students participated in some form of activity on a GHS campus.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics healthcare and social assistance will be among the fastest growing job sectors in the coming decade with an acute need for dentists, nurses, pharmacists, doctors and physical therapists. Nearly one third of Furman students have some level of interest in health related careers.

“Our partnership with GHS is giving us an opportunity to place our students in clinical and nonclinical experiences,” said Dr. Hestermann. “It makes them more competitive in the job market and health care field. It can help them get into competitive medical schools or certification programs and can open career doors in a breadth of health care professions.”

For more information, contact Dr. Hestermann at 864-294-3527 or eli.hestermann@furman.edu.

Last updated July 20, 2015
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director