BUCKHANNON — A Buckhannon-Upshur High School senior has been accepted into Marshall University’s accelerated John C. Edwards School of Medicine Program.
Emily King, the daughter of Mark and Amy King, joins 10 other West Virginia seniors who are the newest members of the accelerated Bachelor of Science to Medical Doctorate program, allowing them to complete the requirements for both degrees in seven years.
King’s dream is to become an allergist.
“Since I was little, I have had food allergies,” she said. “I’m allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and I have taken shots.”
King said she wants to help work with kids who have food allergies.
After learning about Marshall University’s accelerated program, King decided to apply because she was attracted to the tuition waiver for medical school and the fact that she could be a doctor by the time she was 25.
To apply, King had to have a minimum ACT composite score of 30 (or equivalent SAT), a cumulative GPA of 3.75, three letters of recommendation and then participate in an on-campus interview.
King and the other students attended a reception where they were able to meet the students who are in the program currently.
“This is only the third year for the program, so there are only two other classes who have been in the accelerated program,” she said. “We were able to meet with them and talk about what their experiences have been like.”
King said with the Bachelor of Science degree able to be earned in three years versus the standard four years, she learned how rigid and packed together her class schedule would be.
The next morning, the prospective students went to Cabell-Huntington Hospital where the medical school is and participated in mini interviews.
Instead of talking with one person, King had to speak for eight minutes with 10 different people about a different scenario or topic.
After the interview came a month of “excruciating” waiting to find out if King would be accepted.
“Some of the people I met while I was there said they had already gotten their letters,” she said. “It was an awesome day when I finally got mine.”
The day she learned the good news was a 12:30 p.m. dismissal for Upshur County Schools and King made it home and checked the mail before her parents.
“I was on the phone with my mom and she cried and was screaming,” King said. “This is a really big deal.”
King is the first in her family to pursue becoming a doctor.
She is also thankful for the financial support.
Students who successfully complete the B.S. program requirements will matriculate directly to medical school, according to a press release. The accelerated students are not required to take the Medical College Admissions Test and they receive a tuition waiver for the medical school portion of the program.
King said she took challenging courses in high school and thinks she is ready for Marshall University.
“I guess we will find out,” she said. “It will be a lot more rigorous. I will have to study on my own and be more self-motivated in college but I think I have been prepared.”
King learned that the accelerated program professors and advisors are very supportive of their students and thinks that will also help her make the transition.
“It will be a challenge,” she said. “It is a very challenging career and takes a lot of endurance. I’m excited to get into it.”
One of the goals of the program is to encourage the students to stay in the Mountain State after graduation.
King said she does plan to stay in West Virginia.
“I have lived here for most of my life,” she said. “We moved out of state but we ended up back here in Buckhannon. It’s a great place to raise a family.”