Take a quick survey of undergraduates in the Hederman science building. Five out of every ten can probably trace back the moment they decided to go to Mississippi College to Dr. Baldwin’s brain. Yes, I said “Dr. Baldwin’s Brain.” Imagine a man in a powder blue coat, with a goofy grin on his face, come up to you and ask if you’re a biology major (he’s the dean of sciences). If you answer yes, he’ll open his battered suitcase to reveal…
A human brain and two human hearts, just rolling around in there. “Here! Hold these!” he smiles. “There’s the optic nerve, feel that?!” You’re either disgusted or you’re hooked.
Fast forward 4 years to 12:01 a.m., October 16th, senior year. This, for a pre-med major (who has applied by that time), is the moment of truth. At midnight, students across Mississippi are frantically refreshing their inboxes, for at 12:01, University of Mississippi Medical Center sends out the acceptance/denial emails. After three years of hard work, you find out if it has been worth it.
(Side note: mine came at 12:07, those 6 minutes were torture)
This year, so far (some haven’t finished the application process) seven MC undergraduates have received good news. I can’t describe how good it feels to hit refresh and see “Congratulations!” in the subject line. Sighs of relief… Cheers… Victory fist pumps… Jumping up and down… These are all appropriate. It takes a lot of work to get here; you don’t make it unless you’ve earned it.
But Mississippi College helps. Here, in the undergraduate biology program, you can take medical school level courses. I took two my junior year, and they helped a lot, both in the strength of my application and my MCAT score. The admissions committee at UMMC knows Dr. Baldwin and respects the program here; they know that if you can make it here then you’ve got a good shot at making it in Medical School too. People come from all over the country (many that graduated from the New-Ivies) to do their master’s degree here and take those same upper level courses. Biology is one of our strongest programs, and currently they’re building an awesome new addition to our biology building, complete with a wet cadaver lab (again, hooked or disgusted, but if you want to be a doctor, get used to it).
The point is, if Medical School is your plan, I can’t think of any better place to do your undergraduate degree than Mississippi College. There’s a wall in Hederman where they post the pictures of all the graduates from the previous year and where they’re currently attending school. There are a lot of faces up there – maybe one day yours will be too.
Congratulations to Jordan Gunn, Taylor Smith, Sam Yelverton, Eden Johnston, Turner Brown, and Stephanie Caldwell on their acceptance into University of Mississippi Medical Center’s M.D. program!
-Brett Barlow, senior and future doctor.