Five South Carolina high school graduates who will enroll at Furman University in August have been selected as the first participants in a new program that guarantees admission into medical school.
The Furman University-University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine Greenville Direct Entry Program, announced today by both institutions, helps accepted Furman students chart a pathway to medical school and allows the USC School of Medicine Greenville to identify talented South Carolina students who are interested in studying and practicing medicine.
The students, all of whom are aspiring physicians and members of Furman’s class of 2021, are Samuel Cumby (St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville), Javonia Davis (Charleston Collegiate High School in Johns Island), Sarah Feingold (Academic Magnet High School in Charleston), Bhumika Jakkaraddi (Southside High School in Greenville), and Riley Taylor (Greenwood Christian School in Greenwood).
The Furman University-USC School of Medicine Greenville Direct Entry Program is an outgrowth of the long-standing relationship between Furman and Greenville Health System (GHS), which is home to the USC School of Medicine Greenville and is one of the largest health systems in the Southeast.
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 enables Furman to develop innovative, hands-on experiences for undergraduate students interested in health-related careers.
These experiences, said Paul Catalana, associate dean for student affairs and admissions for the USC School of Medicine Greenville, pave the way for success in medical school.
“The Furman students entering our program are clearly well prepared for medical school,” he said. “They come to us with considerable observation and clinical experiences. These undergraduate experiences prepare them for the rigors of both medical school and for life as a physician.”
Launched in 2012, the USC School of Medicine Greenville currently enrolls 284 students, 31 of whom are Furman students. Students accepted into the direct entry program must maintain a 3.5 grade point average, complete prescribed courses in biology, chemistry, physics and the humanities and meet additional academic requirements.
Renowned for its academic rigor and experiential learning, Furman is a popular destination for future physicians and others who are planning health-related careers. Nearly one-third of Furman students have some level of interest in such careers.
“This program really speaks to the confidence that the medical school has in Furman,” said Furman Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Brad Pochard. “They are very confident in the Furman education and know that our students are exceptional.”
The direct entry program is part of Furman’s Institute for the Advancement of Community Health (IACH), which was launched in October 2016 and unites experts in academia, health care and the non-profit sector in a shared goal of improving community health.
The direct entry program and IACH are key components of The Furman Advantage, an over-arching approach to education that promises every incoming student the opportunity for an engaged learning experience that is tracked and integrated with their academic and professional goals.