Excellence in Medical Education: Rhodes Becomes Partners with University of Tennessee Health Science Center

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Memphis is a major healthcare hub, and Rhodes College students have a competitive edge when it comes to preparing for med school as a result of the college’s rigorous academic curriculum, Health Professions Advising Office (HPA), undergraduate research opportunities, and medical partnerships.

The newest partnership is with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) that guarantees Rhodes students interviews at its College of Medicine if they meet specific benchmarks and apply to the college through the American Medical College Application Service.

“Rhodes has long been a top producer of matriculating students to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine, and this formalized partnership stands as a guarantee that this legacy will endure,” said Rhodes College President Jennifer Collins. “Rhodes students have acceptance rates into medical school that are almost double the national average. This partnership will further add to our tradition of outstanding success in medical school acceptances.”

The partnership, which also includes The University of Memphis, is spearheaded by Dr. Dustin Fulton, assistant dean for admissions for UTHSC’s College of Medicine, and it is in line with the university’s strategic plan to improve the health of all Tennesseans and to recognize the importance of having a diverse pool of future physicians.

“Making medical education more accessible not only addresses workforce shortages but also ensures a more representative and well-equipped health care system to meet the needs of our communities,” said Dr. G. Nicholas Verne, interim executive dean and vice chancellor of clinical affairs for UTHSC’s College of Medicine.

In the past five years, 318 Rhodes students have been accepted into post-graduate health programs—medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary, etc.—and students have an overall acceptance rate of approximately 81.5 percent.

“This partnership is designed to support academically outstanding students, while also acknowledging that an MCAT score might not entirely capture their full potential,” said Jessica Kelso, director at Health Professions Advising at Rhodes. “Through the GIA (guaranteed interview agreement), applicants have the invaluable opportunity to showcase their broader strengths and abilities during an interview, ensuring their talents are fully recognized and appreciated. We are excited about the potential to continue to increase the number of Rhodes alumni remaining in Memphis and attending UTHSC.”

Individuals who have achieved a GPA of at least 3.5 and earned an MCAT score of 505 or higher are encouraged to contact Kelso about their eligibility for the GIA, provided they are either currently enrolled as Rhodes students or have graduated within the two years preceding their application.