Medical Schools Are Getting Flooded With Applicants

Medical Schools Are Getting Flooded With Applicants

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Isabella Tincher had dreamed of being an architect since she was little, when she loved making tiny paper houses for her toy animals.

All that changed when the 23-year-old got a short-term job taking the temperatures of people coming to a Houston hospital last summer to screen them for Covid-19.

She said she often served as a Spanish interpreter and helped patients’ families navigate safety rules for visiting. Ms. Tincher said she was struck by how calming doctors were for many nervous patients, even when they couldn’t speak the same language. “Doctors were showing so much empathy, especially in these tough times, I thought it was something I wanted to be a part of and push myself to do,” she said.

This summer she will start Columbia University’s Postbac Premed Program, which helps students catch up on science prerequisites so they can apply to medical school.

Ms. Tincher is part of a wave of students who say the Covid-19 crisis inspired them to pursue medical or public health careers or shaped their interests within those fields. The valor of front-line workers and the importance of communicating health information galvanized their decisions, they say.

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