It’s simple. We want the top Kentucky high school seniors who want to go to medical school to do so here. We also want them to know what medicine is about before they make that commitment of time and money.
So in 1988, we started a program that guarantees entrance to our medical school for students who do their undergraduate work here and maintain a 3.3 cumulative and science grade point average.
Each year between 60 and 70 students apply for the program. We accept 10. With requirements for admission of a minimum ACT of 30, GPA of no less than 3.75 and ranking in the top 5 percent of their high school classes, all of the 194 students who have entered our Guaranteed Entrance to Medical School program have been good students. But the academic performance of our current GEMS group is eye-catching.
The seven freshmen in this year’s program had a 4.0 GPA after their first semester. The average cumulative GPA for all 33 students in the program — freshmen through senior — is 3.86.
We don’t know that our GEMS students will go to medical school. Seventy-five percent of them have and, of those, 95 percent have stayed with us. But that’s not the real point of the program. During the course of their undergraduate careers, we help GEMS students explore the medical field through a variety of enrichment activities that includes watching physicians at work in clinical settings and University Hospital emergency room; learning about such subfields as radiology; and scrubbing into surgeries.
This gives them a real orientation to medicine so they can make a more informed decision about their futures. It gives them the freedom to explore interests as undergraduates without fear of not being accepted into medical school if they decide it is for them.
GEMS is about students’ future, and making sure they have the information and experiences they need to make them successful.
The courage to question convention.
The passion to break new ground.
The insight to champion community.
The imagination to pursue the undiscovered.
The will to achieve greatness.
The promise of a limitless future.
The people to bring it to life.
It's Happening Here.