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UT Martin Pre-Med Scholars program launched with area physicians


Contact 1: Joe Lofaro


Pre-Med Scholars

MARTIN, Tenn. – Eleven students at the University of Tennessee at Martin have been introduced into the Pre-Med Scholars program. Among the students are Brianna Jaye Victoria Rachel Foss, of Paris; Morgan Gray, of Trezevant; Matthew Keathley, of Union City; Alli McClure, of Huntingdon; Sean O’Brien, of Voorhees, N.J.; Saumil Patel, of Martin; Vance Pounders, of Nashville; Ben Reeves, of Knoxville; Ben Rollins, of McKenzie; Amber Thompson, of Arlington; and Michael Wilson, of Dresden.

The program is slated to last two years with at least 10 new students beginning each year. The program includes three parts: a series of shadowing opportunities; subject-specific MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) review; and a test prep course at the end of the two-year program.

The program currently involves 12 area physicians and Volunteer Community Hospital. The physicians include Dr. Nikhil Patel, Gastroenterology Associates; Dr. Walter Fletcher, Martin Medical Center; Dr. Elizabeth Lund, Surgical Associates of Martin; Dr. Jabbar Saliba, Martin Specialty Clinic; Dr. James Hall, Northwest Tennessee Cardiology Clinic; Dr. John Bates, Pediatric Place of Union City; Dr. Mark Armstrong, Union City Surgical Center; Dr. Michael Hinds, Hinds Medical Center; Dr. Susan Brewer, Martin Pediatric and Adolescent; Dr. Chiniya Thapa, Martin Specialty Clinic; Dr. Sukepma Giri, Martin Specialty Clinic; and Dr. Anna Hopla, Martin Medical Center.

“It’s geared toward sophomores because it is a two-year program and is intended to prepare students for the MCAT and application to med school, which typically takes place at the end of the junior year or the beginning of the senior year,” health sciences pre-professional coordinator Kristina Pitz said.

Students selected for the Pre-Medical Scholars program must have taken chemistry 121 and 122 and must have an average of 3.0 for the two classes. Preference is given to students who have taken biology 130 and 140 and students who have taken a math course.

“We want to get more students in medical school,” Pitz said. “Our students are very competitive, but this program will make them more competitive.”


PRE-MED SCHOLARS – Members of the Pre-Medical Scholars program include (front, from left ): Dr. Sukepma Giri, Dr. Chiniya Thapa, Ben Reeves, Amber Thompson, Brianna Foss, Ben Rollins, Morgan Gray, Michael Wilson, Saumil Patel, Sean O’Brien (back, from left) Alli McClure, Vance Pounders, Dr. Nikhil Patel, Dr. Richard Helgeson, Dr. Jack Grubaugh, Dr. Mark Armstrong, Mr. Darrell Blaylock, Dr. Rick Thomas, Dr. Walter Fletcher, Dr. Jabbar Saliba and Matthew Keathley. Not pictured is Christy Lee.

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