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Undergrads complete program to help entrance to medical school

Three undergraduate students at the University of North Georgia completed a program this summer that could help them get accepted into medical school. Elliot Boerman, Angelica Gonzalez and Ashley Kirby, all juniors majoring in biology, completed the Foothills Area Health Education Center's Pathway to Med School program. The center trains healthcare professionals, and the pathway program accepted only 8 of 34 applicants.

Students were accepted based on their transcripts, including the rigor of coursework they had completed. They were also judged on their extracurricular activities and leadership, and their understanding and commitment to practicing as a general physician in Georgia.

"We also give weight to Georgia residents who have spent a substantial amount of time living in one or more of the 31 counties our organization serves, or in counties that are considered primary-care shortage areas by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Research shows that physicians often return to their hometown areas or to areas that they trained to practice medicine," said Lana Brand, special projects coordinator for the Foothills Area Health Education Center.

Brand said the program also encourages participants to practice in northeast Georgia by exposing them to local physician practices, hospitals and medical campuses, where they can use resources and form relationships that will connect them to the region in the future.

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