100% of 2005-06 Centenary Applicants Accepted to Med Schools

Dr. Patrick Sewell '86 praises Centenary preparation.

Good news from the Pre-Med Advisor’s office: 100 percent of Centenary’s applicants from the Class of 2006 have been accepted to medical schools. That’s a total of 21, including 17 accepted last year and four whose reapplications were accepted this year.

“I don’t know of any school right now that can attest to 100 percent acceptance,” said Dr. Scott Chirhart, biology professor and pre-med advisor. “For 21 students that’s a great record.”

For this year’s class, 12 of 16 have been accepted so far. “It’s not uncommon for people to have to wait out a year for medical school acceptance,” Chirhart noted, explaining that some need to bring up their grade point average, some retake the Medical School Admission Test and some need more clinical experiences.

Though acceptance ratios vary from year to year, Centenary has long had an impressive rate, averaging around 80-85 percent. Because such a large percentage of doctors earned undergraduate degrees at Centenary, the college has been listed in Top Colleges for Science, a guide to leading four-year programs in the biological, chemical, geological, mathematical and physical sciences.

“Having been through the process myself, I can tell you that there is a direct correlation between the quality of an applicant’s teachers and acceptance to medical school,” says Dr. Patrick Sewell, renowned surgeon from Jackson, Miss. “The teachers involved in the pre-med program should be commended and recognized for such a success.”

Dr. Sewell, a member of the Centenary Class of 1986, is the co-founder and executive medical director of the Sapheneia Medical Minimally Invasive Therapy Institute. He has been named one of “America’s Best Doctors” and has been described by Jackson’s Clarion-Ledger as “the world authority on cutting-edge procedures used to treat cancerous kidney and lung tumors.” He is also a fifth-generation physician.

Says Sewell: “Centenary provided a comprehensive program, which formed the scientific bedrock that my success is built upon.” Sewell initially attended two large universities for six months each before transferring to Centenary. “I am completely serious when I tell you that I believe that the educational styles at both schools would not have provided what I needed and I would not be the physician I am today if I had stayed and completed my education at those universities.” He even doubted whether he would have been admitted to medical school at all if he had stayed at either university.

“Centenary played a critical role in molding me and launching me into the world of medicine. Centenary is so different from other institutions regarding scientific education programs such as biology, physics and pre-med.”

—by Lynn Stewart for Centenary magazine, Summer 2007