Aaron Odermann, M.D., M.S. ‘17, School of Medicine and Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences ’Accelerated Master’s Program
One-year graduate program smooths transition to medical school
What attracted you to the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) at NYMC’s Graduate School of Basic Medical Science?
After doing the pre-med track in college, I was unsure if medical school was really what I wanted to do. I decided to become a medical technologist, and two years later I landed a terrific job working with cancer patients. After working with these patients and the physicians treating them, I realized that I truly loved medicine and I needed to go to medical school. After eight months of studying, I took the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and applied to more than 20 medical schools. With a very solid MCAT score to make up for a less than stellar undergraduate record, I believed I had a good chance. Unfortunately, I only received one interview, and when I never heard back, I was crushed.
I was still highly motivated to pursue medical school and began to look at other options. My fiancé was accepted to the NYMC School of Medicine Class of 2016 which is how I became aware of the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) at NYMC.
I applied to the AMP and got my second chance of pursuing my dream to go to medical school. I pushed myself to succeed in my courses and prove my abilities.
How is the Accelerated Master’s Program structured?
There are only about 20 students in the program, and we take selected pre-clinical medical school courses alongside the School of Medicine’s first-year students. The program allows us to complete the degree requirements within one year instead of a traditional master’s program curriculum which can take up to two years, or longer depending on the student’s schedule.
Tell us about your experience applying to medical school after enrolling in the AMP at NYMC?
While I was completing the AMP at NYMC, I applied to 28 medical schools. With significant help from the faculty, guidance about my application, faculty letters of recommendation and grades from my first semester, I hoped that I would have a better chance at acceptance. However, I never expected what eventually happened.
Out of 28 applications, I completed 11 secondary applications. Of those, I received 11 interview invitations and attended six of them. Of those six schools where I had interviews, I was accepted at five of them and waitlisted at one.
At every single one of the five interviews, the interviewer gave me feedback about the positive impact that the AMP letters of recommendation, experience, and grades had on my application.
I was so delighted when I was accepted at the NYMC School of Medicine. I had no doubts that I wanted to attend NYMC, so I quickly canceled my other applications to open up slots for other applicants.
Reflecting on the experience as a student in the AMP program, I realize that without the help, guidance, and dedication of the Graduate School of Basic Medical Science staff and faculty who took a chance on me, I would not have had the opportunity to be a physician today.