Premed students land medical school scholarships, recognize God’s blessings

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Premed students land medical school scholarships, recognize God’s blessings

Jeremiah White has two scholarships to USCOM. Photo: Olivia Prairie

Premed senior Jeremiah White and graduate Mark Spencer have both been accepted by three different medical schools and awarded significant scholarships from the medical school they’ve chosen to attend. 

White, a senior from Fallston, Md., was accepted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Medical College of Georgia and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Greenville campus). 

White chose to attend USCSOM, and he received both the Pillar Scholarship, a tuition reduction of $30,000 each year, and a first-year tuition reduction of $35,000.

“It’s a huge weight off of my shoulders and a ginormous blessing,” White said. “I was speechless and just kept saying, ‘Thank you, Lord.’ Of course, I want God to get all the glory. It was He who made this possible. I am humbled that they would choose me out of others who are equally, if not more so, deserving of it.”

White is looking forward to applying what he learned in the premed program at BJU to his studies at USCSOM next fall. In medical school, White would like to specialize in pediatrics studies because of his love for children and desire to interact with families.

“It’s kind of the culmination of a very long process,” White said. “It’s an application of learning to finally get you to the meat of what you want to do and what you want to do for God in life. I appreciate what BJU has prepared me for by teaching me to manage time wisely.”

During his four years at BJU, White was the “epitome of a good student,” according to Dr. Marc Chetta, a faculty member in the department of biology. “I used to love to watch him in class because he’s very pensive,” Chetta said. “It was fun to be his teacher for two semesters.” 

White believes the most challenging aspect of medical school will be keeping up his relationships with God, his family, friends and his girlfriend. 

Spencer, a premed graduate from Indianapolis, Ind., was also accepted into three medical schools: the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Medical College of Georgia and USCSOM Greenville. 

Spencer, who graduated a semester early from BJU in December 2013, also chose to attend USCSOM in the fall and also received a scholarship to the school. 

“It was a huge blessing,” Spencer said. “Some people have to wait to get in, and the fact that I was accepted right away and knowing where I was going to be was awesome.”

While Spencer understands the importance of academics, he, like White, believes the hardest part of med school will be making time for important relationships in his life.

“[The struggle] is trying to find a balance in life,” Spencer said. “How much do you study versus how much do you spend time with your friends and your girlfriend? You need to find that balance and maintain it.”

After medical school, Spencer would like to become involved with emergency medicine or surgery. He currently works as a team technician at the Cross Creek Surgery Center, which is a division of the Greenville Health System. 

“There’s so much behind the scenes to get things ready for the doctor that they don’t see,” Spencer said. “Being able to see everything that’s involved has given me a greater appreciation for the ins and outs behind surgery.” 

“Mark is a top notch student,” Chetta said. “He has natural leadership qualities and was among the top in his class.”

Five other BJU students from various graduating years have also been accepted to USCSOM and will begin medical school this fall, becoming classmates once again. 

USCSOM Greenville is a relatively new campus branch of the University of South Carolina, hosting its first class of students in 2012. In the first few weeks of medical school, students are given a hands-on EMT certification course. White, Spencer and their fellow classmates will be a part of the third class of students at USCSOM.

USCSOM’s program differs from a normal medical school program.

“Traditionally in medical school, the first two years are spent completely in the books with little to no clinical experience,” White said. “At USCSOM-Greenville, their goal is to get you involved with patients as soon as possible and integrate that with the curriculum. Before you even hit the books, you’re able to be involved with direct patient interaction and care.”

During the first three weeks of school, students are given an EMT-B certification course and are able to ride along with ambulances on medical calls. 

“They also have a state-of-the-art simulation center that is one of the best in the country,” Spencer said.