CINCINNATI — Amid an ongoing surge in coronavirus cases both regionally and across the U.S., the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine is seeing its own surge in medical school applicants.
Following a national trend in medical school applications, this year's pool of applicants at UC -- more than 6,000 strong -- could be one of the strongest in the college's history, and many of them cited the pandemic as a reason they are pursuing a medical degree.
Nana Agyeman is an incoming medical student at UC. He said he was already considering the medical tract, but COVID-19 added an extra push.
"During the times that we're in, especially people that are going into the medical field want to be of service to humanity," he told WCPO. "I think the pandemic didn't diminish my drive to go into the medical field. It actually spurred me to do it more."
Agyeman was one of the first applicants accepted this year to the medical school, a distinction made even more special because of how many people applied: 6,135 across the nation, only 350 or so of whom will earn admission. Just over half of those students will ultimately enroll at UC, which has allowed for 180 slots for the incoming medical class.
Assistant Dean of Medical Student Admissions Dr. Abby Tissot said the high number of applicants during a pandemic is a testament to their compassion and integrity.
"It's amazing that, in a certain kind of person, this person who is really intellectually brilliant but is also deeply kind, that the pandemic has lit even more of a fire within these young people," Tissot said. "There are leaders in the field stepping up to battle COVID, not just in a clinical way, but in terms of new discoveries, in terms of being involved in vaccine trials, in terms of reaching out to communities that maybe are less willing to consider a vaccine that are stepping up in those ways."
Tissot said the UC College of Medicine will accept students on a rolling basis through March 2021. The final incoming class will be formalized by July, hoping to return to in-person classes the following fall term.