Admission to U.S. medical schools is extremely competitive. Last year, more than 55,000 students applied, and a majority were turned away. But at The University of Tulsa, the percentage of successful applicants to allopathic programs from 2014 to 2022 far exceeded the national average.
In the 2021-22 application cycle, 28 TU students from the pre-health professions program’s advising cohort applied to medical school – allopathic and osteopathic. Twenty-one of those were admitted to one or more schools around the country, including Mayo Clinic, University of Michigan, University of California-Berkeley, Drexel University, University of Colorado, University of Texas, University of Illinois, Oklahoma State University, and University of Oklahoma.
Of that total, 60% of TU applicants to allopathic programs were admitted. Meanwhile, the national success rate for admission to those programs is only 39%. The average cumulative GPA of all TU admits to allopathic programs was 3.77, which contrasts with 3.75 nationally. Similarly, the average MCAT scores of TU and national admits was 511.9 and 511.8, respectively. (Parallel national admission and test-score data for osteopathic applicants and matriculants was unavailable.)
The foundation of their success
“Part of the reason our pre-health professions students do so well is because they already possess such strong academic skills,” said Mark Buchheim, chair of TU’s Department of Biological Science. “They also benefit immensely from faculty who provide challenging coursework, research opportunities, and mentorship.”
Looking back on her path to medical school, Natasha Bray (BS ’99), dean of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation, commented that TU “played a pivotal role in my journey to medical school and throughout my medical education. The close-knit and supportive community among students, faculty, and advisers provided the perfect platform to explore various interests within an environment of academic rigor. The faculty maintained exacting standards for academic achievement, fostering the development of essential knowledge, study habits and skills for success at medical school, all while serving as invaluable mentors.”
For current students, there’s also Marla Cole, TU’s pre-health career coach. Among the many ways she supports undergraduates, Cole helps with developing resumes, cover letters, and personal statements, as well as with preparing for interviews and test-taking. She also steps in to find medical professionals to shadow, volunteer opportunities, and internships. “Applying to medical school can be daunting,” Cole noted. “My role is to ensure students never feel alone on the journey.”