AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas’s Dell Medical School welcomed its newest class Thursday. Only one percent of applicants were accepted into the program and most of them are from Texas — and women.
Each one has a special reason for attending medical school. As a kid, Hannah Rosenthal spent hours in doctor’s appointments. She wasn’t sick, it was for her big sister, Rebecca.
“She has what’s called West Syndrome,” Rosenthal said. “She had seizures when she was a baby. It left her severely neurologically impaired.”
It is one reason why Rosenthal, an Army veteran, is part of the incoming class of Dell Medical students.
“She had some great doctors,” she said. “That really drew me to medicine.”
Rosenthal is one of 50 students in the class, 60 percent of whom are women. That is higher than the 49 percent national average of other medical schools.
Twenty-three-year-old Tucker Pope grew up watching his mother treat patients. It was the inspiration he needed to apply to the program. The Lubbock resident is like 90 percent of the class, who are from Texas.
“I want to practice my career here and I want to be here helping the people of Texas,” Pope said.
Altogether the incoming class has racked up hours of community service, research and health care activities, like shadowing doctors and volunteering at nursing homes before they were accepted into the program.
“Spending time working with adults who have parents who financially and physically cannot support them, that’s what really opened my eyes,” Rosenthal said, who volunteered at a residential center for people with special needs in Houston. “Working at the center, I had trouble sleeping at night when I truly realized how big of an issue it was.”
All of the students receive some form of financial assistance, including scholarships to attend medical school. Nearly 20 percent are minorities underrepresented in medicine. Nearly 5,000 people applied for the program this year. Classes begin on Monday.