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Bailey Lawson during an Organic Chemistry lab.
March 12, 2020

Accepted to medical school—as a junior

Bailey Lawson ’20 is the first student at Berry to be accepted into medical school as a junior. Now a senior, he will enter Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) at Auburn University after graduating with a degree in biochemistry.

During Bailey’s sophomore year, Dr. Chris Mingone, Berry’s pre-health advisor, told him about an agreement with VCOM that gives Berry students the opportunity to get early acceptance to medical school if they meet certain benchmarks. In addition to offering guidance on taking the MCAT and applying to medical school, Dr. Mingone suggested hands-on experiences, from shadowing family practitioners to working at the Free Clinic of Rome, where Bailey assisted with patient triage. He also participated in a medical mission to Nicaragua, where he helped medical teams provide health care to residents of several towns.

“I have always been interested in the medical world, and each experience confirmed that medical school is the right path for me,” Bailey says. “These experiences also encouraged me to perform at my best in the classroom because each time was a reminder as to why I am doing what I am doing. Every volunteer shift at the Free Clinic of Rome and every shadowing shift reminded me that all the hard work will be worth it.”

He adds that the pre-health committee helped him prepare for the interview with VCOM, and senior pre-med students were also quick to offer advice, which “circles back to the support system Berry has.”

Bailey has been involved in several areas on campus, such as working at the Academic Success Center, the Welcome Center and the Office of Admission as well as playing on the Ultimate Frisbee team.

“I credit my job at the Academic Success Center for helping me build skills needed for college and life after college,” Bailey says. “As a peer academic consultant, I had to learn the details of correct study habits, time-management skills and anxiety management. Then, after learning, I was able to practice them and teach them to other students.”

As he heads into the final weeks of the semester, Bailey reflects on four years at Berry. “My appreciation of Berry has definitely grown since my acceptance. Not saying I didn’t appreciate Berry before, but now I am able to clearly see all of the aspects of this school that helped me gain acceptance,” Bailey says. “It is clear how my professors, mentors, supervisors and friends have all played a really important role in my time here.”

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Written by senior Megan Benoit

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