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Three UMaine Students Gain Early Admission to Tufts Medical School

Contact Kristen Andresen at (207) 581-3742.

ORONO — University of Maine Animal and Veterinary Sciences major Warren Varney of Turner, Maine; Biochemistry major Bradie Manion of Old Town, Maine; and Biological Engineering major Daniel Gerges of Yarmouth, Maine, recently learned that they had received early acceptance to Tufts University School of Medicine through the Maine Track Early Assurance program. Born of a partnership between Tufts and Maine Medical Center, this program reserves a limited number of seats per year for sophomores from University of Maine System institutions, Bowdoin, Bates and Colby.

That three of this year’s slots went to UMaine students (two went to UMaine students Jonathan Pelletier and Aaron Perreault last year) underscores the quality of UMaine’s pre-med offerings.

“The success of UMaine students in this competitive program is a credit to our faculty and others who encourage high aspirations and work to help students meet their goals,” says UMaine President Robert Kennedy.  “The exceptional record of success by UMaine students over the past two years is most gratifying, because it demonstrates UMaine’s quality and one element of its responsiveness to Maine’s long-term health care access needs”

Kennedy also mentioned his hope that UMaine’s success in the Maine Track Early Assurance program will continue to grow as the university works to establish a new Division of Health and Biomedical Sciences.  He announced plans to create that organization earlier this year as part of a series of “UMaine 150″ initiatives intended to position UMaine for new growth and impact when it reaches its sesquicentennial in 2015.

The Maine Track students are members of UMaine’s Health Professions Club and have worked closely with advisers in the Health Professions Office on campus. Though they will still need to complete their course requirements, these students can skip the MCATs and the rigorous application process.

At UMaine, Manion researches toll-like receptor signal pathways in zebrafish, which are part of innate immunity, in Professor Carol Kim’s lab. She is also a student in UMaine’s Honors College, which has informed her approach to medicine.

“It has helped me develop interpersonal skills and I have learned how to see things from another person’s perspective,” Manion says.

During his time at UMaine, Gerges has had several high-profile internships, including one with IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, Maine, and one at Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Scarborough, Maine. Since he won’t have to study for the MCATs or apply to various medical schools, Gerges plans to use his extra time to run for president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

“It’s rewarding,” Gerges says. “I’ve put in a lot of work to get to this point, and it ‘s a huge weight off my shoulders knowing I’ve been accepted to medical school.”

About Tufts Maine Track:

Tufts Maine Track is a partnership between Maine Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine that offers clinical training experiences in Maine and exposes medical students to aspects of rural practice and training in a major tertiary medical center. More information about the Tufts Maine Track program is available here.

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