First-Years and Future Doctors – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

First-Years and Future Doctors

Blackwell Scholars Join Classes of 2012

It’s rare that undergraduate students entering their first year of college know not only that they want to become doctors but that they’ve already made it into medical school. Sound too good to be true? Well, that is the real life story of three HWS first-years – Wendi Bacon, Adam Brooks and Kelly Patel – who were named the 2012 Blackwell Medical Scholarship recipients.

The scholarship provides a unique opportunity for qualified first-year students who meet and maintain the standards of the program. The recipients are guaranteed a seat in medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine at Syracuse after their graduation from the Colleges in addition to a full scholarship to HWS and a waiver for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens and must either be from a rural background, from an underrepresented minority or be the first generation of his or her family to attend college.  Applicants must also have minimum SAT scores of 1250 or an ACT Composite of 28, a high school grade point average of 90 or higher (or 3.7 on a 4.0 scale) and demonstrate commitment to a career in medicine.

So who are this year’s stellar students and future doctors? Get to know each of them better by checking out their bios below:

Wendi Bacon ’12 knew she wanted to be a doctor in sixth grade, “I finally started to like science. I figured being a doctor was the way to go.”

“During my senior year in high school, I spent half of my schooldays in the New Vision Medical Careers, medical shadowing program. I started to understand fully what being a doctor entails and, as it happened, I still wanted to become one.  I started examining my sports (and more particularly my sports injuries) a lot closer and realized that is the type of thing I want to help.”

Bacon, a native of Palm Bay, Florida, plans to double major in biochemistry and Spanish. In addition to working with Professor of Biology Jim Ryan on the effect of antibodies on frog embryos, she is a lab worker, a student athletic trainer, secretary of the HWS Quality Ultra Awesome Acting Company, a member of the string ensemble and takes sign language lessons.  She is also a volunteer for America Counts, a member of the Rotoract Club and is starting a Tae-Kwon-Do class at the Boys and Girls Club. 

Adam Brooks ’12 explained, “I am not quite sure when it was that I decided that I wanted to become a doctor.”

“Someone suggested it to me,” said the Dexter, N.Y. native. “In high school, we didn’t really have all that many electives, but I did take the New Vision Medical Careers program, which was offered by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), instead of the normal high school class work. This class met at the hospital and shadowed throughout it. I went with the flow, did an internship and thought, ‘I really like this.’ Now I am here as a Blackwell Scholar.”

Brooks has plans to major in biology and minor in classics. He is a member of Hillel, What Do You Stand For? Classes of 2012 and is an athletic trainer.

Kelly Patel ’12, of Farmington, N.Y., said, “I knew I wanted to be a doctor from an early age. I learned through shadowing and summer medical programs that I definitely wanted to pursue that particular career.”

“I think that helping an individual live a healthy life would in turn help me live a fulfilling and satisfying life. I know that I would walk into work happy and ready to help. Science was always my favorite discipline, the most hands on work and learning,” she said.

Patel plans to major in biochemistry and minor in health professions and studio art-and “definitely plans on attending SUNY Upstate Medical Center.  I would not pass up a guaranteed seat in medical school.”

The Blackwell Scholarship Program is named for Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman physician in North America. She received her medical degree from Geneva Medical College (now Hobart College) in 1849, graduating at the top of her class.  Click here for more information about the Blackwell Scholarship.