Center for Health Profession Studies staff gather around a circular table to advise a student on the journey to medical school in the STAR building.
Center for Health Profession Studies Director David Barlow (left) advises junior honors student Rachel Wang, who’s received conditional early acceptance through UD’s Medical Scholars Program into Thomas Jefferson University’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College, along with Health Professions Adviser John Buckley and Academic Program Coordinator Caroline Tillman.

Enhancing student success

February 13, 2023 Written by Amy Cherry | Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

Center for Health Profession Studies supports pre-health profession journey and beyond

As an undergraduate honors student at the University of Delaware, Cullen Kisner remembers logging on to websites for various medical schools and feeling completely overwhelmed. 

“You think you’re never going to get in,” she recalled while looking at the litany of requirements. 

Kisner’s goal was always to go to medical school. When she was 13 years old, her mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. 

“At appointments, I saw how important the care team was for my mom,” Kisner said. “I was inspired by the influence they had on her life in helping her overcome this severe illness,” she said. 

Her mother is in remission, and Kisner, who was a High Index Senior at UD, is now in her first year at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. 

Rachel Wang, a junior honors student with a double major in neuroscience and liberal studies, also knew she wanted to be a doctor at a young age. When she was 5, she fell off her bike and cut her chin open. 

“I remember being super scared and panicked at the emergency room at Nemours. My parents were worried, but the doctors reassured us everything was going to be OK,” Wang said. “After that, I’d go home and play doctor all the time.” 

An accumulation of experiences, a passion for the sciences, and a curiosity about the body and human behavior led Wang on the path to medical school.

Both Kisner and Wang credit their experience with UD’s Center for Health Profession Studies and the Medical Scholars Program within the College of Arts and Sciences for helping them achieve their goals. 


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