Reading, Pa. – Two Albright College juniors have received early acceptance into the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey.
Tyler Kiwak of Shillington, Pa., and Rebecca Morgis of Glen Lyon, Pa., have been admitted into the Early Assurance Program, an agreement between Albright and Hershey. Albright students with a high grade point average and standardized test scores, who have also completed required premedical coursework, can receive early acceptance to the medical school during their junior years through this agreement.
Hershey’s Early Assurance Program is highly competitive and open to candidates from a small number of Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Students must demonstrate strong clinical experiences and effectively articulate their motivation for pursuing careers in medicine.
While at Albright, both Kiwak and Morgis have had numerous opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the medical field.
Kiwak, a biochemistry and Spanish major, conducted an externship in Reading Hospital–Children’s Health Center, shadowing pediatricians. Since 2017, he has worked as a lab technician/phlebotomist at Penn State Health St. Joseph. And this past summer, Kiwak interned in Reading Hospital’s surgery department, where he observed operations, and had a chance to hold the retractors and cut sutures under the direction of the attending surgeon. Through the experience, Kiwak has fallen in love with orthopaedic surgery.
“I feel like that’s where my talents can best be used, and is the type of surgery I enjoyed seeing and working with the most,” said Kiwak.
Likewise, Morgis, a biology major, has gained experience in the field by volunteering at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center in her native Luzerne County, shadowing and serving as a student extern at Reading Hospital, and scribing at All About Children Pediatric Partners in West Reading. She also conducted research for a retrospective study at Reading Hospital.
As for the kind of medicine Morgis wants to pursue, she says, “I am not sure of a specialty yet. However, I look forward to gaining more experience.”
Although accepted to the Early Assurance Program, Kiwak and Morgis must still complete their undergraduate requirements with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 and earn at least Hershey’s average score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The students also have the right to withdraw from the agreement if they choose to go elsewhere or not attend.
But Kiwak says he’s thrilled to be accepted into the medical school he’s dreamed of attending. “After going to Penn State College of Medicine for Primary Care Day my freshman year, I knew that was where I wanted to go for medical school. It is almost like a dream that I have received early acceptance into the medical school that I really wanted to go to.”
Despite the work still ahead of them, both Kiwak and Morgis say their early acceptances are a huge weight off their shoulders.
“It has allowed me to focus more on the next task – the MCAT,” said Morgis.
Thirty-three Albright graduates have entered Hershey’s medical school through the Early Assurance Program since the inception of the agreement in 1996.