Posted December 07, 2011

JAMP partnership guarantees admission to med school

ACU senior Marie Dufitumukiza interviewed at all nine Texas medical schools this fall and will match with a program in January. Her success has been spurred by participation in the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) through ACU.

According to ACU JAMP faculty director and pre-medical advisor Dr. Cynthia Powell, JAMP is a Texas state initiative whose mission is to offer educational opportunities to exceptional Texas pre-medical students from low-income families. In the words of ACU JAMPer, Lindsey Meredith, “JAMP helps to even the score” by assisting students who have not only demonstrated academic excellence and a dedication to the personal qualities essential to becoming a good physician, but who have also persevered in the face of economic disadvantage.”

Eligible ACU students apply for the JAMP program through the JAMP faculty director during the fall of their sophomore year. To qualify a student must be a Texas resident and meet SAT/ACT, GPA and FASFA criteria and be enrolled and in good standing at a university that has a JAMP agreement. The application process includes collecting letters of recommendation from ACU faculty, submission of an application packet through the faculty director and a face-to-face interview with admissions staff at one of the Texas medical schools. When admitted, ACU students participate in summer internships with other JAMP students from universities across the state. If a participant completes required JAMP activities, maintains the required GPA and meets the JAMP threshold for performance on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), s/he is guaranteed admission to a Texas medical school.

One unique aspect of JAMP that distinguishes it from other early assurance programs is the extensive preparation that students receive upon acceptance. JAMP fosters and builds upon the students’ resume with a very holistic approach, as is evidenced by their summer internship programs.

Joe Wilbanks, an ACU junior, participated in the JAMP program last summer at Baylor College of Medicine. “Most of the day consisted of attending class (taught by medical school faculty),” he says. “Spread throughout the week were classes in human anatomy (including a gross lab), physiology and communication. In addition, I attended a seminar on medical ethics.” Joe notes that the courses consisted of material adapted from actual courses offered at the medical school.

Lindsey Meredith, an ACU JAMP student who interned at Texas Tech Health Science Center, says. “The coolest activity I got to do at my internship was dissecting a cadaver. …It was really awesome to be taught anatomy and then actually see what we were learning about.” 

JAMP internships also incorporate shadowing opportunities. “Each JAMP participant was paired with a physician at one of the hospitals in the Texas Medical Center. I was blessed to shadow a wonderful anesthesiologist who was willing to answer any questions I had,” Joe says of one of JAMP’s most invaluable opportunities. Shadowing enables students to learn important aspects about health-care provision that cannot be ascertained from a textbook.

MCAT preparation is another area the JAMP program emphasizes. “I am really appreciative toward JAMP because of all they are doing to prepare us for the MCAT,” Lindsey says. “They are paying for each of us to take a Kaplan course online, which is just so awesome because MCAT prep courses are so expensive. JAMP students take special diagnostic tests and are tracked into preparation programs during summer internships and the Kaplan course that are specifically designed to address the individual student’s understanding and performance on the MCAT test.

To students thinking about applying to JAMP, Lindsey says “Do it: best decision ever!” Interested students should check the JAMP website (LINK TO THE JAMP WEB SITE) for eligibility requirements and may contact Dr. Cynthia Powell at powellc@acu.edu for further information.



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