PTC resident to study podiatry in New York

Wed, 07/12/2006 - 10:06am
By: The Citizen

Although North Georgia College & State University has long enjoyed a reputation for its graduates being accepted to medical colleges, the 2005-2006 academic year has seen an extraordinary number of North Georgia students heading for graduate programs in medical fields.

“It’s been a banner year,” said Dr. Ralph Hitt, a member of the biology faculty. “We have excellent students, with three out of four of our applicants accepted to UGA’s School of Veterinary Medicine, exemplifying the quality of our graduates.”

Throughout the Health & Natural Sciences Building, signs of congratulations herald the achievements of 21 students who are entering graduate programs in medicine, physical therapy, podiatry, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and other related professional fields.

“We have a very good record of getting our students not only into medical schools, but into dental, pharmacy and other professional graduate programs,” said Dr. Terry Schwaner, department head and the interim Harry B. Forester Endowed Scholar Chair in Biology.

Schwaner explained that the number of North Georgia graduates entering post-baccalaureate programs actually might be even higher, because many alumni wait a year or two to apply or re-apply to medical schools.

Graduating senior Nick Giovinco of Peachtree City, Ga., who’s entering the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, credits North Georgia’s competitive classes with his high score on the Medical College Admissions Test required by almost all U.S. medical schools.

“I didn’t have to fill in any gaps in my chemistry and biology, and I attribute that completely to the program here,” he explained. Giovinco has served as a member of the Corps of Cadets at North Georgia during his undergraduate education.

Even if biology and chemistry students don’t aim for graduate professional programs, faculty members work with them to help them understand the value of graduate degrees.

“When students leave here with a bachelor’s degree in biology or chemistry, they can get a job, but they less often find a career,” said Schwaner. “In a career, you continue to grow, your salary increases, you don’t stay at an entry level for long.”

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