The next generation of doctors from YSU

By Elizabeth Coss and Michael Sheehan

For students aspiring to become doctors and physicians, the BaccMed program at Youngstown State University is working to prepare them for medical school. 

Almost every month the program holds cohort meetings to aid students through day-to-day life with team-building experiences and learning about medical school entrance exams. 

Mollie Hartup, director of the Sokolov Honors College, which houses the BaccMed program, said the program has been welcoming on average 35 students a year and guiding them into the medical field. 

“We just welcomed — I think it was — 24 BaccMed students at our Honors orientation we had in March and I think we have another 11 signed up in May,” Hartup said. “We’re still always in the recruiting process and of course wanting our students who indicate that they’re coming to remain connected [to YSU] and have a good experience.”

At the April 3 meeting, Dr. Tiffany Hughes, an associate professor in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences graduate studies program, spoke to students about opportunities Ohio Living and the Vivo Center could offer them. 

Hughes said while working with the university for nine years, there have been opportunities for collaboration in her job. 

“I’ve been working with different community partners over this time period including a statewide nonprofit organization called Ohio Living,” Hughes said. “They have a lot of different services and support that they provide in the community ranging from skilled nursing care, [to] memory care [and] independent living.”

Hughes also said pre-medical students should begin thinking about where their careers will take them, and that they should consider caring for the older population. 

“The fastest growing segment of our population is 85 and older, so if you guys are going to go into being doctors, even if you’re not a geriatrician who specializes in the older adult population, there’s a good chance … you’re going to work with older clients,” Hughes said.

Before BaccMed students can provide medical care, they must first pass the Medical College Admissions Test.

The test, which is  comprised of four sections, including a psychology and sociology section, a chemistry and physics section, a critical analysis and reasoning essay section, and a biochemistry and biology section, challenges an undergraduate student’s knowledge before medical school. 

Jacob Fay, a senior biology major, wants to attend the Northeast Ohio Medical University after graduating from YSU. Fay said it’s important for medical students to start prepping for the MCAT sooner rather than later. 

“The MCAT is one of the major metrics that medical schools look for to see if you will succeed,” Fay said. “The averages for the exam has increased in the past couple years, so it’s important to make sure you are maintaining your own baseline to keep up with a national average.” 

Hartup said that at YSU, students have flexible track options to either follow a traditional four-year plan or an accelerated pathway into medical school a year early. 

“We have a curriculum that is flexible and that can adapt to whatever the student need and interest is, whether they’d like to go a three or four year pathway,” Hartup said. 

For more information on applying to YSU’s BaccMed program, visit