Originally from Wellington, Florida, Marissa Mangini graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in philosophy and a double minor in chemistry and biology. She is now currently in her third year of medical school at The George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Marissa went to Zaragoza, Spain on an Atlantis Fellowship. Her long-term goal is to be a primary care physician working in underserved communities. In addition, she wants to go into academic medicine or medical education to work with future medical professionals.
This is just one of a series of blog posts that will feature medical students telling their stories of how they got accepted into medical school. Today, Marissa shares with us her story of how she got accepted to the George Washington University School of Medicine.
Marissa, give us a peek into your life. What initially attracted you to pursue medicine?
I believe that your story changes as you go through different points in your medical education. The earliest memory I have of wanting to be a doctor is from when I was five years old. My mom was a pharmacist, and she brought me to the Mayo Clinic, and I saw cancer cells growing. This sparked my interest in medicine.
The reasons why I wanted to be a doctor changed as I got older, and I volunteered with the Kids Cancer Foundation, and I really saw the effects that these doctors are having on these kids and patients.
More recently, my grandma passed away in the hospital of unknown diseases, and it came to a point when I said: “I don’t want doctors like this, I want doctors that will be able to empathize with the patient, work with them, and treat them as a whole–not just as a part.”
That was a pivotal moment for me, and my motivation has evolved even more in med school because of GWU’s emphasis on public health. We host a lot of summits where we learn about public health issues, such as pediatric asthma, obesity, and other public health problems.
Prior to medical school, I didn’t realize the issues in regards to public health and how underserved communities are treated in regards to medicine, or lack of treatment, I should say. So, that is something that I want to be involved with in my future medical career.
Why did you major in Philosophy?
I was actually pre-med in high school. I went to a college prep school where I took all the classes: biology, forensic science, physical exam. You name it, I took it. I went to college thinking that I would be a biology major, and then I took my first ethics class, and I loved it.
I thought: “This is amazing. I know that my life is going to be medicine, so let me just spend four years doing something different, such as humanities.” I enjoyed it so much, and I think that it contributed to a lot of the skills and characteristics that I have and others don’t because they only studied science in college.
Part 1: Introduction
Located in Washington, D.C., George Washington University School of Medicine is the first medical school in the U.S. capital. GW School of Medicine is known for its health and biomedical sciences. Because of its location in Washington, D.C., the school of medicine offers unique opportunities in government areas and non-profit organizations.
GW School of Medicine partners with the GW Hospital, GW Medical Faculty Associates, Children’s National Health System, Washington DC VA Medical Center, and more.
George Washington University School of Medicine has excellent opportunities for prospective students. Today, we’ll give you a virtual “tour” of what the university has to offer: its programs, cost of attendance, admissions requirements, secondary essays (with samples!) and interview information. By the time you’re finished reading this guide, you should have a pretty good idea of whether you want to apply to George Washington University School of Medicine.
We’ve split this guide up into five parts, so you can easily navigate to the sections that matter most to you:
Part 2: Programs Offered at George Washington University School of Medicine
George Washington University School of Medicine offers the following programs:
In this article, our main focus will be on the MD program. We’ve linked the other programs to their respective pages on the GW School of Medicine website, so you can navigate to what interests you. We’re including brief descriptions of each program below, as well. Will the information provided throughout the rest of this guide be useful if you’re interested in a program other than the MD program? Yes. While some details might be different, the application process is much the same, and the information provided in the secondary essays section will benefit every applicant/prospective student.
Like many MD programs, George Washington University School of Medicine has three phases, but its phases are unique.
This first stage of the program involves an introductory course and classes that expand beyond the bachelor’s level of science courses. Subjects include Anatomy (both microscopic and gross), biochemistry/genetics, physiology, pharmacology, pathology and microbiology. Prevalent themes throughout these courses include human behavior and development, clinical skills and reasoning, public health and health policy, professional development and diversity. Courses are as follows.
This phase takes things to a new level with students entering clerkship territory. They are also allowed to take elective courses, which is a key part of determining what their specialty will be. Clerkships and courses are as follows:
This third and final phase of the MD program puts more pressure on students who are preparing to enter the field as Doctors of Medicine. The course load is intense to provide upcoming graduates with the most amount of preparation. Courses are as follows.
George Washington University School of Medicine and the Milken Institute School of Public Health come together to bring this program to students. This program is designed to be completed in five years, and students have the option to take the Master of Public Health courses through the Milken Institute at any point after their first, third or fourth years at GW School of Medicine. Some courses can be taken online, while other courses must be taken at the Milken Institute campus. Go here for more information.
Physician Assistants are needed throughout the country, and George Washington University School of Medicine provides an excellent curriculum to introduce new PAs into the field. PAs are allowed to practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Their training is shorter. The lack of extended experience is what requires them to be supervised. GW School of Medicine provides the following avenues for prospective PA students:
The curriculum for PA students is as follows:
The PA/Master of Public Health track offers the following opportunities to students. They are linked to their respective pages on the George Washington University School of Medicine website.
This degree offers a wide range of opportunities for pre-medicine students who are interested in laboratory science.
As the course name suggests, this is primarily meant for students who want to increase their knowledge and gain leadership experience.
This program is designed to help injured people rehabilitate and to help them and their families adjust to any permanent changes in routine.
Please note that these degrees will not award you with an MD degree. They are complementary courses that will add to your knowledge as a doctor. Additionally, these degrees can be taken by themselves for students who want to work in these fields, but who don’t want to become Doctors of Medicine.
The Ph.D. programs are part of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences. While these degrees will provide you with a wealth of knowledge on topics varying from cancer biology to neuroscience, they are not dual-degree MD/Ph.D. programs, and will therefore not graduate you as a Doctor of Medicine with a Ph.D. Instead, an MD would need to be earned separately, with your Ph.D. as a separate degree.
Based on what George Washington University School of Medicine has to offer, it’s not surprising if you’re ready to turn in your application right now. The question going through your head is probably, “but how much does it cost? Can I afford to attend GW School of Medicine?”
Tuition ranges from $62,000 to $63,000 per year, depending on what year you’re in. Years 3 and 4 are more expensive than Years 1 and 2 are. GW School of Medicine put together a helpful chart for your budgeting purposes.
These bullets include all related expenses, such as housing, food and transportation. The total amount you’ll need to pay might be less or more, depending on how much you spend on personal needs. Part of the reason why Years 3 and 4 are more expensive is because of the fees you must pay for residency applications and interviews.
George Washington University School of Medicine gets expensive, but the good news is that they offer financial aid to students who need it. So, don’t eliminate the possibility of attending school at GW School of Medicine until you’ve considered all your options. They rank among the best schools in the country, so they’re well worth your time.