Andrew Chapman at the White Coat Ceremony

Chapman enters College of Medicine as first student through Cadet to Medicine program

Pipeline program helps advance College of Medicine’s military medicine mission
June 9, 2021

This fall, Texas A&M University class of 2020 graduate Andrew Chapman will be the first student to enter the Texas A&M University College of Medicine through the Cadet to Medicine Early Assurance Program.

The College of Medicine launched the Cadet to Medicine pipeline program in the spring of 2019 to encourage members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets to pursue a career as a military physician, as part of the college’s commitment to producing the military physicians that our country needs.

“What this program does is allow these students to have a direct early assurance into our medical school and then springboard them into one of the armed services to pursue a medical military career,” said Fernando Vasquez, director of admissions and early assurance programs at the College of Medicine.

Members of the Corps of Cadets are eligible to apply to the program during their sophomore and junior years of their undergraduate studies. Once admitted, participants of the program undergo medical school preparations, such as enrolling in a free MCAT prep course, shadowing in a private practice or hospital setting and participating in a semester-long seminar course, among many others.

“We want students to be able to function in the military environment and in the non-military environment and be just as flexible and open to treating everyone that comes through their door,” Vasquez said. “We’re providing a unique, dual platform for them that not many medical students are given. This program will allow them to fully engage themselves in the full delivery of medicine from every population that they’re going to come across.”

Chapman, who was admitted into the program during his sophomore year of college, is looking forward to finally entering medical school after many years of waiting.

“I’m very excited to enter medical school at the College of Medicine,” Chapman said. “Like most incoming medical students must feel, it’s a little bit intimidating, but I’m very ready for it. The Cadet to Medicine pipeline program has really prepared me for this next step.”

The program currently has nine Corps of Cadet members who have already been accepted and are currently participating in the program as undergraduates.

“It’s a little intimidating to be the first student to enter the College of Medicine through this program, but I want to represent the Corps of Cadets well and I want to represent the College of Medicine well,” Chapman said. “With that being said, I hope to set the right tone for the program and for all of the cadet members who will come after me.”

The pipeline program provides undergraduate students opportunities for mentoring, guidance and support toward completing their undergraduate pre-medical requirements.

“This program aligns nicely with one of the college’s areas of excellence: military medicine,” Vasquez said. “We are a military-friendly medical school, which means that we intentionally recruit current military veterans or those that are in one of the academies to pursue medicine here. The program also informs cadets of issues outside of the military environment—such as issues in rural populations, issues with the health care system and issues with health disparities.”

Cadets are eligible to apply for this program in both the fall and spring, offering two entry points and allowing a bigger window of opportunity for students to apply for the program. The next application window will be next fall.

“I think this is a great program for Corps members who are interested in pursuing a military medical career,” Chapman said. “It aligns well with the College of Medicine’s dedication to military medicine, and there’s no better place in Texas to receive this kind of experience and opportunity. I greatly encourage other Corps of Cadet members to apply for this program.”

— Gracie Blackwell

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