More Women Entering Med School

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Before Janice Bonsu began studying at The Ohio State University, she scrutinized other medical school campuses. Bonsu said she considered seven universities that offered her the ability to train to become a doctor within their school, but said she chose OSU’s medical program because it's leadership caught her eye.

"What I saw here was different than others, where the classes looked really homogeneous. At OSU it was noticeable -because it wasn’t like that. Diversity was noticeable in the people who were in power, the perspectives they were bringing,” said second-year OSU Medical Student Janice Bonsu.

She became part of an entering class of people ready to train to become doctors and trained medical staff. She stands among the first nationwide class of students entering medical schools, in which there are more women than men enrolled. The record is not new at her school, however. OSU said it’s entering med school classes have been predominately female students for the past five years.

Bonsu’s mentor, Dr. Quinn Capers IV is an Interventional Cardiologist and Associate Dean for Admissions, OSU College of Medicine. He said changes were not by chance. The school has been involved in an intentional strategy for appealing to everyone since 2012. That year he says OSU administered a test to its Admissions Committee.

“They unconsciously preferred images of men at work in professional settings and women at home in domestic settings,” said Dr. Capers. “We saw this as a problem. Especially since about half of the applicant pool were women- so at the very least you ought to have half of your students be women.”

The college made changes. He said campus tours showcased the women who were in leadership and focused on amenities appealing to everyone. Now the halls and classrooms of his med school are seeing differences.

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"I'm just hoping the rest of the country realizes the value in having women physicians,” said Bonsu.

Freshman med student Lauren Strowder thinks so.

Her top pick for medical school shifted to OSU after touring several campuses.

“At Ohio State, I saw women leading the classroom,” said Strowder. “I remember they specifically highlighted the number of African Americans that they accepted and they were so proud and adamant about growing that number, that it stuck out to me. We are 2% of physicians now, which I think that's something we really need to work on. Ohio State has really made a commitment to increasing that.”