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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Medical school graduate got early start in College

Friday, May 25, 2012

Michael Carter with his mother, Peg Andrews of McCook.
(Courtesy photo)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Like hundreds of others across the United States, Michael Carter, formerly of Stratton, Nebraska, graduated from medical school this year.

But unlike other graduates, Carter's college career started a little earlier than most: after his sophomore year in high school.

His mother, Peg Andrews of McCook, didn't think anything was out of the ordinary when he was growing up, except for the fact that he seemed to learn very quickly. His vocabulary also seemed advanced.

"People were amazed at how well he spoke when he was a year and half," she recalled.

Carter was in the 7th grade when he scored a 28 on the ACT (The majority of Nebraska high school graduates scored an average of 20-23 in 2011, according to www.act.org; the maximum score is 36). This earned him a scholarship at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, where he took summer classes after eighth grade.

It helped to keep him challenged. Back then, "There were no advanced classes at the high school I could take at the time," he remembered.

In 10th grade, after receiving a post card in the mail, he applied to and was awarded a partial scholarship to Bard College at Simon's Rock in Massachusetts.

There, he earned a B.A. in physics and following that, he transferred to Columbia University in New York and earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering.

Deciding late in undergrad school that he wanted to go to medical school, he could not finish all the required courses in time. He spent the next year in between undergrad and medical school teaching sixth grade earth science in Atlanta, Georgia, followed by two years working as a mechanical engineer for a defense contractor in Panama City, Florida.

But his home state beckoned and once a Nebraskan, always a Nebraskan: he applied to only one medical school, the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Other factors also came into play in his selection. "I wanted to be closer to my family, plus there was the in-state tuition and scholarship availability," Carter said.

While at UNMC, Carter participated in the new accelerated program, Enhanced Medical Education Track (EMET), that focused on the auto immune system. The program honed his clinical and research skills that he said are vital in research. "Research is very important in the medical field," he said, as a way for doctors to see the big picture.

He graduated from UNMC May 5. Carter will do one transitional year of residency at the University of Indiana at Indianapolis, followed by four years residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Eventually, he will do his fellowship in his specialty, radiology. "You are always trying to find the next step," he said about this field, calling it "intellectual candy."

Although starting college in the 10th grade may have set him apart from his peers at the time, it's now paying off: all of his medical school tuition was paid for with $300,000 worth of scholarships.

His first day to see patients at Indiana will be July 1.

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