The Honors Community
- Fairfax Station, Va.
Contracting Lyme disease and bacterial meningitis in the eighth grade led Richie Boe on an early path to pursuing a career in medicine.
“I was stuck in the hospital for quite a while,” he said. “I got to watch the doctors and how they work with patients. It really fascinated me.”
Soon after that experience, Boe knew he wanted to go to medical school and found a perfect fit in Virginia Commonwealth University’s biomedical engineering program. He also applied for guaranteed admission to the VCU School of Medicine — an eight-year curriculum offered in collaboration with The Honors College that culminates in an M.D. degree.
“Most people who go to medical school are biology or chemistry majors, but VCU’s mix of math, engineering and medicine really interested me,” said Boe, a senior. “Plus, the fact that VCU has an academic campus and a medical campus means that students get a closer view of medical school and the experiences that medical students will face.”
As part of the guaranteed admission requirements, the faculty in The Honors College helped Boe identify mentors in the VCU Medical Center’s neurosurgery and surgical oncology departments. He also participated in research in emergency medicine and wound healing.
“I get firsthand experience of what it’s like to be a doctor and I’m looking at what different fields have to offer,” he said. “It gave me insight into what I like and what my future will hold. It helps you make sure it’s what you want to do.”
With the benefits of his education in The Honors College, Boe feels ready to start medical school.
“Guaranteed admission is a great program,” he said. “It’s a smooth path to get to medical school. You make connections and it gives you a leg up once you start.”
“The Honors College gave me insight into what I like and what my future will hold.”