FlipSide Face

FlipSide Face

by Ryan Steinbach

While many students frantically cram the night before their exams, senior Grant Peterson prepares months in advance.

Last April Peterson took the Medical College Admissions Test. His hard work and preparation resulted in a score placing him in the 95th percentile internationally.

“I started studying last January so I studied for about three-and-a-half months,” Peterson said. “I decided to study on my own, about three or four hours a week. I also took several self-timed practice tests.”

Even though Peterson passed the MCAT with flying colors, he admits to the pressure and stress surrounding the exam.

“The MCATs are an all-day standardized test, running from 8:00 a.m. to roughly 4:30 p.m.” Peterson said. “Many people panic about the MCATs. Test-preparation companies can easily feed that panic, as can fellow students. It’s one day of a person’s life.”

His outstanding MCAT score coupled with his 4.0 grade point average earned him early acceptance into the University of Iowa Medical School. This institution only accepted 12.7 percent of applicants in 2004 according to U.S. News and World Report.

“It [the University of Iowa Medical School] is one of the better schools in the Midwest,” Peterson said. “I look forward to being able to concentrate on the areas that most interest me.”

Peterson credits much of his success to his years of preparation at Simpson.

“My biology and chemistry classes have been extremely well taught,” Peterson said. “Each class had the right amount of challenge and vigor to strengthen my knowledge base and ability to learn.”

Although Peterson looks forward to his new academic adventure, he acknowledges the huge transition facing him.

“The class load will certainly be different,” Peterson said. “The loss of the small-college atmosphere will probably be the largest change next year. This change will yield some positives, but there will be drawbacks.”

After he completes the four-year medical program at the University of Iowa, Peterson will begin his medical apprenticeship as an M.D. He hopes to combine his book smarts and people skills to become an effective doctor.

“Knowing the material is crucial, and I believe my dedication to academics will allow me to become knowledgeable,” Peterson said. “However, interacting with and understanding a patient go beyond scientific knowledge. I feel that my compassion and my ability to empathize will allow me to become a good doctor.”