July 21, 2006

Zic takes on new role as leader of VUSM admissions

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John Zic, M.D.

Zic takes on new role as leader of VUSM admissions

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is undergoing a change in the leadership of its admissions process as John Zic, M.D., succeeds Hal Helderman, M.D., as associate dean of Admissions.

Helderman, who has held the position for five years, stepped down recently to devote more time to his clinical practice leading the renal transplant service.

Zic, a 1991 VUSM graduate and one of the school's first Canby Robinson Scholars, is an assistant professor of Medicine and has served on the Admissions Committee since 2000.

With the change, the job title and position for VUSM's leader of the admissions process are being expanded and increased to that of associate dean rather than assistant dean, according to Dean Steven Gabbe, M.D.

“If you look at the responsibilities of the person who leads our admissions process, they are enormous,” Gabbe said.

“No sooner have we admitted the majority of our class in the middle of May, and into June as we accept a limited number of students from our waiting list for the next class, we begin receiving applications for the next class. We can't officially accept people until Oct. 15 but we are going to be launching our review processes in July and August.

“And, we have made major changes in the way we conduct our admissions process. We have added three-person screening committees that review each application. We've created a more formal process to train our interviewers and define what the expectations are for the reports they prepare after they interview each student.”

VUSM accepted its fewest number of students in more than a decade this year with an acceptance rate among the lowest in the country at approximately 6 percent from the nearly 4,400 applications received.

The class boasts a mean GPA of 3.76 and a mean MCAT score of 11.3, both among the highest in the country.

Zic said he believes every faculty member and medical student are part of the admissions process by guiding pre-medical students who have excelled in the areas of scholastic achievment, leadership and service to apply, and, hopefully, to matriculate at VUSM.

“I am honored to take on the challenges and oversee the countless faculty members and students who are involved in interviewing, screening and admitting what I believe is the brightest group of young people pursuing a career in medicine in the country,” Zic said.

“I am humbled to follow Hal Helderman, who has guided the admissions process extraordinarily well over his tenure. Dr. Helderman should be commended for overseeing the conversion to an electronic submission process, establishing a screening committee and training our team of excellent interviewers.

“This year's incoming class establishes a new benchmark for excellence in scholastic achievement, leadership and service which I believe reflects well on Dr. Helderman's excellent leadership,” Zic said.