An Interview with Professor Jeremiah Putnam
Dr. Jeremiah Putnam's role as Director of the Premedical Program is to aid his advisees in the process of applying to med school, in addition to teaching an assortment of premed classes such as Clinical Ethics and Biology.
When asked why he thinks his students want to become doctors, he replied that interest in medicine often arises out of a reverence for science and a simultaneous desire to help people - accompanied sometimes by a distaste for straight lab work.
He feels that Davidson students will be especially prepared for medical school not only because of the rigorous academics here, but also because of Davidson's unique "culture of service" that will give them experience in the humanitarian side of their future work.
"I've been gratified at how sincere the students are and how much they are really trying to make a difference," Putnam remarked.
For this reason, he is not worried about many premeds losing interest in their career pursuits because of the rise of Health Management Organizations and the resulting scarcity of private-practice doctors who make money. "I donít see that as having any effect on Davidson students," he responded with assurance.
In fact, the number of Davidson students applying to medical school has increased over the past decade, while national numbers of applications have dropped. If declining undergraduate interest in doctoring is actually a result of pessimism about the lucrativeness of medical philanthropy, Davidson students certainly aren't buying it. "Statistics support that there is a great deal of good in our students," Professor Putnam said fondly.