12-year-old begins medical school

Oh, this is a good idea. 12-year-old begins medical school

Youngest student ever at University of Chicago professional school

If he weren’t also getting his Ph.D. along with his medical degree, thus, pushing his age at graduation to 19 or 20, he’d also be on course to become the youngest person to graduate from any medical school. According to Guinness World Records, a 17-year-old graduated from medical school in New York in 1995.

Genius is duly cited:

Yes, he has an IQ over 200. And yes, he graduated in three years from Chicago?s Loyola University, summa cum laude.
…By age 4, he was composing. And by age 7, he was doing high school work, taught by his parents because they couldn’t find a school that could accommodate him.
By age 8, he scored a 1,500 out of 1,600 possible points on the SAT and started college at age 9.

I’m willing to say, right now, that this kid is smarter than I am. I didn’t get close to a 1500 SAT, it took me 4 years to get a degree, and I’ve never composed anything beyond the occasional unprintable limerick.

I’ll also wager that nobody wants a teenage doctor, and it doesn’t matter how smart they are. I used to say Doogie Howser wouldn’t have actually touched a real patient, he’d have been thrown out of a lot of exam rooms, and the same goes for this poor kid. No way is my first heart attack going to be managed by a 19 year old.

Now, this is not to say that all physicians relate with their patients. We intentionally build up barriers so we think of them as patients or ‘cases’ rather than people. But I guarantee a doc who spent his teenage years in residency, after spending his adolesence in med school, is not going to relate to anyone, his patients or his peers. And the nurses are going to eat him alive.

I sincerely hope he does well, and chooses an academic/research career, and does cure cancer or something worthy of his talent.


  1. 1500 out of 1600 on the SAT, come on he coulda done better than that LOL

    Just kidding. Kid is smarter than me thats for sure, but I’ve got a life. I hope he doesn’t spend his life trying to prove just how smart he is and miss out on what makes life worth living.

  2. This makes me nervous. My senior year of med school, we had a rash of suicides in the freshman class. They were all in the six-year program (college and med school).

    Has this kid been socialized? My guess is not. And you’re dead on when you say the nurses will eat him alive. I wouldn’t be surprised if he elected not to do the residency and just collects his MD with his PhD – another notch in his belt. Assuming he finishes med school.

    (Bitter? Oh, a tad.)

  3. I was intrigued by this story, particularily as an MD/PhD from U of C. I scored almost 1500 on my SATs, but at age 17, not 8!

    Hopefully this will turn out okay. He’ll probably do one year of Med School (almost all classroom), then another of graduate school class work and then disapear into the lab for 4 or 5 years. That would put him at 18 or 19 starting second year of medical school, and 21 or so to start residency, which is only a year or two younger than a graduate of a combined B.S./M.D. program. Plus the years in lab can vary a lot and I hope no one will be pushing him through.

    On the down side, I remember a kid a year or two ahead of me in grad school. He had finished college at Univ. or Chicago at 14 and started biology grad school. The first year he failed most of his classes and got kicked out. What the hell do you do as a 14 year old who has finished college and flunked out of grad school? A 22 year old can find a job, but who is going to hire a 14 year old. I remember another story about a 13 or 14 year old who was getting a “B” average in a community college. Now who benefited from that, the kid or the parents.


  4. I guess the threshold of acceptance is the level of presumed qualification. As a young 19 y.o. medtech in the USAF I bandaged, sutured and shot with the best of them and can?t recall patients objecting and trust me, military ?dependents? spouses and children ? are among the move vocal patients anyone has ever faced.

    I remember my first boss taught me how to give shots. I practices giving shots first to an orange and graduated to student pilots; they weren?t really considered ?people.?

    That said, I saw my Texas doctor the other day and he had this kid with him who I assumed was a pre or med student only to find he was an intern beginning some phase of his training! I felt like asking for his driver?s license.

  5. SAT scores are overrated. I know plenty of very smart people who should NEVER become doctors. It takes more than just a brilliant mind, to be sure.

    Just wondering, but whatever happened to the 17 year old graduate of medical school? I bet he/she had a hard time getting a residency. A surgeon I know once told me a story about how one such candidate for residency, some brilliant and very young man, ruined his chances of accceptance even before my father saw him. His mother called to schedule the interview.

    Get thee to a research lab!

    And Yes, I admit to being part of the Instalanche.


  1. I didn’t even know what a prostate was when I was 12.

    GruntDoc has an interesting post and link to a story about a 12 year old who’s going to medical school. He says: I guarantee a doc who spent his teenage years in residency, after spending his adolesence in med school,