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Biomedical Studies Meet Alum James Mantas


Hometown: Niskayuna, NY
Undergraduate: Hartwick College, BA in Biology
Graduate: Drexel University College of Medicine, MS in Biomedical Studies
Current Medical School: New York Medical College

James Mantas, Drexel Biomedical Studies Program Alum


Can you tell me a little about yourself before you came to Drexel?

I took a bit of a winding, non-traditional path to Drexel. After graduating from Hartwick College in 2010, I worked as the assistant men's basketball coach of Skidmore College. Following that, I worked in a restaurant as a line cook and manager. Subsequently, I took a position as a medical scribe in the ER of St. Peter's Hospital in Albany. While working in the ER, I serendipitously came across the Master of Science in Biomedical Studies (MBS) program listed on the AAMC website and applied.

When did you decide that you wanted to go into medicine?

I always knew that the sciences interested me, particularly those which applied directly to human structure and function. I worked on my senior thesis in northern Thailand and saw firsthand how basic science concepts could directly impact the lives of others. However, it was not until I began working as a scribe in the emergency department years later that I truly fell in love with the idea of clinical medicine. Every passing day I felt more excited to return to the ER because there was always something to learn, and it was all fascinating.

What made you apply to Drexel's Biomedical Studies program?

Once I made the decision to pursue a medical education, I knew that I needed to improve my candidacy and began looking for programs to that end. I found the MBS program online and felt that its blend of undergraduate, graduate and medical school work coupled with MCAT training was perfectly tailored to my needs. I could not have made a better decision as the program was integral to my ultimate acceptance to medical schools.

Are you in medical school now?

Yes, I currently attend New York Medical College.

How did the Biomedical Studies program help prepare you for medical school?

I am very grateful for the education I received at Drexel. So far I have been very successful and can certainly attest to the program's ability to prepare one for the rigorous demands of medical school.

What was your relationship like with the faculty and your fellow classmates in the Biomedical Studies program?

I formed strong relationships with my classmates. It was a relatively non-competitive environment in which we were all genuinely invested in each other's success. My roommates from those years in Philadelphia are still my closest friends to this day. The faculty were very open and receptive to us, and I genuinely felt supported and as though they were rooting for me to succeed. I still recall sharing my success with a few of my professors after hitting milestones such as the MCAT, getting my first interview and finally my first acceptance—all of which were met with elation and congratulations.

Biomedical Studies program graduate students in the classroom at Drexel University College of Medicine.

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