Look at Larner allows participants “to see themselves as part of our community, and practicing medicine in Vermont,” said Larner class of 2026 medical student Shani Legore, one of three co-leaders of Look at Larner 2023 along with classmates Shrey Patel and Aina Rattu. “It’s a chance to interact with admissions officers, ask questions and get personalized feedback on their readiness and aptitude for medical school.”
Candidates for Look at Larner are in different phases of the medical admissions cycle, from undergraduate pre-med coursework, to preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test, to submitting applications. Larner offices of admissions, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and medical communications offices support the initiative. Larner students work to ensure Look at Larner continues annually.
Created two years ago by Larner class of 2024 medical students Mialovena Exume and Warrick Sahene, Look at Larner is an outreach program for rising college juniors and seniors, college graduates and career-changers with a strong interest in pursuing a medical degree. As students of color at Larner, Exume and Sahene felt a program like this was particularly important for the college.
“Larner has the capacity to really diversify the student population and attract more students of color to apply and matriculate,” Exume told the Larner Office of Medical Communications in 2021. “Obviously, with a more diverse group of people, you have the opportunity to learn in even greater ways.”
Activities at Look at Larner 2023 included an upper limb anatomy lesson, clinical simulation laboratory rotations, and active class learning time with faculty in medical education classrooms.
“Being fully immersed, spending time in an anatomy lab and clinical simulation, and getting a real taste of what medical school is like, means a lot, especially for a person like me, with the color of my skin,” said college graduate Andrea Fluerant, who is Black. “Opportunities like this give me a glimmer of hope that a career in medicine is possible, and that I could do this, and I am meant to be here.”
Table discussions and a “speed advisement” admissions forum deconstructed the medical school admissions process, and panel talks spotlighted the unique experiences of current students and faculty.
“As a queer person, I haven’t had tons of people in my professional history who have my life experience. It’s important to see somebody like you doing the thing you want to do,” said Keiran Kozlowski, a 30-year-old software engineer from Florida who is applying to medical schools. Participating in Look at Larner affirmed Kozlowski’s choice to apply to UVM. “It’s been good to meet students, professors, and doctors who have my similar background. A lot of them were nontraditional students like me.”
Attendees also met representatives from organizations that liaise with minority populations, including Larner Student Interest Groups, the Latino Medical Student Association, Area Health Education Centers, Student National Medical Association, and global health programs. Sharing these resources helps showcase that “Larner College of Medicine is not just a great community to learn in, but we have so many aspects that may not be apparent on the college website, such as opportunities to work with new Americans living in Vermont, global health, and research in public health and health policy,” said Legore.