“We want to make sure that the students are going to be supported,” she said, adding that the medical school has recruited 10 physicians outside of the University to mentor the students. “It’s part of our effort to train our own workforce,” Hanks told Minnesota Daily.

“I feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity and I’m proud of how far I’ve gotten,” O’Neal said.

Research throughout the U.S. shows positive progression in medical school staff, specifically within accelerated degree programs. The opportunities that O’Neal have been presented with even making it to the top 20 are sure to resonate throughout her future education. A hard worker, O’Neal looks forward to a strong, future career in dermatology.

“She cares about people and school and it shows through all of her actions, which is a great quality for a med program,” Lammers said.