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She not quite Doogie Howser, teenaged doctor, but Stoney Point Michelle Lutsch will soon be one of the youngest medical students in Canada.

The 18 year old L student is one of 10 students from across Canada to be accepted into the Accelerated Route to Medical School program (QuARMS) at Queen University for this fall.

so excited to be participating in this pilot project, Lutsch said. really humbling to be included in such a group of high achievers from across the country. Lutsch could be handed her medical degree in just six years instead of the traditional eight.

QuARMS, which was established two years ago, aims to shorten process through an innovative, two year undergrad program. The program is the only one of its kind in Canada. There no financial award attached to selection.

countries having been doing this for some time, said Lutsch, who also won have to write the medical college admissions test.

Asia and Europe, students go right from high school to medical school. said the program should produce more doctors, without compromising their medical training, and leaves students saddled with two fewer years of debt.

Though her path may be accelerated, Lutsch dream was born in a Grade 3 science class studying cells.

remember holding up my hand thinking, my whole hand is made of these,
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Lutsch said. about all the different things in the body that have to happen to move one finger; how interdependent it is. No machine is more complex than the human body.

made my mind up (to be a doctor), she said.

However, speed isn the lone goal of QuARMS.

The program also wants to push medical students into areas beyond book smarts.

There an aim to develop better communication and people skills and draw in well rounded candidates who are heavily involved their communities.

Lutsch certainly fits that bill as she coaches sports, served as a student trustee for the French Catholic School Board (Conseil scolaire catholique Providence), helps with student leadership camps, does a variety of volunteer work her for her church both locally and at the provincial level.

She also plays travel and high school hockey, travel soccer and high school basketball until Grade 12.

guarantee you I didn have the highest average there, said Lutsch, who carries a 93 per cent average.

think being involved with so many thing different groups of people helped me. They definitely are looking at social skills and how to make patients feel important.

think being a team captain or assistant captain has helped me become good at making people feel comfortable. It helped me understand being empathetic is different for each person. also taught her time management, a skill that be much needed in the packed accelerated program. Each student will take five courses per semester in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Students will also take a series of medical study modules that require another three hours each week.

In addition, students will take experiential learning modules in each of their first two summers before entering medical school.

Students will also be assigned a faculty member and a first or second year medical student as mentors.

To be eligible for the QuARMS program you must be a nominee for the Chancellor Scholarship at Queen biggest benefit is, not only will I be in this environment of just 10 students, we have mentors to guide us through the whole process,
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Lutsch said.