Young Alumna Accepted into 13 Medical Schools 

Posted May 11, 2023

At two years of age, Megan McClain ’21, was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease. Constantly ill, and in and out of hospitals, the Otterbein Biochemistry Molecular Biology (BMB) grad began a relationship with doctors that continues to influence her life.  

Thanks to physician care, McClain’s condition improved. When she was admitted into a pharmaceutical research study at 17 years of age, her life was changed forever. 

“It sounds so cliché, but it is true when I say since the beginning every experience in my life has shaped and prepared me to become a physician,” McClain said. “I was always sick. But it was through all my interactions with physicians, who never gave up on me that revealed to me my calling to be the same: a physician who fights for even the most impossible cases. My doctors made such an impact on me. Now it’s my turn to serve and impact others.”  

McClain has choices to make. She’s been admitted into 13 medical schools in pursuit of her dream of becoming a doctor. She also declined seven other invitations to interview at other schools.  

Her top four choices at this point are Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb., Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore., Oakland University/William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Mich., and Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, Calif.  

“I want to serve the underserved populations in rural communities of the United States and third-world countries across the globe,” McClain said. “The missions of these four schools in particular, along with the scholarship opportunities I have been given, make these my top four so far.”   

McClain found her calling while traveling internationally throughout south and central America, but primarily to the Dominican Republic, and serving rural underserved communities with Grace Clinics of Ohio. She’s also gained practical experience as an OhioHealth imaging tech aide, a research assistant for OSU Wexner Center’s Cancer Institute, and as an aide at a primary care clinic in Delaware. 

Her distinction honors thesis and lab work, participation in Women in STEM and medical missions, and Otterbein Christian Fellowship, made Otterbein the ideal home for her. 

“It’s the best decision I ever made,” McClain said. “Not only have I made the most incredible friends that are now like family, but the unique BMB major was perfect for me. It covered all the classes a pre-med student needs to take, while allowing me to fall in love with science and discover various passions.”   

McClain credits departmental professors for helping her every step of the way.  

“The faculty and staff at Otterbein are beyond incredible. They genuinely care about their students, the small class sizes at Otterbein provided me the comfortable environment to get to know them multi-dimensionally. 

“My adviser, Dr. Marr, was a rock for me, always giving me the confidence to think I could attend medical school,” McClain said. “It is really incredible to see her impact on my journey. 

“Professors Grote, Lehman, and Tansey developed my love for science and medicine, prepared me for medical school with their class structures and class difficulty, and wrote letters for me to get into medical school. I love these professors like family. Professor Bennett was my research advisor. I knew nothing about research when I joined her lab, but she challenged me every step of the way, while providing me encouragement and a safe environment to become a critical thinker and scientist.”  

While McClain said the medical school application process was brutal, for future students, “if you remember why you want to be a doctor you can get through it. And at Otterbein you have all the support you want. Your professors are there to help you, there are endless opportunities surrounding you. Don’t be afraid to get a little bit uncomfortable and take advantage of them, the entire process is incredibly exhausting, but it is worth it.”   

McClain hopes to make a final decision by May or June.