|It's unlikely that Ricky Shinall will ever wear a pastoral collar and deliver a sermon from the pulpit, but then again, anything is possible since he's blazing a new path at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Shinall is the first medical student to enroll in a joint M.D./M.Div. program at VUSM, a school that embraces the opportunity for its students to explore options other than the traditional M.D.-only degree. The school has 44 students pursuing the M.D./Ph.D. degree through its Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), and has other students enrolled in joint programs in medicine and business, public health, divinity and law. Other combinations are possible if it can be worked out between the two schools.
Shinall, an Atlanta native and Harvard University graduate, will likely integrate the divinity portion of his dual degree into the medical part, not vice-versa. He's just not sure how.
WRITTEN BY NANCY HUMPHREY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TAMARA REYNOLDS