The Pulse


Kaplan’s monthly series for pre-meds


Next Episode:

Kaplan's Medical School Insider 2014

Monday, April 14th  |  8 PM ET / 5 PM PT

Getting into medical school is tough — less than half the students who apply are accepted. With application season right around the corner, we're taking an inside look at the medical school admissions process in this special 2-hour episode. We'll be joined live by deans of admission from prominent medical schools and experts on medical education, who will answer your questions about what it takes to go from applicant to accepted.

Reserve your spot today!

On April 14th, join our expert panel:

Gary C. Butts

Dr. Gary C. Butts


Dr. Gary C. Butts is currently Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Mount Sinai Health System and Senior Associate Dean for Diversity Programs, Policy and Community Affairs for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In these roles, Dr. Butts is responsible for oversight, management and integration of all aspects of diversity programs and policies for the Mount Sinai Health System to ensure diversity and inclusion as an integral core institutional value and resource across the health system, including the medical and graduate schools, graduate medical education and the Mount Sinai Hospitals Group.

Dr. Butts holds joint appointments as Professor with tenure in the Departments of Pediatrics, Medical Education, and Preventive Medicine and has been an integral member of the senior leadership team at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1998. He has spent over 3 decades providing healthcare services to East and Central Harlem residents and the past 15 years developing and spearheading efforts to improve and sustain racial, ethnic and gender diversity across all levels of education, training, and faculty for the School of Medicine. Under his leadership, the medical school has become one of the most diverse student bodies among US private medical schools and Mount Sinai has doubled the percent of Black and Latino faculty and housestaff. Dr. Butts has held regional and national leadership positions with the Association of American Medical Colleges and Associated Medical Schools of New York.

Paul T. White, J.D.

Paul T. White, J.D.


Paul White has been affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University since 1994, first as Director of Undergraduate Admissions and then as the Assistant Dean for Admissions at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Mr. White also served as director of the Financial Aid Office from February 2002 until June 2006. From 2006 to February 2012, Mr. White worked at the University of Minnesota Medical School as the Associate Dean for Admissions, before returning to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2012.

Mr. White’s professional career began at Yale University in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, where he was an Assistant Director of Admissions. He later served as an Associate Dean of Admissions at Hamilton College and as the Senior Associate Dean of Admissions at Colgate University.

Mr. White received the Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Yale University and the Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. He serves as a member of the Educational Testing Services Scholarship Selection Review Committee and is a former member of the scholarship committees for the National Merit Scholarship and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Nida Degesys

Dr. Nida Degesys


Dr. Nida Degesys is a recent graduate from the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). Previously, she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio University and completed post-baccalaureate work in pre-medical studies at Cleveland State University. She served as an economic development and health volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Panama helping a women’s cooperative gain sustainability and teaching children oral hygiene and nutrition.

Prior to her previous position as AMSA National Secretary, Dr. Degesys was AMSA’s Chair of the Medical Education Action Committee and coordinated AMSA Academy’s Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers Today, a medical education leadership institute in Washington, D.C. In 2009-2010 she was Education Coordinator for the committee on the culture of medicine. She was also the 2009 AMSA medical education research winner with her research on team based learning in the basic sciences and has presented her research on topics ranging from patient safety, students’ attitudes towards disabilities, dental equipment, to educational pedagogy both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Degesys is also very active on her campus. She was appointed by the Governor of Ohio to serve as a Trustee on the NEOMED Board of Trustees, she was the president of the Palliative Care Interest Group and Vice-President of the Geriatric Interest Group at NEOUCOM. Between her M1 and M2 year she completed an eight-week research program in geriatric oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Degesys enjoys spending time with her husband, David (a law professor), her 2 pugs, reading, traveling, and practicing yoga and Zumba.

Dr. Jeffrey Koetje

Dr. Jeffrey Koetje


Dr. Jeffrey Koetje, graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has devoted his professional life to supporting and enriching the personal and professional development of students entering the health professions. After deciding not to pursue clinical medicine, Jeff continued his journey in a new direction with a focus on education.

Prior to joining the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) in June, 2012, he spent 11 years with Kaplan Test Prep, working with pre-health students in various roles: from full-time teacher to director of Kaplan’s MCAT Summer Intensive Program. Starting in 2008, he served as the Assistant Director of Pre- Health Programs at Kaplan's headquarters in New York City. In his national role, Jeff worked closely with pre-health advisors, with medical school deans and directors, and with representatives from the national organizations representing schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and optometry.

Jeff now serves premedical and medical students as the Education and Research Director for AMSA. In his role, he provides day-to-day oversight, leadership, and expertise in the ongoing development, planning, execution, monitoring, and evaluation of educational programs, research activities and projects for AMSA and the AMSA Foundation. He is responsible for evaluating and improving all aspects of programming, fostering innovation and efficiency in all educational endeavors to meet the diverse needs of physicians-in-training.

He loves working with pre-med and medical students, in whose faces he sees reflected the same hopes, dreams, anxieties, and neuroticisms that he himself possessed as a doctor-to-be. In his spare time, Jeff is an avid cook. He also enjoys collecting – and wearing – vintage and custom-made bow ties.

Meet your moderator:

Owen Farcy

Owen Farcy

Director, MCAT 2015

Owen Farcy is director of MCAT 2015 for Kaplan Test Prep, and is responsible primarily for operations and program development for the company's pre-medical programs. As a long-time top-rated faculty member for Kaplan, Owen is intimately familiar with the MCAT and medical school admissions. An interest in global health and student advocacy has helped him to work closely with several prominent pre-health student groups such as the American Medical Student Association, Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity, and Global Brigades. With a new, expanded MCAT scheduled to debut in 2015, Owen's main focus is working with students, undergraduate advisors, and medical schools to adapt to the new admissions landscape. He is also the host of The Pulse, Kaplan's monthly live web-series for pre-medical students. Owen holds a BS in Biology from Emory University, and has previously worked in environmental education and sustainable development.