A Message from Dr. Wesley Robinson-McNeese, M.D., MEDPREP Alumnus
My name is Wes McNeese. I am a 1982 graduate of the MEDPREP program and a retired emergency physician, currently serving part time as SIU System Executive Director of Diversity Initiatives, after serving many years as SIU School of Medicine’s (my alma mater) Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion.
I came to MEDPREP from East St. Louis, Illinois, the product of a socioeconomic and academically deprived background. Experiences as a military medic and hospital orderly had convinced me to become a physician, but there were glaring deficits in my past education, especially the sciences. Plus, I knew little about the medical school application process. MEDPREP was a godsend for me! The instructors there took me in hand, strengthened my science knowledge, taught me how to navigate the application route, and generally nurtured my dream. They did a real spit-and-polish job on my portfolio and me!
The “can do” spirit of MEDPREP is with me to this day. Even before the program I had a healthy dose of drive and ambition, but now perseverance is one of the watchwords of my life. I am the first physician in my family. Becoming such vaulted me to a totally new lifestyle and socioeconomic level, and I’ve sampled much of the accoutrement that comes with the position. But, more importantly, being a physician has put me in the challenging place of being able to dramatically affect lives on a daily basis and help direct the quality of health care in these United States.
Because of MEDPREP’s influence, I’ve devoted a portion of my career toward helping other students realize their dream. I am nothing if not an advocate for those underrepresented minorities who come to the premedical process needing encouragement and direction. To that end, I give money regularly toward a scholarship for MEDPREP students, and support the program through lectures and workshops whenever possible.
Won’t you remember MEDPREP as well and do whatever you can to help keep the program fresh and vital for its students? Think of what you needed when you were in those students’ positions, then give what you can. After all, many of you would not have the careers that you currently enjoy, were it not for MEDPREP.
Dr McNeese was recently featured in the SIU School of Medicine magazine, Aspects. Read more about Dr. McNeese's journey to medicine, and his work in our community here.