In this guest column by UTMB’s Dr. Victor S. Sierpina: Smart, very smart. That’s what most folks think about UTMB students. And indeed, by the time they have been accepted to UTMB or any other U.S. medical school, these are highly academically successful students. Most of our medical school applicants have a nearly perfect and often straight-A average through college. What you may not know is this. Besides grades, another factor considered in the admissions process is the student’s record of community service and volunteerism. We value evidence of altruism in prospective students and look at their records for service activities in college and even in high school.