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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- June 23, 2003
- Vol. 59
- No. 24
He's No Drain Surgeon—Yet. But Sho Yano, 12, Is About to Start Med School
One minor problem: He's 12.
Next month Yano will become the youngest person ever to attend graduate or professional school at Chicago, one of the nation's most selective universities. This real-life Doogie Howser is also a master of understatement. "It's just fun learning," Yano says.
Maybe it was the homeschooling he received from his father, Katsura, 40, a Japanese-born shipping executive, and his Korean-born mother, Kyung, 45. When the family relocated from Palos Verdes, Calif., to Chicago, Yano entered Loyola—at 9. "Kids would yell at him to go back to elementary school," says Kyung. But the biology major earned a 3.9 grade average—and a measure of popularity, though, notes senior Lisa Kang, 22, "he is 12. It's not like you can say, 'We're going to the bars. Want to come with?' "
Indeed, Yano was accepted into the University of Chicago medical program only after careful psychological screening. "How could you hold him back?" asks Michelle LeBeau, chair of the cancer biology committee. Yano will live at home with his parents and sister Sayuri, 6 (who plays piano and violin). If all goes on schedule, he won't see a patient until he's a doddering 17 or 18. But Yano's attitude is totally Zen. "This program is perfect for me," he says. "I should be fine."
September 24, 2016
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