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Remember those middle school evenings watching "Doogie Howser, M.D." and imagining yourself in the high-top shoes and long white lab coat that our lovable teenage doctor made famous?

For 15-year-old California State U., Los Angeles, student Tina Nguyen, a sophomore who skipped high school entirely before moving on to college, this dream may not be all that far away.

This doc-in-training is just one of 100 exceptional students, ranging in age from 11 to 18, who have sped through elementary, middle and high school and moved on to college at Cal State through the Early Entrance Program.

Though she's always wanted to be a doctor, it wasn't until her best friend was shot in the head during a bank robbery that she decided she wanted to become a neurologist.

And she's well on her way with a 3.945 grade point average (she slipped once and got a B in Calculus II), a major in biology and a minor in psychology.

Oh, and don't worry about her handling the pressures of life surrounded by the "mature" 18- to 22-year-olds she goes to class with. "Sometimes they don't realize how old I am and they'll hit on me and stuff," she says. "Then I'll be like, ‘Hey man, back off – I'm 15.'"

Sounds like she'd have given Doogie a run for his money.

By Julie Keller, Assistant Editor


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