• Tue, Jun 5 2012

21-Year-Old Wunderkind Doctor Gives Tiger Moms A New Level Of Insanity To Aspire To

Tiger moms the world over have a new level of aspiration to inflict on their over-scheduled children. A penchant for music and an early induction into Vietnamese doesn’t even compare to accomplishments of 21-year-old Sho Yano — the soon-to-be youngest recipient of a medical degree by the University of Chicago. But just because Sho is the average age of a college junior doesn’t mean he graduated early by any means. Not in the least, as he’s been in college since he was nine years old.

AP reports that the wunderkind completed his undergraduate studies at Loyola University when he was 12 years old, graduating in a mere three years as summa cum laude. Sho leaves your typical early developers in the dust, what with reading by the age of two, writing by the age of three, and composing music by age five. And in addition to making his contemporaries feel old in the classroom, Sho also boasts a black belt in tae kwon do and a love of piano.

To prove that genius absolutely courses through this family’s veins, Sho has a little 15-year-old sister named Sayuri who is finishing up her second — second! — bachelor’s degree in violin performance.

Big brother Sho maintains that he is “living my dream,” despite the constant concern by grownups that his development was compromised by academic acceleration. Prepare to have that line tossed out at you by some mothers on the playground in defense of their kid’s six-day-a-week music lessons.

(photo: olly/ Shutterstock)

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  • Will

    Hi Koa Beck,
    Actually, Sho Yano is an outlier–he’s not the typical above-average kid who was pushed into achievement by an overbearing parent.
    He’s the real deal: at age 8, he earned a 1500 on the SAT, back when 1600 was the highest score. This was determined by testing at Johns Hopkins.
    Then, when he applied to medical school, a team of physicians, psychologists, and educational consultants at University of Chicago evaluated both the social and academic maturity of Yano. They determined not only that he was ready for the psychological demands of medical and graduate school, but that he exhibited true empathy and would serve his patients well.
    It’s true that some parents are pushy, but I don’t think Yano’s parents pushed him to do what he did. I think they had no choice but to support such a bright kid.