Sho Yano, 21, will become the youngest student ever to graduate from the University of Chicago with a medical degree this week.

Yano, who was a prodigy, began reading at the age of 2, writing at 3 and was in college by age 9. A test he took at the age of 4 spoke to his smarts -- his score was too high to accurately measure and easily crossed the genius threshold.

He will graduate on Saturday from the Pritzker School of Medicine, where he also received a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and cell biology.

Yano, however, isn't the only prodigy within his family. His younger sister and closest confidante, Sayuri, 15, is pursuing her second bachelor's degree.

The almost-real-life Doogie Howser earned his undergraduate degree in three years, graduating summa cum laude from Loyola University.

Yano had difficulty getting into medical school, though, as most were hesitant to admit such a young student over questions of maturity. Eventually, the University of Chicago admitted him in 2003.

I never understood that, Yano told the Chicago Tribune. Why would being allowed to challenge yourself be considered more damaging than being totally bored?

He's not sure what would have happened had he not been accepted into med school.

I probably would have ended up a computer criminal, he jokingly told the Tribune.


Sho Yano, a 21-year-old, is about to become the school's youngest M.D. (Photo: Chicago Tribune)

The school decided to give him a shot and interview the then-11-year-old for acceptance. He already had the credentials on paper: a 3.9 GPA and high test scores.

I remember interviewing him ... dressed in a little suit, writing everything down on a pad of paper, Joel Schwab, a professor of pediatrics, who was on the admissions committee, told the Tribune. You couldn't tell by talking with him that he had his incredible mind. 

Nine years after being accepted, Yano is ready to start a residency in pediatric neurology. The five-year pseudo-apprenticeship follows the 21-year-old's fascination with the field, after doing a rotation at LaRabida Children's Hospital that allowed him to treat kids' neurological ailments.