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Medical school graduate is the real-life Doogie Howser
Sho, pictured as a 12-year-old in his first year at medical school, has graduated at the age of 21. Photo: AAP

A 21-year-old has become a real-life 'Doogie Howser', graduating from medical school after enrolling when he was just 12 years old.

Sho Yano is about to become the youngest-ever student awarded an MD by the University of Chicago, reports Associated Press - echoing the plot-line of popular early 1990s sitcom Doogie Howser MD, which starred Neil Patrick Harris as a 16-year-old doctor.

Yano was admitted to the University of Chicago in 2003 - but had already shown amazing promise; at the age of two he was reading, by three he was writing and by five he was composing music.

He will graduate this week from the Pritzker School of Medicine, where he has already achieved a PhD in molecular genetics and cell biology.

What makes the tale even more remarkable is that the average age of students entering medical school in the United States is 23, and Yano had already been refused entry to other education establishments because of his age.

"I never understood that," said Yano, who is also an accomplished pianist and has a black belt in tae kwon do. "Why would being allowed to challenge yourself be considered more damaging that being totally bored?" he told Associated Press.

He will graduate on Saturday and is currently preparing for a residency in pediatric neurology.

"I remember interviewing him - this nice, polite, 11-year-old boy, dressed in a little suit," said Dr. Joel Scwab, a professor of pediatrics who was on the admissions committee.

"He was never going to be among typical 11-year-olds, where his mother would drive him to Little League. He was going to be a doctor."

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