Interview on AMSNY's Post-Baccalaureate Program at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, SUNY

Committee(s): 
Committee on Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

Students, faculty and administrators from the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) requested legislative support from lawmakers at the Capitol for post-baccalaureate programs, funded through the New York State Department of Health (DOH), that have been extremely successful in preparing underrepresented populations to work in the fields of medicine and health sciences. AMSNY warned that the funding methodology offered in the 2013-14 Executive Budget Proposal jeopardizes these important programs.

In an interview with Susan Arbetter, Jo Wiederhorn, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMSNY, discussed the importance of diversity in medical education, highlighting the success of AMSNY's numerous diversity programs in helping minority students pursue careers in medicine. The Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bacc) Program at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo (UB), SUNY, in particular, provides the necessary academic enrichment and support for students to be able to enter medical school.

Denise Dennis, a fourth-year medical student at UB, also testified to the success of the program by providing a first-hand account of her own experience as a Post-Bacc student. Having been identified as a qualified candidate, she was referred to the program and proceeded to graciously accept the offer. Tuition and administrative costs are covered for all students in the program, and they are also provided with a stipend to reimburse any living expenses. While enrolled in the 12-month program, students receive formal mentoring, advising, and a tailored curriculum. Upon acceptance, Denise said she viewed this program as an opportunity to thoroughly focus her full attention on her studies, without having to also work part-time as she had done in the past. The program enables students who fulfill all of the requirements to matriculate directly to medical school; Denise was among those who successfully completed the program. She described how the extensive coursework within the curriculum strongly prepared her for the courseload in medical school. Denise is completing her residency at UB in primary care, and plans to continue her medical career in New York State.

For the full interview, click here.

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