UAlbany & Albany Med Expand Partnership

Stephane Owusu-Sarpong '15, is now a medical student at Albany Medical Center. The new UAlbany-Albany Med EAPP partnership will allow more UAlbany students to pursue a career in medicine. Photo by Carlo de Jesus.

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 12, 2018) – The University at Albany and Albany Medical College (AMC) are launching a new program to pave the way for qualified UAlbany students to earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from AMC and combat the under-representation of certain demographics in the medical field.

The Early Assurance Pathway Program will recruit, retain, and matriculate highly competitive UAlbany undergraduate students from demographic sectors that have traditionally been underrepresented in the medical profession, as well as first-generation and low-income students to earn an MD from AMC. Student diversity in medical education has been identified as a key component in creating a physician workforce that can best meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population and is considered by experts to be a tool in helping to end disparities in health and health care.

The program, which is designed based on empirical evidence suggesting that such programs can overcome health disparities and diversify the physician workforce, will build upon an existing partnership between UAlbany and AMC that offers a competitive program for pre-medical students who entered UAlbany as freshmen to be assured of admission to Albany Medical College two years earlier than the normal application year and three years before entrance to medical school. Under the new program, an additional 7-10 UAlbany students will be admitted into AMC’s MD program.

The goals of this new cross-institutional, diversity partnership include:

  • Increased access to healthcare: Studies have found that minority doctors are more likely to practice in underserved areas and to work with other vulnerable populations.
  • Increased patient satisfaction with healthcare: Research indicates that patients who are ethnic minorities are not only more likely to see a doctor if s/he is of the same ethnic group as they are, but also more likely to rate themselves as satisfied with the health care that they receive.
  • Increased cultural competence among all medical students: Research has found that white doctors from the most racially diverse medical schools show a greater sensitivity to the health care needs of traditionally underrepresented minority populations and feel better prepared to meet those needs.

“The EAPP is another prime example of the outstanding educational opportunities that can be afforded to students when institutions collaborate,” said UAlbany Provost James Stellar. “The students who will join this program will not only make UAlbany and AMC proud, but they will be instrumental in the University’s ongoing initiatives to mitigate health disparities and improve the health of communities worldwide.”

“Albany Medical College is proud that our outstanding medical education program attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds, and value our partnership with UAlbany to expand opportunities for students from every walk of life,” said Vincent Verdile, M.D., The Lynne and Mark Groban, MD '67, Distinguished Dean of Albany Medical College. “We are pleased to create a new pathway for admission to Albany Medical College for exceptional UAlbany students seeking not just an institution with excellence in medical education, biomedical research and patient care, but a welcoming and supportive environment for learning.”

“UAlbany is committed to addressing health care disparities by fostering diversity of the student applicant pool for our medical schools,” said Laura Schweitzer, Vice President for Health Sciences at UAlbany. “The new EAPP program is a tremendous step in identifying talented candidates and supporting their pre-medical careers. It is our aspiration to have this cohort-based approach adopted as a national model.”

Program logistics:

The EAPP, which takes effect immediately, will identify and encourage interested and qualified students by the beginning of their first semester sophomore years of undergraduate education at UAlbany. To qualify for consideration for EAPP in the second semester of the sophomore year (the application year), students must have successfully completed at least two semesters at UAlbany as well as have taken and excelled in at least 12 credit hours in core pre-med science and math competency courses.

Students must submit an application to the AMC Office of Admissions by June 15th following completion of their sophomore year, and will receive notification regarding their acceptance or denial from AMC by August 1st of the summer between sophomore and junior year.

If accepted, students have the opportunity to offer a reciprocal commitment to the program; the student’s commitment is binding and certifies that they will not apply to other medical schools. In return, AMC will reserve a place for the student in the class scheduled to matriculate three years from the date of their acceptance into the EAPP. The program does not enable students to begin medical school early and the acceptance is contingent on the student successfully maintaining a high level of academic achievement for the remainder of their undergraduate education.

The cohort of students who gain acceptance into AMC and commit to attending AMC will be engaged in special educational opportunities with Albany Med mentors that will answer any questions the student has about preparing for life as a medical student and physician. In addition, during the summer following their junior year at UAlbany, EAPP students will be required to participate in an AMC organized clinical experience arranged by the AMC dean’s office. During their senior year at UAlbany, EAPP students will be required to complete a non-tuition/non-credit bearing transition course taught by AMC faculty at AMC as part of the senior year curriculum.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.