Next Stop: Med School

UAlbany juniors and soon-to-be Albany Medical College students Onyedika Nwike, Tyler Jetjomlong, Alyssa Galloway and Valerie Bresier (from left to right). Photo by Patrick Dodson.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 27, 2018) – The University at Albany and Albany Medical College (AMC) have announced the first cohort of students accepted to AMC’s Doctor of Medicine (MD program) as part of a cross-institution partnership to combat the under-representation of certain demographics in the medical field.

The Early Assurance Pathway Program (EAPP) is designed to recruit 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 a medical degree 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 cohort of four students, who are currently juniors at UAlbany, now have places reserved for them in medical school two years earlier than the normal application year.

“The first four students joining this program are outstanding examples of future physicians who will not only make UAlbany and AMC proud, but who will be instrumental in our ongoing initiatives to mitigate health disparities,” said Laura Schweitzer, vice president for Health Sciences at UAlbany. “The EAPP partnership is already shining a light on what can be accomplished when institutions with like-minded goals collaborate.”

“Albany Medical College values its partnership with UAlbany to expand pathways to the practice of medicine to students with more diverse backgrounds. We look forward to welcoming this exceptional group of students to Albany Medical College to initiate this program,” said Henry Pohl, M.D., vice dean for academic administration at Albany Medical College.

The accomplished and diverse students chosen for this cohort include:

Onyedika Nwike is a biology major. Nwike’s parents emigrated to the United States from Nigeria before he was born and he said that his upbringing has provided him with special insights into the healthcare needs of immigrant populations. He strongly believes that the healthcare industry needs more black providers in order to address health disparities and is especially aware that black males are underrepresented in medical schools. He believes he is positioned to bring “a unique voice to the medical school class and outside of school” and looks forward to positively influencing future generations of young black males in the community.”

Tyler Jetjomlong is a public health major/biology minor. Jetjomlong, whose mother is from Puerto Rico and father from Thailand, will be a first-generation college graduate. Jetjomlong said the interactions of cultures in their home has given him a special perspective and enhancement of cultural sensitivity. He has served as an RA during college to help support himself and works as a lifeguard over the summer. He enjoys interacting with children who he said are “just like him: from diverse backgrounds and not wealthy.” He also has volunteered in a mentorship capacity with students in his old high school and at the Capital City Rescue Mission.

Alyssa Galloway is a biology major/psychology minor. Galloway, who grew up in an economically disadvantaged single-parent household, is a first-generation college student. She is particularly intrigued by the opportunity to apply new innovations to medicine and is looking forward to the challenge of an “ever-changing” industry. Galloway is leaning towards specializing in pediatrics, noting a pediatrician who supported her throughout her childhood.

Valerie Bresier is a biology major/Africana Studies minor. She is a black, Haitian-American, first-generation college student with an interest in cultural differences and an understanding of how those differences might impact personal health. Bresier, who said she sees the adversity she and her family has overcome as motivators rather than obstacles, credits her mother’s strength and her grandmother’s support as the reason she has been successful as a student. Bresier’s love of science and math combined with helping her grandmother during health challenges influenced her to seek medicine as a career.

View the January announcement for more information on the partnership.

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About the University at Albany
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 sciencesbusiness, 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.