Letter to the Editor, Queens Chronicle: Save aid for med students

Dear Editor:

I’m an African-American male who grew up in Queens, and am now a third-year medical student at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at University at Buffalo thanks to a state-funded diversity in medicine pipeline program run by the Associated Medical Schools of New York.

This program has helped me tremendously. When I heard that the AMSNY programs are facing funding cuts, I was deeply saddened.

Many of the minority physicians that I have met have gone through the AMSNY programs, and it is their accomplishments that let me know that I too can one day become a physician and a role model in my community. Growing up in the inner city, I found that often times the easiest figures to try to emulate were athletes or entertainers. It wasn’t until I was introduced to other professionals that I started to believe a vocation like this was something I could achieve.

The inclusion of underrepresented minorities in our medical ranks as physicians is critical to continuing progress in healthcare. Cutting funding to programs like AMSNY that address the problem of the disparity in healthcare representation would be a disservice, not only to the practice of medicine but to minority communities.

Samuel Opoku-Acheampong
The writer is from Springfield Gardens.