Letter to the Editor, Syracuse Post-Standard: Don’t cut funding for diversity in medicine program

To the Editor:

I am a Latina who grew up in Syracuse. My parents migrated from the Dominican Republic to provide our family with better opportunities. One of these opportunities that has changed my life and opened many doors for me is the Associated Medical Schools of New York‘s Post Baccalaureate program at University at Buffalo.

Growing up on the Near Westside always made me question my ability of achieving my goal and becoming a doctor. I was told many times my goal was too big. This program has given me the opportunity to finally reach my goal, and provided me with resources I need to prepare myself to be a successful doctor. Now, I will be attending SUNY Upstate Medical University.

This program, and other diversity in medicine pipeline programs from AMSNY, are funded by the New York state Department of Health, and this year are facing a 20 percent cut in funding. That means that 1 in 5 future AMSNY students from underrepresented backgrounds will not get the chance to become doctors. I have seen firsthand in Syracuse how important it is to have doctors from similar backgrounds to receive better medical experiences.

By becoming the best doctor I can be and serving my community, I am doing my part to improve healthcare in New York. I’m asking my representatives to do their part and protect funding for AMSNY programs.

Tiffany Mateo