The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) applauds Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for funding AMSNY’s Diversity in Medicine programs in the FY2O22 budget at last year’s level of $1.244M and increasing scholarships for students under-represented in medicine to $550,000

“AMSNY’s Diversity in Medicine programs are crucial to our effort to increase the representation of BIPOC doctors in New York, especially as a lack of diversity in medicine persists across the state,” said Jo Wiederhorn, CEO of AMSNY. Black and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of New York’s population, but only 13% of the state’s physician workforce.”

“This lack of representation has implications for medical care. Research shows that patients who have doctors from similar racial or ethnic backgrounds have better health outcomes. Additionally, physicians from underrepresented minority groups are more likely to practice primary care and practice in low-income and underserved areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the dire need to address health disparities and our programs have a nearly 30-year track record of doing just that,” said Wiederhorn. “AMSNY Diversity in Medicine programs, funded by the NYS Department of Health, have produced hundreds of doctors who are from underserved communities and who then practice in those same communities.” 

AMSNY’s state-funded Diversity in Medicine Programs have enabled 600 students from ethnic/racial backgrounds underrepresented in medicine (and/or from economically or educationally underserved areas) to become doctors. The programs include the 30-year-old, one-year post-baccalaureate program at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, and three post-baccalaureate/master’s programs at New York Medical College, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University School, and SUNY Upstate Medical University.

AMSNY, with financial support from the New York State Legislature, launched the Diversity in Medicine Scholarship program in 2017.  The scholarships, which are available to students who have graduated from one of AMSNY’s Diversity in Medicine Programs, are pegged to tuition at SUNY’s medical schools. In the past, 10 recipients were selected; in FY2022 the scholarships will support 11 students. The cost of medical school tuition is among the biggest barriers to entry for underrepresented in medicine students.

The new budget also includes:

  • Full funding restoration for the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program (ECRIP) at $3.445M. ECRIP provides Center awards to New York State teaching hospitals in order to make these institutions more competitive for federal funding. 
  • Full funding restoration for the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (NY SCIRP) at $8.5M. NY SCIRP has supported neurological spinal cord injury scientific research projects from leading New York State researchers to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.
  • $20M re-appropriated to the New York Fund for Innovation in Research and Scientific Talent Program (NYFIRST). The NY FIRST medical school grant program provides capital funding to recruit and retain exceptional life science researchers focused on translational research by supporting the establishment or upgrading of the researchers’ laboratories. The funds in this program are matched 2:1 by the medical schools.