Governor Hochul Announces More Than $4.6 Million to Expand Access to Health Care, Eliminate Health Care Disparities for New Yorkers

Investment Supports More Than 750 Students Served by Programs Managed by the Associated Medical Schools of New York

Additional $1.2 Million in Scholarship Funding Under Governor Hochul to Support Largest Class of Medical Students Since Inception of Diversity in Medicine Programs

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced more than $4.6 million in state funding for programs to expand access and eliminate disparities in health care while helping to increase diversity among the physician workforce throughout New York, representing a $1.2 million increase over the previous year’s allocation.

“For far too long, communities of color in New York have faced disparities in their access to health care and as a result have endured poorer health outcomes from their underrepresentation in the medical field,” Governor Hochul said. “By increasing our commitment to programs that champion diversity in medicine, we can ensure that our state’s health care workforce is more representative of our state’s population and help right historic wrongs.”

The goal of the programs, managed by the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) and funded in part through the state Department of Health and in part through the State Legislature, is to improve access to care and eliminate health care disparities in New York State by diversifying the physician workforce. The investment offers opportunities for talented students who are committed to becoming physicians and who have demonstrated resilience in overcoming adversity on the path to medical school. Research has shown that patients treated by doctors from shared backgrounds have better health outcomes, which makes diversifying the state’s physician workforce imperative to addressing health disparities.

The funding will support over 750 students through several initiatives, including AMSNY’s successful post-baccalaureate program at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo.

While more than 30 percent of the state’s population is Black or Hispanic, only 12 percent of physicians represent those demographics, which makes diversifying the state’s physician workforce imperative to improving the overall health of New Yorkers and addressing disparities.

AMSNY’s post-baccalaureate program at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo includes five year-long programs enrolling a total of 54 students. Students are provided a $22,000 stipend for the year. This program offers a second chance to students who possess the ability to succeed in medical school, but don’t meet certain academic criteria.

The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo and six other participating New York State schools refer students to the program. Students receive a conditional acceptance from the referring medical school and matriculate without having to reapply once they successfully complete the program. Throughout the year, students may take upper-level classes in physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy, and pharmacology—all taught by faculty at Buffalo.

Several participating schools, including the Jacobs School, also host a pre-matriculation program, which is aimed at helping students adjust to their medical school’s environment and curriculum. The program enrolls up to 28 students annually and all participants attend tuition-free with a living stipend through AMSNY.

Also supported through funding is the Pathways to Careers in Medicine and Research Program at City College of New York, and the Learning Resource Center at CUNY School of Medicine, which collectively support more than 500 students; and the Diversity in Medicine Pathway, which covers 11 programs aiding approximately 250 students through academic enrichment, mentoring, research experiences, MCAT preparation and stipend support. In addition, the funding covers some of the $45,000 stipend through Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, which supports nearly three dozen students and is indexed to the cost of tuition at SUNY medical schools.

The increased funding also supports an additional 30 students in post-baccalaureate programs at New York Medical College, the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Norton College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University and at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.

The funding provides assistance to more than 220 students participating in 10 programs at the Bronx Community Health Leaders with Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Mentoring in Medicine, Inc; Norton College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University; NYU Grossman School of Medicine; NYU Long Island School of Medicine; Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University; SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University; Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine; and University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY), the consortium of public and private medical schools in New York State, launched its first diversity in medicine pathway programs in 1985 and has continually provided opportunities to students to prepare for and enter medical school. The state Department of Health has provided funding for these programs since 2002 to help broaden the demographics of people entering the medical profession in New York.

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “Through Governor Hochul’s leadership and the support of the New York State Legislature, this investment highlights the State’s continued commitment to eliminating health disparities, expanding broader access to health care services, and ensuring the medical profession reflects New York’s diverse communities—which is critical to better health outcomes for all New Yorkers. These Diversity in Medicine programs and scholarships help aspiring physicians and health care professionals get into graduate programs and medical school, prepare for those programs, stay in those schools and pay for that education. In this way, we’re both helping build a diverse health care workforce for the future and helping individuals achieve their dream of becoming a doctor and helping others.”

Associated Medical Schools of New York President and CEO Jonathan Teyan said, “The State Department of Health has continued and expanded its strong commitment to addressing healthcare disparities in New York by investing in a diverse physician workforce. This increased investment in AMSNY’s Diversity in Medicine programs is supporting more than 750 students on their paths to practicing medicine, and the Legislature’s $1 million investment in AMSNY’s Diversity in Medicine Scholarship will continue to reduce financial barriers for medical students and ensure a pipeline of physicians who are committed to providing care in underserved communities in New York State.”

State Senator Tim Kennedy said, “By increasing New York’s investment in these programs, we’re actively shaping a more diverse and inclusive field of future physicians, and ultimately improving quality, patient-centered care. This funding will undoubtedly fuel a new class of medical professionals who are committed to bridging health disparities and gaps in access to care, and their perspectives will uniquely shape the way they practice medicine.”

State Senator Sean M. Ryan said, “Historical barriers for people of color persist in every part of our society, and medical school students are not immune to these challenges. New York’s investment in promoting diversity among our state’s physicians will pay dividends for those future doctors, but also for patients of color, who have been shown to benefit from cultural representation in healthcare.”

State Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “An investment in diversity, equity and inclusion is always a smart one. This funding for scholarships, to be given to medical students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, will change the future of medicine in New York. I’m proud to see our state recognize the value of having our medical workforce be as diverse as the population they serve.”

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “I am proud to have supported funding of the AMSNY Diversity in Medicine program and scholarship in the Assembly for multiple state budgets. These pathway programs help talented students who have faced adversity on the path to medical school, yet remain committed to becoming physicians. I applaud the New York State Department of Health for recognizing the role these programs play in diversifying the state’s physician workforce and continuing to fund opportunities for the next generation of healthcare leaders.”

Assemblymember Pamela Hunter said, “I’m proud to have long supported the AMSNY Diversity in Medicine Program, having secured funding for scholarships in the past. I believe in the program’s crucial work in promoting diversity in the medical field and am committed to its ongoing success. Let’s continue working towards a more inclusive future in healthcare.”

Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera said, “The state’s increased investment toward the Associated Medical Schools of New York’s equity and inclusion programs will go a long way in diversifying our physician workforce and will provide a new generation of medical students with opportunities to pursue their dreams. If we’re to address health disparities, increase trust among patients and improve our state’s overall quality of care, we must look to remove financial hurdles for students and provide for them a path that will allow the physician workforce to be representative of the populations they serve. I thank State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald for continuing to invest in educating our state’s future physicians and medical professionals.”

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson said, “Increasing equity, justice and opportunity in our medical field is of utmost importance if we expect to also increase equity and justice in patient care. The AMSNY Diversity in Medicine program is crucial to ensuring that the diversity in our community is reflected in the medical professional staff that serves us, especially in bringing culturally sensitive and informed care to our underserved communities. I wholeheartedly support this program, and I am pleased that the state has increased its investment thus demonstrating a commitment to ensuring an equal opportunity to succeed for all students in our community and to bring increased equity to our healthcare system.”

University at Buffalo Health Sciences Vice President and Jacobs School Dean Dr. Allison Brashear said, “The Jacobs School takes immense pride in its post-baccalaureate program, which has helped pave the way for aspiring physicians throughout New York State for over three decades. This investment means that the dream of becoming a doctor is going to come true for more students in our state and that journey is going to start right here at UB.”

Jacobs School Executive Director of the Office of Medical Education and Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education David A. Milling, MD said, “Since its inception, the post-baccalaureate program at the Jacobs School has allowed hundreds of aspiring doctors to become physicians throughout the state. And now, those doctors practicing throughout the state are providing the best possible care to thousands of New York patients, especially those in underserved communities.”