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Monday, March 2, 2020
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AMSNY Report: Black and Hispanic Students Face Multiple Barriers to Becoming Doctors
Report from the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) identifies key leaks in the pipeline for aspiring underrepresented doctors and offers recommendations to increase diversity in medicine
Best practices include funding post-baccalaureate programs and scholarships for underrepresented students like those run by AMSNY
(New York, NY) – The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY), the consortium of the state’s 17 medical schools, released a report today entitled Addressing the Challenges to a Diverse Physician Workforce. The report details the barriers that prevent students who are underrepresented in medicine (URIM) from becoming doctors and presents recommendations to address leaks in the last stages of the pipeline – from college to medical school – for aspiring physicians.
Nationally there is a critical need to increase the number of medical students from underrepresented backgrounds (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American). A survey of U.S. medical schools found that 72% of applicants in the 2018-2019 academic year identified as White or Asian, while only 13.3% identified as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino. In New York State, between 2011 and 2015, Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos were approximately 31% of the population, yet only 12% of the physician workforce.
“The need for physicians who are of the same racial or ethnic background as their patients is a priority as our communities continue to diversify,” said Jo Wiederhorn, President and CEO of AMSNY. “Studies show that when patients see physicians who are similar to themselves, they are more likely to seek out preventative care, spend longer time with their doctors and report higher satisfaction of care received. These are the keys to reducing health disparities.”
URIM students face myriad barriers to becoming doctors, such as the high cost of applying to medical school and a lack of guidance and preparation during their undergraduate experience. Studies show that subsequently, underrepresented students lose interest in pre-med academic paths after the first two years of college at higher rates than their White and Asian colleagues.
The AMSNY report found barriers for underrepresented students include:
- First-generation students having to navigate undergraduate degrees on their own, without guidance from parents with firsthand knowledge of how the system works.
- Receiving improper guidance and advice from college counselors about applying to medical school.
- Having to work to pay tuition and/or provide support to their families, interfering with time dedicated to school and affecting grades and graduation rates. Only 11% of low-income students earn bachelor’s degrees within six years.
- High costs associated with applying to medical school, including MCAT prep courses, which are necessary for all test-takers. Studies show Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino students score significantly lower on the MCAT.
- The high cost of applications, travel to interviews, professional attire and more, adding up to nearly $10,000 or more.
The report provides recommendations to address the barriers underrepresented students face getting into medical school.
- Mentoring/Peer Groups are linked to higher retention of students in STEM, research-related career paths and higher education.
- Application Preparatory Classes provide underrepresented students – some of whom are the first in their families to navigate the medical school application process – with prep courses and personalized advising.
- Direct Medical and Early Assurance Programs give students the opportunity to enter medical school upon completion of high school or after two years in college. These programs allow students to fully commit their efforts to becoming doctors, giving them peace of mind and in some instances completing both degrees in a shorter time, reducing the cost of tuition.
- Post-Baccalaureate Programs focused on URIM students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds offer mentorship from faculty and staff who develop individualized educational plans over one- to two-year programs to strengthen students’ applications. Students receive formal mentoring, advising, financial assistance and tailored curricula.
- Tuition Scholarships reduce financial stress so students can focus on their education. Research shows students who have sufficient funds for college have higher academic performance.
“With increased investment in post-baccalaureate, mentorship/peer programs and scholarships, URIM students can overcome the many barriers that exist on the path of becoming physicians. By investing in pipeline programs, states can increase primary care physicians, reduce health disparities among ethnic groups, and ultimately decrease health expenditures,” said Wiederhorn. “In New York State, we have a strong track record of state-funded post-baccalaureate programs and scholarships, yet these programs are consistently subjected to cuts when the research indicates they should in fact be expanded.”
The AMSNY Diversity in Medicine Program, funded by the New York State Department of Health, has helped more than 500 underrepresented in medicine students become doctors, the majority of whom are more likely to practice primary care, practice in underserved communities and stay in New York State after their education. A scholarship for graduates of AMSNY’s programs, funded by the state legislature, helps alleviate financial barriers for 10 underrepresented students each year who commit to practicing in underserved areas in New York State.
After 29 years, AMSNY’s diversity in medicine program faced elimination in the Proposed FY2021 executive budget but was restored in budget amendments.
“We thank Governor Cuomo for restoring funding to the highly successful Diversity in Medicine program and making sure that this pathway for aspiring doctors endures,” continued Wiederhorn. “We are also immensely grateful to the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus, especially Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Assemblymember Michael Blake and Senator Jamaal Bailey for their tireless efforts in advocating for this program.”
The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) is the consortium of the 17 public and private medical schools in New York State. AMSNY works in partnership with its members to advance biomedical research, diversity in medical school and the physician workforce and high quality and cost-efficient care. The combined total of New York’s medical schools economic impact equals more than $85.6 billion. This means $1 in every $13 in the New York economy is related to AMSNY medical schools and their primary hospital affiliates. For more information on AMSNY, please visit: www.amsny.org
Cuando tenía cinco años Jaime Nieto vio a su madre morir por la falta de cuidado médico.
“A ella la llevaron a un hospital pero no hubo muchas intervenciones y después de dos semana murió en el hospital”, explica Nieto, quien ahora funge como jefe de cirugía neurológica y cirugía de la columna vertebral en hospital Presbyterian de Queens.
Dicha experiencia lo motivó a estudiar medicina. Jaime llegó de Colombia con visa de estudiante cuando tenía 19 años.
Trabajó como jornalero, repartidor de comida y jardinero para pagar la universidad.
Cuando Jaime se graduó de biología en Mercy University, no tenía dinero y tampoco sabía qué hacer para entrar a la escuela de medicina.
Pero un giro inesperado cambió todo: un conocido lo inscribió al Diversity Program, un programa que orienta a los hispanos y otras minorías a solicitar un cupo en las facultades médicas.
El programa también garantiza la admisión, para los que califican.
Durante casi 30 años, ha ayudado a graduarse de medicina más de 500 estudiantes de recursos limitados.
Según estadísticas del estado, solo el 12% de los médicos en Nueva York son hispanos o de otras minorías.
El 94% de los estudiantes que entra al programa se gradúa y la mayoría se queda trabajando en Nueva York.
Jaime se graduó de medicina en la Universidad SUNY Upstate Medical School.
Ahora es jefe de cirugía neurológica y de médula espinal en el hospital Newyork Presbyterian de Queens.
Desde su posición, el doctor Nieto ayuda en español a miles de pacientes: “Poderle responder en su propio idioma es en realidad una alegría muy grande para uno y ellos se sienten muy contentos”.
Pero este reconocido programa podría estar llegando a su final.
El gobernador, Andrew Cuomo, ha propuesto eliminar $1.2 millones de dólares como parte del recorte al presupuesto estatal.
De acuerdo con Jowie Derhorn, presidente de la Asociación de Escuelas de Medicina en Nueva York: “Todos estos estudiantes tienen una gran pasión por la medicina y quieren ayudar a sus comunidades, es realmente lamentable”.
Sin embargo, el gobierno estatal señala que el programa es una prioridad.
Y es posible que restauraren esos fondos durante la sesión legislativa que termina a finales de mes.
Do no harm: The state must protect medical research and education programs zeroed out in Gov. Cuomo’s budget
FEB 01, 2020 | 4:00 AM
Keep funding medical education and research. (sanjeri/Getty Images)
Friday, a pretty powerful little birdie who works for Gov. Cuomo made clear that he or she (we’ll guard his or her identity, since this conversation was on background) had read our editorial decrying the executive budget’s defunding of medical research and education programs.
In case you missed it: One program Cuomo targeted for elimination underwrites potentially lifesaving research on opioid abuse, cancer, organ transplants and more. The week prior — one year into a two-year commitment the state had made to their projects — the physician/Ph.D. participants had gotten a jarring note that all their funding could soon be eliminated, their research projects scrapped halfway in.
The other program, three decades old, helps hundreds of black and Latino undergraduates get into medical school and become M.D.s by giving them access to a year of post-baccalaureate education and mentoring. That diversifies the state’s physician workforce, which research shows also helps improve health outcomes.
Both cost pennies on the dollar, $4.6 million total in a $106 billion state budget, and deliver lasting benefits to New York.
Back to the birdie. He or she said we made a good point. He or she said we shouldn’t worry, we didn’t even have to write about this topic again, because, well, it would all be taken care of.
We’re writing about it again, just in case. And so that the little birdie’s promise is memorialized on the stuff people use to line bird cages.
By DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL BOARD
JAN 30, 2020 | 4:05 AM
Keep funding a vital resource in producing doctors who look like America. (shironosov/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Sebastian Placide, a Haitian-American from Brooklyn who is finishing up at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, may never have made it through med school but for the help he got from a small but important state grant program. Diversity in Medicine gives Black and Latino students, who are 31% of the national population but just 12% of M.D.s, a post-baccalaureate year of science education and mentoring to better prepare them for medical school.
Diversifying the medical profession isn’t only a worthy end in itself; it helps improve health outcomes for patients. The state program, which has graduated more than 500 practicing physicians over nearly three decades on the books, costs just $1.24 million annually; that’s 0.02% of Albany’s $6.1 billion budget hole.
Gov. Cuomo’s executive budget proposal would eliminate all its funding.
Under Cuomo’s blueprint, the ax would also fall on all recipients of grants from the Empire Clinical Research Program, which is underwriting studies to curb opioid addiction, improve kidney transplants, improve outcomes from bladder cancer and more. Researchers, who are in the first year of two-year projects, got emails Friday notifying them of their imminent defunding.
Even if you can defend the wisdom of zeroing out a potentially life-saving, drop-in-the-bucket initiative — it costs $3.4 million, or 0.06% of the budget deficit — at a time when federal funding for biomedical research is declining relative to America’s G.D.P., it is cruel and counterproductive to do so halfway into a two-year commitment.
The state budget needs balancing. But not this way.
3 min read
Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Photo from Wikicommons)
A program meant to help struggling prospective medical students of color could end this year, worsening the disparity between white doctors and doctors of color practicing in New York state.
Since 1991, the Associated Medical Schools of New York’s Diversity in Medicine Programs has worked to help diversify the state’s pool of physicians, which is only 12 percent Black and Hispanic, according to data from AMSNY, by serving as a pipeline for students of colors trying to get into medical school.
Under the program, students of color who failed to get into medical school is New York can be referred to the Diversity in Medicine Program which then places students into either a post-baccalaureate or master’s degree program. After students complete their course work, they are automatically admitted in one of 16 participating medical school. The program has been funded by the the state Department of Health since 2002 and has cost $1.2 million over the past three years.
But Governor Cuomo’s 2020-21 preliminary budget calls for scrapping DOH-funded program along with a handful of others like Empire Clinical Research Program, Graduate Medical Education and Doctors Across NY.
Not only is the program important because of how it helps aspiring physicians but having a more diverse hospitals helps with patient care, said Wiederhorn. Something that fourth-year medical student Sebastian Placide and alum from the AMSNY’s post-baccalaureate program at the University of Buffalo has witnessed first hand.
( Photo courtesy of Anat Gerstein)
Sebastian Placide, is a fourth-year medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx and a alum of the Diversity in Medicine Program
While caring for patients suffering from sickle cell disease, Placide recalled that their complaints about pain turned into “background noise” for some of his colleagues. “I often had to be the one to step in and say, this patient wouldn’t be here if they weren’t experience pain.”
About 94% of students who go through the program graduate from medical school, according to Jo Wiederhorn, president and CEO of AMSNY. “The program is very successful, very effective and they are not very expensive,” said Wiederhorn. “For the return we get off these programs they are an excellent return on investment.”
When asked about the proposed removal of the program, a DOH spokesperson said that it would be continue to be reviewed through the budget process “to ensure the State’s health care system is sustainable and continues to provide high quality care for the long-term.”
Jo Wiederhorn, CEO & President of the Associated Medical Schools of New York Joins Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes to discuss the need for state-funded diversity in medicine programs amid pending cuts.
Associated Medical Schools of New York’s Diversity Programs
The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) is a consortium of 17 public and private medical schools throughout New York State. President and CEO Jo Wiederhorn discusses their programs to promote a diverse physician workforce and how representation improves health outcomes. For more, visit http://www.amsny.org.
AMSNY Applauds Crucial Increases to NIH Budget, Reauthorization of Key Programs
Jo Wiederhorn, President and CEO of the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY), which represents New York’s 17 medical schools, issued the following statement about the FY2020 federal spending bill passed by congress on Thursday:
“AMSNY is thrilled to see several key provisions included in appropriations legislation which will have very significant, positive impacts on New York’s 17 medical schools and on the state’s bioscience economy at large.
The robust $2.6 billion increase for medical research at the NIH is of particular cause for celebration. This increase allows for a significant opportunity to invest in biomedical research, which is an essential element to New York State’s health care and economic sectors.
Because of its high concentration of world-class research institutions, New York ranks 3rd in the nation for Congressional Districts with NIH awards, and likewise ranks 3rd among states in total NIH funding awards. In FY2018, the $2.632 billion that NY State researchers received from NIH —nearly 7% of total NIH funding—supported more than 32,000 jobs at over 200 institutions throughout New York and led directly to the important advances that drive the state’s bioscience sector.
New York has more medical schools and more medical students than any other state, and AMSNY is intensely committed to strengthening and diversifying the physician workforce. We strongly support the programs funded through Title VII at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and commend Congress for increasing funding to these programs by 8% overall. In particular, several AMSNY members have received grants through the Health Career Opportunity Programs (HCOP) and were very appreciative that this program was funded at $15 million for FY 2020, a 6% increase over FY 2019 funding levels.
Additionally, we are very pleased that Congress has enacted a 10 year reauthorization of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Since its inception, PCORI has worked to connect patients, clinicians and researchers with critical information they need to make better informed healthcare decisions. This reauthorization will ensure that PCORI is able to fulfil the promise of providing this evidence based research.
AMSNY also supported the inclusion of dedicated funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study gun violence prevention, the first such funding in two decades.”
The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) is a consortium of the 17 public and private medical schools throughout New York State. AMSNY’s mission is to promote high quality and cost-efficient health care by assuring that the medical schools of New York State can provide outstanding medical education, care and research. The combined total of New York’s medical schools economic impact equals more than $85.6 billion. This means $1 in every $13 in the New York economy is related to AMSNY medical schools and their primary hospital affiliates. For more information on AMSNY, please visit: www.amsny.org
Press Contact: Jaime@anatgerstein.com, 347-361-7183