Five Stony Brook University students are among the first class of pre-medical scholars from State University of New York (SUNY) schools who are participating in SUNY’s new Pre-Medical Opportunity Program.
Nyquana Blake, Leslie Campo Catalan, Kevin Medina, Anahy (Anna) Moran and Nawab Quaderi, who all have medicine as their program of interest, are among the 23 students from nine schools who are participating in program and who recently completed a Summer Residency Program at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. SUNY’s Pre-Medical Opportunity Program is designed to help more Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students get into SUNY’s medical universities.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras met with the residency students on July 21 and announced that SUNY will double its investment in the Pre-Medical program, which was launched in February to extend SUNY’s long-standing and successful EOP program, which ensures disadvantaged student from underserved communities gain access and succeed in undergraduate programs. The increased investment will make the program available next spring for up to 50 students pursuing medical careers.
The Pre-Medical Opportunity Program is aimed at breaking the trend of low student diversity among the nation’s medical schools, which leaves behind students from the most economically disadvantage households from pursuing a graduate medical degree.
SUNY’s medical universities, including Stony Brook, are all part of the program and provide academic support, mentorship, clinical exposure, assistance with MCAT preparation, academic coaching and workshops. The program starts at Upstate Medical with lectures, laboratory sessions, and classes to prepare the scholars for medical school entrance exams and their final undergraduate credits. It will resume with four weeks of remote instruction in August, at which time each student will be matched with a mentor among the faculty at SUNY academic medical centers.
To be considered for the program, candidates must be a SUNY EOP sophomore or junior on a pre-medical track, have a grade point average of 3.2 or higher, and have successfully completed two semesters of general chemistry and two semesters of biology.
“We know that the pandemic has caused us to get more highly trained medical professionals into the workforce, and at the same time, we have a responsibility to lift up every qualified student — that is the foundation of our new Pre-Medical Opportunity Program,” said Chancellor Malatras. “Today, I met with 23 brilliant and resilient students — all with the drive and passion to pursue this noble field — and by doubling our investment, 50 more students will be able to join the program next spring. No talented student interested in medicine should be left behind. It’s our obligation to provide every student the keys to the door of opportunity. We will continue to grow this program in the coming years so that more New Yorkers like them are afforded the same support.”