Six donors have given $500,000 toward medical school scholarships in match challenge
For many aspiring physicians, medical school is only a dream. The high cost of attending medical school and the resulting debt upon graduation make it unattainable for countless highly qualified students.
More than one-third of Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine 2020 graduating class accrued over $250,000 in debt during their time in medical school, and that number is increasing each year, making need-based scholarships an essential tool for recruiting and training diverse and talented cohorts of future physicians, surgeons and others.
Recognizing the need to help these students and in celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the founding of the Renaissance School of Medicine, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean Emeritus of the School of Medicine Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, announced a five-year match challenge to support endowed need-based scholarships for medical students. The ultimate goal: to build an endowment that will support the next generation of medical students at Stony Brook University.
“If we want to make sure the Renaissance School of Medicine remains a school of choice for the most promising students, we need to make it more affordable for them,” said Dr. Kaushansky. “Hopefully, this match program will inspire our friends to reach out in support of our students.”
Longtime friends of Stony Brook, the Guru Krupa Foundation, and several other generous donors heeded Dr. Kaushansky’s call. In total, the Guru Krupa Foundation; Krishnareddy Gujavarty, MD; School of Medicine alumnus Edward Weingarden ’79, MD ’85 and Judith Weingarden; fellow School of Medicine graduate Tara Allmen, MD ’90; Stony Brook University Hospital Budget Analyst Violet Payne; and Stony Brook University Alumni Association President Robert deBrauwere, Esq. ’87 and Caryn deBrauwere ’86 have donated $500,000 to the Renaissance School of Medicine’s 50th Anniversary Scholarship Match Program — making a total impact of $1 million and creating six endowed scholarship funds for students in need.
“We strive to provide equal access to deserving students who otherwise could not afford to pursue such opportunities,” said Mukund Padmanabhan, founder and president of the Guru Krupa Foundation. “There are few who are more deserving of that support than the hardworking students at Stony Brook University. We look forward to watching these leaders of tomorrow as they thrive in the inquisitive, compassionate, inspiring environment at the Renaissance School of Medicine.”
Dear Dr. Kaushansky :
I wholeheartedly applaud your outstanding goal to “build an endowment that will support the next generation of medical students at Stony Brook University.” This endowment will undoubtedly assist in your recruitment and training of future medical professionals.
However, I’m wondering about Stony Brook’s other goals. Is the Renaissance School of Medicine equally committed to accepting outstanding Long Island middle class medical students who may not qualify for your scholarships?
In light of the massive, ongoing commitment and joint LI government/medical community/educational community and business community’s unwavering effort to “keep our kids on Long Island”, I am saddened that some of Long Island’s best and brightest Renaissance Medical School applicants have not even had their applications acknowledged.
I am a retired LI business leader who partnered with Stony Brook for many, many years to overcome the exodus of college and graduate students from our island….never to return. This multifaceted undertaking requires each of us to do our small part to help retain our home-grown gems. Perhaps this is something worthy of consideration by the Renaissance School of Medicine powers-that-be.
You’re possibly wondering if I’m writing this because of a personal interest. The answer is yes. Although I’ve been passionate about this issue for years, my immediate impetus for writing to you is because I see my grandson looking elsewhere to pursue his medical degree. He graduates this spring from the University of Virginia with GPA 3.93, MCAT 522, is on Dean’s List, is an Intermediate Honors Recipient and is an Order of Omega Member. He has clinical experience in Virginia and at the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office. He has Shadowing experience, Community Service Experience and Employment/Research as well.
To date, Stony Brook Renaissance School of Medicine has not even acknowledged his application. And he is not alone. All these prospective doctors, surgeons and medical researchers who currently call LI their home, will most likely attend other medical schools somewhere else in the country and only return here to visit. What a pity.
It would be audacious of me to pretend to know your standards for acceptance and I would never suggest you should lower the bar. However, some sort of acknowledgement or the granting of an interview to exemplary LI applicants may be something to ponder.
Thank you for your consideration. If you are not the appropriate person to receive this letter, I would appreciate it if you would please forward it to whoever that may be.
I look forward to a reply.
7 Alfred Lane, Kings Park, NY 11754