Stony Brook University students Nyquana Blake, Leslie Campo Catalan, Kevin Medina, Anahy Moran and Nawab Quaderi are among 25 SUNY students chosen for the inaugural class of SUNY’s Pre-Med Opportunity Program and will receive academic support while pursuing a degree in medicine.
Students selected will participate in a residential summer program at SUNY Upstate Medical University this July, which will include clinical exposure through the simulation labs at Upstate, as well as workshops, skill development and academic programming. Students will also receive remote instruction to prepare them for medical school prerequisite courses — organic chemistry, physics and microbiology — that they will take during the Fall 2021 semester.
SUNY System will cover all costs incurred for the summer program, including transportation, room, board and instruction. The program was created to solve for persistent income disparities found among the nation’s medical schools, with about two-thirds of students coming from families within the top two quintiles of family income ($74,870 to $225,251).
“Many of our hardworking, dedicated and talented SUNY students have the drive and ability to become the next generation of healthcare heroes, yet not all of our students have the same advantages to go on to medical schools,” said State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras. “Modeled off of the long-standing and successful Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), our newly created Pre-Med Opportunity Program will make SUNY the launching pad for talented professionals who represent the diversity of our great state. With this program, nothing will hold these students back from a successful career in medicine.”
“SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Program is known for opening doors for students from underrepresented backgrounds,” said Cheryl Hamilton, SUNY’s Deputy Student Advocate and Executive Director for EOP Programs and former director of Stony Brook’s EOP program. “Our latest addition of the Pre-Med Opportunity Program will provide specifically tailored resources and support to students on the pre-med track, to ensure that they are set up for success and can move on to medical school, and arrive at a career in the medical field. This work is paramount, and SUNY is prepared to help both our student body and the workforce become more diverse so that patients are able to receive care from medical professionals who are representative of their own backgrounds and needs.”
Since its inception in 1967, the EOP has provided access, academic support and supplemental financial assistance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. In its 53-year history, the EOP has served more than 76,000 students and evolved into one of the country’s most successful college access programs.