Albany Health Sciences Creates Pathway to Albany Medical College
Laura Schweitzer, vice president of the University at Albany Health Sciences, has been the spearhead of talks that have created the Early Assurance Pathway Program. The program will focus on allowing marginalized and untapped student potential to attain medical education that otherwise would not be attainable to them.
“Albany Medical College and medicine in general needs more diversity,” Schweitzer said.
In the United States, for every one seat in a medical college, there are 100 applicants applying for that seat. EAPP attempts to offer those who would otherwise not get that chance the ability to access medical degrees in fields where physicians and other professional medical staff are needed.
EAPP was formed from a desire by the Albany Medical College to tap into the talent of minority communities, from first generation immigrants, to those who are in the lowest rung of the economic bracket.
“They [AMC] approached us because we have such a talented pool of such [diverse] students,” Schweitzer added.
Student groups like the Minority Association of Pre-Med/Health Students desired such a program. There was a previous Early Assurance program designed to allow students with a 3.5 GPA overall, and in their courses, to get a seat in a medical college three years later. Students were independent from one another; they interacted with mentors who guided them through the program. The program was concentrated, with less than a dozen students in the program.
The new EAPP enables eligible freshmen to go on a pathway learning with other students into getting a doctoral degree through AMC. These freshman are likely to be in the Educational Opportunity Program, but other students mitigated by circumstances outside their control, like legal or economic issues, would be eligible as long as they have already begun the pre-med curriculum. Students who have gone past that first stage are ineligible.
Although Schweitzer is the Vice President of Health Sciences, her prior work experience has given her connections to the medical education community. These connections have enabled her to form partnerships with leading universities, in order for once inaccessible opportunities to be made widely available. She reaches out to institutions who are looking for solutions to their needs, from greater diversity to the expansion of access to new students.
With the United States’ ever-evolving population, student populations change with them. These range from first generation immigrants, to refugees and migrants who want better lives.
Albany Health Sciences is a community made of practitioners, scientists, and policy makers. The school includes programs in Public Health, Human Biology and Human Development.
Eligible students will likely be contacted by their advisors, who can point them in the right direction towards applying for EAPP. Credit requirements and eligibility guidelines are fully outlined on the UAlbany Health Sciences website.