Medical School, Excluding Debt | Newsroom

By Emily Gaines Buckler

As a child, Chimsom Orakwe watched his father, a computer engineer, become unable to work after suffering a serious back injury. Her family had emigrated from Nigeria to California years ago, but were unable to pay for the medical bills she needed, so her mother enrolled in nursing school and 8-year-old Chimsom said she I worked part-time to take care of my younger siblings.

Orakwe graduated from Weill Cornell Medical School on May 18, and plans to begin training in internal medicine at the New York Presbyterian Church/Weill Cornell Medical Center in July this year. will be the first time. Some relate to Weill Cornell Medicine’s debt relief program.

“This program has made everything possible,” said Orakwe, who said he hoped to reduce the debt of financially deprived students, allowing them to pursue a career in medicine based on their passions and interests while giving them the freedom to do so. about a scholarship program created to help you get the most out of medical school. Established in 2019, the program covers tuition, fees, housing and living expenses.

With the median four-year cost of private medical schools reaching $330,180, training to become a doctor is so expensive that many students are hesitant to apply. “According to data from the Association of Medical Colleges of America, the majority of students entering medical school come from the top two fifths of U.S. household incomes,” says Jessica Peña, M.D., Ph.D., assistant dean of admissions. Dr. (MD ’03) said. Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Clinical Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical School. “The need for a diverse physician workforce to achieve good outcomes in patient care, education and research is threatened by rising costs.”

A 2003 graduate of Weill Cornell University, Dr. Peña understands that medical school is expensive, both professionally and personally. Although she received a scholarship that covered part of her tuition, she had to take out a loan to enroll as a medical student, a reality that would have changed with the Debt Reduction Program. is.

“Twenty years ago, one of the reasons I was able to grow as a student here was the generous financial aid,” said Dr Peña. “He didn’t have to work 30 hours a week like he did in college, and he was able to immerse himself in his work and community.”

Over the past four years since the Debt Reduction Program was implemented, Dr. Peña has heard countless times from students how this assistance has helped them. “For the first time in history, students said they didn’t have to hold back their jobs and had the freedom to pursue the careers they were most passionate about, allowing them to fully commit to their medical school experience,” she said.

For Ms. Orakwe, the program has made a big difference, co-founding a student-led initiative for Spanish-speaking patients, and serving as president of the National Student Medical Association and Students Calling for Equal Opportunity in Medicine. rice field. In addition, Orakwe served on the board and planning committee of Watering My Garden, a student organization that provides a safe nurturing environment for women of color, and was awarded the 2022 Ida Sophia Scudder MD Award. I was one of two students. Excellence in Public Service. Recognizes students who have provided care to the underprivileged and made significant contributions in the field of social services.

“[The debt-reduction program] It took a huge weight off my life and gave me the freedom to focus on my work, carve my own path and really just breathe,” Orakwe said. “It allowed me not only to survive, but to succeed in medical school, without worrying about putting a strain on my family, who had already sacrificed so much.”

A male medical student celebrating the good news surrounded by his family.

Nicolas Wernis (second from left) celebrates with his family at the Resident on March 17 during international matchday.

Graduate medical student Nicholas Varnis, who will begin his plastic surgery training at New York University Langone Health in July with support from the Debt Reduction Initiative, said the support has helped in similar ways. “The program relieved us of a huge financial burden, allowing us to complete four offsite rotations and focus on one year of basic science research,” he said. rice field. With the help of the Debt Relief Program, Vernis will be able to work for a full year in the laboratory of Dr. did it.

“The experience was transformative. Dr. Spector gave me complete autonomy over my project, and taught me all the important aspects of research, such as how to think of working hypotheses, how to write grants, how to analyze data, and how to publish research findings.” He was an excellent teacher who taught me the right steps.” “I can attend and present at conferences and delve deeper into research and clinical work without the pressure of how to pay for the next meal or the fear of saddled with too much debt to pay off. I was able to work on it. Settlement.”

Ultimately, the program “helped me become the best version of myself,” says Vernis.

A version of this story will appear in the summer issue of Impact.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *