Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Doctors Back to School Program

This past Saturday, the student AMA and SNMA chapters of SUNY Buffalo hosted its first Doctors Back to School Program (DBTS), which is an AMA initiative targeted to help increase the number of minority physicians in the US. As many of you know, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans comprise nearly 1/4 of the U.S. population. In 30 years, these groups are expected to make up 1/3 of the U.S. population. Surprisingly, only 7% of physicians and 6% of medical school faculty come from these groups. The goal of the DBTS is to help address this issue and encourage young minority students to pursue a career in medicine and make them realize that this is a profession that is attainable with much dedication, hard work and mentorship.

The event took place on a Saturday morning at UB's South Campus. 5 physicians consisting of a cardiologist, internist, family physician, pediatrician and obstetrician/gynecologist participated in the program's panel discussion. Of the 5 physicians, Dr. Kenneth Gayles was one of the first African American students to be accepted at SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine in the late 1960s. About 20 college students attended, and 5 medical students volunteered to assist in the event.

Overall, both the physicians and students enjoyed the event. The students thought that the program was helpful in meeting other physicians and medical students who have the same background as them. They also thought that the discussions and past experiences of the doctors and medical students helped encourage them to pursue their dream of becoming a physician.

Both the student AMA and SNMA chapters hope to host another similar event at the end of the spring semester next year targeted to minority high school students. If you are interested in helping out next semester, you can contact Vanessa Sarfoh, MS2 who is part of the AMA's Minority Issues Committee and also the lead organizer of the event, or Joanna Lim, MS2 one of the Co-Presidents of the AMA SUNY Buffalo Chapter.

For more photos from the event, please click HERE

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