RIT and SUNY Upstate Medical University create pipeline to medical school

Joint program offers direct-entry to medical school
Doctor and two nurses consult medical book.

SUNY Upstate Medical University

Medical students in the anatomy lab at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y.

Rochester Institute of Technology and the State University of New York Upstate Medical University are offering a bridge program that guarantees qualified RIT undergraduates admission to the Upstate Doctor of Allopathic Medicine program.

Students applying to RIT can request to be considered for the RIT-Accelerated Scholars Program with Upstate Medical University. This new pathway to a traditional allopathic medical school education for prospective undergraduates from the United States could be an option for students as early as the 2019-2020 academic year.

The Accelerated Scholars Program is designed to mentor a diverse group of qualified students for careers as medical doctors, and will accept five students per year. Upstate will reserve a place for the RIT graduates to matriculate following the completion of their four-year bachelor’s degree. The Accelerated Scholars Program waives the Medical College Admission Test requirement for admission into Upstate Medical University College of Medicine, also known as SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse.

The number of medical school applicants from RIT increased when RIT solidified its health brand in 2008 with the RIT & Rochester Regional Health Alliance and with the opening of the College of Health Sciences and Technology in 2011.

“Offering the option of direct entry to medical school gives RIT students an edge,” said Dr. Daniel Ornt, vice president and dean of the Institute/College of Health Sciences and Technology.

“The competition for medical school is stiff. There are nearly 53,000 applicants and less than 22,000 available spots. The RIT and SUNY Upstate collaborative removes the stress of the application process.”

The Accelerated Scholars Program places a priority on cultivating students with broad interests to become future physicians. While participating students must satisfy the general science requirement for medical school and maintain a 3.5 grade point average each semester, they are encouraged to sample and explore different disciplines during their undergraduate education, Ornt said.

“The RIT and SUNY Upstate partnership creates a pipeline for educating well-rounded medical doctors to help offset the future physician shortage as the baby boomers retire,” Dr. Ornt said.

Participating RIT undergraduates will be offered summer programming with Upstate based on the Association of American Medical College’s medical student competencies, including ethical reasoning, effective communication, critical thinking, cultural competence and other topics, according to Krystal Ripa, director of Special Admissions Programs at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

“During these summers, RIT students will also get an opportunity to build community with other students accepted to Upstate who are expected to matriculate together,” Ripa said.

Ian Mortimer, RIT vice president for enrollment management, said the RIT-Accelerated Scholars Program is the university’s first relationship with an allopathic medical school for RIT students.

“RIT is a great choice for future health care leaders,” Mortimer said. “RIT students gain a forward-thinking perspective that places them in some of the best medical schools and Ph.D. programs nationally. The direct-entry medical school option with SUNY Upstate Medical School reflects the high-caliber of an RIT education.”

Topics
diversity
health
partnerships
science
STEM

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