SUNY Program Hopes to Counteract Doctor Shortage


SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine continue to recruit for the Medical School Early Assurance Program with the goal of engaging high school students to both attend medical school and continue their medical practice in a rural area.

Due to the shortage of medical practitioners in rural areas, specifically Northern New York, both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Upstate Medical want to give rural high school students an opportunity to receive quality education in the medical science fields from rural collegiate institutions.

Every person has a comfort zone, and for some students that comfort zone remains in a small community. This joint program encourages students to receive higher education and continue on to their medical careers in rural areas. With this program there is not only great success for the students in their achievement of a college degree, but there is also tremendous success for the rural communities who welcome back those students returning to practice.

Jennifer Welch, Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical, said “we have had success with SUNY Potsdam graduates.” Welch explained that the Early Assurance program would give students a BS/MD degree, a Bachelor of Science from SUNY Potsdam and a Medical Doctor degree from SUNY Upstate Medical.

Although Welch facilitates the program on the SUNY Upstate Medical end, Tom Nesbitt, Director of Admissions at SUNY Potsdam, is responsible for identifying, and recommending to Welch, any potential Potsdam students who may be good for the program. Students applying to the program are required to fulfill certain criteria including having an excellent GPA and SAT or ACT score(s), and come from a rural community in New York state, among other prerequisites. Once accepted into the program SUNY Potsdam undergraduate students are required to maintain an outstanding GPA in order to continue on to the SUNY Upstate Medical MD program. The program is accepting entrants for the fall 2010 semester. Visit to learn more.