Dartmouth Medical School launches partnership to enroll City College of New York graduates


HANOVER, NH Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) will initiate a partnership to expand opportunities for promising medical students from diverse backgrounds through a cooperative program with Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York (CCNY).

The new program, announced today and approved through an agreement with the deans of both schools, makes DMS the only medical school partner outside New York State where students from Sophie Davis can complete their last two years of medical school. The first group of Sophie Davis students will begin a match process later this year to enroll in DMS for their third year of medical school in July 2007.

The Sophie Davis School offers a five-year curriculum that covers college and the first two years of medical school, especially tailored to the needs of academically qualified but often economically disadvantaged students from the New York City area. After completing these five years, Sophie Davis graduates transfer to a partner medical school for their last two years of clinical training.

The collaboration benefits both DMS and Sophie Davis, according to Dr. David Nierenberg, senior associate dean of medical education who spearheaded the agreement, working with DMS Dean, Dr. Stephen Spielberg, and Sophie Davis School Dean, Dr. Stanford Roman.

"This is a good option for students at both schools," said Nierenberg. "Think how exciting it could be for a student who perhaps has lived his or her whole life in New York City to go to an Ivy League college with a wonderful medical school in a different and more rural state, and what an opportunity for Dartmouth Medical School to have this infusion of talented and diverse students transferring into the 3rd year to enrich our student body. It broadens DMS as a school."

Roman, a former DMS deputy dean and Dartmouth College trustee emeritus, said, "There's a lot of excitement from our students. DMS is the only out-of-state school; it also complements our interest in primary care."

He explained that the school "accepts promising New York area students -- many from elite public high schools -- who are often from diverse backgrounds mirroring the increasing diversity in the urban population. Sometimes they don't want to leave the city or home."

The students transfer into a medical school through a match process similar to the national residency match that offers the best fit for both students and programs. The DMS match for Sophie Davis students is slated to begin this fall when interested candidates for the summer of 2007 will visit for interviews and prescreening.

"We are hoping we'll end up the match with three to five students who really want to come to DMS and who DMS really wants to have. Both students and schools rank each other. The way the match works is you have to have a yes-yes situation, where they want you and you want them," said Nierenberg.

Sophie Davis graduates enter their new medical schools well prepared, Roman noted. From an entering class of 70, an average of 82% successfully graduate. "These students rise to the occasion," Roman said. "They are multitalented; they do things in the community, even though they have an intense academic schedule including some summers and compress four years of college into three."

The students must also pass Step I of the U.S. Medical Licensure Examinations, which all U.S. medical students take at the end of the second year. Roman expects them to be strong and capable of completing DMS' rigorous curriculum.

Other medical schools that partner with Sophie Davis are: Albany Medical College, New York Medical College, New York University School of Medicine, The State University of New York (SUNY) Health Science Center at Brooklyn and SUNY at Stony Brook School of Medicine.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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