This month, my alma mater, the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education (http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/sophiedavis/), a 7-yr BS/MD program at City College in Harlem celebrated its 40th anniversary and I was able to attend the Homecoming and Research Symposium which featured research conducted by both Sophie students and faculty and featured amazing and venerable speakers like Dr. Jack Geiger, Dr. Thomas Haines, and Dr. Nirav Shah, New York State’s current Health Commissioner.
It really was a homecoming for me to be back at City College, which Forbes rated as #1 amongst New York State Public Colleges and Universities, and specifically Sophie Davis. I spent 5 years at Sophie and it is a place that helped shape me not only as a student but as someone who wants to make an impact in healthcare and in the world.
I like to think of Sophie as one of New York’s best kept not so secret secrets. What’s special about the school is that it and its student (who come out of high school) make a commitment to practice primary care and serve the underserved in NY. I was able to meet a lot of the students and talked to them about their research which ran the gamut from studying the macro and micro effects of stress on health to studying sex education and pregnancy in Brazil as part of the Mack Lipkin Broader Horizons Fellowship. (While I was there, I was a Rudin Research Fellow). I also talked to them about why they chose Sophie as school, as some of the students even turned down admissions to the Ivy Leagues to attend, and it was really inspiring to hear what they said. The students talked about recognizing the shortage of primary care doctors, the need and the want to serve people who may not have had access to good care, and being leaders in their communities (as some of the students come from underserved areas). In his speech, Dr. Shah commended the students for their commitment to primary care in light of what is happening in healthcare at this time.
As someone who is passionate about public health, primary care and digital health, I in turn was able to talk to the students about some of the exciting developments that are happening in healthcare right now. They were really interested and excited by the intersection of technology and healthcare and I can tell that in the future we might see some of them work on projects related to public health, and use or develop technology to do research, as a tool for patient education as well as their own medical education, and in their practices in a very high touch high tech way. The future looks really bright for them and I look forward to what they will continue to accomplish