SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced the first ever statewide initiative to help more Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students get into SUNY’s medical universities. Under the Chancellor’s SUNY for All initiative, the Pre-Med Opportunity Program (Pre-OP) will help with income disparities found amongst the nation’s medical schools. Currently, about two-thirds of students are coming from families within the top two quintiles of family income ($74,870 to $225,251).

Building from SUNY’s EOP and the medical pathway programs at SUNY’s University at Buffalo, Downstate Health Sciences University, Stony Brook University, and Upstate Medical, the SUNY for All Pre-OP will provide academic support, mentorship, clinical exposure, assistance with MCAT preparation, academic coaching, and workshops.

“The Educational Opportunity Program was groundbreaking in 1967 in acknowledging that too many promising students from New York’s disadvantaged communities didn’t attempt go to college because they didn’t believe they could succeed, and now over 50 years of resources and dedicated support by New York State has helped 76,000 students do just that,” said Chancellor Malatras. “SUNY’s new Pre-Op program will take our EOP program to the next level by empowering well-qualified students to enter and successfully complete medical school regardless of their economic means or background.”

The SUNY Pre-Op is set to begin in Summer 2021 with 25 students, which would be expanded based on initial results and further funding. To be considered for the program, candidates must be a SUNY EOP sophomore or junior on a pre-medical track, have a grade point average of 3.2 or higher, and have successfully completed two semesters of general chemistry and two semesters of biology.

Chancellor Malatras will convene a group made up of System Administration and the SUNY Medical School to lead in designing the program to ensure compliance with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education accrediting body and to help select the students for Pre-Op.

A final plan for the SUNY for All Pre-Medical Opportunity Program will be provided to Chancellor Malatras by June 2021 before the first Summer 2021 class, and will be comprised of:

  • Academic and psychosocial supports to successfully pursue careers in medicine, including:
    • Supplemental tutoring for gateway classes (organic chemistry, physics, biochemistry, and calculus)
    • Clinical and laboratory experience
    • Exposure to medical school environment and curriculum
    • Workshop/Seminar Series (health disparities, public health, and policy)
    • Virtual MCAT preparation workshops and study groups
    • Summer enrichment program
    • Research experience
    • Internships
    • Summer Bridge Program before first year of medical school
    • Academic and socioemotional supports for students once they are enrolled in medical school
  • Mentorship by identifying and pairing students with EOP alumni, SUNY medical faculty, medical professionals, or current SUNY medical students
  • Special admission consideration at the SUNY medical schools for successful pre-medical scholars
  • A system-wide EOP community of pre-medical scholars who will serve as a source of camaraderie and support for each other
  • Virtual test prep workshops and panel discussions related to medical school admissions
  • A clearinghouse of clinical and research experiences
  • Institutional partnerships