On Wed, Nov 19th the CCNY faculty senate voted to support The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education becoming an accredited medical school.
With 40 out of 41 in favor of supporting the accreditation, Sophie Davis is well on its way to become a leading medical institution. Professor Marta Gutman from Architecture provided her full support to the motion to “move our college forward” and for Sophie Davis “to become a full fledged institution.”
The meeting began with a heated discussion of the allegations of misconduct and racial insensitivity among faculty senate executive committee members, but the group decided to revisit the issue in detail during the next meeting. The focus was then redirected to the primary matter at hand.
Sophie Davis is already a unique program in the city, geared towards prevention, public health and educating medical providers of color. Statistics show that nationally only 13% of medical students are people of color, compared to the 53% at Sophie Davis who are low-income minorities. If the new medical school moves forward, its mission will remain aligned with Sophie Davis’ current ideal to provide underrepresented minorities with a standard medical school education.
Currently, students spend five years at CCNY completing their undergrad education as well as two years of medical school. After graduation, they transfer to a med school for their last two years of clinical training. In the new configuration, students will remain at Sophie Davis for seven years, completing a BS/MD program.
An issue on the table at the senate meeting: In order to continue to support students through the process of becoming a primary care physician, if accredited, the school will be hiring 20-24 new faculty members for the community health department. It would also involve creating a partnership with St. Barnabas, a large metropolitan hospital in the Bronx. “Partnering with an affiliated hospital will allow us to apply for funding for that should benefit the school on a whole in terms of research and scholarship opportunities for students,” said Dr. John Martin, medical professor in the department of physiology.
Though overwhelmingly receptive to the proposal, faculty senators raised a few issues, including concerns of a tuition increase for all City College students. But according to Dr. Martin and several other Sophie Davis committee members, “There will only be a tuition increase for Sophie Davis students in their last two clinical years of the program.” Seventy percent of students will continue to pay what they pay now for the current program, they explained, which is approximately $120,000–$30,000 for CCNY and $45,000 for each year of medical school depending on the matched school.