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Press Releases

Deputy Mayor Gibbs Announces CityDoctors Medical School Scholarships Awards $2.4 Million to 20 New York City Students

HHC Receives Commitment for Primary Care Work from St. George's University School of Medicine Scholarship Recipients

Jan 07, 2013

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs and Health and Hospitals Corporation President Al Aviles today announced that 20 New York City students will receive scholarships totaling $2.4 million to attend St. George’s University School of Medicine under the first year of the CityDoctors scholarship program. In return, the students have committed to give back to their communities by practicing primary care medicine at a New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) hospital after receiving their medical degrees.
The scholarship recipients have been selected based on their academic excellence and financial need and will receive either partial or full scholarships to pay for medical school tuition for periods of up to four years, with some scholarships valued at over $200,000 each. The CityDoctors scholarship program, which was launched by Deputy Mayor Gibbs, HHC President Alan D. Aviles, and SGU Chancellor Dr. Charles Modica in April 2012, will provide more than $11 million in scholarships to New York City residents over five years. The program will help address the national shortage of primary care physicians and also increase opportunity for city youth by making a medical degree and primary care career more accessible for talented young men and women with limited financial resources.
“New York City’s public hospitals and clinics serve over one million New Yorkers each year and are critical providers of culturally competent, patient-centered primary care,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “CityDoctors is drawing some of the best and brightest medical providers to our system, addressing a pending shortfall of talent and ensuring that the patients who rely on us will have dedicated providers for decades to come.”
“Medical schools today are simply not producing enough primary care physicians to meet society’s needs in the future,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “The CityDoctors scholarships help HHC bring quality primary care to New York City residents while also providing an opportunity for medical students with roots in the community to give back.”
“St. George’s has long been dedicated to meeting the need for primary care physicians and we’re proud that our partnership with HHC is helping to meet a growing demand,” said St. George’s University Chancellor Charles Modica. “Our students are uniquely qualified to meet the needs of a diverse population and the skills they acquire throughout their training allows them to return home and give back to their community.”
The first class of CityDoctors Scholarship Program recipients are a diverse group of 12 women and eight men, representing all five boroughs. Many graduated from New York City public high schools, including from Stuyvesant High, Brooklyn Tech, Staten Island Tech, Townsend Harris, Francis Lewis, Midwood and Bronx High School of Science. The winners hold undergraduate degrees from prestigious institutions including the State University of New York, the City University of New York, Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Oberlin College, the New York Institute of Technology and Brooklyn College.
To be eligible, the students had to fulfill all the requirements to be accepted to medical school and meet at least one of the following criteria: graduated from a NYC high school, have five years of residency in NYC, have a parent employed by HHC or the City of New York, or be employed by HHC or the City of New York for at least five years. In return for their scholarships, for each equivalent year of tuition they receive each student has committed to provide one year of service as a primary care attending physician at one of HHC’s 11 public hospitals. Several of the students have already completed part of the medical school educations, while others are beginning their studies this semester.
The CityDoctors scholarship recipients are:

Name Borough Commitment to HHC
Eric Behar Manhattan 2 years
Felicia Fojas Queens 1 year
Arun John Queens 2 years
Kunal Kambli Queens 2 years
Mehvesh Khan Brooklyn 2 years
Gloria Lee Queens 2.5 years
Julian Lildharrie Bronx 4 years
Montgomery Lobe Manhattan 1/2 year
Prathuangsuk Praeophayom Queens 4 years
Megan Reynolds Manhattan 2 years
David Roy Queens 4 years
Nawaz Rupani Queens 4 years
Sarah Sahl Manhattan 2 years
Ali Samee Queens 2 years
Aanchal Sharma Staten Island 1.5 years
Malvi Thakker Queens 2 years
Miloni Thakker Queens 2 years
Corinne Vidulich Manhattan 4 years
Monica Wat Manhattan 2 years
Safwa Zafar Staten Island 2 years

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) advises that the U.S. could face a shortage of 90,000 physicians by 2020 and the overall shortage could worsen as the physician workforce ages and retires just as more Americans will need care. The AAMC says a reason for this shortage is that primary care clinicians earn less than half of what the top two earning specialties make, and medical students often choose to enter the higher-paying specialties, rather than primary care, when faced with their medical school loans. Seventy-eight percent of U.S. medical students have a student loan debt of $100,000 or greater. In 2010, medical students graduated from public institutions with an average debt of $148,222 and $172,422 from private institutions.
To apply for the CityDoctors scholarships, applicants submitted essays explaining why they should be awarded this scholarship and how they will contribute to the health care of New York City using their attending position in primary care at an HHC hospital. For more information and to apply for a scholarship, visit the CityDoctors website at www.citydoctors.com.

Contact: Ian Michaels (HHC) (212) 788-3339

About St. George’s University

St. George’s University School of Medicine pioneered the concept of international medical education and remains at the forefront of educating students to meet the demands of the modern practice of medicine. St. George’s University was the first private medical school in the Caribbean, and the first to be accredited by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Health Professions (CAAM-HP). Its students have come from over 140 countries and its more than 10,000 graduate physicians in the global health care system who have been licensed in all 50 states and Canada and have practiced in over 50 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.sgu.edu.

About HHC

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 420,000 member health plan, MetroPlusHealth, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nychhc.org/hhc or find us on facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or twitter.com/NYCHealthSystem.