The Lang Youth Medical Program at NewYork-Presbyterian, a six-year college prep and health sciences enrichment program that gives underserved students a pathway for success into medical and science careers, recently held its annual induction and white coat ceremony to welcome the newest cohort of scholars and honor those who have completed part of the program.
Fifteen seventh graders recruited from public middle schools in New York City School District 6/Washington Heights and Inwood were inducted into the program and received a gold pin with their name and the hospital logo inscribed. Eighth-grade scholars in the program who successfully completed one year were presented with short white coats. Tenth-grade scholars were recognized for starting their third year of the program, the midway mark, and received long white coats.
At medical schools across the country, the white coat ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students and signifies their entrance into the profession. For young scholars in the Lang Youth Medical Program, the white coats symbolize their progress in the program and a future of possibilities.
Currently, 85 students are enrolled in the program and 113 scholars have graduated since its inception in 2003. Scholars attend the program every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the academic year and five days a week in July at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s campus, completing nearly 300 hours of coursework and activities every year. Ninety-five percent of the scholars go on to four-year colleges and universities, and eight alumni have taken positions at NewYork-Presbyterian.
Speakers at the ceremony included Dr. Laura L. Forese, executive vice president and chief operating officer at NewYork-Presbyterian; Dr. Herbert Pardes, executive vice chair of the Board of Trustees at NewYork-Presbyterian; Dr. Mara Minguez, medical director of the Lang Youth Medical Program and assistant chief medical officer for Community Affairs at NewYork-Presbyterian; Andres Nieto, director of Community Health Education and Outreach, Division of Community and Population Health at NewYork-Presbyterian; and keynote speaker Dr. Deepa Kumaraiah, vice president and associate chief medical officer of Clinical Strategy and Service Lines at NewYork-Presbyterian. Generous donors whose funding make the program possible include the Eugene M. Lang Foundation and the Rothfeld Family Foundation.