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Dec 08 2011

Medical Students Visit Wyandanch High School


Old Westbury, N.Y. (December 8, 2011)  ΜΆ  When a college counselor told her that she probably wouldn’t get into medical school, Sadaf Qazi had two choices:  accept his opinion or try harder.

Qazi, now a second-year medical student at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) of NYIT, told a group of Wyandanch High School students that the counselor’s discouraging outlook made her determined to follow her dream. 

“If you really want to do something and get somewhere, you have to just keep at it,” Qazi said, describing how she worked harder and decided to keep her goal alive.  “You have to have a plan, think about what your plan is, and do it.”

Qazi was one of 24 NYCOM students who visited the high school this week to inspire students about college and medical careers.  They also gave brief presentations about the workings of the human heart, taught students how to take a pulse, and demonstrated an EKG reading.  The NYCOM students are part of the Health Careers Opportunity Program, (HCOP), which gives economically and educationally disadvantaged students a chance to attend medical school.  The medical students in the program have committed to completing half of their rotations in underserved areas.  They also speak each year at high schools in Wyandanch and Glen Cove, where NYCOM administers a special program, called Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) to help some students prepare for college.

Like Qazi, several NYCOM students said they faced financial, educational, or social challenges – including difficulty speaking English – while in high school.

“I’ve always had to work harder than the kid next to me,” Qazi said.

By speaking at the high schools, the medical students hope to show younger students that college and medical careers are not out of reach.

“They try to convey that this is doable,” said Lois Small, manager of the HCOP program.  “It’s eye opening for those high school students to realize that if they preserver, they can achieve their dreams.” 

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in more than 90 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
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