Kassandra Jean-Marie has at all times wished to be a health care provider, however she says the rationale has modified.
“I am smiling as a result of my reply to that query has modified so many occasions all through my years,” she stated.
Jean-Marie’s mother is a nurse, and that impressed her.
“She at all times got here dwelling and I might undoubtedly see she was drained some nights, however she spent her days doing one thing that she liked,” she stated.
That love of drugs has changed into one thing a lot extra. Each of Jean-Marie’s mother and father are from Haiti, and he or she says her household got here to this nation with little or no.
“Lots of people in my household are scuffling with these debilitating situations that, in modern-day science, we are able to maintain, merely simply because they do not have entry to well being care,” stated Jean-Marie.
The racial disparities within the well being care system turned more and more clear to Jean-Marie. It is why she enrolled within the UMass Baccalaureate MD Pathway Program, or BaccMD for brief.
“If you do not have docs that mirror our inhabitants, it may be type of exhausting for our sufferers to belief us,” stated Jean-Marie.
College students from racial or ethnic teams underrepresented in drugs can enroll in this system, which is able to put them on a path to medical faculty.
“The aim of this system is to actually decrease the well being disparities that exist in our group by creating a various pool of scholars,” stated Paul Charles, this system director of the BaccMD Pathway Program.
Since 2013, this system has accepted 12 college students per yr. This yr, they expanded it to fifteen, with a aim of 20.
“Having illustration is essential for sufferers,” stated Charles.
In response to the newest information from the Affiliation of American Medical Schools, solely 5% of all physicians are Black. Evaluate that to 56% who’re white.
“Beginning this system, I used to be astounded simply being in a room of scholars that appear to be me,” stated Jean-Marie. “That was the primary time that I’ve ever skilled that.”
And that is the rationale the Pathway Program is so necessary.
For Jean-Marie, who’s now in her first yr at UMass Medical College, she has a message for youthful college students serious about a profession in drugs.
“I might inform these children to undoubtedly apply to the BaccMD program,” she stated. “I by no means need to lose sight of the true motive why I am right here — is to assist people from marginalized, deprived, folks of shade, indigenous folks, obtain well being care, as a result of I feel it is a proper, not essentially a privilege.”
Jean-Marie stated she hopes to work with immigrants as an infectious illness physician.
If you want to use to the BaccMD Pathway Program this, you are able to do so right here till Feb. 8.