Jamaican-American, Akya Myrie, has been awarded the Diversity in Medicine Scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year from the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, one of the nation’s leading urban medical centers. Myrie is a fourth-year medical student and the $42,000 scholarship will be used to cover medical school tuition and fees.
The scholarship is bestowed by the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) to help medical students decrease their debt load and to aid in providing physicians in medically underserved areas. To be eligible, a student must demonstrate scholastic excellence and gone through a New York State Department of Health AMSNY Post-Baccalaureate Program.
Recipients must commit to providing care in medically underserved communities for a specific number of years following completion of their education. The scholarship is designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine that are practicing in vulnerable communities.
The AMSNY scholarship is funded by the New York State Department of Health through support from the New York State Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislators, Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes, Assembly member Blake, and the New York State Department of Health.
Now living in Brooklyn, NY, Myrie immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica with her mother. The family was in search of better care for Myrie’s developmentally disabled brother. They quickly discovered that while the U.S. had medically advanced medicine and healthcare options for some, there were definite inequities within the system. The family was met with challenges in obtaining quality, culturally-competent care.
The realities of the healthcare system proved to be the impetus Myrie needed to enter the field of medicine, armed with a determination to serve vulnerable populations. While attending medical school, Myrie has organized several community service initiatives and participated in a number of research projects that highlight the disparities in the healthcare system within organ transplants, kidney disease, and prostate and bladder cancer.
Myrie is honored to be selected to receive the scholarship and views the opportunity to serve at-risk and marginalized communities as a privilege. Following the completion of her residency training, Myrie will be serving community patients as their local urologist.
Information Source: Associated Medical Schools of New York