A record 16 graduating students from NYU Fredonia (half of the 2023 class) will enter medicine, dentistry, optometry, veterinary schools and physician assistant programs this fall, according to a report compiled by the university’s health professions advisory board.
According to Ted Lee, a New York University Distinguished Professor of Health who served as chairman of the Health Professionals Advisory Board for many years, the 10 alumni entering medical school are also the most of any State University of New York Fredonia alumni entering medical school in a single academic year.
“If you look at the last 10 years, there is an average of eight (total) enrollments per year in medicine, dentistry, optometry, and veterinary medicine,” Dr. Lee said. That’s significantly higher than Lee’s average of 3.8 approvals during his first five years as chairman. In the 2022-2023 application cycle, two graduates were accepted into the Physician Assistant program and another two graduates into the Post-Baccalaureate program.
“This is a very good result,” Lee said of the high pass rate. “It is very common for individuals to work and gain experience before applying to medical professional programs,” Lee said. “Medical schools attach great importance to these experiences.”
4 of 8 Class of 2023 – Emily Gorgievski (BS in Biology, Minor in Spanish and Chemistry) from Baldwinsville. Brendan Harter, Rochester, NY (BS Biology). Trinity Tartaro, BS in Corfu, NY, and Christina Witters, Webster, BS in Biology, Minor in Chemistry and Psychology, will attend the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. All in all, she participated in LECOM’s early guarantee program before entering her first year at SUNY Fredonia.
Allie Kilburn, BS in Biology, Minor in Psychology, of Watertown, plans to attend the Campbell College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Courtney Camps, BS in Biology, Minor in Public Health and Chemistry, from Lancaster, NY, will be enrolled in the Department of Optometry at Ohio State University.
Campse praises Lee for “guiding students every step of the way and throughout the application process.” Our professors have encouraged and inspired us in more ways than they know. Without them, it would have been much more difficult to keep my career on track as an optometrist. “
“An optometry always feels right,” added Campese. She found the Ohio State University College of Optometry a good fit, noting that the school helps connect optometry students with groups and resources that advocate for legislation on their behalf.
Bemaspoint’s Campbell Howard, Bachelor of Applied Mathematics, Minor in Statistics and Chemistry, plans to attend Buffalo State School of Dentistry.
Howard has always had an interest in science and healthcare, but didn’t make a definite career choice until his sophomore year when Lee encouraged him to shadow a local clinician. Afterwards, the dental school at the University of Buffalo was always his first choice, as he was drawn to the hands-on work in dentistry and the close patient-physician relationship, and wanted to be close to his home.
Active club participation and the small size of the State University of New York at Fredonia helped Howard achieve his goal of attending dental school. “They developed a personal relationship with each student and showed genuine care that made me feel understood and valued as a student/applicant,” Howard explained.
“The health policy board, and Dr. Lee in particular, play a very important role in helping students achieve their goals and succeed in their areas of interest,” Howard said.
Howard said a broad range of experience in everything from music, games, research, and “everything in between” at New York University at Fredonia helps lay the foundation for student success. He is a Resident Assistant, Associate Judge of the Supreme Court of the Fredonia Students Association, a member of two honorary societies, Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics) and Beta, Beta, Beta (Biology), a member of the Chemistry and Mathematics Club and the Fredonia Varsity Esports League of Legends Team, and was a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant in Chemistry.
State University of New York President’s Award for Student Excellence Award winner Logan Wilson, B.S. in Music, Selkirk, plans to enroll in Cornell University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.
Eight graduates graduating by 2023 are enrolled in medical colleges and physician assistant programs.
Peter Dolce, Portland, NY (BS Biology, 2020; MS Biology, 2021). Hayley Gould of Jamestown (BS in Molecular Genetics, Minor in Chemistry and Psychology, 2021) and Tyler Worth of Buffalo (BS in Biology, 2018) will attend Jacobs School of Medicine at Buffalo State University.
Two more graduates entered the osteopathic medical school. Jacob Travers (2021, BS in Molecular Genetics, Minor in Psychology and Chemistry) from New Fein, NY, will enroll at Montana Osteopathic Medical College. Aaron Weirbinski (BS Biology 2019, MS Biology 2021) of Camillus, NY, plans to attend West Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Yasmin Orti (Bachelor of Science in Biology, 2021) of New Windsor, NY, enrolled at Rutgers School of Dentistry.
Serving in a medical brigade in Honduras during a J-term as an undergraduate was a key factor in guiding Ortiz and Gould into their respective career paths.
“I was originally going to apply to medical school, but when I realized that my patients were in poor oral health, a career as a dentist came to mind,” Ortiz said. She served in the Brigade in 2020, after which she oversaw several dentists and fell in love with the profession.
“Being able to treat patient discomfort almost immediately, the lasting relationship you build with your patients, the teamwork among staff in the dental office, the work-life balance in your career – all of this was very appealing to me,” Ortiz said.
During his undergraduate years, Ortiz participated in biology department extracurricular activities, conducted research with Associate Professor Nicholas Quintin, and was a member of the Biology Honor Society Beta, Beta, Beta.
Taking a course in medicine or even considering medical school wasn’t an initial option for Gould, but he has enjoyed his time with the Honduran medical brigade since 2020. Working in local clinical settings, recording patient vitals and accompanying doctors, made Gould take his medical career seriously.
Then, when the coronavirus pandemic severely limited opportunities for close contact with doctors, Ms. Gould put her thoughts on medical school on hold and worked as a research professional at the University of Pennsylvania after completing her bachelor’s degree. She returned to Honduras in 2022 with a group from Tacoma, Washington, to take vitals and work with New York University Fredonia alumni Jacob Travers, Mum Deng and Christian Pacheco to take vitals and work in a medical brigade delivering medicine to 1,000 patients in five days.
“This experience gave me confidence in working with patients, helped me see myself as a doctor, and inspired me to apply to medical school in 2022,” Gould said.
In January, she was a program assistant with the 3rd Honduran Medical Brigade of the SUNY Fredonia mission. Helping students perform vitals comfortably and confidently inspired Gould to one day return to the Honduran brigade as a doctor.
Two graduates were accepted into the Physician Assistant Program. They are Kayla Purcell, Webster (Bachelor of Medical Technology, 2022), St. Bonaventure College, and James Walters (Minor in Psychology, Chemistry, 2019), North Collins, College of Deyouville.