A Bronx hospital has welcomed a newly minted doctor who grew up in the community, thanks to a program that began engaging local teenagers years ago.
Dr. Andre Bryan has been an intern at the Albert Einstein College for exactly three weeks.
"I've only been a doctor three weeks in the hospital and it's been really rewarding. It's been the best three weeks," said Bryan.
But the dream actually came to life thanks in part to a program at the hospital, where Bryan started shadowing a doctor when he was just a teen.
That hospital program puts smart and motivated teenagers on the road to medical school -- a road they may not have had access to otherwise. The goals is to make schools and hospitals more diverse.
"Some of these young people just don't have those opportunities," said Nilda I. Soto, assistant dean at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "They don't have the role models."
Bryan first got to shadow a doctor in a hospital when he was 15, and the invaluable experience helped him get to medical school, where to this day, black men make up just over 2 percent of the population.
"If we can help someone like Andre apply to medical school, find out about medical school, follow doctors around -- we need to let more kids have that opportunity," said Jo Wiederhorn, president of the Associated Medical Schools of New York.
Now Andre is Dr. Bryan, having graduated from NYU in May with an MD and an MBA. He's on the path to becoming an anesthesiologist.
"I'm still trying to wrap my head around being a doctor," he said. "But if you are dedicated to it and put your mind to it, you can definitely accomplish it."
There are just over 60 students currently in the program, many of whom for the first time can now see themselves wearing that white coat and stethoscope.
Every medical school in New York state has a similar program. For more information on how to apply to the program, call AMSNY at 212-218-4610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.