Inaugural Albany Med Health Corps Benefits Medical School Applicants, Staffing Needs

Back row, left to right: Dr. Arup De, Jakob Dickson, Max Barbash. Front row, left to right: Megan Weigand, Skyler Teague, Megalan Tso

Five aspiring Albany Medical College students arrived on campus this week to gain invaluable experience as part of the inaugural Albany Med Health Corps team, a pilot program formed to develop a sustainable workforce with the promise of acceptance into the Class of 2027.

Arup De, MD, vice president of Practice Business Operations and director of the Albany Med Health Corps, developed the program to help respond to immediate patient care needs while providing educational training and development to waitlisted medical school applicants.

“Hundreds of students are waitlisted each year as there are not enough seats to matriculate all qualified candidates,” said Dr. De. “The Albany Med Health Corps will provide these highly qualified applicants invaluable hands-on experience and mentorship through paid employment while helping the Medical Center fulfill much-needed patient care roles. It’s mutually beneficial to both the candidates and the institution and will have lasting benefits as these individuals go on to obtain their medical degrees.”

Albany Med Health Corps team members will work full time as patient care associates, mobility assistants, and nurse-extenders. Upon successful completion of the program, which began late August and runs through June 16, 2023, team members will enter the Albany Medical College Class of 2027.

Ten applicants were invited to join the inaugural team and five accepted the offer within just a few days.
Colorado native Megan Weigand knew that although it would mean packing everything and moving across the country in three weeks, she couldn’t turn down the offer.

“Attending medical school was something I had been working towards for so long, and I loved Albany Medical College. The interactions I had felt very genuine, and I realized that as a student, I would have the tools and community necessary to succeed,” she said.

Max Barbash had far less to travel from his hometown in Massachusetts but was equally excited.

“When I received the offer, I thought about what a great opportunity this would be, since it would give me the time to get acclimated to the hospital and the Albany area. I was also excited at the prospect of getting the chance to work with the staff and the patients,” said Barbash. “Building these relationships and getting used to the area will make the transition to medical school easier.”

Health Corps members will also have access to learning opportunities, including PCA training, grand rounds, research collaboration, and Albany Medical Center’s conference series.

The program is one of many efforts Albany Medical Center is taking to address staffing shortages.