The Siena College-Albany Medical College Program in Science, Humanities and Medicine has become synonymous with innovation, enthusiasm and service. Since its inception 25 years ago, the program has produced world-class physicians that have used their skills to transform hospitals, empower communities and save villages - one patient at time.
The program’s creators and graduates celebrated its 25th anniversary with a reunion at the Desmond Hotel. It was an opportunity for graduates to reflect on their careers and the contributions they have made to the world thanks to the skills they developed in the program. It also gave them the chance to reconnect with their friends and former classmates.
“We were from all over the United States and we were friends,” said Amisha Malhotra ’90, M.D. “Even today we keep in touch. Some of my closest friends, my dear friends, we’re like family, are from the Siena-Albany Med. Program.”
Attendees also learned about the program’s inspiration and early days. It was the brainchild of Siena College Biology Professor Ed LaRow’59, Ph.D. He was committed to developing physicians who were well-rounded and focused on their patients as people. Since the program launched in 1986, LaRow has been recruiting class after class of highly skilled students who have become the doctors he dreamed of producing years ago.
“They’re just a delight to work with. And the new group that comes in is equal to the one that just left. They’re an incredible group of young people,” LaRow said.
LaRow joined with AMC’s Dean of Students Alan Miller, M.D. to create the early assurance program. The men required students to attend college for four years, study the humanities and participate in service immersion trips with doctors in urban ghettos and developing nations.
“I think the creation of this program has been a unique event in medical education,” Miller said. “As I look back at my own career, it’s one of the things I feel best about.”
The program’s graduates said it shaped not only their careers, but their lives.
“What I noticed about Siena was that they have some unique opportunities to tease out of you what you really want to do. For that, I’ll be always grateful to Siena and to the program,” said third year medical student Midhuna William ’09.
As it celebrates its 25th anniversary, the Siena College Albany Medical College Program in Science, Humanities and Medicine continues to transform its students into compassionate, life-saving physicians who are dedicating their lives to making the world a kinder, healthier, more positive place.
That is the program’s mission. That’s its promise. That is its gift to the world.