By: Ellie Gofman  | 

YU and Montefiore Announce New BA/BS-MD Program with Einstein for High School Students

YU President Ari Berman and President and CEO of Montefiore Medicine Philip Ozuah signed a new agreement launching a joint YU-Albert Einstein College of Medicine BA/BS-MD program for high school graduates, according to an announcement made by YU on Jan. 19.

The new program, which is set to begin in 2022, will enable students to complete their undergraduate degree and continue directly into medical school at Einstein. Students apply for the program in their senior year of high school and are accepted to both schools, eliminating the separate application process usually necessary to progress from an undergraduate college to a medical school. This follows similar types of programs at other universities, such as the Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program at the CUNY School of Medicine.

“I have enjoyed working with Dr. Ari Berman to lay the groundwork for an exciting new chapter for Montefiore Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Yeshiva University,” Ozuah told The Commentator.

According to YU’s press release, this program is intended for “highly qualified high school graduates ensuring their path to an excellent medical education and an impactful career in health care.” Additionally, the press release noted that YU and Einstein established a “task force to study the creation of additional joint academic and career-related programs in the fields of healthcare and health sciences.” Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Selma Botman commented, “This new era opens up potential for additional educational and research initiatives for our students.”

Some current pre-med students, like Yona Berzon (SCW ‘23), were impressed with the program. “This seems like such a brilliant program and an obvious choice for high schoolers who are serious about medicine,” she said. Berzon, who is disappointed the program did not exist when she applied to college, also believes that this program will “draw more students in who may not otherwise attend YU.” 

Most of the details of this new program — such as how selective the program will be, eligibility for admissions, requirements that will need to be maintained once admitted and what happens if a student decided to drop out — still need to be worked out. Botman shared that “additional information on the program will be available in the coming months.” 

This partnership marks a significant renewal in YU and Einstein’s partnership, which faltered in 2015 when YU turned over the leadership of Einstein to the Montefiore Health System. 

Founded by YU in 1953, Einstein was created at a time when access to medical schools was generally restricted for Jews. Since its starting class of 56 students in 1955, Einstein has conferred 8,749 MD and 1,606 PhD degrees, and is currently ranked No. 40 in “Best Medical Schools for Research” and No. 43 in “Best Medical Schools for Primary Care.” In 1963, Einstein first established its affiliation with Montefiore Medical Center, which became Einstein’s university hospital and academic medical center in 2009. However, it was not until February 2015 that YU announced the transfer of ownership of Einstein to the Montefiore Health System, in order to eliminate a massive deficit from the university's financial statements. The medical school was estimated to account for two-thirds of YU’s annual operating deficits, which reached $100 million at the time of the announcement. 

The agreement between YU and Montefiore was finalized on Sept. 9, 2015. Details of this transaction remained unclear at the time, as YU and Montefiore Health System declined to share any financial details of the deal, but documents obtained by The Forward show that YU transferred hundreds of millions of dollars in assets to Montefiore, including real estate and a portion of its endowment.

While financial and operational control of Einstein transferred over to Montefiore, which already operated Einstein’s university hospital, YU continued to be the degree-granting authority until 2019, when the New York Board of Regents granted Einstein independent degree-granting jurisdiction. As of publication, it is unclear how, if at all, the announcement of this new program will affect the YU-Einstein partnership going forward. 

However, in an email sent to the student body on Feb. 4, Berman wrote, “This exciting new chapter in our relationship with Einstein further establishes opportunities for our students to attend and benefit from the incredible world-class research of our affiliate medical school.”


Photo Caption: Montefiore Medicine President Philip Ozuah (left) and YU President Ari Berman (right)
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University