The Office of Student Affairs administers a variety of programs designed to meet the extracurricular, social and personal needs of the students. The office, which is under the direct supervision of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, has administrative responsibility in the following areas.
Co-curricular Student Life
Sophie Davis students are in a unique position in that they are, in a sense, undergraduates and medical students at the same time. Co-curricular activities express this observation as well. Students can and do participate in many of the City College athletics programs and many of the numerous clubs available on the campus. Sophie Davis students have starred on the basketball team, the track and field teams, the women's soccer team, the men's lacrosse team, the tennis team, the volleyball team and others. Within the Sophie Davis program itself, students do have chapters of all of the major organizations for medical students. These include American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Student National Medical Association (SNMA), Biomed Asian Health Coalition (BAHC), Vision Latina, American Women's Medical Association (AMWA) and a local chapter of Physician's For a National Health Program (PNHP) (see the Student Life section). These organizations plan and implement most of the major student activities during the year both social and good works in the community. A few examples will illustrate. Students in AMSA have conducted a Midnight Run several times per year; clothes are collected and food is prepared and then students go to the streets directly to distribute to the homeless. SNMA has sponsored a monthly blood pressure screening at a local senior citizen's center. Student Government organized annual health fairs for the surrounding community. Many more examples are possible.
As medical students, Sophie Davis students receive the benefits of the common "rights-of-passage" ceremonies seen at other schools. The White Coat Ceremony that is commonly conducted at the very beginning of a traditional medical school program is done just prior to the beginning of the Gross Anatomy course for the Sophie Davis students. This represents the beginning of medical school for our students and this important ceremony serves much the same purpose for our students as for others around the country. Upon entrance to the school, students endorse the school's Honor Code and this endorsement is further solidified with the annual Honor Code Signing Ceremony. Following the anatomy course, our students organize and conduct their own Appreciation Ceremony, which is also seen increasingly as an important part of the co-curricular program at many schools. We also organize and hold a Class Day Ceremony for the graduating students in the afternoon of the same day as the morning City College commencement ceremony.
Fellowship and Scholarship programs
The Sophie Davis School is fortunate to offer several fellowship programs that help students to enrich their experience. All three programs are competitive and the availability is always contingent on available funding. The Rudin Research Fellowship Program affords about twelve students per year the opportunity to conduct research with a member of the Sophie Davis faculty. These $3000 fellowships require students to conduct 200 hours of research over the summer and into the school year with a faculty member of the program or elsewhere in City College. Leonard Davis Community-based Research Fellowships are awarded annually to 6 students who are provided a $3000 stipend and in return perform 200 hours of community-based research with a faculty member, often from the Department of Community Health & Social Medicine. Leonard Davis Community Service Fellowships are awarded annually to about 14 students who are provided a $3000 stipend and in return perform 200 hours of community service, generally in the Harlem community. Many of the students are placed in after school programs at local schools, organizations and community centers. Others are placed in other settings within Harlem. The Mack Lipkin Broader Horizons Fellowship is awarded to about 10 students at the completion of their third or fourth year. This competitive fellowship grants students the ability to travel somewhere in the world to carry out a research project of their own design. This program truly does enrich students' outlook. Students have literally traveled all over Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia through this remarkable program.
The Sophie & Leonard Davis Scholarship Program is supported by a very generous endowment left to the school upon the passing of Sophie & Leonard Davis. The Sophie & Leonard Davis Scholarships support 10 students per year for the final two years at our program with $5000 per year and for the last two years of medical school with $10,000 per year.
The Office of Student Affairs also attempts to keep students informed about opportunities for scholarships and fellowships within the college, the university and beyond. We do not maintain a separate Financial Aid Office.
About 60% of Sophie Davis students choose to live near the campus or in the campus dormitory, The Towers. Years 3, 4 and 5 are particularly stressful and it is often beneficial for students to move near campus. The Office of Student Affairs helps students to locate affordable housing in the area, facilitates student sharing of apartments and offers tenancy information and advice. Students are well aware that this service is not a guarantee of housing, but merely an attempt to streamline the process for them. Attempts are also made to locate funds to help students defray the high cost of housing. Students living in The Towers make their housing arrangement through the appropriate offices within the college.
The Medical School Match
Students are matched to a cooperating medical school to complete the final two years of medical school. Currently the participating schools (subject to change) include: Albany Medical College, Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine, New York Medical College, New York University School of Medicine, and SUNY Downstate.
In the fourth year, a dossier documenting each student's record is prepared. The dossier contains an application form filled in by the student that documents their major activities, awards, employment etc. The dossier also contains an essay similar to an AMCAS essay used by medical schools in admissions decisions. Additionally, the dossier contains three letters of recommendation, a letter from the Department of Community Health and Social Medicine discussing the students' performance in the Health, Medicine & Society course sequence and a Dean's Letter that describes various attributes of the student and contains evaluations by a variety of professors that are quoted directly. Students are interviewed at least three of the participating schools. Each school prepares a rank ordering of the students. Just prior to the beginning of the fifth year, the students submit their own ranking of the medical schools where they interviewed and a match process with specific rules is conducted to determine which students will attend which schools for the final two years of medical school. The process appears to work well both from the medical school and the students' perspectives. Generally, 80% of students match to their first or second choice, which leads to a high degree of student satisfaction with the process.
Transfer to Cooperating Schools
Transfer to a cooperating school after being matched to that school requires successful completion of the Sophie Davis curriculum and a passing score on the USMLE Part 1 examination. The Office of Student Affairs coordinates registration for the licensing exam, serves as the office to communicate with the National Board of Medical Examiners, receives the students' scores and tabulates the results. The office also serves to communicate with each of the cooperating schools on transition issues and facilitating the transfer process.