Ernesto Acosta’s family is still rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Despite the destruction back at home in Puerto Rico, the medical student – who hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon – remains focused on his studies at Albany Medical College where he is the proud recipient of the John H. Carter scholarship, established in honor of the late Dr. John Carter, a founder of CDPHP.
As a high school senior living in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Ernesto was recruited for an engineering program at Carnegie Mellon University. He was in his first semester at the prestigious Pittsburgh school when he decided to switch majors and pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.
“My most memorable experience occurred when a Spanish-speaking patient needed interpreting in an emergency situation. It allowed me to understand the importance of building a relationship with patients and taught me how to handle a very delicate situation which involved not just the patient, but also their family and loved ones. In that moment I saw a very humanistic side of medicine rather than just procedures, treatment or physical exams,” said Ernesto, who is in his second full year at Albany Medical College.
Today, the average medical student graduates with $200,000 in loans. The John H. Carter scholarship helps to alleviate this financial burden and allows students to focus on their future.
“Founded and governed by doctors, CDPHP understands the importance of supporting tomorrow’s medical leaders,” said CDPHP President and CEO Dr. John Bennett. “Ernesto is a very bright individual who I am confident will give back tremendously to the medical community,” added Bennett.
“It’s nice to know someone besides my parents believes in me; someone is investing in me; and someone believes I will make a good physician. That’s a great feeling,” added Acosta.
Upon graduation, Ernesto plans to stay in the United States. When he is not studying, he enjoys cycling, and is particularly fond of downtown Troy, Thacher Park, and the Adirondacks.