according to the numbers, it looks like it's stony brook, buffalo, upstate, downstate but they're subjective. the best thing to do is to go see what it's like when you interview at them and see which one you fit best at. upstate has had some accreditation problems recently and downstate is apparently messing around with its curriculum but it's something you should determine for yourself. if you have the opportunity to choose between acceptances, i would try to talk to current medical students, not premeds.
Upstate is low ranked, Downstate is unranked, Buffalo is ranked near Stony Brook. This is all US News so basically research $$. Clinicals might be a different story. Buffalo has 7 (or 8) hospitals to rotate at but no university hospital. Downstate has UHB as well as Kings County (but our preclinicals are terrible, and getting worse). Stony Brook has a university hospital that's a level one trauma center, but they don't see much action over there. Upstate has about the same problem but there is a degree of impoverished people so you'll probably see more than at Stony Brook.
Downstate and Stony are top 2, followed by Buffalo , and Upstate. (Buffalo seems to be improving under its new dean... while upstate is under probation lol..)
Downstate research is ranked #2 this year out of the 4 behind Stony, but if you look at it, Stony is a much bigger university than Downstate so it makes sense. Downstate does extremely well for its size. Downstate's average GPA and MCAT was same as Stony's I believe... 32, 3.7... Downstate is known for better clinical experience.
Lot of people choose Stonybrook over Downstate and vice versa. Most choose these 2 over other 2.
Is the scholarship guaranteed for 4 yrs? If not, go to downstate, the instate tuition is not going to suddenly jump up 20k. Even if it is, downstate is a better school in my opinion
Stony Brook has a university hospital that's a level one trauma center, but they don't see much action over there.
Downstate's average GPA and MCAT was same as Stony's I believe... 32, 3.7
regarding the stony brook vs downstate debate, one thing to consider is the grading system in the pre clinical years. As far as I know (please correct me if I'm wrong) they both use a pass, high pass, honors grading system, the difference being stony brook grades on a curve whereas downstate doesn't. as a result I've heard that it fosters a bit more of a competitive environment as stony brook. can any current students comment?
You really have no way of evaluating the clinicals at this point (though people tend to say downstate is the best). I had the choice of the 3 SUNYs other than Stony and picked Downstate because of its location in NYC and proximity to home. If you're from a big city then the choice should be clear (there's not much to do in Buffalo, Syracuse or Stony Brook). Downstate might not be in the most bustling part of NYC but it's within 30 minutes of most of the exciting parts of the city.
In regard to the clinical experience at stony brook vs downstate... it seems like the consensus on downstate is that it's superior due multiple reasons: patient population is generally lower in the socioeconomic scale and as such are more receptive to having students work on them, there are just too many patients relative to staff and as such the medical students will have more procedural opportunities than at a less busy clinical setting where the hospital staff will have more time per patient and often have done the procedure before the med student has the opportunity to do it. a current downstate student compared kings county hospital to a clinical experience in a third world country where the staff are just happy to have the help and let the med students have a lot of freedom with the patients. just looking at the #'s, KCH has about 145,000 ED visits annually with an additional 60,000 at downstate whereas Stony Brook ED sees about 60,000 and if you include the other clinical site, peconic bay ED sees an additional 30,000.
I did most of my hospital based rotations in paramedic school at Stony Brook and overall I'd have to agree with skinMD in that it's definitely the premier center in Suffolk and most services are usually pretty busy. My rotation through OB/GYN was a little slow, but that could have been an anomaly.
I wish there was some way to objectively compare clinical experience. The argument in favor of downstate as far as clinical experience goes seems to makes sense but does more patients necessarily mean more/better experience?
I'm currently a 3rd year at stony brook. when applying i interviewed at all 4 sunys and chose stony brook over the other 3 (accepted at upstate and withdrew from waitlist at the other two). Here is a thread with my impression of all four schools when I interviewed: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=7636494#post7636494.
However as you all know upstate was recently put on probation so i just want to say that i would not recommend going to a school that is having accreditation problems. med school is a very expensive investment and you shouldn't take even the smallest risk. That said stony brook had a LCME visit this year and passed with flying colors.
this was a misconception that i had as well before coming here. stony brook is the biggest and most respected hospital in suffolk county (population 1.5 million) ...there are all kinds of people and all kinds of cases ...every service is always busy and there are plenty of rare interesting cases
if i'm not mistaken in the last MSAR stony brook's median MCAT of 33 was higher than all other SUNYs
stony brook uses a F/LP/P/HP/H system but only reports F/P/H on your transcript for the first two years, LP and HP are only used internally. in the clinical years grades are reported F/LP/P/HP/H. only second year is graded on a curve however almost all systems now use shelf exams for the final which is an excellent preparation for the boards. Remember though that pre-clinical grades don't matter...what does matter is step 1 and stony brook prepares you really well! (see below)
before i get into more specifics about stony brook (specifically why it's a great choice) i will start with a general comment. your choice of SUNY should take into account regional bias. If you want to do residency in upstate NY go to buffalo or upstate. if you want to do residency in NYC and the surrounding regions go to stony brook or downstate. if you want to do residency outside of NY then stony brook is probably your best bet as it is (from what i've seen) the most highly regarded SUNY outside of NY.
on to stony brook...
Pros (in no particular order):
1. Value - I think stony brook is the best value out of all the SUNYs. though all 4 schools charge the exact same tuition you get private school quality. in anatomy lab you have 4 per cadaver as opposed to 6-8 at the other schools. classrooms and lecture halls are decked out with modern equipment.
2. Administration - extremely responsive to student feedback. they have made very significant changes in the last few years that have greatly benefited students
3. Curriculum - a hybrid with traditional curriculum first year and systems based curriculum second year which i thought was excellent because it really reinforces the material. final exams for systems have almost all been converted to shelf exams so you don't have to waste time memorizing silly minutiae off of powerpoint slides and try to decipher poorly written questions.
4. Pre-clinical professors - almost all are excellent and really care about the students
5. Step 1 - as of last year (class of 2013) shelf exams throughout most of second year (i keep repeating this because it's so crucial) and 6 weeks to study (up from 4). In addition there are several opportunities to get tutoring from upperclassmen. The results have been fantastic: stony's average this year was 8 points above the national average and an 11 point improvement over the previous year. I would bet that the step 1 average is easily the highest among the SUNYs.
6. Clinical education - i've really enjoyed clinicals so far ....residents and attendings are motivated to teach and scut work has been minimal. stony has 2 clinical campuses and a bunch of clinical sites scattered throughout long island and one in queens.
1. Location - its pretty boring out here but its not prohibitively far from NYC. unlike downstate though the neighborhood is safe and you can live close to school without fearing for your life/property (a bit hyperbolic i know but you know what i mean). Cost of living is also surprisingly high given the location.
2. Parking - there is a huge problem with rationing of parking passes this year that has not been addressed very well yet
....i'm going to stop there for now. feel free to ask questions. i'm sure there are plenty of things i missed.
I was surprised at how many people I have talked to that wish they had instead gone to another school because they don't like the one they're at.
I've been accepted to all the SUNYs and I'm currently in the process of deciding between them. Downstate is the closest - within 20 minutes by car, 30 minutes by subway/bike - so that I can live from home and save about $10K/year. But I wonder if that is recommended. What's the parking situation for MS1's at Downstate? Is there a safe, private, indoor parking lot at Downstate (and if so, how much does it cost)? During my interview at Downstate, I walked down a street with shattered glass lining the entire length of the block, so I probably wouldn't park outdoors.
As for Stony Brook, the parking situation seems problematic. I heard most people live off-campus and I imagine many of them drive in. Can anyone elaborate on the parking pass rationing problem?
That information is hard to come by and pretty much irrelevant.Thanks for the feedback. Anyone know the various step 1 scores for the SUNY's? skinMD mentioned 8 points above the national average. Is the national average 221? The only other info I could find was in the Step 1 score compilation thread that said Upstate had 222 in 2008.
Thanks for the feedback. Anyone know the various step 1 scores for the SUNY's? skinMD mentioned 8 points above the national average. Is the national average 221? The only other info I could find was in the Step 1 score compilation thread that said Upstate had 222 in 2008.
when i was applying last year, i was also trying to figure out stony or downstate if accepted. Then a residency director told me that of the applicants that she interviews everywhere, downstate students on average definitely seemed clincally more experienced than stonybrook students. and that put downstate over stony for me.