Congratulations! You briefly mentioned the cost of living, but you didn't mention tuition. Are you paying for your own tuition?
Something you didn't mention is that Stony Brook is ranked 58 on US World News (Research), whereas SUNY Downstate is unranked. However, the rankings aren't everything, and you have to consider things like fit, location, cost, opportunities for your specialty(ies) of interest, etc. Rank certainly shouldn't dictate your decision, but this is just one of many factors to think about!
With regards to your interest in derm, I actually do know a few residents and attendings who went to both Stony Brook and SUNY Downstate. None of them had any issues. Both are well-respected, accredited MD programs that have more than enough opportunities you'll need to get into any specialty. At the end of the day, it does come down to your work ethic!
Ultimately, I personally would highly recommend following the money if there's a huge difference.
Both are great MD programs. Based on the information I have so far, you really can't go wrong. If you provide more information like the cost differential, where you grew up and where you'd like to practice, what you want out of a curriculum (like a research block, which maybe only one school will have), etc.. then it would be much easier to advise you haha. I'll check back here if you do provide more info
I know this is a lot, but congratulations. You can't go wrong! Best of luck!
I think the diversity of patient population and variety of cases would be greater at Downstate if that makes a difference to you. I would expect Stony to be more homogenous in that sense. Personally, for me being in the city would be chill but everybody has their preferences. You might set up a poll and get some voting.
My friend goes to downstate and absolutely hates it - their preclinical curriculum is very weird and makes little sense. The stories I hear are ridiculous. Please consider NOT going there . This is all I will say on the matter . But please look into the curriculum , and you’ll see what I mean .
To give another perspective on the cirriculum, I actually loved it. Downstate has a shorter preclinical (1.5 years) so more time for electives, research etc. It also has a SYSTEMS based curriculum, which in my opinion is better than a traditional cirriculum. With a systems based cirricullum, You learn thow the system should normally function, as well as what can go wrong with the system TOGETHER instead of separately.
Also for the 1.5 year cirriculum, you have a week of exams every 2-3 months. This has two advantages. It trains you to memorize large amounts of information, which will help you for step 1/2/3. It also gives you A LOT of free time because you don’t have to worry about exams for the first half of the block. This, however, is NOT a great curriculum if you procrastinate.
Additionally, Downstate uses NBME exams, which helps prepare you for the questions you will see on the Step exams. Also, pre-clinical is P/F which creates a non-competitive atmosphere.
Most of my classmates and I enjoyed the curriculum at Downstate, but not everyone is the same.
Regardless of Downstate vs SB, the things you should look for in a curriculum:
1. P/F preclinical
2. Short preclinical (1.5 yrs > 2yrs)
3. NBME exams
4. Systems based curriculum
Also it looks like SB had 0 Derm matches in 2020 and Downstate has 4. Downstate accepts 2 med students every year to the Derm residency, and I think last time I heard they are increasing it to 3 this year (I would double check this on March 19th after match day lol)