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SUNY Brooklyn vs. Stony Brook

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by janesmith125, Dec 1, 2000.

  1. janesmith125

    janesmith125 New Member

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    Hi - can someone please tell me everything about Stony Brook and Brooklyn...I just got into both...I was set on Stony Brook (thinking it has a better reputation, much better facilities, is MUCH safer, etc), but after visiting Brooklyn I realized that I REALLY do not want to be in Long Island for 4 long years. I would be so much happier if I could go to Manhattan on friday and saturday nights for an escape...most of the students at Brooklyn said that Brooklyn was not their first choice, but now that they were there, they were very happy and are very glad they ended up there. I know the clinical opportunities at Kings County are amazing...I am just worried about living in the ghetto for 4 years, etc. Would I be crazy to choose Brooklyn over Stony Brook?
     
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  3. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    Being at Downstate means being really intimate with our incredibly underserved community, which you so kindly refer to as "the ghetto." [​IMG]

    In any event you should really decide first whether or not you can survive in the ghetto, and if you can't, you probably won't have a good time at Downstate and probably won't get much of an education at all.

    On the issue of Downstate vs. Stony Brook, it's a matter of what you're looking for in a medical school. Let's be honest -- Stony Brook's reputation isn't exactly all that much better compared to Downstate. I say this because not one person I've asked who's made this statement can give me a reason why Stony Brook is better than Downstate. [​IMG] They're not better in research and they've got crappy affiliates, but they are prettier and safer than our school.

    Our clinical affiliates rock compared to all the other SUNY medical schools. Stony Brook arguably has the worst affiliaties in the system. On another note, Stony Brook Hospital is in the red, as is SUNY Upstate's University Hospital. Downstate's University Hospital is the only one operating at a profit.

    Good luck with your decision. For what it's worth, I doubt anyone chooses one of the four SUNY campuses as his first choice medical school. Downstate wasn't my first choice, but it also wasn't my ONLY choice -- same goes for a lot of my classmates. I'm glad I came. This place has positives and negatives. It's ugly, to say the least, but hey, you're not hear to admire the architecture anyway. [​IMG]


    Tim of New York City (MS2 at SUNY-DMC)

    [This message has been edited by turtleboard (edited 12-02-2000).]
     
  4. numinous

    numinous Member

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    I am glad that you aked about the differences. There seems to be precious few resources which adequately compare schools...I too am looking at both of them, but leaning towards Downstate in order to be in the city. I would love to hear anyone else's input on the issue.
     
  5. janesmith125

    janesmith125 New Member

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    I have been asking some doctors I know about the difference in reputation between Stony Brook and Downstate...to my surprise they said the schools are very similar, just very different in the patient populations they serve. THere is not a huge advantage in going to stony brook over brooklyn. The major problem with brooklyn seems to be in the daily living environment, starting with housing. Some students live in the dorms, which are not that nice but obviously you can adapt to anything. The problem is, most of the rooms don't even have a stove or kitchen sink in them, so you are literally eating off hot plates and microwaves. Like a college dorm room w/o the dining hall. The cafeteria was bad, plus that would be a very expensive way to eat. The neighborhood is not that safe and there is nowhere (safely) to eat out, although that would also be expensive. The alternative to the dorms would be to live in Park slope - seems like a great solution until you talk to students (not tour guides) who will tell you that parking is DEFINATELY a problem. There is NO student parking lot, only for faculty and staff. You simply have street parking, and students said cars do get broken into pretty frequently. If you have to park several blocks away from school, you are going to need an escort to your car if you are studying until 2 in the morning and then have to drive home. If you take the subway instead, that doesn't solve the problem, because it was made very clear to me that you should not ride the subway alone after 7-8 p.m., although a group is fine. So if you live in the dorms, you are basically trapped there once it gets dark. As far as academics, I like Downstate's curriculum better than Stony Brook's. Downstate seems to be overcrowded though. 1st year students said that there are 4 people to a cadaver, and they only dissect every OTHER day...on your "off" day, 4 other students come in and continue the dissection. This is because they don't have enough anatomy labs to accomodate all 180 students at once. This makes it hard to learn anatomy since every day you are faced with a cadaver that has been dissected, but you didn't see or do a lot of the dissection. They might change this next year because it's not working out so well. At Stony Brook, the labs are state of the art and 3 students per cadaver, etc. Downstate's clinical opportunities are amazing...I wonder though, do they really teach you to respect your patients and treat them like human beings, or is this underserved population just a great thing to "learn" from? All of the students I met talked about how "cool" it was to see all these gunshot wounds in the ER. Yes it's true that you get to do all this stuff as a 3rd and 4th year...mostly beccause like many med schools, an extremely poor neighborhood is used to "practice" on. Only extremely poor people with no health insurance and basically no options would go to a place where 3rd year medical students were allowed to provide so much of their care... Stony Brook definately has the philosophy for treating the "whole person." they seem to have a lot more money than downstate, which is really run down. On the other hand, it is way out on long island... there is more to life than med school and people do seem happy at Downstate despite its obvious drawbacks.

    [This message has been edited by janesmith125 (edited 12-20-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by janesmith125 (edited 12-20-2000).]
     
  6. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    Even though I have a paper due in the morning, I'll clarify some points janesmith125 made in her post about Downstate.

    Jane's point #1: Some students live in the dorms, which are not that nice but obviously you can adapt to anything. The problem is, most of the rooms don't even have a stove or kitchen sink in them, so you are literally eating off hot plates and microwaves.

    There are two residence halls on campus, both of which are 11-stories high. The types of accomodations available are one-bedroom apartments, studios, and dorm rooms. Only the dorm rooms (located on floors 2 and 3 of each building) don't have a kitchen.

    Jane's point #2: The alternative to the dorms would be to live in Park slope - seems like a great solution until you talk to students (not tour guides) who will tell you that parking is DEFINATELY a problem. There is NO student parking lot.

    Parking in Park Slope is difficult if not impossible. Parking on campus, however, is not. There are several parking facilities on campus. The garage is only for faculty, staff, and MS3s and MS4s who are rotating at University Hospital or Kings County. There is also the "Beneficial" parking lot that's no more than two blocks from campus that's open to students for transient parking, and there have really been no complaints from students about parking.

    Jane's point #3: If you have to park several blocks away from school, you are going to need an escort to your car if you are studying until 2 in the morning and then have to drive home.

    Considering that there are parking facilities on campus, I don't see why you would ever need to park several blocks from school. But if you have an acute need to park far away, you should probably move your car to the garage and pay about $0.50 for 9 hours of parking.

    Jane's point #4: Downstate seems to be overcrowded though. 1st year students said that there are 4 people to a cadaver, and they only dissect every OTHER day...on your "off" day, 4 other students come in and continue the dissection. This is because they don't have enough anatomy labs to accomodate all 180 students at once.

    My MS2 class is about 180, and we had four students per cadaver and we dissected every day there was a scheduled lab. So unless some of the labs mysteriously disappeared, we can still accomodate more than 180 students in the Gross labs. It was my class that complained about the time spent in the lab, and so the faculty changed the Gross Anatomy curriculum to the one you describe. It's not an issue of space -- it's an issue of time.

    Jane's point #5: Downstate's clinical opportunities are amazing...I wonder though, do they really teach you to respect your patients and treat them like human beings, or is this underserved population just a great thing to "learn" from? All of the students I met talked about how "cool" it was to see all these gunshot wounds in the ER.

    Give me a break. Are you implying that there's a medical school out there whose medical students don't treat patients with respect? You should probably know, considering you appear to be so well-informed about Downstate, that the services the medical school provides at Kings County are valued by the community. Without Downstate in this area, most of the people of this underserved community would go without healthcare.

    Jane's point #6: Stony Brook definately has the philosophy for treating the "whole person."

    And that's why about 80% of their class goes into primary care.

    Jane's point #7: [Stony Brook] seem to have a lot more money than downstate.

    According to SUNY, the University Hospitals at Stony Brook and Syracuse are operating in the red, but the University Hospital of Brooklyn (Downstate) is the only one operating in the black. I must agree that the medical center is pretty ugly, however.

    Good luck.

    Tim W. of N.Y.C.
     

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