SUNY Downstate vs. SUNY Upstate vs SLUMD

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New Member
May 9, 2020
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Hi, lucky enough to be admitted to three programs. Need to make a decision in a few days, super torn as to what to do.

Background: NYS Resident, living in Queens. Aiming for ophthalmology residency so research is extremely important for me. I would appreciate any help, advice or thoughts.

SUNY Downstate:


  • Close to home, family and friends.
  • NYC, can't beat living here in your mid-twenties
  • Excellent clinical experiences and training
  • Decently strong match
  • New sim center?? (idk if MS1s will be using this)
  • I've heard that MS3 is brutal. Residents are overworked, often times they're IMGs and don't mentor well
  • Haven't heard much about them flexing their research capabilities
  • Facilities overall seem a little bit shabby
  • High COL
  • Mediocre match outside of NYS
SUNY Upstate:


  • Spacious and pretty campus
  • Overall people seemed a little bit friendlier and lax, more Type B than Downstate
  • Seemed like more students were involved in research
  • Seems like the school matches students all over the country, moreso than Downstate
  • Syracuse is kinda far and not a great city in my opinion
  • Patient population doesn't really seem diverse
  • Overall I don't feel like I'd have access to as many opportunities when compared to Downstate
St. Louis University SOM


  • School is really, really pretty and has great amenities
  • Students seems down to earth and easy to talk to
  • Brand new hospital affiliated with the school opening up in September
  • Going to be about 50k more expensive over the course of 4 years than either SUNY
  • Their research capabilities are severely eclipsed in the face of WashU
  • Match is all over the place, didn't really get a fair idea if SLU would open any doors for me
  • Far. Super duper far from home, fam and friends.
  • St. Louis as a city isn't the safest place to be.

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Just to touch on some of your pros/cons:
- SIM center is up and running, MS1s-MS4s are all using it already. We used to have to commute to the Bronx for this but now we never have to do that again.
- Plenty of research opportunities. We matched 5 Ophtho this year, none went unmatched that applied Ophtho from what I know.
- Obviously it's not as pretty and glamorous as your Manhattan hospitals, but it's one that operates efficiently and depends on all their healthcare workers (especially medical students) to function smoothly.
Agreed with others. Downstate is near and honestly think it's the best school on your list. Easy decision imo. Congrats on some awesome choices.