SUNY's - Downstate vs. Stony

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Doodman, Nov 27, 2002.

  1. Doodman

    Doodman New Member

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    Ok, so I got into a couple schools, and I want to know which school of SUNY Downstate or SUNY Stony Brook has better looking guys.:love:
     
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  3. bridgie

    bridgie Senior Member

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    Stony brook would be better for research, Downstate for clinical IMHO. I grew up near Stony and would hate to go back, I am hoping to hear back from Downstate soon. I would lov eto go there. I want to live closer to NYC and Stony is in the boonies. Too far from the beach, way too far from the city.
     
  4. holler79

    holler79 Senior Member

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    I Don't know about the guys but Stony Brook definitely is a better school. Its also not far from either the beach or the city. It is only like 5 minutes from the North Shore beaches and 20 min from the South shore ocean beaches. I agree that the train ride from stony to NYC can be long but driving is only a little over an hour over the 59th ST bridge into manhattan.

    Either way I think they are both great schools and I would Love to go to either one!!! Good luck and Congrats!
     
  5. JJNY

    JJNY 0-MD in 4.0yrs Buckle up!

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    I'm also curious about this choice, since I have interviews at both those places.

    Which one do you think would be a better choice if you had an early interest in surgery?

    Personally, I'm leaning toward Stony Brook, since it's got nicer facilities than Downstate. Plus, that area of Brooklyn is just plain scary!

    And we can't forget that the Stony Brook undergradute campus is very close by.... which provides thousands of young coeds to hit on during those boring med school nights... :p
     
  6. bridgie

    bridgie Senior Member

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    Obviously a difference of personal opinion. :)

    But I think I take LI traffic into consideration a little more. I don't consider the North shore for beaches since I am from Islip ;) but o a summer day with the bridge traffic on Robert Moses you would be lucky to get to the beach in 45 from SB and perhaps you would make it in to midtown in 1 hour under the cover of darkenss at 3 am. :) Port Jeff is the closest bar scene to SB and it is a cute town but very strong island. Seriously SB is obviously a fantastic school where I did research in HS but if you are looking for clinical exposure you cant do much better than King county imo.
     
  7. TeinVI

    TeinVI Banned
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    thte mount of clinical exposure that u will get at downstate is very good to say the least. obviously, the school is located in brooklyn, and not the safest part of brooklyn at that, which means a lot of trauma victims, etc. from what i was told by a doctor there, you're pretty much thrown into the fire, and the patients really could care less about whether or not you're being seen by a medical student or an intern or a resident, they just want to be seen and be taken care of. if you graduate from downstate and manage to stay alive with all ur limbs attached, you should have had a pretty fine clinical education.
     
  8. holler79

    holler79 Senior Member

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    Bridgie, you make a lot of good points that I do agree with.

    Both schools are level 1 trauma centers but at SB you'll see many car accidents while at Downstate you'll see more gunshots, etc. and you will have the opportunity to work with a very diverse pt population. If you're interested in that, than go to Bklyn, if you are into research, go to SB.

    Obviously, its not that easy but I hope it helps!!:)

    I would :love: to go to either.
     
  9. Castro Viejo

    Castro Viejo Papa Clot Buster

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    Unless you're going into an MD/PhD program, no medical school will prepare you for a career in research. Further, no medical school will slingshot you into a graduate school from which you would get a PhD to do research.

    Clinicians and other physicians who do "research" usually pick it up during residency, where many, many programs these days require residents to produce at least one paper. Some programs will even offer residents the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree while in training. Countless is the number of stories I've heard of surgical residents taking up to three years off from training to pursue a PhD in some area (molecular biology, pharmacology, physiology, etc.).

    That being said, you should really choose a medical school based on your career goals (primary care vs. "specialty"), where you eventually want to practice, how happy you think you'd be there, and the all-elusive "wow factor." Whether you're Downstate or Stony Brook, your training will be basically the same. There's no value in choosing an institution like Downstate because "it's got more penetrating trauma so I'll be better trained," or Stony Brook because they've got a helicopter and they'll get more complicated cases.

    Primary Care vs. "Specialty"

    The last time I checked on each school's match list was in 2000. If trends held up from then, I can confidently say that more Downstate fourth-years decide to go for non-primary care fields. Primary care is defined as Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Practice, Psychiatry, and sometimes, OB/GYN. Not counting OB, Downstate sends about 45% of its fourth-years into primary care residencies. When I compared the two schools, Stony Brook sent way more than 60% into primary care. This doesn't mean, of course, that by going to Stony Brook you're locking yourself into a primary care residency. But this may mean that there's something in the Stony Brook curriculum that cultivates that kind of thinking and approach.

    Practice Opportunities

    Both schools are SUNYs and both schools send a significant proportion of its senior classes to New York and the metropolitan area for residency. There's really no difference here.

    Happiness

    This all depends on you. Some thrive on the suburban/rural feel of the Stony Brook area and the campus. Others seek concrete, grime, and life in the inner-city. Visit the two campuses when you interview. Get a feel for how happy current students are. DO NOT HESITATE to ask a med student how happy he is. Stop someone in the hallway and ask him. DON'T rely on just your tour guides -- they're often cheerleaders.

    In fact, I'll offer this piece of advice. Ask a second or third-year med student. First-years are usually way too giddy about being in med school to give you an accurate idea of how much they like the school. They'll come across like Lambchop the puppet on speed. Fourth-years are equally giddy because they're usually only several months from graduation. Second and third-years represent the hell of med school. Second-years are so sick of med school that many of them would love to tell you they hate it, but if they really love the school, they'll let you know as well despite their ill-tempered feelings. Third-years are coming out of the Step 1 haze and can be quite bitter, but like second-years, if they love the school they'll smile through it all.

    By NOT asking a med student about his school and how happy he is, you may be setting yourself up for four years of pain. Trust me. :)

    "WOW" Factor

    Some schools' names have a certain ring that will make even the most seasoned attending shudder in his clogs. Downstate? Stony Brook? I dunno. I think both have a reputation more regionally than nationally, and I don't know if either would really spook the crap out of anyone. But ask a few attendings -- faculty people at institutions other than Downstate or Stony Brook, NOT your local MD -- and get a feel for which school has a bigger "wow." You may discover that one of them doesn't have much "wow" but would make an attending shudder in his clogs nonetheless. :)

    "Wow" is important because it gives you an idea of how much love you'll get in the real medical world. Whether you're applying for residency, fellowship, or your first job, your med school and its reputation will play an important role. It may mean the difference between getting the position and not.

    Then, of course, there's what I call the "Lay 'WOW' factor." "Lay wow" is the love you'll get from the common man on the street when you tell him "I attend med school here." This is probably the silliest reason for choosing one school over another, but hey, it happens and there are med students who are that vain. "Lay wow" won't get you in with the ladies, but will get you mucho respect from your friend who pumps gas and from the juniors who are applying to med school next year. "Lay wow," however, is a poor indicator of how good a school really is because it's based on the public's perception of the institution and that can be easily manipulated through careful marketing campaigns. About the only thing "lay wow" really measures is how well the name pervades the public, whether or not it's in the intended, proper form.

    In Downstate vs. Stony Brook, when it comes to "lay wow" at least, there's no competition. Stony Brook med is attached to a huge university complex, and Downstate is a stand-alone med school in the middle of Brooklyn. Stony Brook has Division I sports and we've got intramural basketball. Stony Brook has a large undergradaute and graduate population, we don't. Stony Brook University, not necessarily its med school, is really well-known. Nevermind that the undergradaute and graduate programs at Stony Brook are relatively weak when compared to other institutions of its size.

    According to "lay wow" Fordham University Medical School (disbanded in the 1920s), Princeton University School of Medicine (never founded), Rutgers Medical College (now known widely and officially as UMDNJ), and Syracuse University School of Medicine (disbanded in the 1930s, I believe) are all better than the Downstate College of Medicine.

    Anyways, being a fourth-year, I probably wouldn't be very qualified to tell you how happy I am at Downstate, but I'm open to any and all questions. I've got extensive admissions experience (from the other side of the table), so if you've got a question, I'll do my best to answer. Drop me a line by email at [email protected]!

    Good luck.
     
  10. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member

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    Tim Wu, that was a terrific post! Those are some of the truest words I've ever read! Especially the advice about asking 2nd and 3rd years how they like their school. I'm a 2nd yr, in the midst of the hell so I know exactly what you're talking about.
     
  11. JJNY

    JJNY 0-MD in 4.0yrs Buckle up!

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    Tim,

    Regarding the "wow factor," how much of an issue is that when choosing a competitive specialty... assuming high board scores?
     
  12. Castro Viejo

    Castro Viejo Papa Clot Buster

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    The "wow" factor, not the "lay wow," is actually pretty important when you're going for a competitive specialty.

    Here's the bottomline, if two students with identical, competitive board scores apply to Urology (ultra-competitive), the kid from the school with more "wow" in the bank will ultimately enjoy courtship with the upper-tier programs. The kid from the school with less "wow" will have to rely on a bunch of other factors to be courted. They'll both probably get in, assuming high board scores, being in a US MD medical school, and having the "right" letters.

    Sometimes an institution that overall has little "wow" may have an particularly outstanding department in something with well-known attendings. That can compensate for the little "wow" and give an applicant to that particular specialty an equal shot as the guy from the big "wow" school.

    I wouldn't advise going to a school with little "wow" just because they've got a good department and you happen to be a college senior who's interested in that particular field. Things change as well as people. Chances are that by the time you reach the fourth-year you won't be doing the same thing you entered med school wanting to do. Hell, I wanted to do Orthopedics but found it so incredibly boring.

    But I should reiterate that you should not choose a school because of the "wow" factor. It's just not worth it to spend four years in a place because of its perceived reputation when you may be miserable. You'll regret it. Trust me. :) Instead choose the school at which you believe you'll be most happy after you interrogate the students there. Once you've decided on that place, even if you want to do something competitive, all you have to do is work your butt off and you'll get it. This is the same advice I would offer to someone headed to Ross University or Harvard Medical School.
     
  13. skijag3

    skijag3 Member

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    Has anyone received a post-interview decision from Stony Brook?Thanks so much!
     
  14. BobbyDylanFan

    BobbyDylanFan Senior Member

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    Tim,

    What type of interrogation questions should we ask?
     

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