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UCF vs. SUNY Downstate

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jkperson

New Member
May 15, 2020
10
2
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  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
Downstate is closer to home for me, but UCF has newer facilities, a more innovative curriculum and seems more supportive. You can’t beat NYC hospitals though. Any and all insights would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 
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jkperson

New Member
May 15, 2020
10
2
1
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
I made a more fleshed-out pro/con list. For context, I am from the NYC area. I have extensive experience in derm and love it, and will likely pursue it as a specialty. I have worked with derms in NYC and Boston.

Downstate
Pros
  • Closer to home, family + friends close (i.e. support network close), only 20 miles away
  • Well-established
  • More people match into derm than UCF (31 vs 21, = total # of people who matched from 2014-2020)
  • NYC--very diverse patient base, many great hospitals close by, lots of hands on experience in clinical years
  • Access to residency programs in NYC likely higher
  • In-state tuition (may balance out w/ UCF because of high cost of living)

Cons
  • Old facilities

  • High rent
  • Cold winters

  • Had a bad taste in my mouth after the interview, and oftentimes who interviews you is +/- a decent reflection of who will be teaching you, but it may have been a fluke
  • May be more tempted to go home often, esp. during stressful times, which may not necessarily be beneficial.


UCF
Pros

  • New facilities
  • Cheaper cost of living
  • Much more innovation--anatomage tables, full-body CT of cadavers→ new tech might make me more marketable?
  • Warm year-round
  • Diverse patient base
  • Higher % of dermatology matches matched into a top 20 program (based on 2014 rankings, which are the most recent I could get)--23.8% vs. 22.6% for Downstate: not too terribly high of a difference, however
  • I had a better feeling coming out of interview day here than at Downstate, and the community seemed more supportive, positive, and had an overall better energy
  • Nicer faculty (can be a bias based on who I met)
  • Smaller class size (120 cf. ~200 avg for Downstate)
  • Commitment to student well- being had more of an impression on me than at Downstate
  • New environment that I can explore, might help me learn more about myself
  • Gives me a bubble to be a student without easy access to home, which may help academically, socially (???)

Cons
  • Not a lot of docs know about it, so that may indicate that it doesn’t yet have a deeply established reputation in the residency director sphere
  • Have to buy airline tickets to fly home, far (1200 mi.)
  • Don’t know anybody there
  • University’s teaching hospital only opening this year, whereas at Downstate there is one already that is established
  • Concentration of hospitals not like NYC, and they're smaller; less likely to see highly unusual cases
  • Spring and summer might also be unbearably hot
  • Doesn’t have an established home derm dept like downstate has
 

PugsAndHugs

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5+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2014
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  1. Resident [Any Field]
Doesn’t have an established home derm dept like downstate has
If you are 100% set on Derm, having that home program helps immensely with connections, applications and research. Plus I believe Downstate will start accepting 3-4 of it’s own students per year instead of only 2 which could be helpful.
 
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Davidfromcali

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Sep 16, 2014
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I hear downstate provides a very hands on clinical education to its students. The clinical education at UCF seems disorganized but once you get in on a rotation the clinical experience still may be very good. Can’t say since I haven’t experienced it.

It’s seems like Down State has proven track record and a established reputation. For Derm, this is pretty important since connections and networking is King. Still, you could do well at UCF and from your Pro/Cons, I get the vibe you prefer UCF.

Downstate keeps you close to home and this may prove to more important than you currently think since med school is a roller coaster.

From that standpoint, I’d pick Down State because of your proximity to home
 
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Musty Goose

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Oct 9, 2012
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I'm not sure about UCF but our curriculum is pretty solid. 1.5 yr of preclinical (-> more clinical experience -> better prep for step 2), NBME tests, and exams only at the end of block (every 8-10 weeks). This leads to a pretty well-balanced lifestyle and more time to pursue research if you're gunning for derm. Also Step1 will be p/f by the time you take it so school reputation and step 2 will become more important for residency.
 
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PugsAndHugs

Full Member
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Oct 7, 2014
504
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solid. 1.5 yr of preclinical (-> more clinical experience -> better prep for step 2), NBME tests, and exams only at the end of block (every 8-10 weeks). This leads to a pretty well-balanced lifestyle and more time to pursue research if you're gunning for derm.
Downstate has the same exact layout and it is AMAZING. I wish more schools had it like this.
 
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