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Which SUNY would you pick??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by skinMD, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado On Sabbatical
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    Merry Christmas everyone!

    So, I've been invited to interview at all four SUNY schools, have interviewed at three so far. I was wondering which one you would pick if you had the chance to go to any of the four: Upstate, Downstate, Buffalo, Stony Brook.

    Just an FYI because I saw a misrepresentation in a similar thread - in terms of cost of living from most to least expensive it's:

    Downstate > Stony Brook > Upstate ~ Buffalo

    Feel free to use any criteria you think is most important.

    So....which one would you go to??
     
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  2. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    downstate! because you would get such awesome experience.. you see the craziest things there are kings county hospital! like the cabbie who was shot in the eye was brought there
     
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  3. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering
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    Stony Brook or Downstate, I really liked Stony Brook on my interview day, and I shadowed a resident at Downstate and it seemed like a good place to be as well. Also, I have friends/family in NYC/LI plus both are excellent schools. I would go to any given the opportunity, but Upstate and Buffalo fairly isolated so yea.
     
  4. Boop1

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    Well, I also interviewed at the 4 SUNYs. I liked Upstate more than Buffalo. I think location really matters when you are looking at downstate and stony. Downstate is in the city and stony is in the suburbs. I really can't decide which of those two I would prefer if I had the choice.
     
  5. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    btw.. if you are a city person at all, then downstate definitely
     
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  6. StPlayrXtreme

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    I'm in at Buffalo, Upstate, and Downstate.

    But I'm having trouble deciding if I'm going to submit a deposit for downstate.

    When I visited, the area seemed like it wasn't so nice and dorms seemed run down. My interviewer was also really cranky, and kept watching the clock. The facilities looked like they could really use some work, and the whole experience just didn't work out too well.

    While I think I'd get great clinical experience there, it also seemed like the quality of life isn't very good. Am I being overly critical? Downstate is the only school I've visited so far that I went away disappointed...do you think I just hit things on an off day?

    I actually liked Buffalo the best of all the SUNYs, but haven't gone to Stony Brook yet (interview in late January). Buffalo seemed like the preclinical was really good, as Buffalo is the second biggest city in NY, I'm sure you'd see a lot there as well.
     
  7. fastnfurious

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    A family member of mine went to downstate for med school and I went with him to see the campus. It's not that glamorous and is in a pretty rough looking area. Although, I've heard the people there are pretty nice and easy to get along with, I'd say only go there if you enjoy being in the city and love a hectic life style. Does anybody know what Stony brook is like?
     
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  8. Boop1

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    Well the thing I like about stony is that you do have access to the city. Its in the suburbs but about an hour and a half from the city. I really liked the school when I visited. I also really like downstate because it is in the city and hectic and all that stuff. Also, the students seemed really chill and not scary uptight. They have this shadowing thing where u can go shadow a student, maybe you should check it out. :D
     
  9. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    i think you just had a bad interview day playrextreme... the neighborhood isnt outstanding but one of my student guides was even ok going into the anatomy labs at night.. also have you seen the new anatomy labs?! they are so cool.

    the impression i got was the students are really happy at downstate, and most, esp after the first yr, get apartments in nicer areas like park slope.
     
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  10. MarylandDude

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    I have interviewed at Upstate, Georgetown, OSU and UCONN and had two at Wake and Maryland coming up. Out of all the schools at which I have interviewed so far, Upstate really grabbed me. I was amazed by the school, the city of Syracuse, the faculty and the layed back atmosphere, I can't explain it but I simply felt right at home when I visited. I was lucky enough to get accepted at Upstate this week. So I have declined my Wake Forest interview and I withdrew from UCONN and OSU. I love Upstate and can really see myself spending the next four years there.
     
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  11. Soggun

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    agreed - my class (current 2nd years at DS) all get along really well with each other and both the class above and below us. Please are definitely laid back and very easy to get along with. The facilities might not be lavish (though, as ar2388 mentioned, the gross labs are brand new and very impressive), but ultimately you go to med school for the education and where you will be in 4 years and i think DS is pretty hard to beat for that...

    if any of you get in and had a bad interview day (or had a good one and just want a second look) i'd like to encourage you to come shadow a student. that'll be starting up in jan and is a great way to get your own impression of how the people here are (which I really think is a strength). if anyone wants, ill even give you my name as I'm one of the students participating.

    Long story short, for whatever it's worth, I couldn't be happier with my decision to go to DS.
     
  12. dynezxice

    dynezxice Senior Member
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    Between those three, it's a no-brainer for me. Since I like the city lifestyle, I couldn't picture myself in a suburban area far away from NYC, so I would choose Downstate in a heartbeat.

    But if it were betw Downstate and Stony, I would have to consider other factors since both schools are close to the city - factors include financial aid package, curriculum, safety of neighborhood, to name a few.
     
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  13. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    to be fair... stony is a bit in the middle of nowhere..
     
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  14. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    Easy...downstate! Why? Cause it's in Brooklyn...and I'm Puerto Rican so A) work more within a community I want to help in the future... B) Where would I find Puerto Rican food at those other schools? lol

    For real though...I prefer the city culture and excitement....but the financial aid package would probably be the key between Stony Brook and Downstate for me. The other two are way too far away.
     
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  15. dynezxice

    dynezxice Senior Member
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    true, but I don't know. when I went there, it felt like a good secluded place to be near the city and it's only about an hour train ride back to city, whereas upstate and buffalo are like 6+ hours.
     
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  16. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    its not really an hour.. lol they just say that. my friend who goes to school with me interviewed there and pointed out that its a lot closer to 2 hrs if not more.
     
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  17. GonnaBeADoc2222

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    it's about an hour and ten minutes
     
  18. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    train or car? cause that would be with 0 traffic (which doesn't happen in NY)
     
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  19. dynezxice

    dynezxice Senior Member
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    lol. no no, it's a 30 min train ride if you catch the express metro north from grand central which is what I did when I interviewed there, but it takes about an hour if you catch the local train.
     
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  20. GonnaBeADoc2222

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    sorry...from about where sb is, its ~1:10 by train
     
  21. Zona Pellucida

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    I like SUNY Buffalo as its location is only 45 mins from my home town of Rochester.

    I like Downstate as I love cities and SUNY Stony Brook is also close.
     
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  22. GonnaBeADoc2222

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    stony for cost, reputation and proximity to nyc...

    upstate was really cool but probably too far north for my liking...

    downstate felt really run down and generally not that safe...
     
  23. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    Downstate is city-ish but be warned that it is on the East side of prospect park, making it pretty secluded from actual city life. You are not that close to Manhattan and your only rides are the 2/5 lines.

    The surrounding areas are very much row houses and brownstones with not as much to do if you were looking for city excitement - just saying to consider that its not exactly in the new york that many out of state or city dwellers would imagine. Just b/c its part of new york doesnt make it that way. Mt. Sinai and Columbia are completely different areas of the isle compared to NYU, and they are within a few MILES of each other on the same borough!

    I'd visit before making the call to city life.
     
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  24. MeatTornado

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    very true

    i am a native new yorker and went to college and grad school in the city. You basically won't have enough free time to justify living in the city...what will happen is you'll find yourself living in a tiny apartment and overpaying for everything from groceries to drinks at a bar and your debt will pile up much more quickly. I have yet to visit downstate so i can't talk about it specifically but i feel that living in NYC while in med school is basically not sustainable. NYC is only fun if you work in NYC - which pays relatively higher salaries than doing the same job elsewhere.

    after starting this topic i took a look at the non-tuition expenses (the category labeled other) quoted by the four SUNY schools in the MSAR and this is what i found (from most to least):

    Downstate: 27,176
    Buffalo: 22,622
    Stony Brook: 20,025
    Upstate: 15,730

    I've been trying to keep my own opinion to myself so I don't influence the opinions in this thread but basically I've decided against Buffalo. The city is horrible, the school has the worst stats out of the four, apparently the cost of living is relatively high (according to the MSAR) and the facilities are dingy.
     
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  25. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    Good find on Buffalo. I had no idea about those things. And about downstate, Brooklyn is still not cheap to live in. The quality of your experience will go down if you enter with new york dreams. They will fade away so fast. Even friends at NYU are wondering where new york is and they are in midtown! Id go where youll be able to enjoy the company of classmates and where youll save money and be able to move to new york later when its more feasable.
     
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  26. Soggun

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    Just a quick note on DS - it definitely is sustainable to go to med school in NYC (it has to be with so many schools in the area). Obviously going to DS you would save the money on tuition that would more than cover the difference in rent - which at the dorms I think can be 800 or 900 if you get the cheapest option available. You may have to take out a thousand or two more in loans each year compared to other SUNYs, but the difference in the long run is negligable (and substantially less than comparisons with private schools - in NYC or elsewhere)

    Also, the benefit of going to school in the city is not really the fun of going out in manhattan and having all that at your fingertips (though I guess that is a componant). The real benefit of the city, at least in my opinion, is the access to diverse patient populations. Specifically at DS, there's much more opportunity to perform proceedures than other schools because of the huge numbers of patients and the nature of that patient population, mainly that they're happy to get any medical care, even if that comes from supervised students rather than a doctor with 20 yrs experience.
     
  27. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    agreed.. i think you will just see SOOO much more at DS than the other SUNY's esp if you wanna do EM or surgery or the like
     
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  28. jsanchez

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    i interviewed in all SUNYs except Upstate and if I have to rank them according to the facilities and environmental friendliness Stony > Buffalo > Downstate.

    However, Buffalo is really far away and secluded which makes it my last option among the three.

    If i have to choose between Stony and Downstate, i think I would go with Stony because when i interviewed i felt comfortable and in place. At Downstate, I did not feel so comfortable, probably because of the area. However, Downstate will probably give its students more patient experience as far as diversity.

    Tough choices, but i always think you gotta go with the school where you can see yourself living and studying comfortably. Either way, you will become the kind of medical doctor you want to become.
     
  29. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    maybe the decision will be easy and one school will give you a scholarship? :)
     
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  30. Mets31

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    Anyone know any real standout advantages of UB vs. Upstate? Every post keeps coming back to Stony and DS
     
  31. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    Native New Yorker here, interviewed so far at Stony, Downstate, and Upstate (Buffalo has not shown me any love so far). I had the best feeling at my Upstate interview, Downstate second, and Stony last. Even though Upstate is in Syracuse, it's a college town atmosphere so it doesn't feel as isolated. Stony Brook is pretty much the medical center...and that's it. Even though the facilities were great, I didn't like that as much. Downstate has great opportunity for clinical experience and is the closest to home, so I would rank them as the following:

    Upstate > Downstate > Stony Brook
     
  32. fuzzywuz

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    So do we have a clear consensus that Stony is more reputable than DS in terms of research and academics?

    Out of all the SUNYs, DS has the clear advantage in terms of clinical experiences?
     
  33. fuzzywuz

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    EDIT: double post.. sorry
     
  34. Dr Lyss

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    I interviewed at all except Buffalo. If I was interested in research I would like Stony Brook. They had nice facilities... but they are also in the middle of nowhere :thumbdown:

    I got the best feeling at Upstate. They had great facilities and Syracuse seemed like a nice city, but it is REALLY far north for my tastes.

    Downstate was okay for me. I'm not really a big Brooklyn fan (you can't even get a cab to drive you into Brooklyn most of the time) & the facilities, other than the new anatomy lab, were not really impressive. The only thing I liked about it was the clinical experiences available to med students.
     
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  35. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    I agree with Lyss on all three counts. Stony Brook is probably the highest ranked because of its emphasis on research but I didn't like being in the boonies. At least Syracuse is a college town and everyone at Upstate was out-of-the-way nice to me. DS has the best (IMO) clinical opportunities of the three, so each school has its strengths and it just depends on what you value most.
     
  36. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    I loved Upstate. It was awesome. I could have imagined myself going there for the next 4 years... Buffalo...errmm...not so much so:oops:
     
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  37. Soccerdoc11

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    Between DS and Upstate I'm leaning toward Upstate for much of the same reasons posted above. I just had a better feel - plus at the interview I asked my interviewer the question of how does Upstate compare with NYC schools and their "boasted" clinical experience and pathology? He said that though you do get to see some more weird things in NYC that you may not normally, you will still get plenty of experience and see plenty of "special cases" at Upstate as well. He worked to grade and evaluate trauma centers at major hospitals throughout NY for many years.
     
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  38. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    aside from the clinical exposure, which of the SUNY's do you think is best for years 1-2?

    Where would you prefer to do your first two, in a city like Syracuse, or Brooklyn, vs being at Buff/SB?

    I get the feeling everyone thinks years 1-2 are the same everywhere, but in my opinion, thats where your environment is most helpful - youll want to break free or go out from studying and if your stuck, well... that sucks too.

    Exposure is always a perk but I think those first two years are strongly influenced by the place you go to school.
     
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  39. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado On Sabbatical
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    so now that i've visited all four schools i think i've decided on stony brook and would rank them in this order from best to worst:

    SB > Upstate > DS > Buffalo

    To elaborate (from worst to best)

    Buffalo gets an A- for effort in my book but it is still the SUNY i'd least like to go to. They're proud of what they have and are working hard to improve their facilities and curriculum. It's unfortunate that Buffalo has become such a sh*thole. biggest turn off though was that it seems that almost every student is there because it is the only place where they were accepted.

    DS looks like a make-shift med school. To say their facilities (except for the anatomy lab) were disappointing would be an understatement. It seems like they upgraded the anatomy lab to try to dupe incoming students into thinking their facilities are nice. The students didn't seem too happy and generally seemed to have little to say about DS other than "they have great clinical experience". The clinical experience isn't THAT important though since you can easily get similar experience by rotating through hospitals in underserved communities during your elective period. It is in a rough neighborhood but what concerns me is the shockingly lax security and lack of visible law enforcement compared to Columbia, for instance, which is in an equally rough neighborhood. Living expenses are still really high, especially since you'll probably choose to live in a nicer neighborhood. The most positive thing i found was that they have a pretty impressive match list and send alot of graduates to NYC hospitals.

    Upstate has hands down the nicest students. It seems like the administration really cares and has a great support system in place. The facilities are also very nice. Shipping part of the class off to Binghamton during the third year in my view is a minus. Syracuse was alright but too far upstate for my taste. You don't get access to Syracuse U. The match list wasn't very strong.

    SB has gorgeous top-notch high-tech facilities. The students are friendly and seem to have a good relationship with each other. Seems like there is a good support system. The school is well regarded and has an impressive match list. Lots of basic research opportunities, a bit weaker in clinical research but still decent. 4 students per cadaver for anatomy is similar to private schools (like NYU). Living expenses seem low and it isn't terribly far from NYC (about an hour drive). A car is basically mandatory though and it is the suburbs though with the undergrad and other schools nearby it should be livable.

    If anyone has anything to add or disagrees feel free to chime in. i feel like this thread can be really helpful to NYS residents who apply in the future.
     
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  40. engineeredout

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    I'd give my left testicle to go to stony brook, but hey thats just me.
     
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  41. thesopranoswire

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    I agree. I've interviewed at Upstate, Stony Brook, Buffalo and Downstate. Stony Brook was literally just amazing. It couldn't be compared to Upstate and Downstate in terms of quality of facilities and friendliness of students. I absolutely loved Stony Brook and it is my first choice!
     
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  42. MeatTornado

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    wow, you hated buffalo that much that you withdrew without having an acceptance?
     
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  43. thesopranoswire

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    Well, to put it short, I had a horrendous experience at Buffalo. I just cannot see myself at Buffalo even though I love its weather. Plus, I didn't feel like I would fit in. I am hoping for my SB acceptance!
     
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  44. dynezxice

    dynezxice Senior Member
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    O_O you agree to give your left testicle too just to go to SB?

    hahah. I kid I kid. :laugh:
     
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  45. suubchb

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    #45 suubchb, Apr 22, 2009
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  46. Ms MD

    Ms MD Junior Member
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    Stony Brook, Stony Brook, Stony Brook, without a doubt. Stony Brook has the best reputation out of all the SUNYs. It is the flagship of the SUNYs. Gets millions of $ in research grants a year. Has research grants for summer research, including abroad programs (Africa, India, Korea, and anywhere else you wanna go). Has excellent clinical experience starting in the first year. Has a brand new clinical skills center. <1.5 hours from manhattan, with LIRR access. By far, the kicker is that they have an INSANE MATCH LIST :thumbup:, and above avg board scores. Definitely check it out if you are lucky enough to interview there. Oh, and everyone there is super nice, and the professors are very approachable. They make you feel comfortable on your interview day.
     
  47. LovelyBRass

    LovelyBRass Eternal Internal
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  48. LovelyBRass

    LovelyBRass Eternal Internal
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    Stony Brook is the best SUNY by far... and that definitely means something coming from a 1st year student living through this right now! Everyone is really nice and the people here really want to be here, plus SkinMD and I are awesome! :)
     
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  49. Ask

    Ask Scholar
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    I've always been a suburban guy, and Stony Brook has a nice atmosphere. If you ever want a little excitement you can always take the train to the city, 1.5hours away.
     
  50. rsmithjr42089

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    Hey all, as a Buffalo native I can say a few things about UB...first off the city is horrible...BUT it is improving. You can easily live off campus in beautiful neighborhoods like Amherst, actually the Medical Campus is in Amherst.
    UB has 6+ hospitals that your rotate around including Roswell Cancer Institute, Buffalo General (very good hospital), Womans and Childrens, Jacobs Neurological Institute, ect. They are very research oriented, which is a huge plus for me. My family is in Buffalo so it is my number one choice even though I have the stats to be accepted to Cornell in NYS and even Columbia. But I have children and a wife, who are also from Buffalo so in my case Buffalo has everything for me. Buffalo has TWO lakes, the river, niagara falls, CANADA's niagara falls, and some of the best bars in the country (if you like that sort of thing) In terms of safety, Id much rather live in Downtown Buffalo than Downtown NYC...Buffalo weather is crappy- you never can predict what will happen, being situated between two lakes....there are TONS of things to do around Buffalo.
    Maybe Im a little biased, but UB is not a horrible school. For undergraduates it is much to big for me so I went to a smaller SUNY school (Oswego) but I somewhat regret that, as Buffalo had accepted me both times I applied as an undergrad (Freshman and as a transfer)

    I wanted to give a little insight to Buffalo, since the majority of the opinions are negative on here about Buffalo.
    It is a very friendly city, despite the look of the city.
     

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