SUNY Downstate Medical Center

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The State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, better known as SUNY Downstate Medical Center, is an academic medical center and is the only one of its kind in the Borough of Brooklyn in New York City.

In 1858 the state granted the Long Island College Hospital's request to launch a medical school, becoming the first hospital-based medical school in the United States. In 1931, the school was rechartered as the Long Island College of Medicine. The school become "Downstate" on April 5th of 1950, when a merger was signed between the Long Island College of Medicine and the newly constituted State University of New York.

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SUNY Downstate is composed of a College of Medicine, College of Health Related Professions, College of Nursing, School of Graduate Studies and University Hospital of Brooklyn. It has 1,516 students, of which 50% are minorities and/or recent immigrants. SUNY Downstate's College of Medicine has the highest percentage of minority students of any medical school in New York State.

The current president is Dr. John C. LaRosa.

Educational Notability

SUNY Downstate Medical Center was the first hospital-based medical school in the United States. It had the first hospital-based nurse-midwifery training program in the country and the first bachelor's degree program in medical sonography. SUNY Downstate Medical Center ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. Of the nearly 21,000 physicians practicing in New York City, more graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.

Regional Economic Impact

SUNY Downstate Medical Center is the fifth largest employer in Brooklyn. 85% of its employees are New York City residents; 62% live in Brooklyn. The hospital's total direct, indirect, and induced economic impact on New York State is in excess of $627 million. For every $1 the state invests, SUNY Downstate returns more than $12 to the economy. The addition to lifetime earning power for each nursing and allied health graduate ranges from $288,000 to $925,000. SUNY Downstate Medical Center attracted $33.7 million in external research funding in 1998/99, including $24 million from federal sources.

Milestones in Research

  • 1955: Clarence Dennis, M.D., inventor of the heart-lung machine, performs first successful open heart surgery in New York State.
  • 1964: Eli Friedman, M.D., establishes nation's first federally-funded dialysis program at University Hospital of Brooklyn.
  • 1977: Raymond Damadian, M.D., produces first human images using magnetic resonance imaging.
  • 1984: Henri Begleiter, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, publishes landmark study showing that the children of alcoholics may have a greater risk for alcoholism.
  • 1986: SUNY Downstate conducts first federally funded study of HIV's transmission from mother to fetus.
  • 1998: Dr. Robert Furchgott, distinguished professor emeritus of pharmacology, is awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research on nitric oxide.
  • 2006: Drs. Todd Sacktor and Andre Fenton conduct research on maintenance of long-term potentiation and its implications on spatial memory storage, which is named one of the top scientific breakthroughs of the year by Science Magazine.

References in Popular Culture

  • Mos Def, in his 1999 recording of "Got" uses the line "you takin' a ride on the Downstate Medical," indicating that the victim of a violent robbery might be transported by ambulance to SUNY Downstate to receive medical care.

External links

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