SUNY Downstate: Emory Global Case Competition Finalists


SUNY Downstate’s Team (Bridget Furlong, Shelley Jain, George Mo, Brian Starkman, and Zachary Wolner) were selected as finalists out of 24 teams at the Emory International Global Case Competition.


“We prepared for months for the weekend long competition in Atlanta (Mar 24-26),” Zachary writes. “Patriot Yang and Angela Yao organized the team and provided us with invaluable insights based on their successes at last year’s competition. When we arrived in Atlanta on Thursday, we began preparing our solutions to the challenge case: treating mental illness in the children and adolescents of Monrovia, Liberia. After a long Friday night we went in front of two judges to detail our interventions.


“Out of 24 teams, we, and three others, were selected to present our solutions on the unmet needs of the mentally ill in Liberia to the other competitors and a panel of 6 judges from varied distinguished backgrounds in global health. The experience was thrilling and something we will never forget. Our performance earned us honorable mention and a $900 prize.


“This never would have happened if it weren’t for the generosity of the alumni foundation. We are so thankful for the foundation flying us out to Atlanta to participate in this wonderful event.


Thank you again,

Zachary Wolner

Every gift impacts a life.

Watch the AOA Annual Lecture 2017: Ralph Snyderman, MD ’65, on YouTube

Ralph Snyderman, MD ’65, Duke University Chancellor Emeritus, gave the AOA Lecture March 21, 2017, at SUNY Downstate. Learn more about Dr. Snyderman’s ties to Duke and SUNY Downstate, here.

David Klein, MD ’75 Cares for Florida Through Andes Clinic

punta gorda sunset
Photo of Punta Gorda sunset, photographer unknown, source site


Read a PDF of the full article by Gary Roberts in The SUN, Charlotte Harbor, Florida by clicking the link below.

Andes clinic-Sun 3-19-17

“The typical patient at the Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic is between 40 and 59 years old. They would be unemployed and without health insurance, at or below 200 percent of the poverty level but ineligible for Medicaid. And they would live in Charlotte County. The most recent statistics show there are an estimated 30,000 uninsured in Charlotte and 45 percent of the county’s population falls within the range of 40 to 69 years of age. “There is still a need and you can trust that we’re going to be that safety net in Charlotte County,” said CEO Suzanne Roberts.

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Career Day – We Need Assistance

We are once again having our Career Day, entitled : “Looking into Your Future: An Introduction to Clinical Specialties” which will be held on Friday 4/7/17 as part of the Transition to Clerkship program for the rising 3rd year medical students.  This  program will run from 11:00 am– 4:00 pm.  Each panel  presentation will be 50 minutes, where students will be able to sit in on the panel of interest to them.

The panels and time slots are listed below:
Orthopedic Surgery – 12:00pm – 12:50pm
Radiology – 12:00pm – 12:50pm
Internal Medicine – 12:00pm – 12:50pm & 1:00pm – 1:50pm
Surgery 12:00pm -12:50pm

Anesthesiology – 12:00pm – 12:50pm

Internal Medicine – 12:00pm – 12:50pm & 1:00pm – 1:50pm
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation – 1:00pm – 1:50pm
Family Medicine – 1:00pm – 1:50pm
Ophthalmology – 1:00 – 1:50pm
Urology 1:00pm – 1:50pm

Pediatric 2:00pm – 2:50pm
Neurology – 2:00pm – 2:50pm
Emergency Medicine – 2:00pm – 2:50pm
Psychiatry 2:00pm – 2:50pm
Dermatology 2:00pm – 2:50pm

Radiation Oncology – 3:00pm – 3:50pm
OB/GYN 3:00pm – 3:50pm
Pathology – 3:00pm – 3:50pm

Emergency Medicine3:00pm – 3:50pm
ENT3:00pm – 3:50pm

It would be very much appreciated, If you would be a
panelist.   We will provide you with general talking points and topics that would be of specific interest  to  students who are about to begin their clinical clerkships.  Of course, you and your panel are free to make changes to the proposed talking points in  any way you  desire.  I will be happy to provide you with any assistance.

RSVP as soon as possible so we may begin to form our panels.  You are also welcome to  contact  me by phone (718 -270 -3140) or e-mail if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Your kind consideration is greatly appreciated.



Dionne Davis
Career Mentoring Program Coordinator


SUNY Downstate Match Day 2017 Video


Match Day 2017

2017 Match Statistics – First Graduating Class from the New Curriculum

match day 2017Number of 2017 Graduates: 191
Number of 2017 Graduates applies for Residency: 190
Number of Graduates Matched: 190 – HIGHEST MATCH PERCENTAGE IN FIVE YEARS

2017 Graduates staying at SUNY Downstate for residency programs = 27 (14%)
Those staying in New York City for residency (including SUNY Downstate) = 91 (48%)
The Bronx = 19 (10%)
Brooklyn = 29 (15%)
Manhattan = 40 (21%)
Queens = 1 (<1%)
Staten Island = 2 (1%)

Those staying in NYC metropolitan area outside NYC (Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester) = 28 (20%)

Total New York State = 134 (71% of the Class)

Other States = 56 students (29% of the class)
California = 11
Colorado = 2
Connecticut = 3
Delaware = 1
D.C. = 1
Illinois = 3
Louisiana = 1
Maine = 1
Maryland = 1
Massachusetts = 8
New Jersey = 5
New Mexico = 1
North Carolina = 1
Ohio = 2
Pennsylvania = 4
Rhode Island = 1
Tennessee = 1
Texas = 1
Virginia = 3
Washington State = 1

Specialty Distribution:
Anesthesiology = 21 (11%)
Child Neurology = 1 (<1%)
Dermatology = 5 (3%)
Emergency Medicine = 19 (10%)
Family Medicine = 8 (4%)
Medicine Categorical = 50 (26%)
Medicine Preliminary = 2 (1%)
Medicine/Emergency Medicine = 2 (1%)
Neurology = 6 (3%)
Obstetrics/Gynecology = 6 (2%)
Oral Surgery = 1 (<1%)
Orthopedic Surgery = 4 (2%)
Pediatrics Categorical = 24 (13%)
Psychiatry = 11 (6%)
Radiation Oncology = 1 (<1%)
Radiation Diagnostic = 3 (2%)
Surgery Categorical = 11 (6%)
Surgery Preliminary = 1 (<1%)
Transitional = 1 (<1%)
Urology = 7 (4%)
Vascular Surgery = 1 (<1%)
(PGY 2 positions used for calculations)

Primary Care without OB/GYN (Family Medicine, Medicine Categorical, Medicine Primary, Med/Peds, Pediatrics Categorical, Pediatrics Primary, and Psychiatry/Family Medicine)  = 84 (44%)

Primary Care with Ob/Gyn = 90 (47%)

Top Hospitals:

Baylor COM Houston = 2
Beth Israel Deaconess = 4
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia = 2
Einstein – Montefiore/Jacobi = 18
Hofstra Northwell Systems (inc. Cohen Children’s, Glen Clove Hospital, Long Island Jewish, Northwell, Zucker Hillside, Lenox Hill, Staten Island University Hospital)
ICAHN Mount Sinai = 10
ICAHN Sinai St. Luke’s/Beth Israel = 4
Johns Hopkins = 2
Maimonides = 2
NYP Hospital/Columbia University = 11
NYP Hospital Weill Cornell = 2
NYU = 7
Rochester/Strong Memorial = 3
Rutgers (all) = 3
SUNY Stonybrook = 11
University of California System (inc. San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles) = 5
USC = 2
Winthrop University Hospital – NY = 4
Yale = 3










































SUNY Downstate News February 2017

Empire State Development recently announced that 43 businesses will expand in or locate to New York State, partnering with colleges and universities to spur economic growth across the state. These 43 businesses have committed to create more than 640 new jobs and invest more than $15 million statewide. Eight businesses representing 90 new jobs are at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. Read more about Empire State Development and SUNY Downstate’s announcement, here.

Neuronal degeneration is the most severe long-term consequence of repetitive seizures in patients with epilepsy, which until now was thought to be primarily caused by excitotoxicity, or over-stimulation of the neurons. New findings indicate hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, due to abnormal blood flow may be to blame for as much as half the neuronal death caused by the condition. Read more about Downstate’s new epilepsy findings, here.

Targeted drug therapies during adolescence may be used to normalize synapse number in the brains of individuals with abnormal numbers of synapses, such as found in schizophrenia and autism. Memories are formed at structures in the brain known as dendritic spines, which communicate with other brain cells through “synapses.” The number of these brain connections decreases by half after puberty in a process termed adolescent “synaptic pruning” that is necessary for normal learning in adulthood. However, the pruning away of unnecessary synapses does not follow the normal process in diseases such as autism and schizophrenia, where the abnormality is thought to underlie many of the cognitive impairments associated with these disorders. Read more about Downstate research here.

A new test using peripheral vision reaction time could lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a concussion, according to Peter J. Bergold, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and corresponding author of a study newly published online by the Journal of Neurotrauma. Read more about Downstate research into brain injury, here.





March 30 Alumni Reception in Long Island

M. Monica Sweeney, MD ’75, MPH, President of the Board of Managers, and host Daniel Nicoll, MD ’72, immediate past Chair of the Trustees for the Alumni Association of the College of Medicine at SUNY Downstate, invite alumni and their guests to a social reception for old and new acquaintances:

Alumni Reception
Lakeview Ballroom
The Hamlet on Olde Oyster Bay
1 Hamlet Drive
Plainview, New York, 11803

Wine and hors d’ouvres will be served

Please RSVP to alumni (at) downstate (dot) edu, or by calling 718-270-2075

lakeview ballroom




Hear Ralph Snyderman, MD ’65, Duke Chancellor Emeritus, Present AOA Lecture March 21

Downstate alumnus Ralph Snyderman, MD ’65, Duke University Chancellor Emeritus and the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine, will present “From Brooklyn to Duke’s Chancellor for Health Affairs: Lessons Learned” March 21 as the AOA annual lecture.

The reception and lecture are open to the public, but the AOA awards dinner to follow is by invitation only.

ATA Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
Annual AOA Reception, Lecture and Awards Dinner
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Deity Events, 368 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 11217

For more information, visit the AOA site, here, or call the Alumni Association-College of Medicine for SUNY Downstate at 718-270-2075.

If you can’t make it in person, make sure we have your correct email address. We’ll include a link to a transcript or filmed version of the lecture in our email newsletter within the next few months.

Ralph Snyderman MD

Ralph Snyderman, MD ’65
From Duke University

Dr. Ralph Snyderman served as Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University and Dean of the School of Medicine from 1989 to July 2004 and led the transition of this excellent medical center into an internationally recognized leader of academic medicine. During his tenure, the medical school and hospital achieved ranking amongst the nation’s best. He oversaw the development of the Duke University Health System, one of the most successful integrated academic health systems in the country, and served as its first President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Snyderman has played a leading role in the conception and development of Personalized Health Care, an evolving model of national health care delivery. He was among the first to envision and articulate the need to move the current focus of health care from the treatment of disease-events to personalized, predictive, preventative, and participatory care that is focused on the patient. In 2012, Dr. Snyderman received the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges who referred to him as the “father of personalized medicine.”

Dr. Snyderman has been widely recognized for his contributions to the development of personalized health care, a more rational, effective, and compassionate model of health care.  He was awarded the first Bravewell Leadership Award for outstanding achievements in the field of integrative medicine in 2003. In 2007, he received the Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award from the Personalized Medicine Coalition for his efforts in advancing predictive and targeted therapies on a national scale. In 2008, Dr. Snyderman received Frost & Sullivan’s North American HealthCare Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering spirit and contributions to medicine.  In 2009, he received the Triangle Business Journal’s Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010, Procter & Gamble named Snyderman an honorary member of the Victor Mills Society for his leadership and impact on innovation and he was recognized as a Bioscience Leader Emeriti by the NC Association for Biomedical Research honoring North Carolina research leaders for their outstanding leadership in the transformation of the state through scientific discovery and innovation. In 2012, Dr. Snyderman received the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges for his leadership in academic medicine and for the conception of personalized medicine. Dr. Snyderman was awarded the North Carolina Life Sciences Leadership Award in February 2014.

Dr. Snyderman has played a prominent role in the leadership of such important national organizations as the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine and the Association of American Medical Colleges. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He served as Chair of the AAMC in 2001-2002 and President of AAP in 2003-2004. He chaired the Institute of Medicine’s National Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public held in February 2009.

Dr. Snyderman accepted his first faculty appointment at Duke in 1972 and by 1984, he was the Frederic M. Hanes Professor of Medicine and Immunology. His research contributed to the understanding of how white blood cells respond to chemical signals to mediate host defense or tissue damage and he is internationally recognized for his contributions in inflammation research. In 1987, Snyderman left Duke to join Genentech, Inc., the pioneering biomedical technology firm, as Senior Vice President for medical research and development. While at Genentech, he led the development and licensing of several major biotechnology therapeutics.

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A Transformational Gift

Dr. William Engel’s 1959 endowment was a gift of “outstanding philanthropy,” the first of its kind to SUNY Downstate medical students, during a national tuition increase after World War II.

Engel Placque

The William and Raynore Engel Fund was the first endowment, designated specifically for Downstate scholarships, independent of the Alumni Association. Donations typically flow into the endowment for the Association’s Alumni Fund, though they are distributed at the donor’s direction and restriction.

The Engel endowment, however, “made sure that scholarships were protected, with or without the Alumni Association,” said Eric Shoen-Ukre, Alumni Association Executive Director.

To guarantee that the Alumni Association also didn’t fail, Dr. Engel established a second endowment, the Engle Alumni Association Fund, which today funds an approximate third of the Association’s annual operating expenses.

Engel Bulletin

The William and Raynore Engel Fund for scholarships, established in 1959, was remarkable, distributing $21,000 to 45 SUNY Downstate students by 1962. Fifty-five years later, endowment returns funded 59% of student scholarships, at $213,000, in 2017.

William and Raynore Engel established the endowment on the fiftieth anniversary of his 1909 graduation from the former Long Island College of medicine. Philip Lear, MD ’34, editor of Alumni Today, lauded the gift as “outstanding” in a 1959 issue.

Engel scholars

“I hope the present crop of students who are beneficiaries of this great philanthropic gesture by Dr. and Mrs. Engel will have the same appreciation I would have had there been an Engel Fund in my day,” Dr. Lear wrote. “Deep within me still burns the flickering remembrance to make ends meet in the Depression years when I was a student here. I came from a New England home of sacrifice and not affluence.”

During his six years of surgical training after the “deprivation at medical school,” Dr. Lear earned a quarter of what an intern made in the 1930s.

In the early 1960s, parents and family provided 83% of a medical student’s income, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Then, the GI Bill launched a new wave of older, more independent medical students, many supporting young families of their own.




Meanwhile, tuition was going up nationwide, turning students to increasingly available loans, according to the AAMC. Tuition and debt have continued to climb until a quarter of medical students now graduate owing $200,000. Ten percent owe more than $250,000.


Dr. Engel’s gift has been a life saver for Downstate students from 1960 to today, Eric Shoen-Ukre said. The storied alumnus was a captain in the Army Medical Corps in World War I, and received the Distinguished Service Cross. He was also the author of “Sensible Diet,” published in 1939, and was a fellow of the American Academy of Physical Therapy. Raynore Engel died in 1962, and William Engel was remarried to Mildred Bristol Fuller. He died in Boca Raton, Florida, at the age of 84.

Engel Dedication Placque

With rising medical school tuition and increasingly overwhelming debt, however, there is a need for other SUNY Downstate healers to step forward and invest in medicine’s next generation.

If you are interested in setting up your own endowed fund, a charitable trust, or any other donation to support scholarships or operating expenses at the College of Medicine for SUNY Downstate, please reach out to the Alumni Association Executive Director, Eric Shoen-Ukre at, call 718-270-2675, or stop by the Alumni Office at SUNY Downstate.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.