Winter Celebration 2017

On December 6, 2017 the Alumni Association hosted a Winter Celebration for the College of Medicine Alumni and the current medical students who they have supported. Alumni and students alike expressed jubilation throughout the evening.

Over light hors d’oeuvres and wine, groups of students and alumni formed, conversing on topics of experience in medical school and possible future career options.

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A special sentiment of gratitude was expressed to Dr. Constance Shames, Class of 1963, for her spectacular work on the Alumni Today magazine. (Pictured above).


If you you would like to view the entire album from the Alumni Association Winter Celebration 2017, please visit the following link: http://bit.ly/2BmKUiL

 

 

 

 

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Conference Travel Grant Funding in Action

Michael Levine, a medical student in the Class of 2019, returned from a medical conference, where he represented SUNY Downstate and the Alumni Association, filled with gratitude. Michael and another medical student, Robert Kim, successfully applied for funding to present at the AAMC National Conference this month. Their oral presentation outlined their work and research in the Downstate Mentorship and Wellness Program.

Michael expressed his hopes of positive outcomes from this experience in his application. He stated “We hope to utilize this experience to learn more about how we can improve our program, how to better conduct medical research, about current developments in the realm of medical education, and to network with other professionals who can better our program and educations. Our program’s foundation and our involvement in this conference are both rooted in our desire to improve the Downstate College of Medicine experience for every student who comes to our school.”

Serving in multiple roles here at SUNY Downstate such as COM 2019 Med Council Vice President, Student Liaison Committee Representative, and as a representative of  the Anne Kastor Brooklyn Free Clinic, Michael Levine exemplifies the holistic opportunities College of Medicine students can experience with the aid of the Alumni Association and its generous donors.

 Read Below for Michael Levine’s bried reflection on his experience and additional photographs from the conferences:

“I hope this message finds you in good health… It went really well, people really seemed to like what we had to say!!! It seemed like we were one of only a small number of student presentations, which was cool (and a surprise). We learned a ton of interesting information that we will certainly bring back to the DMC campus for our wellness program and in general. We wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without your (Eric: Executive Director) and the Alumni Association’s assistance, so a million thanks for providing us with this incredible opportunity! Please let me know of anything I can do to return the favor.”

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Student Profile – Malcolm Winkle

This month’s SUNY Downstate College of Medicine student profile is of Malcolm Winkle, class of 2018. Malcolm completed his undergraduate education at The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education- The City College of NY where he majored in Biomedical Sciences.

What is/will be your specialty? Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Who is/was your favorite professor at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and why?
Dr. John Delury and Dr. Elliot Dehaan (both infectious Disease Doctors); they both take their time when assessing patients, rounding with their respective teams, and allowing students to take advanced roles in caring for patients; they both are excellent listeners and encourage team input and teach to better orient the team to the most important problems that a patient faces.

What is your favorite memory so far of your time studying at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine?
Receiving aid from the Alumni Association to study cancer pain mechanisms at NYU College of Dentistry for 6 months where I decided what my specialty was going to be.

How has the Alumni Association for the College of Medicine at SUNY Downstate helped you?
The Alumni Association has supported me with research stipends, networking opportunities with local physiatrists, and CV editing for the residency match. Pretty much anything career-oriented I can think of that I need help with I feel comfortable speaking to the Alumni Association and am confident that they can provide optimal support.

Is there anything else that you think Alumni would like to know about you?
I plan on assisting the Association in any way that I can in the future. I am grateful for its support.

How has the Alumni Association influenced your experience at SUNY Downstate?
The Alumni Association has served as a one stop shop for career guidance that is flexible to any need that I may have. It has made my time at Downstate more enriching by opening opportunities that I didn’t know were available to me: networking, stipends, resume/CV development and more. Downstate is a large organization and having the Alumni Association makes it easier to find the things you need.

When did you know you wanted to become a doctor?
When I was in high school I had the opportunity to shadow physicians. I enjoyed the patient-doctor relationship that my advisors had with their patients and how much patients trusted their physician’s recommendations and judgement.

First Year Mentoring Program

The Mentoring Program sponsored by the Alumni Association has continued to be a positive addition to the Medical Student experience here at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. To date, the program has served over 2,000 students and procured the services of about 270 faculty and alumni.

Students are provided with an opportunity to engage with other medical students and faculty.  In the month of September, 5 MS1 mentoring sessions were held. First year students were matched with  faculty mentors.

Faculty mentors can answer questions about what being a physician demands and provide students patients and clinical practice insight.

The Mentoring program also goes beyond MS1 student – faculty mentoring. Other programs include having one-on-one lunch with a faculty mentor in their office to see how first hand medicine is practiced and panel discussions involving insight into specialty fields.

Please contact Mrs. Dionne Davis-Lowe, the Mentoring and Alumni Career Program Coordinator at (718)270-7593 or dionne.davis@downstate.edu, if you have any questions or would like additional information.


First Year Medical Students iPad Giveaway! 2017

After much anticipation, first year Medical Students, MS1, came to the Alumni Association office filled will jubilation to pick up their iPads. The 194 iPads were donated by an anonymous alumnus donor who wanted to provide students with another resource to succeed during their time in Medical School. As expected, students responded with gratitude and a multitude of different reasons why this generous gift meant so much to them.

From financial reasons to differing types of learners, below are testimonials from students on the utility of the donation:

“I thought about purchasing an iPad for the longest time but couldn’t due to financial reasons.” – Hermione Gaw

“I can be slow at learning sometimes and visual aids are very useful to me …I hope you know that you aren’t just donating iPad to a “class,” but to individuals people who have their own unique reasons for cherishing this gift.” – Rebecca Walton

“I am already using this iPad mini to organize myself, make Anki flashcards, and observe anatomical structures with the many amazing apps available.” – Kelila Kahane”

“I can imagine a multitude of ways your gift will aid in our studies, from now as we delve into learning about anatomy, to have a handy reference on our future rotations.” – Swetha Mummini


The connection to SUNY Downstate and its vast Alumni Network has already begun to take root:

“I am also touched by what this gift represents – the continuity of the Downstate College of Medicine and that alumni still feel connected and invested in the college. I will keep that in mind so that one day I too can give back.” – Kelila Kahane

“I hope that you continue to be prosperous in your endeavors, and I promise to take the baton and pass it on at every stage of my learning experience and career.”  – Amarachi Uwaga

“I am proud to be a part of SUNY Downstate, especially knowing that it has a great alumni network and wonderful alumni.” – Johnny Wai Ming Tang


One student even looks forward to what this donation can contribute to in her future medical career:

 “While I know my mind may change, I currently plan to go into Cardiology and contribute to society from that. I hope to one day work in an underserved area and, when financially stable enough, to open my own clinic in order to build stronger bonds with my patients and provide them with greater one to one care. I also want to one day travel to the Dominican Republic and provide free basic healthcare to those families living in the countryside and impoverished areas of the country.” – Ana Maria Lopez

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Global Health at The Bell House, Brooklyn, April 29

Talks on Global Health to benefit the Brooklyn Free Clinic, followed by a night of comedy

BFC What’s Next: Global Health Here at Home

April 29, 2017

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Six medical and public health professionals will share personal narratives about the challenge of providing quality health care in the harsh social and political realities of our time. Follow their quests to serve their patients and their communities from own backyard in Brooklyn to sub-Saharan Africa, the capital of post-earthquake Haiti, Nepal and more. Hear about their confrontations with poverty, natural disasters, racism, mass incarceration, and other systemic barriers to successful health care delivery. Hear how far they’ve come – and how much further we have left to go.

Find more information, including speaker biographies, on our website. All donations and proceeds from the Silent Auction will be donated to The Anne Kastor Brooklyn Free Clinic, an entirely student-run branch of SUNY Downstate Medical Center that has been providing free primary health care to uninsured people in Brooklyn since 2007.

Where & When

The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn (http://www.thebellhouseny.com)

Saturday, April 29th at 1:00PM, Doors and Silent Auction starting at 12:00PM

F/G trains to 4th Ave/9th St or R train to 9th St

Tickets

Register here. Entry is free, with a request for donations to support our cause (suggested $20).

About The Brooklyn Free Clinic

Donations will go toward The Anne Kastor Brooklyn Free Clinic (BFC), a student-run FREE clinic offering medical, psychiatric, physical therapy, and social work services at no cost to uninsured patients in New York City. BFC provides preventive screening services and free or low-cost medications and medical referrals for our patients. BFC is entirely staffed by volunteers comprised of students and medical professionals at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

For more information

Contact Katie Lee at fundraising@brooklynfreeclinic.org for inquiries. Find out more about our work at www.brooklynfreeclinic.org.

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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Report Card for a Curriculum: Inaugural Class Graduates From Downstate Integrated Pathways this May

SUNY Downstate’s medical curriculum took a decade to plan and implement

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Dr. Jeanne Macrae

The SUNY Downstate Class of 2017 will be the first class to graduate from four years of the College of Medicine’s new Integrated Pathways curriculum, launched in August 2013.

“They seem to be doing very well,” said Dr. Jeanne Macrae, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. “Before we declare victory, we want to see how the Match comes out, but they have certainly given us some very good feedback. They said they’ve felt very competent, clinically. Objectively speaking, their test scores are very good. By all the indicators we have, we expect them to do very well.”

A total of 150 faculty members and students restructured Downstate’s curriculum between 2008 and 2013. One goal was to introduce patient-focused clinical study earlier in the medical school career.

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“It involved blowing up the entire schedule of the first two years and redoing it hour-by-hour with new activities,” said Dr. Macrae, the longtime residency program director for Internal Medicine who served on the curriculum steering committee. She now oversees Downstate’s four-year curriculum, overall.

“We have the patient wrapped as much as we possibly can into the entire scope of the curriculum,” she said.

Medical school traditionally starts with two years of basic science followed by two years of clinical study, as alumni are aware. Now, basic science comes paired with clinical instruction. An overview of body systems early in Foundations of Medicine, for example, is followed by a lesson on how to perform a physical exam.

“Let’s say they’re learning about the knee,” Dr. Macrae said. “They dissect the knee on their cadaver; learn about the radiology of the knee, and how to examine a patient’s knee. They learn how to talk to a patient about problems with the knee, and the diseases that occur in the knee, and doing this all in the same week.”

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Downstate now also starts its small-group, problem-based learning sessions by interviewing a live actor to reflect realistic information gathering. First years who start school in late August are observing physicians in actual clinical environments by October.

Each of six pre-clinical courses ends with a weeklong assessment. Students are tested for medical knowledge and clinical skills, graded on patient interviews and examinations, and on the student’s professionalism and communication skills. If they fail any component, they fail the unit and undergo remediation. The assessments have teeth, Dr. Macrae said.

Downstate began its curricular update almost 10 years ago, with many other US medical schools. Healthcare was changing, and still is. The trend is toward patient-centered care, medical care in teams verses solo practices, more data, and more readily available data.

“There is a whole new set of competencies that doctors need to have,” Dr. Macrae said.

Downstate also needed to comply with changing LCME standards and to make sure students were fully prepared for national tests and licensing exams.

An earlier start to the clinical rotations, now the April of second year, also helps fourth-year students make more informed choices about residency.

“If you really didn’t know what you want to do, come July of fourth year, it is really very hard to arrange enough experiences to make a rational decision about what to do,” Dr. Macrae said. “Plus, in some of the competitive residencies, they weren’t taking people who hadn’t done a rotation in that field at home, plus one in their institution, plus other activities. So, there was felt to be a need for students to have a longer period of time to deal with these residency-related issues.”

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The curriculum divides the four years of medical school into three phases. The first phase, Foundations of Medicine, focuses on basic science. During the second phase, Core Clinical Medicine, students complete paired clinical clerkships over a total of 48 weeks. The third phase, Advanced Clinical Medicine, follows late in the third year, lasts 14 months, and rotates students thorough the full spectrum of sites of care: emergency room, inpatient floors, critical care units, palliative care services and nursing homes. Students also complete five months of elective rotations.

“There is less basic science initially,” said Dr. Macrae. “We end basic science three months sooner than we used to.” However, basic science is also woven back in to the final years of medical school for a complete integration.

Learn more about the Integrated Pathways curriculum on the SUNY Downstate site.


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Giving Tuesday. Support Downstate Medical Students by Giving Today!

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Today is Giving Tuesday, a special day for many nonprofits across the United States.  Please consider making a donation today to support the work of the Alumni Association for the College of Medicine at SUNY Downstate. Hopefully, you have received our most recent request for both your annual dues and for donations to the Alumni Fund in the mail. Please note that any gifts postmarked with December 1, 2015 will be counted in our Giving Tuesday goals. Our hope is to get at least 30 donations from our alumni today.

To see how your donations are making a difference, check out our Facebook page.

You can make your donation by clicking here:

Make a donation online today!

or you can call our office to make a credit card gift over the phone at 718-270-2075.

Thanks for your support,                                             

M. Monica Sweeney, MD ’72, MPH
President, Board of Managers
Alumni Association
College of Medicine, SUNY Downstate

Harold Parnes, MD ’85, FACR
Chair, Board of Trustees
Alumni Fund, Alumni Association
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SUNY Downstate Student Profile: Alisen Huang, COM ’19

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Alisen Huang received funding from the Alumni Association to conduct summer research, and we followed up with her about the experience.


What do you consider your “hometown?”

Elmhurst, Queens


What did your research entail?

We administered questionnaires to stroke patients in the acute setting. The questionnaires assessed fatigue, depression, personality, purpose in life and daytime sleepiness. My summer project evaluated the relationship between purpose in life and daytime sleepiness.


How valuable was this opportunity? In what way?

The opportunity was amazing! I had an awesome, supportive research team and I got to directly interact with patients. The physicians I worked were also great (though approaching them was intimidating for me).

I was able to observe some of the clinical trials that were going on so I got to see how stroke codes are handled and what happens after a patient is enrolled in the trial.

I’m also still working in the lab when I can. Although my summer project was to collect baseline data, the study itself is longitudinal so it’s still ongoing. I help out with getting patient followups and entering data.


What did you learn that might make you a better researcher, and eventually, a better doctor?

I got to work on communication with patients. We learn about it in class and get some practice with it but over the summer, I was really able to feel out what worked or didn’t work with different patients.


How valuable was the funding to you? I know you’re a med student, and probably trying to keep expenses to a minimum.

I really appreciated the funding, it definitely helped with my expenses AND I was able to explore an area of medicine that I was interested in learning more about.


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