Formally known as The State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn—but better known to our patients and Brooklyn neighbors as SUNY Downstate Medical Center—we are older than the Brooklyn Bridge. We trace our roots back to 1860, when a school of medicine was founded at the Long Island College Hospital. The new college’s faculty revolutionized medical education in this country by bringing the teaching of medicine to the hospital bedside, thus rejecting the idea that physicians should be trained exclusively in university lecture halls.
Today, SUNY Downstate is one of the nation’s leading urban medical centers. SUNY Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Health Related Professions, College of Nursing, School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, and University Hospital of Brooklyn.
The quality of our education, research, and patient care programs was confirmed with the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Medicine to Dr. Robert Furchgott, a member of our School of Graduate Studies faculty since 1956. Dr. Furchgott’s identification of nitric oxide as a signalling molecule important in vascular health has revolutionized care for heart, stroke, impotence, and other diseases.
As the only academic medical center in Brooklyn, we serve a large population–over 2.3 million people–and one that is among the most diverse in the world. We are also an engine of opportunity for students interested in pursuing careers in health care. Many of our students are the first in their families to attend college.
More physicians who practice medicine in New York City received their training at our College of Medicine than any other medical center in the country. Nationally, our medical school ranks seventh in the number of graduates who are now engaged in academic medicine. Here in Brooklyn, our impact is even greater. We have trained nearly half of all doctors practicing in a number of specialty areas.
Our College of Health Related Professions and College of Nursing also play a unique role in the borough and the city. We have the oldest midwifery program in the country, and we recently made history again by establishing a joint program between the two colleges that trains midwives who are not nurses. The College of Nursing is particularly proud of its role in educating minority students. Approximately three-fourths of the students are minority-group members, and many are recent immigrants.
University Hospital of Brooklyn is the borough’s only hospital located at an academic medical center. As such, it offers the most advanced and comprehensive care in Brooklyn. Many of its physicians are regularly rated among the best in New York City. Some are known throughout the world.
SUNY Downstate Medical Center enters the new century with a renewed dedication to serving the people of Brooklyn through its three-fold mission of education, research, and patient care.