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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Department of Family Medicine

State of the Department of Family Medicine

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to present the annual report of the major educational, clinical, and research/scholarly endeavors of our nationally-recognized Department of Family Medicine at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center.

In the medical school, our credo is that the students come first. We are proud of the success we have achieved with our third-year Family Medicine clerkship, a multi-faceted learning experience combining traditional clinical mentorship and innovative, creative and effective teaching presentations by our knowledgeable and talented faculty as we lead the teaching in primary care at our institution. Family Medicine is heavily committed to both the longitudinal and block primary care clinical experiences. Family Medicine faculty are actively and extensively involved in the iPAC course, in Problem Based Learning and in curriculum development. Our department also reaches out to students in other ways. My door is always open to students who drop by seeking information or guidance, and our faculty and staff are ever mindful to make all students feel welcome when they visit our offices.

The Department of Family Medicine can only provide outstanding pre and post doctoral educational programs if we continue to excel clinically, providing the highest quality, most culturally sensitive comprehensive and longitudinal primary care services in our community at Suite B, Family Health Services, P.S.13, P.S.38, P.S.142, P.S.293, and M.S.51. In all our centers, we promote healthy lifestyles and preventive health screening measures to improve the quality of life for the residents of Brooklyn, where many chronic illnesses remain prevalent. Our patients must always represent the primary focus in all of our endeavors.

We take pride in our fully-accredited post-graduate training program. We have worked assiduously with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology so that greater numbers of pregnant women and children are referred to our residents for care and follow-up. The Department has also accelerated our Board preparation review course and made active participation in this activity mandatory for all residents. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the dedication and hard work of the Residency Program Director, Dr. Margaret Donat, as well as our devoted and talented faculty. The Department of Family Medicine at SUNY Downstate is committed to provide the very best educational experiences and opportunities for our Family Medicine residents and our Downstate Medical students.

Against the backdrop of continuing excellence in education and clinical activities, our department continues to work actively in primary care clinical research. We recently completed activities on two Joslin grants that enabled us to examine the care that we provide to our patients who struggle with type 2 Diabetes Mellitus so that we may better understand the cardiometabolic parameters of our patients, the quality of care we provide and where we need to focus our performance improvement efforts as a department. This initial effort to manage a population of patients taught us the importance of targeting our care to the needs of our patients to achieve maximum performance outcomes. We also benefited from our active involvement in a collaborative NIH-funded research project with Drs. Girardin Jean-Louis and Dr. Ferdinand Zizi from Downstate’s own Brooklyn Health Disparities Center. In addition, we have been proud to work with Dr. Jack Dehovitz on a federally funded SAMSHA project designed to implement screening and early intervention for substance use, depression and HIV s in our patients over the age of fifty. Our department’s research enterprise is envisioned to create a sustained program of ongoing research in primary care designed to enhance our educational and clinical programs while focusing our investigatory efforts on reducing the prevalence of the chronic diseases and their complications that we treat each day: type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and renal disease. Our combined research efforts are intended to meet the goals of Healthy People 2020, and decrease the mortality risk while we increase the quality of life, of the community we serve.

“To teach, to care and to learn…” this, remains our mission. Many thanks to our dedicated and hard-working support staff, our faculty, residents, specialty colleagues and administration for your interest, support and encouragement throughout this year.

It is my privilege to serve.

Pamela Sass, M.D.
Department of Family Medicine
SUNY-Downstate School of Medicine