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[September 23, 2011]                                                  

SUNY Downstate Medical Students Excel: Surpass National Pass Rate on Board Examinations

SUNY Downstate College of Medicine students secured a 99.5 % pass rate on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) exam, compared to the national average of 97 %. This year at Downstate, 197 of 198 students taking the test for the first time passed.

Ian L. Taylor, MD, PhD, senior vice president for biomedical education and research and dean of the College of Medicine, said, “Once again, our students are exceeding the national norms and I wanted to express my thanks to the Downstate community for their contributions to the continued success of our outstanding medical students.” Dr. Taylor added, “We continue to deliver a superior medical education here in Brooklyn and everyone should take pride in that fact.”

The Step 2 CK test is the multiple-choice portion of the second part of the three-part USMLE exam, commonly known as “the boards.” In contrast to the USMLE Step 1, the focus of Step 2 is more on clinical application of medical knowledge. Step 2 is usually taken during the fourth year of medical school. The USMLE is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards and National Board of Medical Examiners. Physicians are required to pass all three portions of the exam before being permitted to practice medicine in the United States. 


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.