SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Frequently Asked Questions's and General Information
How many residents are in your program?
Currently, we have 21 residents with 7 positions offered each year.
How do I apply?
We accept all applications through the Central Application Service of the San Francisco Match.
How many applications do you receive and what are you looking for in an applicant?
We receive approximately 550 applications and carefully review each one. Our Selection Committee is comprised of 6-8 members. With so many talented and impressive individuals, it is an extremely difficult decision. We look for intelligent, compassionate individuals who are team players and eager to learn in a program with a large clinical volume. We have a vigorous patient care schedule supplemented by a comprehensive didactic program, and we expect dedication to this most important phase of your career.
Do you have a cut-off for USMLE Steps 1 & 2 scores?
The average three digit score of matched applicants this year is 241; we do not have a minimum USMLE score requirement. We review all applications thoroughly and do not screen applications based upon scores.
Do you have any unfilled positions?
We do not have any vacancies. The best way to find unfilled positions is to contact the San Francisco Match.
Do you consider foreign graduates?
We accept applications from international medical graduates who meet eligibility requirements including GME guidelines and New York State Board of Medicine requirements for VISA status and sponsorship during training.
What do your graduates do?
We aim to equip our residents with the foundation and skills needed to do whatever they choose. Each year most of our residents pursue subspecialty training based upon individual interests and aspirations. Our graduates have pursued fellowship in every subspecialty.
What are your strengths?
Some of our greatest strengths include our clinical and surgical volume, our research opportunities, and expert faculty in every subspecialty including Ocular Pathology. We also have an extremely diverse and international patient population.
What are the didactic sessions like?
We host a robust series of didactic lectures, case presentations, and ophthalmologic conferences. The Monthly Bulletin lists specific activities for each week of the month.
Do you have an OKAP review course?
We have developed a Basic Science Review Course covering the Academy series of books. We send our residents to a city wide review course in the winter/spring each year. In addition, all first year residents attend the Wills Eye Review Course.
Do you have a wetlab for residents to practice?
Yes; our residents have both wetlab and drylab practice opportunities. Each year, faculty organize microsurgical, phacoemulsification, suturing and strabismus wetlabs. We also have a surgical simulator for drylab training at the Kings County Hospital site.
Are residents required to perform research?
Yes. Residents may choose from the many research opportunities with faculty in each subspecialty but are strongly encouraged to design their own projects. Although many residents complete several projects, each resident is expected to complete one publication-quality project during training. All research costs as well as travel and lodging related to presentations of projects are funded.
When does your program start?
Residency begins with orientation on July 1. If July 1 falls on a weekend, the orientation is held on the subsequent Monday.
A two-week orientation period takes place at the start of the year, in which the first-year residents attend core lectures in refraction/optics, oculoplastics, ocular trauma, neuro-ophthalmology, cornea/external disease, and glaucoma.