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Residency Training Program in General Pediatrics

Program History & Philosophy

The Health Science Center can trace its roots and commitment to patient care, research, and teaching back more than 150 years, to 1857 and the founding of the Medical College of the Long Island College Hospital. The Long Island College Hospital was this country's first teaching hospital and the prototype for all subsequent medical centers. This teaching institution was founded by a small group of Brooklyn physicians whose purpose was to "bring the patients in the hospital under the direct care of the instructors in the college." It was the first time that a hospital and medical school were combined under one roof in the United States. In 1930, the teaching division of the Long Island College Hospital was incorporated independently as the Long Island College of Medicine. Then, in 1950, the trustees of the State University of New York chose this institution as the core for the development of a major health science center in the New York metropolitan area and founded what would later be called the Downstate Medical Center, the Health Science Center at Brooklyn. This institution serves the needs of a larger and more diverse urban constituency than any other such center in the country. It upholds a special responsibility to solve some of the difficult problems that are found primarily in urban areas, and to serve those who are by and large underserved.

Several factors contribute to our program's uniqueness. Our Pediatrics Department is in the only medical school serving Brooklyn's population of 2.6 million people; we are the only academic medical center outside N.Y.C.'s smaller boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Our primary mission is education and academic advancement. Consequently, we give priority and place emphasis on assuring our undergraduate and postgraduate students a quality pediatric education as they deliver an excellent level of medical care to their patients. Supporting this, over 100 academic and clinical faculty are present on-campus on a full time basis. Our faculty represents a wide spectrum of disciplines. We have accredited pediatric subspecialty programs in eight subspecialty areas.

The extent and diversity of our local patient population provides an abundant source of important and challenging pathology. Certainly, between University Hospital of Brooklyn (a tertiary care center) and Kings County Hospital across the street (a renowned trauma and emergency receiving facility), we are privileged to independently care for the entire range of diseases of childhood. The efforts made in caring for this population are rewarded by appreciative families, positive impact on children's futures, philanthropic and humanistic satisfaction, and considerable intellectual challenge and advancement. In a time of healthcare upheaval challenging the stability and security of many long established institutions, we continue to stand steadfast by our ultimate aim: to educate and train outstanding pediatricians in a stimulating and nurturing environment; to provide the highest quality of healthcare and preventative services for our patients; to contribute research to the body of knowledge used in the care of children everywhere.

Experience in a structured and supervised setting where one can see a lot, investigate questions, discuss problems, do and do more while developing competence and then teaching others is the best way to learn. Our residents have an exceptional opportunity to personally see, diagnose and directly manage a tremendous breadth of pathological conditions in our unique population. Junior house staff members have the responsibility for the care of patients in each unit under the supervision and assistance of senior residents, chief residents and attending physicians. The program is designed to give residents progressive responsibility. Residents are encouraged to think critically, and to continuously build upon the knowledge and experience they gain from engaging in direct patient care. These clinical experiences are embellished by a comprehensive didactic program. And, while advancing in their training as pediatricians, residents are expected to participate in the education of students and junior house staff to reinforce what they have learned and to be further challenged. Upon completion of training, our residents can confidently and proudly enter their choice of office-based practice, hospital-based practice, academics, research or further training in any subspecialty.