A Message from Our Chairperson
Welcome to the Department of Family and Community Medicine! We are a community of scholars working together to transform the health and healthcare of our community by providing the best possible family-centered care for our patients, teaching the generalist competencies students need to thrive in the Profession of Medicine, training our residents in the principles and practice of family medicine, conducting research to create a brighter future for all, and actively engaging in both Population Health Management and community health improvement.
Family & Community Medicine runs two practices. Suite B, located at University Hospital, and Family Health Services, located about a mile from campus, in the community, both of which include our residents (of which there are 18). We have a family medicine inpatient service at the University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB). We also receive six 3rd year medical students each block for their Primary Care 1 Clerkship, who are distributed throughout our two residency clinics and several independent community-based Family Medicine sites, where voluntary faculty teach them. A number of 4th year medical students increasingly turn to us for electives.
Who we are? Ten full-time physician faculty along with seven part-time and two dozen voluntary faculty. We have six first-year, 6 second-year and 6 third-year residents. We employ a contingent of staff who work in our Department such as the Residency Program Coordinator, Department Administrator, and Data Analyst. Our Department also includes those who staff our two teaching clinics. We teach in the history taking, Physical Diagnosis and other courses in the medical school. We participate in the administrative functions of the medical school and hospital, including our Chair serving as chief of service in Family Medicine at the University Hospital of Brooklyn.
In the Continuing Medical Education space, we conduct Grand Rounds once or twice a month, which is available not only to those on campus but also our voluntary family physicians.
In 1973, we were one of the first departments of Family Medicine to be founded in the state, only four years after the specialty of Family Medicine was established. For this reason, a sizable percentage of the family physicians in New York City are graduates of this medical school or residency. At that time (1973), the NY State legislature passed a law mandating the creation and sustenance of a department of family medicine at all four of its SUNY medical schools.
In 2019, in response to New York State’s Vital Brooklyn initiative investing $1.4 billion into central and northeast Brooklyn, and the subsequent merger of Brookdale, Kingsbrook Jewish and Interfaith Hospitals to form the One Brooklyn Health System (OBHS), we changed our name from “Family Practice” to “Family and Community Medicine” and incorporated into the Chair position the new role of Chief of Population Health Strategy and Innovation at OBHS. Thereupon, SUNY Downstate began a national search for a new chair that would work at both institutions to these two portfolios, which yielded Montgomery Douglas, MD. who commenced his tenure on March 1st 2020.
Recent happenings? The Department featured prominently in our institution’s response to the Covid-19 surge, adding a second family medicine inpatient service team, and taking over an ED overflow service. We also created a Service Learning telemedicine elective, where over 100 students called patients of several different UHB clinics to assess their needs using a Social Determinants of Health questionnaire adapted from validated sources. Our Department also collaborates closely with the OB/Gyn Department in maternity care, residents’ education, outreach, research and faculty recruitment. In July 2020, we launched an OB Promotion Committee with membership from both departments.
We have exciting upcoming plans. As part of its modernization, the Department is in the process of searching for a replacement site for our Family Health Services training site. Planning has also begun with OBHS to expand our residency onto its campus, adding a residency track there by July 2022.