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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Medicine

FAQ's

What makes the SUNY Downstate Internal Medicine Primary Care Program so unique?

We are a track that is dedicated to making you the best Primary Care physician you can be! We strive to give you the skills to be an excellent clinician, educator, leader, advocate, and agent of change. Your outpatient experience will be at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, a large urban safety net clinic serving predominately uninsured and Medicaid patients. Our curriculum focuses on helping you gain skills to meet the needs of an urban underserved population, ultimately to provide high quality care for our community. 

What if I choose to sub-specialize, will being in this Primary Care Program limit my options?

Absolutely not! The skills we provide are broadly applicable and will make you a well-rounded internist. You will have solid fundamentals regardless of the career path you choose. For example, being able to effectively connect with your patients and appreciate the social and behavioral aspects contributing to their health will make you a better physician. While our goal is to increase the primary care workforce for our underserved communities, we understand that career paths change, and know that you will still be well-equipped to be a leader and strong representative of our values.

How are Primary Care Residents distinguished from Traditional Categorical Residents? 

The Primary Care (PC) Residents are an elite group dedicated to skills in teaching, doctor-patient relationships, systems change/quality improvement, and community engagement. On the wards they have the same responsibilities as Categorical Residents and will receive the same rigorous inpatient training. PC Residents have all the same resources available to them as Categorical Residents, and live within a smaller close-knit family with the unique specialization of Primary Care.  Residents in our program have their outpatient continuity clinic and didactic curriculum at Kings County, whereas Residents in the Categorical Program have their clinics and didactic curriculum at either SUNY Downstate or the Brooklyn VA. 

Will I have mentorship in the Primary Care Program?

Most definitely!  Our clinic schedules are designed to have attendings and residents have similar schedules so that you will have continuity with not only your patients, but also your attendings through your 3 years.  You will have one primary preceptor that will mentor you through your 3 years, fostering longitudinal growth and guidance through the 4+2 system.  In other words, every 2 of 6 weeks you will be in clinic with one preceptor 75% of the time, and 25% with a second preceptor.  We also have attendings that will work with you during your protected learning sessions throughout your residency. 

What are your application requirements and do you sponsor visas? 

We take an individualized approach toward application review and selection for interview, therefore do not have absolute cut-offs for USMLE scores or other parameters.  We also sponsor visas. 

Whom can I contact if I have further questions? 

Feel free to email downstatepcres@nychhc.org if you have further questions that are not addressed in this website. 


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