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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 7, 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: John Gillespie | john.gillespie@downstate.edu | (718)270-2262

SUNY Downstate College of Medicine Announces the Appointment of Dr. Teresa Smith As Its Designated Institutional Official

Theresa Smith, MD, MSEd
Brooklyn, NY (February 7, 2020) 
—SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University College of Medicine Dean F. Charles Brunicardi today announced the appointment of Teresa Y. Smith, MD, MSEd as the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Affiliations, and Designated Institutional Official (DIO).

Dr. Smith, an emergency physician who has dedicated her work in the urban communities of New York City, has been at Downstate since 2011 after completing an emergency ultrasound fellowship at SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital.

In her new role as the SUNY Downstate DIO, Dr. Smith will have authority and responsibility for the oversight and administration of each of Downstate’s accredited GME programs and for ensuring compliance with all institutional and program requirements, as established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Dr. Smith is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at Downstate, and for more than four years was the Residency Program Director of the Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program, which is considered one of the largest and leading EM training programs in the country. Dr. Smith is also a Clinical Advisory Dean in the College of Medicine, assisting medical students in making their career choices and advising them through the residency application and selection process. 

“Dr. Smith is one of many talented physicians here at SUNY Downstate, who are equally dedicated to the education of residents,” said Dean Brunicardi. “Her work with disadvantaged patient populations highlights her commitment to recruiting more diverse healthcare professionals who understand the unique challenges these communities face. Her new role as DIO will enhance Downstate’s ability to remain more competitive by providing opportunities and resources to bring more diversity to the institution.”

In addition to focusing on underserved patient populations, Dr. Smith has also worked on several diversity and inclusion initiatives that have focused on the recruitment of residents and students in all fields of medicine. After earning her undergraduate degree at Spelman College, Dr. Smith attended the NYU School of Medicine, where she completed her emergency medicine residency training. After fellowship, she completed her Masters in Medical Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I look forward to working directly with each training program to enhance the clinical learning environment here at our Sponsoring Institution and our participating sites,” said Dr. Smith. “I want to prioritize professionalism, and with the help of our participating sites to create a balance between service and education, while also providing the safe, patient-centered quality care that our patients deserve.”

As a past recipient of the SUNY Downstate Dr. Dale Blackstock Award in Teaching and Excellence, Dr. Smith has demonstrated her commitment to advising and mentoring medical students and trainees across the campus. In 2019, Dr. Smith was named as one of 2019’s 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health by the National Minority Quality Forum as one of the positive role models for the next generation of leaders in minority health.

A member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Dr. Smith has spent her career championing diversity and inclusion in medicine by increasing recruitment in medical education at the medical school and residency training levels, and by improving retention and promotion of underrepresented minority professors. She is a proud contributing author to FemINEM, a blog devoted to empowering women physicians, and has spoken on many stages about the importance of gender equity, along with diverse and inclusive environments that allow physicians of all backgrounds to thrive. Dr. Smith is well known for her talk at FIX18, where she discussed her struggles with being both a doctor and a patient.

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About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit www.downstate.edu or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.