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Cover Note

Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Williams, Peter

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Situated on the north shore of Long Island some 60 miles east of New York City, Stony Brook University School of Medicine (SBUSM) is a pioneer in medical education and a center of innovative research.

In 1971, the Stony Brook University Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Health Technology and Management, Nursing, and Social Welfare were established as part of a comprehensive plan to address the health needs of a rapidly growing region. SBUSM with Stony Brook University Hospital comprises the Stony Brook University Medical Center (SBUMC)—the leading academic medical facility on Long Island.

Students at SBUSM are drawn from an exceptionally diverse pool. Classes are often small, and the educational ethos is collegial, stressing individual growth rather than academic competition. An Honor Code governs the conduct of students. SBUSM comprises seven basic science and 18 clinical departments, and is led by Dean Richard N. Fine, a nationally known pediatric nephrologist.

The School of Medicine is a leading part of Stony Brook University’s renowned research enterprise, and has always placed a strong emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of medical knowledge. Notable collaborative achievements include creating the world’s first MRI machine (for which Professor Paul Lautebur won the 2003 Nobel Prize in Medicine); establishing the link between smoking and emphysema; discovering the cause of Lyme disease; developing ReoPro, one of the most widely used drugs in treating coronary artery disease; creating Periostat, which combats periodontal disease; using ultrasound to accelerate healing of bone fractures; and the first total synthesis of a virus outside a living cell. Stony Brook’s General Clinical Research Center, funded by the National Institutes of Health, provides a strong infrastructure for extramural clinical studies.

In addition to its strengths in bench science, the School of Medicine has integrated the insights of the humanities into medical education and practice. Founding Dean, Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, proposed a “new Paideia” for medical education, and introduced ethical and philosophical dimensions to Stony Brook’s program at its inception. In the 1990s Dean Jordan Cohen (who this month ends his 12-year tenure as president of the Association of American Medical Colleges) expanded Pellegrino’s vision through the creation of a substantial, four-year, integrated curriculum in medical humanities that continues today.

Students also benefit from the partnerships in place with other local hospitals. Including the Long Island State Veterans Home, the institution offers almost 900 beds and has 18 affiliated faculty practices that treat more than 30,000 inpatients and 500,000 outpatients each year. The number of these partnerships is planned to increase in coming years, as SBUMC seeks to integrate health providers of Long Island into a co-operative network and increase the rationality of the regional system.

Stony Brook University Medical Center is undergoing a $300 million expansion that will include a state-of-the-art cancer center, emergency center with disaster capabilities, an expanded neonatal intensive care unit, and a heart center.

Stony Brook University School of Medicine offers a medical education with the full range of expertise required of a contemporary practitioner. Physicians trained at SBUMC are exposed to the highest levels of scientific innovation, equipped for research, and encouraged to cultivate insight and empathy.

For more information about SBUSM, please visit (

Peter Williams

Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development

Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Stony Brook, New York

© 2006 Association of American Medical Colleges