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Upstate Medical University applications rise 26 percent compared to 2019

By Eric Reinhardt (


SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras on Tuesday said applications to the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse are up 26.2 percent in 2020 compared to a year ago. Applications for the same program are also up at SUNY’s three other medical schools as well. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Applications for the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree program at Upstate Medical University are up 26.2 percent compared to the number of applications received in 2019.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras on Tuesday said Upstate Medical is among four SUNY medical schools that have all had a “a notable spike in M.D. applications in 2020.”

Besides Upstate Medical, M.D. applications are up 40 percent at the University at Buffalo; 13.5 percent at Stony Brook University on Long Island; and 8.5 percent at Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn.

The uptick in applications to SUNY’s four medical schools is part of a “broader nationwide trend.” SUNY cites the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as indicating that medical-school applications are up 18 percent over the last year “thanks in large part to the example set by medical workers, doctors, and public health figures.”

“The unwavering commitment of doctors and public health experts to providing care, vital information, solace, and hope during the darkest moments of this pandemic has been a profoundly inspiring experience for us all,” Malatras contended. “It has also served as an awakening and turning point for many young people who are now motivated to join the ranks. From being on the frontlines in March and developing the world’s top-ranked saliva test, to cutting edge research about how the virus behaves and leading trials for the Pfizer vaccine — our physicians and physician-scientists have been at the very forefront of understanding, treating, and eradicating this deadly virus. M.D. applications are up because more people are seeing what we are capable of and know that there is no better place to learn and launch their medical careers.”

Back in April at the “height of the pandemic” and based on an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 227 medical students from Upstate Medical University, Downstate Health Sciences University, and Stony Brook University graduated early in order to work on the frontlines of the pandemic and provide relief at overwhelmed hospitals. Many were assigned to hospitals in the New York City metropolitan area, the “epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.”


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