Chancellor Johnson Announces 227 SUNY Medical School Students are Graduating Early to Help Hardest Hit Hospitals Respond to COVID-19

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Apr 27, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: John Gillespie | | (718)270-2262

About 72 Recent Graduates Set to Work in NYC and Long Island with 118 More Graduating Shortly

Albany, N.Y. (April 27, 2020) - State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today announced that 227 medical school students are graduating early as a result of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order this month to provide relief to doctors fighting the coronavirus. Eligible students were those already scheduled to graduate after the spring semester who met New York State’s rigorous academic requirements.

To date, 72 graduates are set to work in New York City and Long Island hospitals with 118 more students graduating in the coming weeks to help treat patients at some of the state’s hardest hit facilities.

“SUNY continues to play a critical role in our nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and the deployment of these new doctors is one more example of how we are supporting the Governor’s call to action,” said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. “We are proud of SUNY’s newly trained doctors who are skilled and eager to care for the victims of this disease and ready to provide needed relief to the healthcare staff in some of the nation’s most heavily impacted hospitals.”

SUNY academic medical centers graduating medical students early or on time this spring semester include the following:

  • At the Renaissance School of Medicine (RSOM) at Stony Brook University, 122 medical school students graduated early on April 8. Of those, 49 joined the Stony Brook University Hospital and 14 went to work at NYU Winthrop University Hospital on Long Island
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse graduated 65 medical students early on April 10, and nine are set to start working in New York City and Long Island. Another 21 students are expected to graduate on time to work at hospitals in New York City and Long Island
  • In Brooklyn, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University’s College of Medicine will be graduating approximately 40 medical students early on May 1, and nearly half will work in New York City and Long Island. Another 83 students are expected to graduate on time and remain in New York City, including 22 at SUNY Downstate, which is currently a COVID-only hospital.

Medical students at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo will graduate on time, with 23 students expected to begin working in New York City and Long Island.

In all, SUNY’s medical schools will graduate 618 students this spring. Among New York’s colleges and universities, SUNY graduates about one of three registered nurses, one of seven dentists, and one of eight physicians licensed in New York State are SUNY graduates

About The State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree-granting program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit, and for more information about additional COVID-19 fundraising efforts, visit #SUNYTogether


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 or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.