Logo for Stony Brook University
News and Media Relations header
  • Search Press Releases
University News


Scholars, Immigrants, Athletes: Stony Brook’s Incoming Med Students Have Many Skills, Faces
School leadership and NYS Department of Health Commissioner welcome Class of 2020


Dean Kaushansky with Class of 2020 members, from left: Ruchi Shah, Rafael Hernandez, Dorian Cohen, and Sebanti Bhowmik.

Dr. Latha Chandran, Vice Dean, Academic and Faculty Affairs, assisted students when they received their first white coats.

Stony Brook, NY, August 18, 2016 – Their paths into medicine are varied and inspiring – this is the Stony Brook University School of Medicine Class of 2020. All 132 incoming students officially began their training with the School’s annual White Coat Ceremony on August 14. At the event the students received the physician-in-training white coat and took the Hippocratic Oath for the first time.

The students hail from New York State, seven other states, and from around the world. They represent 70 undergraduate schools, have a collective grade point average of 3.70 and an average MCAT score in the 86 percentile. Only 8.3 percent of the total applicants were accepted to Stony Brook.  For more statistical information about the Class, see this infographic:

“Today is day of celebration and inspiration, as you will all receive your first white coats, the symbol of our profession and its representation of scientific excellence and compassionate care,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine, as he welcomed the incoming class. “You will soon embark on a journey that will bring many challenges and difficulties, but also joys and exciting advances in medicine that will revolutionize the way you treat and cure patients.”

Special guest speaker Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner, NY State Department of Health, encouraged the Class as they embark on medical school.

“I urge you to embrace a career that undoubtedly helps you to change many people’s lives forever,” said guest speaker Howard Zucker, MD, the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. “Work hard as you go forward into medical school, and in the future always remember why you wanted to become a physician in the first place,” he advised.

Among the many accomplished members of the Class of 2020 are: Rafael Hernandez, a boy whose family escaped Cuba by boat and along with them was rescued by a Marine Corps ship. Hernandez grew up in Florida, and with each year of life he became more and more fascinated by the heart and cardiology and began volunteering at hospitals. Ruchi Shah, a Long Islander who received national recognition by renowned scientists for inventing an all-natural mosquito repellent while attending Stony Brook University as an undergraduate student. Dorian Cohen, a Duke University fencer whose focus and precision with mechanics and experiences working as a prosthetist at VA hospitals inspired him to pursue medicine. And Sebanti Bhowmik from Queens. She earned a 6-year PharmD degree after high school only to be further driven to help patients, which sparked her interest in medical school.


Incoming medical students recited the Hippocratic Oath for the first time at the White Coat Ceremony.

In addition to the presentation of the white coats, School leadership presented the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus award to A. John Iafrate, MD, PhD, Class of 2000. Dr. Iafrate is Director of the Center for Integrated Diagnostics at Massachusetts General Hospital.



About Stony Brook University School of Medicine
Established in 1971, the Stony Brook University School of Medicine includes 25 academic departments. The three missions of the School are to advance the understanding of the origins of human health and disease; train the next generation of committed, curious and highly capable physicians; and deliver world-class compassionate healthcare. As a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and a Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited medical school, Stony Brook is one of the foremost institutes of higher medical education in the country. Each year the School trains nearly 500 medical students and more than 480 medical residents and fellows. Faculty research includes National Institutes of Health-sponsored programs in neurological diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disorders, biomedical imaging, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases, and many other topics. Physicians on the School of Medicine faculty deliver world-class medical care through more than 30,000 inpatient, 80,000 emergency room, and approximately 350,000 outpatient visits annually at Stony Brook University Hospital and affiliated clinical programs, making its clinical services one of the largest and highest quality on Long Island, New York.
To learn more, visit www.medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu.

Greg Filiano
Media Relations Manager, Stony Brook University School of Medicine
Office: 631.444.9343



© Stony Brook University