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Boston University (School of Medicine)

Our medical school is located in the historic South End of Boston and shares a campus with Boston Medical Center Hospital, the School of Public Health, the Goldman School of Dental Medicine, the Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center, and the Boston Public Health Commission. This campus hosts approximately 600 medical students, along with a similar number of graduate students actively engaged in the study of medicine and the biomedical sciences. In addition to the 4-year MD program, we have a number of dual degree options and students may earn a combined MD-PhD, MD-MPH, or MD-MBA.

Boston University School of Medicine began its history as the New England Female Medical College, which opened in 1848 as the first institution in the world to offer medical education to women. In 1873, the college merged with Boston University, becoming the first coeducational medical school. Throughout our history we have maintained a strong commitment to the study and practice of medicine in the context of a mission of service to society. In addition, our medical school is a major research institution, ranking 12th among US medical schools for sponsored research. There are over 600 funded research programs and more than 1,000 active clinical trials, providing an exceptional environment for students interested in basic science, clinical investigation, or public health and health services oriented research. Students may also participate in international health programs and a variety of professional and social service activities.

The basic science curriculum is taught in an innovative format, integrating traditional lecture style classes with small group problem seminars and laboratory exercises. There is emphasis on self-directed learning and on teamwork. Patient contact is introduced in the first week of the first year curriculum and the formal clinical training of the 3rd and 4th years offers broad-based preparation for post-graduate training in the full range of disciplines that comprise modern medicine.

We draw upon a large and highly qualified applicant pool, with more than 80 applicants for every seat in the entering class. Our students represent the full range of geographic, cultural, ethnic, and educational diversity of our pluralistic society, and we believe that this diversity contributes to the strength of the experience for all of us.

All applications must be submitted through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), and details about our admissions program can be found on our web site. Please accept our best wishes for a successful career in medicine.

Research Programs at Boston University School of Medicine Boston University School of Medicine has broad and diverse programs in biomedical research spanning basic, health services and clinical research areas. To promote research excellence BUSM has invested significantly in the recruitment of additional research faculty and the building of new research facilities, including the BioSquare Research Park, which provides incubator space for fledgling biotechnology companies. There is a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary research programs featuring investigators from the School of Medicine collaborating with investigators at the other medical campus schools (Public Health and Dentistry), our principle teaching hospital (Boston Medical Center), and the Charles River Campus of Boston University. These collaborative projects often focus on urban health problems, health disparities, and issues of health care delivery to vulnerable populations and underserved communities. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in research programs through stipend-supported summer projects, electives, and formal research training. New centers of excellence have been created and major new programs have been developed to facilitate the rapid transfer of laboratory discoveries to applications at the bedside. BUSM now ranks 13th among US medical schools in total dollars of NIH funding. As shown in the graph below, research funding at BUSM has greatly expanded over the past five years.

The BUSM curriculum offers students the opportunity to study medicine in a flexible, supportive environment that stimulates a spirit of critical inquiry and provides a sound base of knowledge in the biological, social, and behavioral sciences. While curriculum review and modification is an ongoing process, the last major restructuring of the academic program took place in 1992 with the expansion of early clinical experience and the addition of small group, problem based teaching sessions. In this Integrated Problems course, students meet in small groups, employing case based discussion to develop and integrate their knowledge in the biological and social sciences. The Introduction to Clinical Medicine Course provides early clinical exposure, creating an opportunity for students to begin developing the communication and examination skills that are fundamental to effective clinical practice. In addition, these two programs provide a bridge between the basic science instruction of the first two years and the clinical clerkships of the third and fourth years.
The emphasis during the first year is on normal structure and function (anatomy and physiology). In the second year, the focus shifts to abnormalities or defects in structure and function (pathology and pathophysiology). The third year is the core clerkship year. Students complete initial clinical work, participating in active ambulatory and inpatient practices on major teaching services, in the disciplines of medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, family medicine, and psychiatry. In the fourth year, students complete clinical rotations in neurology, radiology, ambulatory primary care, geriatrics and home care, as well as a subinternship in the specialty of their choice. In addition, there are 20 weeks of elective time during the third and fourth years, with opportunities to pursue clinical, basic science, research, and independent study programs. Students may choose to spend some of this time at other institutions, either in the U.S. or abroad.
Some entering students may choose the Alternative Curriculum, spreading the first year requirements over two academic years and paying half the tuition for each of those years. There are a limited number of positions available for students who wish to pursue this option. In addition, combined degree programs are available for students who wish to pursue a course of study leading to the MD-PhD, MD-MPH, MD-MA, or MD-MBA.

School name:Boston UniversitySchool of Medicine
Address: 715 Albany St.
Zip & city:MA 02118 Massachusetts

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School of Medicine Medical School Location

School of Medicine Courses


* Gross Anatomy : Human gross anatomy is a fall semester course that is open to first year medical students and graduate students in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. In the laboratory students dissect human cadavers. This is a comprehensive gross anatomy class that integrates developmental morphology into a regional study of the human body. The course is divided into three sections: 1. back and limbs; 2. thorax, abdomen and pelvis; and 3. head and neck. Students are introduced to surface anatomy, embryology, and radiological anatomy as a way of beginning their study of physical diagnosis.

* Medical Histology : This microscopic anatomy course covers the morphological and functional histology of cells, tissues and organs. It is a required course in the medical school curriculum, taken during the first term of the first year by BUSM I medical students. Classes meet for two two-hour laboratory sessions and three coordinated lectures per week. Students use microscopes and receive a loan collection of microscope slides to study in lab and on their own. The course is directed by Dr. Deborah Vaughan.
This fall course is open to a limited number of graduate students, including those enrolled in the Division's Masters of Medical Sciences program.

* Human behavior in medicine : The coursework is intended to prepare students to provide clinical services to a range of individuals in diversified settings. More specifically, students are trained to perform brief forms of assessment and intervention in the medical care setting.

* Integrated Problems : Integrated Problems is required for first- and second-year medical students. In it, they learn to integrate the material they are learning in their other courses.
The students meet in groups of 6 to 8 with a faculty facilitator. Clinical cases are presented gradually over the weeks of the course, giving the students the opportunity to learn to develop hypotheses and research different aspects of the cases.

* Introduction to Clinical Medicine 1 : In the second semester of Introduction to Clinical Medicine 1 (ICM-1) each first year student spends twelve sessions shadowing a clinician-mentor in the ambulatory setting. The experience is meant to introduce the student to the practice of medicine (broadly defined) and allows the student to practice targeted parts of the medical interview and physical exam.
The hands-on learning that these sessions provide is a wonderful complement to the basic science courses in which the student is immersed. For the student the focus of the semester should be on seeing the medical interview in action and observing aspects of the patient-doctor relationship. Limited skills such as interviewing for an HPI, taking a family history, checking vital signs, and holding an otoscope will also be covered.
In addition to the clinical sessions, students convene at the medical school once a month for didactic seminars. Topics range from how to take vital signs to enhancing awareness of cross-cultural issues to how to screen for domestic violence. After each didactic seminar the student will have a related assignment to be completed in their next two or three clinical sessions. Assignments range from “check and record a set of vital signs” to “take a history of present illness” to “interview a patient for substance use”. The mentor will need to help the student complete the assignment by arranging for the student to spend a little extra time with a patient each week or two. In some cases the mentor will choose to discuss with the student how s/he approaches a certain topic (for example, how to screen for domestic violence in the pediatric setting).

* Neuroscience : Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary course that covers the basic science of the human brain with an emphasis on human neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry and neuropsychology. It is required for medical students in the first year of the M.D. program as well as many graduate students in Ph.D. programs in Neuroscience. A limited number of students in Masters programs are allowed to enroll with the permission of the Course Manager. This course is taught as a block in 5 weeks beginning in January immediately after New Years and ending in the first week in February. During this time, students normally do not take other courses. The course is equally divided between lectures in the morning that cover the difficult conceptual issues of neuroscience and small group tutorial and laboratories that allow discussion of these concepts and hands on exposure to human brain specimens. There is a midterm examination worth 20% of the final grade at the beginning of week three and a final examination worth 80% of the grade at the end of week five. Both examinations consist of written questions as well as practical questions. The written exam is given as multiple choice questions pertaining to the conceptual and factual content of the course. The practical exam uses images of the brain ranging from electron micrographs of synapses to dissections or pathological specimens of the human brain to assess laboratory and lecture material on the structure of the human brain.

* Biochemistry : Basic principles and concepts of graduate-level biochemistry in a one-semester course. Instruction includes protein structure and function; mechanisms of enzyme action; carbohydrate and lipid metabolism; bioenergetics; metabolism of amino acids and nucleotides; DNA and RNA synthesis, structure and function; and regulation of gene expression.

* Physiology : In the first and second years of both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs, a core curriculum of biophysics, physiology and biochemistry is supplemented with courses in cell and molecular biology, physics, or chemistry. The course program emphasizes flexibility and individual choice. In the first year, students do research rotations in the laboratories of three of four faculty to gain firsthand knowledge of a variety of research areas.
At end of the first year, students select a degree advisor and begin laboratory research towards the Ph.D. degree. In the second year students continue to take courses and Ph.D. students must pass a Qualifying exam. Throughout their training, students also participate in a weekly department seminar series and report their research progress annually.

* Endocrinology : The Section’s fellowship program is very successful and has attracted outstanding fellows who have been active in clinical and research activities. The Section has received a three-year outstanding approval of its fellowship program with no citations. Credit goes to Dr. Malabanan, program director.
The Section has continued to receive excellent reviews for its participation in the second-year medical school “Biology of Disease” course. In addition, the Section continues to attract fourth-year medical students and Medicine and Family Practice residents for a one-month clinical elective in Endocrinology. Many faculty members have presented endocrine conferences to colleagues in Primary Care, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Internal Medicine. Section faculty attend on the general medical wards and on the endocrine consult service, as well as participate in morning report for the medical residents.

* Immunology : The curriculum for students in the ITP offers flexibility in training and is designed with the interests of the student and his/her prior background and training. Formal coursework emphasizes breadth and depth in various areas of immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry.
Basic principles of immunology, with emphasis on their medical relevance, presented through lectures and independent reading followed by a discussion session. The schedule coincides with that of the first-year medical students.

* Genetics : This course will serve as a foundation for understanding the heritable basis of numerous biological traits, the relationships among genes, and the regulation of their expression. We will focus on the ability to use genetic systems to probe these problems, and therefore will heavily explore the experimental aspects of these investigations. In addition, we will discuss the impact of the genome sequences on the practice of modern science. Moreover, we will use a case study approach to investigate the rich variety of scientific insights gained through genetic studies.


* Microbiology and Infectious Diseases : A medical microbiology course that includes an introduction to bacterial physiology and genetics and focuses on a survey of the medically important bacteria and fungi. Includes Infectious Disease lecture series and labs.

* General Pathology : Lectures and discussion sessions presenting the basic morphologic and functional changes of major disease processes: cell injury and death, inflammation, cell and tissue response to microbial organisms, atherosclerosis, cancer, etc.

* Pharmacology : Pharmacologic principles and properties of chemical agents of interest to human medicine are presented in lectures and workshops. Lectures provide a complete survey of drug classes affecting organ systems such as the nervous system and the cardiovascular system, as well as antimicrobial and cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Discussion sessions emphasize interpretation of pharmacologic data and patient-oriented problem solving.

* Introduction to Clinical Medicine 2 : Introduction to Clinical Medicine 2 is the second-year course in which students learn the components of physical examination and how to do a complete history and physical exam. Learning is accomplished at a variety of sites, with modules taught at the medical school, as well as inpatient wards, neighborhood health centers, and private doctor’s offices.

* USMLE STEP 1 : STEP 1 assesses whether you understand and can apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine, with special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy. Step 1 ensures mastery of not only the sciences that provide a foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine in the present, but also the scientific principles required for maintenance of competence through lifelong learning.


* Medicine : The Department of Medicine is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in patient care, teaching, and research. We are committed to the patients we serve in our community and in the region through service, quality and innovation. We are constantly aware of our responsibility to educate the future physicians of our country, and thus, education of medical students and residents is an integral part of our daily activity. Our faculty is dedicated to the pursuit of new knowledge and discovery through health care related research from the most basic to the most applied. We are keenly aware that the ultimate fruits of our excellence in caring, teaching, and discovery is the betterment of mankind.

* Pediatrics : The Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics is a joint program of the Boston University School of Medicine and the Harvard Medical School. Residents have a unique opportunity to work at both Children's Hospital, Boston University, and the Boston Medical Center.

* Surgery : Elective is a preceptorship type in which the student will be assigned to a group of staff surgeons whose interest span care of trauma patients, critically ill surgical patients. The student will work closely with the instructor in his activities at Boston Medical Center (primarily Menino Pavilion) in the evaluation, comprehensive physical examinations, treatment planning and operative care of all patients. The student will take calls with the instructor in the Emergency Room. Clinical rounds will be conducted daily.
In addition, the student will participate in the research activities of the department relating to trauma, critically ill surgical patients and burn patients.

* Psychiatry : We offer a four-year, fully accredited training program in psychiatry with intensive supervision and opportunites for exploring individual interests. The program offers wide and varied experiences in public and private-sector settings. Residents train in individual and group psychotherapy, psychopharmacology and all somatic therapies, and work in multidisciplinary mental health teams. Our residents gain an adaptive clinical proficiency in environments that embrace an understanding of individual and group phenomenology, along with an understanding of neuropsychiatry. Our program is under constant review by both faculty and residents: we focus on individual residents while constructing a training program of modern excellence. Our faculty values the best of traditional psychiatry but is eagar to expand opportunities for the resident in basic and clinical research, public-sector psychiatry, and behavioral medicine.

* Family medicine : The Family Medicine Clerkship is a six-week rotation for BUSM third year students. The sites utilized by the Family Medicine Clerkship include the Family Medicine Heath Center at Boston Medical Center, Codman Square Health Center, South Boston Health Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Manet Community Health Center, private practices in and beyond the Boston area, private practices affiliated with Cape Cod Hospital and the Maine Primary Care Association. Clerks are also placed at the following Family Medicine Residency Programs: Tufts University FPRP in Malden, Fitchburg FPRP in Leominster, and Central Maine Medical Center FPRP in Lewiston Maine. Housing is provided at Cape Cod and Maine locations.
The Family Medicine Clerkship is primarily focused on ambulatory care. While students will participate in helping to take care of the hospitalized patients of their preceptors, the majority of the clerkship will be in the office setting. These settings may be in family residency programs, community health centers, or private group practices; students will be able to rank order their site preferences.


* Radiology : Our 32 residents learn in a resident-centered environment with a “hands-on” approach. We have few fellows. At BMC, most radiologic examinations are performed and interpreted by residents. During the typical workday, studies are reviewed in “real time” with the faculty prior to resident dictation, and the final report is co-signed by that responsible faculty radiologist. There is ample opportunity, however, for independent resident interpretation, especially during off-hours coverage in Emergency Radiology at HAC and at ENC, when residents have the primary responsibility for interpretation of all emergency and portable studies; they occasionally perform emergency fluoroscopy.
A supervising faculty radiologist is available in Emergency Radiology daily until 9:00 p.m. Faculty reviews all off-hours examinations either the next morning or later in the weekend day. If not discussed personally with the resident, faculty communicates via an e-mail system to provide residents with feedback. Subspecialty faculty radiologists are “on call” for telephone consultation and always come to the hospital for special procedures. The PACS system allows teleradiology image review with faculty, as needed.
During the first two months of training, new first-year residents attend a series of introductory lectures designed to augment their early clinical exposure. They are oriented to the medical center and are introduced to the practice of radiology. During the early months, first-year residents learn general radiographic interpretation, fluoroscopic techniques, and familiarize themselves with the vocabulary of Diagnostic Radiology. They are also exposed to the subspecialties of Body Imaging, Pediatric Radiology, and Neuroradiology.

* Geriatrics : The Boston University Geriatric Services is a multidisciplinary group of health care professionals whose mission is to address the special needs of the diverse geriatric and homebound populations of the City of Boston. We are committed to delivering high-quality, comprehensive care in a variety of settings and to providing leadership in geriatric education, research, patient advocacy, and community outreach.

* Neurology : The primary goal of the Boston University Medical Center Training Program in Neurology is to provide house officers with the knowledge and skills to competently diagnose and care for patients with Neurological disease. Our large and diverse faculty encompasses a wide range of interests in Neurology and strives to instill a sense of learning, teaching, and cooperation through instruction and supervision of each Resident. Each Resident has a chance to see an abundant and appropriate clinical case material, presenting the "many faces of Neurologic disease". Our Program offers the Resident experience in all facets of Neurological study through exposure to the strengths of each affiliated institution, resulting in the highest quality of Neurological training available anywhere.
The Rotation Schedule meets the training requirements to sit for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) examinations, as determined by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) of the American Medical Association (AMA), the official accrediting bodies for internship, residency and fellowship training in the United States. These Rotations are adjusted based upon the recommendations of the ACGME and the ABPN to ensure Board eligibility upon completion of the Program. The Program is driven by educational and certification requirements.
During the first year, the Resident learns the fundamentals of Neurological disease at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and the Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center (BVAMC). The first year Resident evaluates and manages patients with diverse Neurological problems, gaining an understanding of the diseases of the nervous system by working both in the Inpatient and Outpatient services. Emphasis is placed on the functional approach to patient care through critical intervention and rehabilitation. Rotations in Neurophysiology (EMG and EEG) introduce the Resident to basic neurodiagnostic testing techniques while reviewing peripheral and central nervous system anatomy.
In the second year, the rotations include Emergency Room/Outpatient Neurology, Pediatric Neurology, and Neuropathology. As a senior Resident, she/he supervises the Inpatient Neurology Service at BMC, directing the work of first year Residents and Medical Students. Elective Rotations are provided to allow the Resident to explore interests in specific areas of Neurology and to begin a research project. During the third and final year of Residency training, the Resident is expected to function at a high and independent level. He/she supervises the Neurology Service as senior Resident at BVAMC, and the Consult Service at both BVAMC and BMC. In addition, he/she is the Site Administrator Resident at the BVAMC or at one of the two units of BMC (The East Newton Campus or Harrison Avenue Campus). Elective Rotations may be spent in research or clinical subspecialties at the Boston University affiliated institutions, other facilities within the Metropolitan Boston area, or in other cities or countries based on the Resident's performance and area of interest. Independent decision-making and teaching are encouraged with appropriate supervision by a senior staff member. It is during this year that the transformation from Resident to "Attending" is apparent.

* Electives : Students must complete 20 weeks of elective rotations. Eight weeks must be fulfilled within the BU system, i.e., taken from the Fourth Year Elective Catalogue, or independently arranged within the BU system and approved by the department chair designated on the approval form.
The other twelve weeks of elective rotations may be taken inside or outside the BU system. Grades for
electives taken in excess of degree requirements will be recorded on the transcript.

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