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George Washington University (School of Medicine and Health Sciences)

There has never been a better time to be a student at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. With the new GW Hospital fully operational, our students have new opportunities for exciting educational experiences in a state-of-the art facility. In addition, we are on the forefront of meeting the healthcare challenges presented in this new era of terrorism and are designing training for our region’s first responders. We boast a first class faculty with real world experiences and are proud to continue our tradition of quality instruction and mentoring for our students.

Our students’ “hands on” training is supplemented through our Integrated Education and Research Center located on the 6th floor of the GW Hospital. This includes our Clinical Learning and Simulated Skills (CLASS) Center where our students learn procedures in one of two surgical simulation suites using highly sophisticated computer controlled mannequins. Students also hone their clinical skills in a suite of patient exam rooms through the use of standardized patients. Our program is already recognized for improving the way teaching and evaluations are done for healthcare professionals in training.

Diversity is the benchmark for our student population. Because of our location in the nation’s capital and our proximity to such organizations as the World Health Organization, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institutes of Health and because of our extensive affiliations, we are able to attract the brightest and best students from a broad cross section of social, cultural, geographic and educational backgrounds. This gives our student body rich experiences from the beginning of their tenure at GW.

GW’s long tradition of excellent research exposes our students to a wealth of opportunities. We continue to be on the cutting edge of research in five primary areas: Cancer and Molecular Oncology, Cardiovascular Diseases and Vascular Biology, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Neurobehavioral Sciences, and Public Health and Health Services. This year will officially launch our Cancer Institute that will focus on the cancers prevalent in our own backyard and present a body of research to address everything from causes to treatment.

Our primary missions will continue to be education, research and superior clinical care. As we enter a new era at the GW Medical Center, we owe our success to the students who enrich their educational experience and ours with their enthusiasm and desire to learn and push the bar even higher. This is a challenge for our faculty that is met with equal enthusiasm. It is my hope that you will join our special family at the GW Medical Center during these very exciting times.

The George Washington University Medical Center will improve the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities by:

* Developing tomorrow’s leaders
* Delivering high-quality healthcare
* Advancing scientific discovery and translating
discoveries into action
* Harnessing new technology
* Establishing community partnerships
* Fostering multidisciplinary collaboration
* Pursuing alliances unique to our location.

Institutional Goals
1. Prioritize and develop signature programs intersecting education, research, clinical care, policy and community service in alignment with market and community needs.
2. Enhance the national and international stature of GWUMC as a premier academic medical center.
3. Leverage the unique partnership between the SPHHS and SMHS.
4. Increase collaboration and alliances within and outside of the University.
5. Work with the local community to enhance our service contributions.
6. Strengthen financial sustainability of each Medical Center entity.
7. Provide funding and other institutional support for programmatic reinvestment and growth.
8. Have a working environment that encourages the best faculty and staff to choose us.

Educational Goals
1. Develop and provide strong academic programs and multidisciplinary experiences that attract top candidates from diverse backgrounds.
2. Educate and train students and residents to become lifetime learners and to become leaders in improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.
3. Lead the field in the development of innovative curriculum and new models of teaching excellence.
4. Increase student exposure and involvement in research, policy and community service.

Clinical Goals
1. Ensure consistent quality care across all clinical services.
2. Provide excellent service to our patients and their loved ones.
3. Identify and develop “destination” clinical programs.

Research Goals
1. Within 10 years be internationally recognized for three signature multidisciplinary research programs.
2. Make excellence in research a defining characteristic of GWUMC and an integral part of the clinical and educational programs.
3. Enhance collaboration throughout GWUMC and the University.
4. Expand research collaboration with external organizations.

During several town hall meetings, GW Medical Center leaders unveiled progress on the strategic plan, defining mission, vision, goals and priorities for the next five years. Students, faculty, staff and members of the GW community attended the town hall meetings on the new strategic plan.

The University Board of Trustees charged the Medical Center with the development of a new strategic plan, according to University Provost and Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. John F. Williams. The strategic plan, initiated last year, is the result of input from more than 250 people, including faculty, staff, students, University leadership, Trustees and others from the GW medical center community. It involved an assessment of the current market and environment as well as a projection of future needs. "The strategic planning process serves as a starting point both for accelerating and cementing GW Medical Center’s position among leading academic health centers."

Dr. Williams noted that, in the late 1990s, the Medical Center and its related entities were losing in excess of $40 million a year. Since that time, the Medical Center and its related entities have become financially stable and much stronger. "We now are in a position to make key investments in new targeted areas and continued investments in existing programs. We also have the opportunity, with the new University master campus plan, to participate in new building projects."

A steering committee comprised of Medical Center leadership guided the strategic planning process. Four strategy design teams addressed the three mission areas of education, research and patient care, as well as communication and collaboration. These teams were instrumental in developing goals as well as strategies and tactics to support the goals.

The MD curriculum must reflect the best thinking of our faculty, as informed by national and international trends and experts. Its goals, which are to facilitate the learning of our students, must be consistent with the expectations of postgraduate medical educators and licensing and accrediting bodies, and responsive to the public trust. In order to achieve these goals, the faculty and students must together establish a mutually supportive learning community--an educational partnership from which both can benefit and to which both must contribute.

The over-arching goal will be the graduation of physicians with the requisite general knowledge, skills, and attitudes to advance to the next stage of their clinical training and to be able to continue to learn and grow as professionals thereafter. Through continued training and focused learning in postgraduate education, they will ultimately acquire the ability to function responsibly and independently as licensed physicians and attain board certification in their chosen specialties. They will be genuinely devoted to caring for their patients in a scientifically competent, compassionate and humane manner; will be committed to following, and if possible contributing to the advancement of, medical science; and in their areas of work, will be able to function successfully in the diverse roles expected of physicians: those of medical expert, scholar, communicator, collaborator, health advocate, manager, and professional.

The International MD Program is available to a select number of international applicants who have completed a minimum of 90 credit hours at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university. This course of study is designed to prepare non-U.S. citizens for medical practice and leadership positions in their home countries. The curriculum follows that of the five-year decelerated program. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences accepts applications from international students solely through the International MD Program. Applicants must be sponsored by their government and/or a medical institution within their home country and must complete the same prerequisites as regular MD candidates. Canadian applicants should apply through the regular MD admissions process.
International Electives
The Office of International Medicine Programs offers international elective programs in various locations including China, France, and countries in Africa and Latin America, to medical students in their fourth year of study.

Research is organized between the Schools of the Medical Center in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences (PhD Programs), which is concerned with biomedical "bench" research. It is the organization responsible for the PhD training programs offered by our basic science departments and interdisciplinary research programs developed by our faculty. While the faculty are of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the degrees are conferred by the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences.

The purpose of this arrangement between the Schools of the Medical Center is to provide the best integrated experience to all health professionals who train at The George Washington University, while simultaneously remaining cognizant of our responsibility to keep infrastructure costs to a minimum, so that our research and graduate degrees carry as much value as possible.

School name:George Washington UniversitySchool of Medicine and Health Sciences
Address:2300 Eye Street N.W.
Zip & city:DC 20037 District of Columbia

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School of Medicine and Health Sciences Medical School Location

School of Medicine and Health Sciences Courses


The Practice of Medicine, a course that spans all four
years, provides early patient exposure and the means
to develop outstanding clinical thinking, technical skills, and a sense of professionalism. In the first two years, the Practice of Medicine offers a clinical apprenticeship in which each student is placed with a practicing primary care clinician one day every other week, while on alternate weeks students meet in small groups with faculty mentors to learn clinical assessment skills and to consider ethical, social, and professional issues. In addition, problem-based learning is conducted through small-group, case-based tutorials.

The balance of the curriculum in Years I and II is devoted to didactic basic science instruction. In Year I, that instruction is concentrated on the study of normal human biology and function, with specific courses in gross and microscopic anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, neurobiology, and immunology. In Year II, instruction is focused on the study of abnormal human biology, with specific courses in pathology, pharmacology, psychiatry, and microbiology. Year II concludes with Introduction to Clinical Medicine, an interdisciplinary course organized in terms of organ systems.

The POM course for Years I and II consists of three segments running through both years. In one segment the students, working in small groups with a mentor, are taught clinical assessment skills, such as history taking, the core physical examination, critical reading of the literature, epidemiologic methods and clinical decision making. This forum is also used to introduce and discuss a variety of important issues for the developing physician. Topics range from government involvement in health care, legal and ethical considerations in patient management to more personal issues, such as death and dying, aging and personal problems encountered by physicians and their families.

Another segment of this course is the primary care apprenticeship. At the beginning of the first semester each student is assigned to a physician. Throughout the first two years the student spends time with that physician in his primary care office. This experience exposes students to the office setting where they can observe the practice of medicine first hand. They can also begin to integrate what they are learning in the other segments of the POM course and the basic science courses to clinical practice.

The third segment of POM is the problem-based learning (PBL) cases. The PBL cases focus on common diseases and disorders and illustrate how illness affects not only a person's biologic health, but also their psychologic and social well-being. The cases provide an academic setting in which students, working in small groups with a faculty tutor, integrate basic biomedical science with patient care, to individually develop their clinical problem-solving skills and to discover the relevance of their education to the demands of modern medical practice. Beginning in the fall of 1995, PBL cases were expanded making POM the largest course in the first year.
POM runs concurrently with core basic science courses in the first year.
In the second year, students remain with their original primary care preceptors developing their clinical skills and their mentor groups progress, and PBL cases continue to be explored.


* Gross Anatomy
* Microscopic Anatomy
* Practice of Medicine I
* Neurobiology
* Medical Biochemistry
* Immunology
* Physiology


* Microbiology
* Pathology
* Pharmacology
* Practice of Medicine II
* Psychopathology
* Intro Clin Med


During the final two years, the MD program consists primarily of a series of required clerkships and elective sequences designed to prepare students for graduate training in any field of their choice, while at the same time providing them with extensive exposure to a variety of fields sufficient to enable them to make appropriate career decisions. Basic science content is re-examined and reinforced in the continuing Practice of Medicine course where, among other multidisciplinary considerations, the implications and applications of the basic sciences to the understanding and management of clinical problems are explored, and topics of ethics and patient management are handled on a more sophisticated level.

Third-year required clerkships of eight weeks each include medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and primary care. In the fourth year, students are required to complete an acting internship in medicine, pediatrics, or family medicine; at least one course in neuroscience, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, and a non-clinical subject; and 24 weeks of electives, four weeks of which must be in surgical subspecialties. A variety of elective experiences is available to meet these requirements at the University and its affiliated hospitals; permission may also be granted to take a limited number of electives elsewhere.

Incorporation of POM into the Year III curriculum includes one half day per week of didactic instruction which primarily will reinforce basic science material.

Year IV POM consists of individualized non-clinical coursework. In addition to covering advances in basic sciences and clinical application, this course will serve as a continuation of Year III POM's integration and reinforcement of basic science material. No medical education would be complete without exploring and approaching the patient in a comprehensive manner, using the biopsychosocial model. In disciplinary courses and the POM, we constantly emphasize that illness occurs in people who live in families, who are parts of groups and who experience the world through the tinted lenses of culture and tradition. Throughout this learning experience, we also stress education through cooperation and collaboration -- not through competition -- and ongoing development of the ability to work with groups of colleagues and co-workers.


* Psychiatry
* Medicine
* Ob / Gyn
* Primary care
* Surgery
* Pediatrics
* Practice of Medicine

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