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Georgetown University (School of Medicine)




Georgetown's MD degree program is a dynamic one, subject to continuous scrutiny and revision. Despite this vital, necessary process of ongoing change, the overriding aim of medical education at Georgetown remains constant: to offer future physicians a superior and supportive environment for learning the art and the science of medicine. At Georgetown, this is a process which has been educating clinicians and scientists for 150 years.

The mission of the University is to transmit and give witness to the principles, ideals, and tradition of the Jesuit, Catholic, and American cultural heritage. The University promotes this tradition through teaching and research in each of its component schools and institutes.

Within this larger mission, the specific mission of the Georgetown University Medical Center is the advancement of health through research in the clinical and biomedical sciences, the education of future leaders in medical and nursing practice and academia, and the provision of compassionate and scientifically competent patient care and service to the Washington community and the nation.

The objectives of Georgetown University School of Medicine are:

* To educate students for the medical profession with a firm foundation in biomedical science. This foundation will be applied clinically to the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients, and to assist patients in caring for their health. Students will be taught traditional techniques and practices as well as the most advanced. Students should establish habits of self-education that will continue throughout their careers.

* To prepare graduates to continue training in any specialty and to practice in any circumstance or proceed to a career of scientific investigation.

* To promote in students compassion for the patient, respect for the doctor-patient relationship, cooperation with other health care professionals, and awareness of the ethical, social, economic, and behavioral aspects of medicine.

* To make available to all students diversified opportunities for research experiences and training.

* To provide an environment for excellence in training PhD and MD/PhD students in the biomedical sciences.

With this mission and these objectives in mind, Georgetown University School of Medicine seeks students and faculty members from every ethnic and socioeconomic background -- diverse men and women who share a commitment to scholarship and service through medical practice and research.

The Georgetown University School of Medicine Faculty includes 626 full-time and 2,000 part-time faculty members from 8 basic science and 16 clinical departments, and one center.

The Georgetown School of Medicine Cura Personalis Social Justice in Health Care curriculum sets to inculcate and nurture an ethos of service, advocacy, a sense of community, and a capacity for leadership among our students that is directed towards the care of the most vulnerable, disenfranchised and underserved in our society. Grounded in a commitment to service and social justice and reflecting the values of our Jesuit core, the curriculum represents a model for what needs to be expected of the profession and the physicians entering the profession in the 21st century. Service, learning, and advocacy experiences parallel and complement the core curriculum and enhance our students' learning and capacities. Physicians graduating from Georgetown are equipped and prepared to be the change agents and architects of a more equitable, fair and empowering health care system and society.

Based on the Jesuit's guiding principle of cura personalis, Georgetown University School of Medicine is committed to providing a nurturing environment that will allow each faculty member to grow to their full potential as a teacher, scholar, and human being.

In an attempt to create such an environment in April 2001 the leadership of the School of Medicine, in conjunction with the Committee on Faculty, developed a proposal for a Faculty Development Initiative. In April 2002, the leadership of the University established a Framework for Medical Center Governance that included the creation of an Office of Faculty Affairs under the supervision of an Associate Dean within the Office of the Academic Dean. This office came into being in July 2002.

Medical school is an intense formative process. Although almost all students who begin medical school proceed to graduation, there are rocky moments along the way. Coming to a new school or a new geographical area involves separating from familiar people and places, making new friends, and getting adjusted to a new locale and rhythm of life. Separations can bring strains, sometimes fatal, to relationships. If you are the first in your family to enter medicine, the whole environment may seem very strange. Even if a student comes from a medical family, the atmosphere at the medical center may be quite different from that back home or in college.
Students who come with a minimal science background or from schools where multiple choice examinations were rarely given, may have special adjustments to make in study and examination preparation techniques. If you are used to being a high performer in high school and college, you may have some adjustments to make if you seem to be "just average" in medical school.

Except for Ambulatory Care and Physical Diagnosis assignments, the first and second years are spent almost entirely at Georgetown. Each year begins in August and ends in early June. The preclinical years are currently divided into four periods, each of which consists of a section of class time, some study days, and an examination period. The second quarter ends at the Christmas vacation; the third quarter begins after New Year's Day.

Medical School lectures and other classes are audio and video recorded. Faculty and student participation in the class gives consent for such recordings and for the university to use the recordings for its educational purposes and other legitimate university business.

Medical students in the first and second year classes operate a note taking service covering the classes for the preclinical years. Students subscribe to the service by the semester. Assigned medical student take notes for a particular lecture and type them and are paid by the noteset. The service has the notes duplicated and distributed to subscribers' mailboxes. The quality of the
notes obviously depends on the quality of the notetaker, as well as whether or not the professor chooses to edit them (not required of faculty). The class note sets and any recordings of classes or other SOM events or activities are subject to copyright law and university policy, and are for the sole use of GU medical school students for educational purposes only. MNTS operates under the approval of the Student Council and presents a financial report to the Assistant Dean for Resource Management and the Student Council at the end of each academic year. Because the MNTS uses school facilities, its fiscal and payroll operations are subject to the accounting policies, requirements, and practices of the University.

The undergraduate medical curriculum at Georgetown is the dynamic product -- the "work in progress" -- of a continuous effort to evaluate and improve what our future physicians learn and how they learn it. Major revisions were instituted in 1987, in the wake of the publication of Physicians for the 21st Century, the report of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Panel on the General Professional Education of the Physician, and again in 1992, following the publication of the AAMC's report, Assessing Change in Medical Education: The Road to Implementation.

With these and other ongoing changes, the preclinical curriculum features an increased emphasis on small-group teaching, a reduction in the hours traditionally devoted to lectures, and enhanced participation by students in the learning process. In the anatomical sciences, biochemistry, and other basic courses, case-oriented, problem-based learning exercises have been integrated with lectures and laboratories. Moreover, the first two years at Georgetown also provide students with a comparatively early introduction to the patient, as well as to the spiritual and ethical dimensions of medicine. With the clinical curriculum, Georgetown medical students receive a comprehensive, in-depth introduction to the care of patients - in the third year, via a series of clerkships in the major medical specialties and in the fourth year, via advanced clerkships in medicine, surgery, and primary and ambulatory care. The fourth year also provides ample time for elective studies and for research.


School name:Georgetown UniversitySchool of Medicine
Address:3900 Reservoir Road, N.W.
Zip & city:DC 20007 District of Columbia
Phone:202-687-0100
Web:http://som.georgetown.edu
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FIRST AND SECOND YEARS

The curriculum for the first two years of medical school has several distinguishing hallmarks:

* Both departmental and interdisciplinary courses that emphasize normal and altered human structure and function.
* Courses that collectively constitute a broad based introduction to patient care, including "Introduction to the Patient," "Ambulatory Care," "Physical Diagnosis," and "Problem-Solving."
* Problem-based learning modules - for example, in gross anatomy -- designed to convey fundamental, basic biomedical knowledge in the context of clinical problems.
* Parts One and Two of a four-part, longitudinal curriculum in clinical ethics, with the first part focused on the theme of moral agency and second on the principal ethical dilemmas encountered in the practice of medicine (e.g., problems concerning privacy and confidentiality, informed consent and refusal of treatment, withholding and withdrawing therapy, etc.).
* A course of in "Religious Traditions in Health Care," which uses clinical cases to illustrate how patients and healers in different faith traditions confront the problems of human health and disease."

Departmental courses provide the student with the scientific knowledge basic to the practice of contemporary medicine for example, knowledge traditionally organized under the rubrics of anatomy (gross and micro), biochemistry, physiology, neurobiology, microbiology, pathology, and pharmacology. The underlying "logic" of the curriculum leads the student from the initial study of the basic anatomic and chemical characteristics of the normal body, through a survey of the dynamic properties that regulate and participate in the function of the normal body, to the study of the changes that are produced by diseases, drugs and other agents. The Departments of Cell Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology present the gross and microscopic structure and the chemical functions of the human body by means of lectures, demonstrations, dissection laboratory, teaching aids and problem-based learning exercises. In such courses as "Physiology" and "Neurobiology," students analyze and learn about the principal, dynamic functions of the body, as well as the organismic substrate of the mind, the brain and central nervous system. First-year courses are particularly concerned with how bodily organs interact and with the ways in which this interaction comprises the total human organism. Finally, in the first year, students are introduced to the care of patients (via a course emphasizing the skill of history-taking entitled Introduction to the Patient and a course in ambulatory care); the fundamental principles and theories of clinical ethics; the broader demographic and policy dimensions of the American health care system and the role of spirituality in the experience of health and illness as well as in the physician-patient relationship.

A focus of the second year is the study of disease processes, especially those caused by microbes; the body's own immunological defenses against microbes, as well as other pathological agents; and the principles governing the action of pharmacological agents, their major uses and their consequences. In addition, students continue their introduction to clinical practice through ambulatory care experiences and through a course in physical diagnosis. They also continue their study of clinical ethics by analyzing "classic cases" illustrative of the application of key theories and principles. Finally, in three blocks of curricular time, students take an interdepartmental course called Clinical Problem Solving, which also serves to continue the introduction to patient care and provide a bridge between the basic science emphasis of the preclinical curriculum and the clinical emphasis of the third and fourth years.

Elective courses supplement the preceding required components of the first and second year. The student may use electives to pursue in greater depth some aspect of medicine introduced in the courses or to obtain selected special knowledge not covered in the courses. Electives are chosen in advanced basic sciences, behavioral sciences, clinical sciences, ethics, economics, sociology, demography, community medicine or research. Some may be taken from faculty on Georgetown's Main Campus.

THIRD AND FOURTH YEARS

The third year contains 48 weeks divided into four blocks, each being 12 weeks in duration. During this year, the student serves clinical clerkships in the major specialties as follows: Medicine, 12 weeks; Surgery, 12 weeks; Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynecology, six weeks each; Neurology, Psychiatry and Family Medicine, four weeks each. These clerkships are conducted by clinical departments at the Medical Center and its affiliates. During this time, the student receives intensive instruction in the acquisition and interpretation of patient-based data and begins to share responsibility for patient care.

The fourth year contains 44 weeks of instructional time and provides the student with substantial, but supervised responsibility in the clinical management of patients. Patient experience is gained during six weeks on the medical and surgical services as an acting intern, 12 weeks on a primary/ambulatory rotation that includes Emergency Medicine, and a selection of two other four-week rotations. The fourth year also provides, to the maximum extent possible, programs designed to meet the individual needs and desires of each student. Accordingly, Georgetown offers a large number of approved electives, and the student has substantial freedom in choosing the service and hospital in which s/he must spend 20 weeks devoted to the elective programs. Continuing the theme of integrating basic and clinical sciences, the fourth-year curriculum includes a required program offered by the Department of Pharmacology, and many of the basic sciences offer other electives.

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS

To complete requirements for graduation, a student must complete 20 weeks of elective time. Many students choose to fulfill this requirement by taking electives abroad through Georgetown's International Programs. Available to fourth-year students, these programs provide participants with experience in medical-care delivery in a developing-nation setting.

The Office of International Programs currently sponsors programs in Latin America, Europe, and Africa. For fourth-year students fluent in Spanish, several four- to eight-week international rotations are available in Community and Family Medicine. Locations include Cuernevaca, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Quito, Ecuador. On the European continent, students can participate in a variety of electives in both Ireland and the United Kingdom through our relationship with institutions, such as Trinity College, Dublin; National University, Galway, and the Royal Brompton National Heart and Lung Institute. Six- to eight-week electives are also available to students at the Nyumbani Orphanage in Kenya, Africa, and the Banso Baptist Hospital in Cameroon, Africa.

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