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Howard University (College of Medicine)

Howard University College of Medicine first opened its doors as a medical department in 1868, just three years after the close of the Civil War. At that time, newly freed black people were migrating to the nation's capital in large numbers. The founders of the College recognized that the nearly overwhelming health care needs of this population and of other blacks throughout this country would be met best by training students to become highly competent, compassionate physicians who would deliver care in communities having a shortage of health personnel.

That realization was translated into the mission of the Howard University College of Medicine, and the continuing fulfillment of that mission is evidenced by the illustrious record of service provided by the College's alumni and faculty.

The College of Medicine is fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association.

Howard University College of Medicine provides students of high academic potential with a medical education of exceptional quality and prepares physicians and other health care professionals to serve the underserved. Particular focus is on the education of disadvantaged students for careers in medicine. Emphasis is placed on developing skills and habits of life-long learning and producing world leaders in medicine. Special attention is directed to teaching and research activities that address health care disparities.

The College also seeks to improve the health of Americans and the global community through public health training programs and initiatives. Our mission also includes the discovery of new knowledge through research. Lastly, the College supports the education and training of postgraduate physicians, other health care providers, and graduate students in the biomedical sciences.

The goal of the Howard University College of Medicine is to enhance our global recognition as a medical school of the first rank, known for the excellence of our teaching, research and service. We will continue to be a world leader in the training of competent, compassionate physicians and other health professionals for medically underserved communities and populations. In addition, the College envisions that it will be an exemplar in eliminating health disparities and in finding solutions through research and public health programs for medical problems disproportionately found in disadvantaged communities, both in this nation and abroad.

The core values of the Howard University College of Medicine are: (1) fidelity to our mission and a strong and confident belief in our work; (2) excellence and integrity in all that we undertake--teaching, research, and service; (3) leadership in medical education and health care, especially for African Americans, other minorities, and the economically disadvantaged; (4) service to our community, the nation, and the world through public health programs, medical care, and health education; (5) the unrelenting pursuit of knowledge through research and life-long learning; and (6) a commitment to cultural diversity among faculty, staff and students and to ensuring a respectful and ethical academic environment.

The academic program leading to the M.D. degree from the Howard University College of Medicine is designed to produce physicians who are knowledgeable of the principles of modern medical science and who have mastered the art of critical thinking in the clinical decision-making process in order to engage in the practice of medicine as competent professionals.

Graduates of the medical program are expected to exhibit compassion and professional attitudes and conduct. They are expected to be self-directed, committed and resourceful life-long learners who adhere to ethical standards of behavior and serve diverse populations.

These goals shall be accomplished by the following educational objectives. Prior to graduation, each student enrolled in the medical program is expected to:

1. Acquire current core knowledge of basic biomedical science through an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of the processes that support normal development, structure and function of the human organism.

2. Acquire current core knowledge of normal and altered structure and function of organ systems, in order to apply that knowledge to the recognition and management of complex clinical conditions.

3. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate patients and properly manage their medical problems by completing a comprehensive history and physical examination. These steps should be followed by the application of (1) critical thinking to correctly identify patients' medical problems and to formulate hypotheses as to etiologies and solutions; (2) successful development of diagnostic strategies; and (3) formulation and implementation of a management plan.

4. Acquire knowledge of the scientific method in medical diagnosis, treatment and research. The student should be able to evaluate published findings and to apply scientific evidence-based reasoning to the solution of medical problems.

5. Acquire current core knowledge to understand the impact of the various stages of life, as well as the effects of gender, life style, socioeconomic status, nutritional factors, genetic characteristics, psychosocial and epidemiologic factors, and culture upon the quality of human health and the prevalence of disease, disease prevention and health maintenance.

6. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental concepts of continuity of care (preventive, rehabilitative and end-of-life) in addition to the diagnosis of acute medical problems, and be able to apply these concepts to clinical practice on a local, regional, national or international level.

7. Demonstrate mastery of a variety of skills, such as effective communication when interviewing patients and explaining the necessity for patient compliance. The student must also demonstrate appropriate physical examination skills, such as proper use of instruments and application of manual techniques and skills in utilization of laboratory resources, such as ordering appropriate tests and interpreting values.

8. Exhibit appropriate professional behavior in patient and peer interactions; to adhere to professional standards of ethical behavior; and to function harmoniously and respectfully as a member of a diverse health care team.

9. Satisfy requirements essential to enter (USMLE Step 1) and progress (USMLE Step 2) along the pathway toward licensure for the practice of medicine.

10. Display skills of independent, life-long, and progressive learning.

11. Manifest self-awareness, self-care, self-assessment, and personal growth sufficient to be a role model for others.

12. Develop sensitivity toward the need to address and resolve health disparities at all levels.

13. Satisfy the scholarly expectations of the medical faculty as determined by appropriately designed and applied assessment methodologies, including but not limited to written examination performance.

The curriculum of the College of Medicine is designed as a program of instruction and training to produce the physician-scientist.

Students in pursuit of the Doctor of Medicine degree are enrolled in the traditional four-year program.

Courses offered in the College of Medicine are available only to students in the health professions or graduate biomedical degree programs. Students in other programs who wish to enroll in medical courses must first meet all prerequisites for these courses. To apply for course admission, a written request must be made to the Dean of the College of Medicine, with endorsement by the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. Written approval must be granted by the College of Medicine and will be based on available space in the course, as well as whether the course is essential for the specific student's program of study. Such written approval is required prior to authorization by the Office of Enrollment Management to admit a student to a course.

The program of instruction of the College of Medicine is based on the philosophy of a "core" concept of medical education. By this approach, required "core" courses providing the essential knowledge and skills necessary for the practice of medicine are offered to all medical students. In addition, time is provided in the schedule for elective courses, so that students can explore areas of special interest.

School name:Howard UniversityCollege of Medicine
Address:520 W Street, N.W.
Zip & city:DC 20059 District of Columbia

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College of Medicine Medical School Location

College of Medicine Courses


The core disciplines of the first and second years include gross and developmental anatomy, histology and cell structure, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, medical genetics, psychiatry, as well as biometrics and epidemiology. In addition to these, two interdisciplinary courses are offered in the first year: Basic Neuroscience and Introduction to Patient Care I. Interdisciplinary courses offered during the second year include Pathophysiology of Organ Systems, Infectious Diseases, and the principles of physical diagnosis in Introduction to Patient Care III.

The third and fourth years consist of units of instruction in a continuum of clerkships and examinations for various clinical subjects. During the fourth year, opportunity is available for additional clinical or research experience through twenty-four (24) weeks of electives. Elective Requirements: Time is available for elective courses presented in the form of lectures, research, seminar and clinical experiences. These courses are designed to broaden the basic knowledge acquired in the Core Curriculum and also to meet the needs of individual students that arise from differences in background, interests, and choice of future careers in medicine or medically related professions.

Beginning in the second semester of the first year, each medical student may enroll in one (1) elective per semester through the second year. Enrollment in electives during the first two years may be done at the option of the student, but is not required for promotion to the second or third years. Clinical electives are not ordinarily open to first and second year students. Students are strongly advised to select electives which will enhance their pre-clinical preparation.

Elective time is not available in the clerkship schedule of the eleven-month third year. However, in the fourth year, a total of twenty-four (24) weeks is provided of which a minimum of twenty (20)weeks must be spent in an elective course, clinical clerkship, or research activity. An optional: (4) weeks may be taken as "vacation" in addition to any other regular holidays during the year.

During senior electives, students may simultaneously serve as externs in the selected course receive compensation as a US-PHS appointee in connection with an approved elective. The elective however, must be a training experience and temporary employment cannot be substituted electives.

In choosing an elective, senior students may enroll in courses offered at Howard University or, upon approval, electives may be taken( another institution. To do the latter, the student must first obtain and complete the "Medical Student Application for Extramural Elective Clerkship" form which is available in the Office of the Dean. The request is then approved by the appropriate department chairman in the College of Medicine' Final approval of the request is made by the Dean or Associate Dean prior to transmitting application to the extramural chairman, Director, or Chief of Service at the host institution w the elective is to be taken.

Students desiring to take senior electives within the College of Medicine will be advised to register within the respective department(s) at a specified period to be announced in April of the third year.

Twenty-four (24) weeks are available for elective clerkship or research experience during the senior year. Each senior student must spend a minimum of twenty (20) weeks on elective rotations. Four (4) weeks, in addition to regular holidays, may be spent as “vacation” at the option of the student. Students who choose to enroll in electives for the full twenty-four (24) weeks, are expected to complete courses for which they register (both required and elected) to fulfill graduation requirements.

Final decisions regarding electives are to be made by junior students prior to formal registration for the senior year. Program changes cannot be permitted after the deadline date shown in the schedules on the following page. These deadlines are essential for accurate clearances of senior records prior to graduation.

During senior electives, students may simultaneously serve as externs in the selected course, or receive compensation as an US-PHS appointee in connection with an approved elective. Externship or preceptorship appointments must be served at the time of the scheduled elective and must be for the elective course in which the student is enrolled.

In choosing an elective, senior students may enroll in the courses offered at Howard University (intramural courses), which are described in the Senior Electives Handbook. A student may also enroll in electives to be taken at another institution (extramural courses), but must have prior approval by the appropriate department chairman and by the Dean or Associate Dean of the Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM). Four extramural elective courses are allowed. Students must enroll for at least one intramural elective.

Final approval of the request for an extramural elective is made by the Dean or Associate Dean when the student has received a letter of approval and acceptance from the chairman, director or chief of service at the host institution where the elective is to be taken. It is the policy of the College of Medicine that no student should plan to spend all of the elective time in extramural courses except in such instances where this time is to be spent in pursuing another degree.
Electives are to be chosen for not less than four (4) weeks per course, the maximum being six courses for a total of twenty-four (24) weeks. For research electives, students may enroll for longer periods (multiple of 4 weeks). One credit hour is awarded for each week served in any elective.

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