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Saint Louis University (School of Medicine)

The mission of Saint Louis University School of Medicine is to educate professionals to practice and advance knowledge in medicine and the sciences relevant to medicine. The educational approach embraces integrated activities in basic and clinical research, in provision of clinical care, and in involvement with the regional and national community through public service. These diverse educational experiences prepare individuals for careers and leadership roles in medicine and the medical sciences through training grounded in an understanding of the scientific method and an appreciation for personal commitment and service to others.

In pursuit of its mission, the Saint Louis University School of Medicine seeks to impart to its students the following values:

* A concern for the sanctity of human life.
* A commitment to dignity and respect in the provision of medical care to all patients.
* A devotion to social justice, particularly as regards inequities in availability of and access to health care.
* Humility in awareness of medicine’s inherent limitations in the cure of illness.
* An appreciation for all of the factors that affect a person’s state of health or illness.
* A mature and well-balanced professional behavior that derives from comfortable relationships with members of the human family and one’s Creator.

Our medical school faculty are committed to teaching both the science and the art of medicine. Throughout the four-year medical curriculum they integrate the basic and clinical sciences through an organ system approach to medical education. Didactic settings are quite varied and include small group activities, computer-based instruction, and case-based tutorials. Students may also practice their skills in the School's Clinical Skills Center where they have the opportunity to interact with trained standardized patients and practice selected clinical procedures on simulated models and mannequins before participating in the care of actual patients.

During third and fourth year clinical rotations, students continue developing their diagnostic and treatment competencies in a variety of supervised inpatient and outpatient settings. Every aspect of the curriculum encourages independent inquiry while introducing students to an array of skills necessary for a lifetime of critical evaluation and learning.

The goal of the MD Degree Program curriculum at Saint Louis University School of Medicine is to prepare students for the future practice of medicine. The curriculum is the result of several years of study by committees composed of faculty and students. However, the curriculum designed to attain the MD degree is only one phase of a continuum of learning in the practice of medicine. It is expected that students will pursue graduate study to further advance their skills before being able to practice without supervision.

The curriculum offers a coordination and integration of the basic and clinical sciences. Additionally, it follows established principles of adult learning, and so it is a hybrid of lectures, small group activities, early clinical activities, self-directed learning, and problem-solving exercises.

The first two years of the four-year curriculum (Phase 1 and Phase 2) are primarily devoted to the study of the fundamental sciences basic to medicine and early clinical exposure to patients, while the last two years concentrate on the acquisition of clinical skills. Year 3 and Year 4 are combined into one continuous period, Phase 3.
The total weeks of instructions in the four-year curriculum is 158 weeks.

Completed in March of 1977, the Clinical Skills Center is the oldest of its kind in North America. Located in the Margaret McCormick Doisy Learning Resources Center (LRC) adjacent to the School of Medicine and across the street from the Saint Louis University Hospital, the Center is used for the teaching and assessment of clinical skills such as history taking and physical examination. In addition to over 2,000 square feet of space for the practice of clinical procedures such as venipuncture and lumbar puncture, the Clinical Skills Center contains seven examination rooms complete with exam table, sink, oto-ophthalmoscope, sphygmomanometer, and other examination equipment. Two monitoring rooms provide direct visualization via videocameras, VCRs and microphones.

The Clinical Skills Center utilizes standardized patients for teaching and assessment. Standardized patients (SPs) are individuals trained to teach and assess clinical skills from the patient's perspective, giving good advice about ways to approach patients in a sensitive and compassionate manner. Using standardized patients does not replace work done with real patients during the preclinical years, but rather enhances students' skills and comfort in the clinical setting. Difficult situations such as discussing life support and dealing with angry patients can be practiced with SPs prior to confronting these situations in "real life."

School name:Saint Louis UniversitySchool of Medicine
Address:1402 South Grand Boulevard
Zip & city:MOi 63104 Missouri

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YEAR 1 COURSES : * Human Anatomy : It is very appropriate for Human Anatomy to be the first block of Phase 1’s Fundamentals of Biomedical Science. Studying the gross anatomical structure provides part of the basic background for the study of all of medicine. The knowledge gained by actual dissection of the human cadaver and the study of cross-sectional anatomy will be of enoumous importance as the student is learning the terminology of medicine. That knowledge coupled with function is the fundamental basis of all medicine. There are areas of the body that will not be covered in Human Anatomy such as the joints of the upper and lower limbs. They will be studied during Phase 2 of the curriculum when the organ/system approach will be taught in various modules. * Cell Biology : The Cell Biology course stresses the fundamental underlying concepts of cell and tissue histology, as well as fundamental cellular physiology. Rather than providing a complete and comprehensive approach to histology or physiology, however, it is the aim of this course to provide the student with introductory concepts in both areas. A secondary aim is to provide the student with fundamental skills that they will use to understand the more complex histologic and physiologic principles that they will encounter in later modules throughout the first and second year curricula. * Metabolism : The goals of this course are - To give enough of a background in the vocabulary and practice of metabolic biochemistry to give future clinician confidence when confronted with metabolic problems such as those that arise in: physiology, pharmacology, nutrition, toxicology, genetics and molecular biology, and endocrinology. - To connect what you know about inorganic, organic and biochemistry to what you need to know to understand metabolism. - To give an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of Metabolism: includes faculty with training in Medicine, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Nutrition, Surgery, Dietetics. - Laboratory experience in blood drawing and assessment of serum glucose and lipids. * Microbes and Host Responses : From birth, we are exposed to a continuous stream of microbes that can potentially wreak havoc on our bodily processes. Without effective protective mechanisms, each of us would soon succumb to diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms or the harmful effects of foreign substances (e.g. toxins) or cancer cells. (Janice Kuby, 1997). New microorganisms continue to "emerge" from the environment, and "re-emerge" as superbugs resistant to our most powerful antimicrobial drugs or vaccine approaches. Thus, infectious and parasitic diseases continue to represent the leading cause of death in the world today. It is therefore important to understand the basic nature of the organisms which cause these afflictions, and the mechanisms used by the host as defense against them. Indeed, the ability to "boost" the protective response to such foreign agents by way of vaccination, represents one of the best examples of truly preventative medicine. It is these fascinating properties of microbial injury and the mechanisms of recognition and protection that we are about to study. * Pathology : Pathology is the study (logos) of suffering/disease (pathos). It is a discipline that involves basic science and clinical practice, whose purpose is to study changes (structural and functional) that underlie diseases. Traditionally, the study of Pathology is divided into two parts: General Pathology, dealing with the fundamental reactions of cells and tissues to stimuli that cause and exacerbate diseases, and Systematic Pathology, dealing with specific responses of specialized organs and organ systems to pathologic stimuli. Fundamental to learning about the specific disease entities covered in Systematic Pathology is acquisition of a familiarity with the general processes and vocabulary of General Pathology. Without a solid foundation of knowledge of General Pathology, the field of Systematic Pathology rapidly degenerates into a series of lists and details. The purpose of the Introduction to Pathology Course is to introduce you to concepts and principles of General Pathology, with a focus on patterns of cell and tissue response to injury, mechanisms of cell injury, the inflammatory process, thrombosis, neoplasia, normal and abnormal growth and development, clinicopathologic correlation and the role of the pathologist in the care of the patient. * Principles of Pharmacology : Pharmacology is a study of the interactions of chemicals on the biological system. Of most relevance in the present context are those chemicals (drugs) which are useful in the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of disease. These agents are among the most important and powerful tools in the physician's armamentarium and must be used wisely and with great discretion. The major problem confronting the physician is in making the proper scientific application of pharmacological principles when using therapeutic agents. That is, choosing the right drug in the right dose for an individual patient under a set of circumstances that may never be exactly duplicated. This course in Principles of Pharmacology is designed to lay the groundwork for the integrative study of the use of drugs for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure of disease. This information will have a direct bearing on what is studied in the organ system modules next year when the effect of drugs in specific organ systems will be studied. This information will also provide the background necessary when you use drugs therapeutically in the clinic. The Course consists of 4 sections: General Principles of Pharmacology (Section 1); Drugs Affecting Synaptic and Neuroeffector Junction - Autonomic and Somatic Nervous System (Section 2); General Principles of Toxicology (Section 3); and Drugs Used in the Chemotherapy of Neoplastic, Microbial, Parasitic and Viral Diseases (Section 4). These sections are being presented in the Principles of Pharmacology Course because they do not lend themselves well to placement in Specific Organ system modules. YEAR 2 COURSES : * Endocrine and Reproductive Module : This module is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the endocrine systems of the human body. This overview will include normal histology and physiology of the endocrine organs, the responses of organs and tissues to endocrine hormones, pathological conditions involving the endocrine systems, and pharmacological approaches to therapeutic treatments of endocrine diseases. Because the effects of endocrine hormones encompass all of the organ systems of the body, this module is one of the last to be studied in the Phase 2 curriculum and will build on the knowledge already achieved by the students. The presentation of material has been organized to provide efficient transfer of information to the student. Didactic lecture material will be presented in 50 min lecture periods in the mornings. The order of presentation of material on each of the endocrine organ and associated hormones will allow the student to build on prior knowledge without unnecessary redundancy. In general, each system will be presented in the following order: embryology, histology, physiology, pharmacology and pathology. Some overlap in systems is necessitated by this approach. Some days will be dedicated to hand on experience with examination of histological and pathological specimens and introduction to clinical and diagnostic skills via the case history analyses. * Introduction to Clinical Medicine : During the past two years, you have acquired a massive amount of information about the biomedical processes that determine the structure and functions of the human body in health and disease. Within a few months, you will be called upon to apply that knowledge to problems in clinical medicine. The Introduction to Clinical Medicine course is designed to serve as a bridge between the 2nd and 3rd years of medical school The 9 topics to be discussed represent common complaints which patients present to physicians. You will observe how an experienced clinician works through the differential diagnosis and how knowledge of basic science is necessary to arrive at a correct diagnosis. Clinical tools including history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging techniques will be emphasized. Since it is our aim to simulate the exact process that a clinician goes through in their office, you will receive only the case history beforehand. Based on the information, you and the clinician will proceed appropriately. At the end, you’ll receive a summary/outline/flow chart so that you can review the differential diagnosis and the ways in which the clinician arrived at the correct diagnosis. * Renal Urinary System Module * Gastrointestinal System Module * Cardiovascular System Module * Respiratory System Module * Hematopoietic and Lymphopoietic Systems Module * Skin, Bone, and Joint Module * Nervous System Module YEAR 3 AND 4 COURSES : * Family Medicine Clerkship : This rotation in Family Medicine is designed to enable you to establish competencies in the comprehensive approach to the practice of medicine. The board specialty of Family Medicine is centered on lasting, caring relationships with patients and their families. Family Medicine physicians integrate the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences to provide continuing and comprehensive health care. The scope of practice encompasses all ages and genders, each organ system, and every disease entity. Family Medicine physicians work in a variety of clinical settings and professional areas. They have the flexibility to define their careers based on their own skills and preferences. By learning in a "continuity" setting, we hope you will appreciate the challenges of medical problem solving and the immense rewards that longitudinal care and the development of meaningful relationships with patients can bring. During this clerkship, you will spend four days each week with a family medicine physician in an ambulatory care setting. Wednesdays will be spent in didactic learning sessions on campus. The Family Medicine Clerkship provides strong clinical training for students interested in a future in Family Medicine and for students who desire to excel in other specialties. * Internal Medicine : The Internal Medicine Clerkship provides you with an opportunity to refine and apply skills and knowledge acquired during the first two years of medical school and to learn the basics of medical decision-making, diagnostics, and therapeutics. You will find it to be an intense but challenging and rewarding experience. The basic emphasis lies with improving skills in obtaining an accurate medical history and performing physical examinations under the supervision of faculty attendings and resident physicians. The student has opportunities to synthesize the data, create problem lists and logical diagnostic and therapeutic plans for patient care. Skills in accurate oral and written presentations are emphasized in small group sessions. The knowledge base in Internal Medicine is strengthened by development of a regular reading program. The enthusiasm that medical students bring to patient care improves the learning environment for all involved. The Internal Medicine Clerkship provides a strong foundation for students interested in a future in Internal Medicine and for students who desire to excel in other specialties. This can be achieved only through a commitment to scholarship. The Internal Medicine faculty are available to facilitate progress toward these goals. * Neurology : During your four week Neurology rotation, we hope to impart on you a logical method of evaluating and treating patients. No matter what complaint, evaluation should proceed in a standard fashion, beginning with review of the complaints and past history and continuing through the general and neurological examinations. You will then formulate a tentative diagnosis, including localization of the process to a specific aspect of the neuraxis and estimation of the underlying pathogenesis. Laboratory support will then be utilized to prove or disprove the tentative diagnosis. Consistent application of this "neurologic method" will be invaluable to you in your future practice. Of course, there is a wealth of information which you will need to learn during your rotation. * Obstetrics and Gynecology : The Phase 3 Obstetrics and Gynecology rotation incorporates a wide range of medical care. It offers obstetrics, GYN surgery, elements of primary care, preventive medicine, and psychiatric and psychological problems. The highlights of the course are bringing a new life into the world and providing health care for women. St. John's Mercy Medical Center offers normal obstetrics and a broad variety of GYN surgeries with some GYN Oncology. St. Mary's Health Center is the clinical base for the Saint Louis University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. St. Mary's offers good experience in obstetrics, including high risk, general gynecology and GYN oncology, and a rich outpatient experience. * Pediatrics : This is an eight-week Year 3 clerkship offered by the Department of Pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. The clinical experience includes inpatient wards, ambulatory pediatrics, and newborn nursery. In addition, there are a series of didactic lectures and conferences. The goal of the course is to acquaint the students with general aspects of growth, development, physical and mental health, and illness of infants, children, and adolescents. At the end of the course the student should be cognizant of: the normal patterns of growth and development and assessment thereof: effective techniques of history-taking in the pediatric setting; techniques of physical and neurological examination of infants, children, and adolescents; and common pediatric disease processes and their evaluation, management, and expected outcome. * Psychiatry : This is a six-week clerkship offered by the Department of Psychiatry. Presently, the program offers learning opportunities at a variety of clinical sites: Saint Louis University Hospital, Jefferson Barracks VA, and John Cochran VA. * Surgery : The surgery clerkship experience focuses on general surgery, offering students the opportunity to function as members of a surgical team. The basics of general patient evaluation are adapted to the surgical setting to include assessing patients pre-and post operatively. Building on general pathophysiology and clinical medicine, students will apply problem solving and critical thinking skills in determining surgical risk and indications for a range of common surgical procedures. Students will learn the importance of sterile technique in minor procedures and in the operating room. They will learn basic suturing, wound closure and wound management skills and will have the opportunity to accompany their patients and teams to the OR. Year 4 offers a wide range of options incorporating required and elective curriculum, vacation, interview time, remedial activities, research, or additional course work. These elements allow students to design programs to fit their individual career goals. Usually, students require a minimum of 36 weeks of approved instruction to complete 84 weeks for Phase 3. Thus, normally, up to ten weeks of the academic year are available as discretionary time to be allotted by students for vacation, residency interviews, travel, additional electives, study time for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), holidays and remediation (such as the completion of third year requirements). Residency interviewing must be scheduled during discretionary time.

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