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University of Missouri-Columbia (School of Medicine)

The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine was the first publicly supported medical school west of the Mississippi River. It was established as a two-year school in 1872 and became a four-year program in 1957. Today, the school offers an outstanding program that emphasizes a thorough medical education founded on clinical experience and research.

Each year 96 first-year slots are available. The School of Medicine is a pioneer in the problem-based learning style of medical education that emphasizes problem solving, self-directed learning and early clinical experience. In addition, the Pre-Admissions Program and the Rural Track Program offered through the school give students an opportunity to gain education and experience practicing medicine in a rural area.

A faculty of 70 basic scientists and 260 clinicians joins 350 residents in more than 60 specialties and subspecialties to supervise patient care and student teaching. The school provides postgraduate medical training in virtually all specialties and subspecialties. Eighty-five percent or more of our graduates receive their first or second choice of specialties and residency programs, with 70 percent or more being matched with the program they most want.

As part of the Health Sciences Center, the school continues to revolutionize medicine by exploring innovative ways to deliver health care to the residents of Missouri. Its faculty and administrators are leading a major initiative that allows rural physicians and their patients to consult with Health Sciences Center specialists via telemedicine technology.

The school has received national and international recognition for all aspects of its patient care, research and teaching missions. Several basic science departments are nationally recognized for excellent research. MU’s Department of Family and Community Medicine was ranked No. 2 in the nation by U.S. News in Family Medicine, behind the University of Washington. This is the 10th straight year that MU has ranked in the top 3 in this category. The same magazine ranked MU 12th among schools emphasizing primary care. Administrators credit MU’s innovative problem-based curriculum, which prepares students with real-world training, as one of the primary factors for the top 20 ranking.

MU's School of Medicine is committed to providing high-quality medical education and developing physicians who will meet the health-care needs of Missourians. Our educational quality is achieved through outstanding teaching, research and patient care programs.

The school is among the first in the nation to offer the problem-based learning style of medical education. Students are divided into small groups in a curriculum designed to take them beyond memorization to an in-depth analysis of facts. Students explore the structural and pathophysiological ramifications of actual medical cases. They gain a wide variety of educational experiences because of the close cooperation between the School of Medicine, University of Missouri Hospitals and Clinics and an array of specialty outreach services. The school strongly emphasizes primary-care medicine but also prepares students in all specialties.

We are proud that our students are some of the nation's top applicants. They come from many of the finest undergraduate institutions in the country. And they do well throughout medical school - typically more than 85 percent of our seniors receive their first or second choice of residency programs, and our students consistently perform better than average on national licensing exams.

Research projects at the School of Medicine and graduate programs in the biomedical sciences offer students the chance to experience the excitement of discovery. Students wishing to integrate research and clinical training in their careers can receive a master's or doctoral degree in any of several sciences in addition to a medical degree.

The School of Medicine provides students with services such as financial aid assistance and academic and personal counseling. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about attending our school.

The curriculum at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine offers students an innovative approach to their medical education and training. In 1993, after five years of study and planning, the school implemented a new curriculum that substantially reduced the use of lecture in favor of problem-based learning. The curriculum emphasizes problem solving, self-directed learning and early clinical experiences and integrates the basic sciences into clinical cases.

In 1990, after studying trends in medical education, a faculty task force recommended:

* A problem-based curriculum with a multidisciplinary approach to teaching basic and clinical sciences
* Evaluations emphasizing problem solving and clinical skills rather than memorization
* Clinical experiences beginning in the first year
* Integrated clinical experiences with a focused review of the basic sciences in the clinical years

The first and second years each consist of four, 10-week blocks. The third year includes six eight-weeks core clerkships. The fourth year consists of advanced clinical selectives, advanced biomedical selectives and general electives.

School name:University of Missouri-ColumbiaSchool of Medicine
Address:MA204 Medical Sciences Building
Zip & city:Mo. 65212 Missouri

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Each ten-week block includes eight weeks for learning, one week for assessment and a one-week break. A 10-week summer vacation falls between Blocks four and five. A block has two major components — Basic Science/Problem-Based Learning and Iintroduction to Patient Care.

Basic Science/Problem-Based Learning (PBL) clinical cases guide learning and the application of basic science concepts in clinical scenarios. Students work in groups of eight with a faculty tutor. Lectures and laboratory experiences introduce basic concepts that correlate with the cases. Each week includes about 10 hours of problem-based learning and no more than 10 hours of lectures and labs.

Introduction to Patient Care themes change with each block and focus on building students' clinical skills, increasing their understanding of health care and introducing psychosocial issues. Introduction to Patient Care also emphasizes small group learning with supporting lectures and laboratory experiences. Introduction to Patient Care includes an ambulatory care rotation during Blocks two through four. During these rotations, students spend half a day twice each month with a role model faculty or community physician-preceptor. During Blocks five through eight, students polish their history and physical exam skills under the guidance of internal medicine faculty members and residents. This prepares them for the clinical clerkships that begin in their third year.

Two half days each week of protected time are provided for independent or student-directed learning. No faculty-initiated activities may be scheduled during this time.


* Structure and Function of the Human Body 1 :
Molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, embryology, histology and gross anatomy.

* Introduction to Patient Care Interviewing : history of the present illness, past medical history, the doctor-patient relationship and ethics.

* Structure and Function of the Human Body 2 :
Metabolism, pulmonary, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, renal and respiratory systems.

* Introduction to Patient Care: Physical Examination :
Basic physical examination skills and knowledge underlying the exam.

* Structure and Function of the Human Body 3 :
Neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and endocrine system

* Introduction to Patient Care: Biopsychosocial Aspects of Medicine : Behavioral medicine, substance abuse, human sexuality and the dying patient.

* Structure andFunction of the Human Body 4 :
Hematology, reproductive structure and function, microorganisms, immune response and pharmacokinetics.

* Introduction to Patient Care: Clinical Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine : Distribution and dynamics of disease, clinical epidemiology, risk, prevalence, incidence, disease outbreaks, diagnostic testing and critically reading the literature.


* Pathophysiology 1 : Cell injury, hemodynamic disturbances, genetic disorders, autoimmune disease, immune deficiency and hypersensitivity.

* Introduction to Patient Care: Diagnostic Tests and Medical Decisions : Diagnostic tests, imaging, tests of function, differential diagnosis and iterative hypothesis testing.

* Pathophysiology 2 : Cardiovascular, respiratory, blood disorders and nutritional diseases.

* Introduction to Patient Care: Psychopathology and Behavioral Medicine : Normal psychosocial development, psychopathology, psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, when to refer and psychosocial factors in aging.

* Pathophysiology 3 : Gastrointestinal, liver, endocrine, renal and genitourinary disorders.

* Introduction to Patient Care: Clinical Practicum : Charts and notes, admissions orders, writing prescriptions, adult and pediatric nutrition, venipuncture, infection control, IV access, fluids and electrolytes, arterial blood gases, intubation, lumbar puncture, catheterization and studies in ophthalmology.

* Pathophysiology 4 : Clinical microbiology, antibiotics, reproductive pathology, musculoskeletal, skin and nervous system disorders.

* Introduction to Patient Care: Doctor as a Person :
Lifestyle balance, stress, careers in medicine, patient safety, ethics, end-of-life care and the changing health-care system.


During the third year of training, medical students begin to take a more active role in patient care as they rotate through these six, eight-week blocks.

* Child health
* Family and community medicine
* Internal medicine
* Obstetrics/gynecology
* Psychiatry/neurology
* Surgery

The fourth year consists of two groupings of advanced selectives and general electives.


* Child Health Clerkship : Students have the opportunity to learn about common illnesses and abnormalities in children. Emphasis also is placed on the importance of preventive and developmental aspects of child care. Lectures and case presentations correlate with the clinical experiences.

* Family and Community Medicine Clerkship : Core learning experiences take place in ambulatory clinic settings. Students work with experienced clinicians and senior residents, spending time in University teaching practices and in community-based practices. Students also may spend time seeing patients in emergency room, hospital, nursing home settings and taking call with residents and practicing physicians. A high volume of patients of all ages with a wide range of problems is encountered. Many patients will have undifferentiated problems.

* Internal Medicine Clerkship : Students spend eight weeks on the internal medicine inpatient service at University Hospital and Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital, where they learn to care for adult patients with acute and chronic illnesses. Teaching emphasizes the principles of differential diagnosis and problem solving as well as the integration of basic science information into the art of patient care. Students also gain clinical experience in medical interviewing and physical examination.

* Obstetrics/Gynecology Clerkship : Students rotate on the obstetric service, the gynecology service and the gynecologic oncology service, seeing a broad range of patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. In addition, they attend lectures and interactive case presentations.

* Neurology Clerkship : Students see patients with neurological disorders in the outpatient clinics, in hospital settings, and on consultation services.

* Psychiatry Clerkship : Students see patients with psychiatric disorders in the outpatient clinics, in hospital settings and on consultation services.

* Surgery Clerkship : Emphasis is placed on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders requiring surgical intervention. Each student has a faculty mentor-adviser, attends faculty discussion sessions that cover objectives in the required textbooks and takes call under the supervision of surgical residents. Students are assigned patients from all surgical specialties, participate in preoperative examinations and evaluations, assist during surgical procedures and follow the postoperative management process.


* Advanced clinical selectives : Three advanced clinical selectives from the core disciplines of child health, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry and surgery are required. Each selective is four weeks in length. One must be in a surgical area and one must be in a medical area. Advanced clinical selectives build on the knowledge and skills acquired during third-year core clerkships. Students are expected to assume more responsibility for patient care than in the core blocks.

* Advanced basic science selectives : Advanced basic science selectives revisit the biomedical sciences in the context of a patient, disease, diagnosis or problem. Four options are available. Students may
- Search and analyze the literature, integrate and evaluate data, produce a paper or presentation
- Conduct original research with mentors from the basic or clinical sciences.
- Attend a series of graduate-level lectures and discussions of current literature.
- Function as co-tutors for PBL, attend tutor preparation sessions and write a PBL case.

* General electives : Sixteen weeks of general electives are required. Off-site experiences are recommended but must be approved by the appropriate department.

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