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University of Utah (School of Medicine)

The University of Utah School of Medicine has three major missions: education, research, and clinical service. The three missions are closely interrelated. Each supports and, in turn, benefits from the others. All are considered to be of equal importance.

Education : The University of Utah School of Medicine is responsible for the predoctoral, graduate, and continuing education of physicians; the graduate and postdoctoral education of biomedical scientists; and the training of certain other health professionals. In determining the size and types of its educational programs, the school is guided primarily by the needs of the State of Utah. The school is also guided by the imperatives of affirmative action and by the needs of the surrounding states which lack their own medical schools. In addition, the school emphasizes high quality programs that address national priorities, such as the need for generalist and academic physicians, rural practitioners, basic biomedical scientists, and selected medical subspecialists.

Research : The University of Utah School of Medicine promotes research of such quality and quantity as to ensure national recognition of a scientifically excellent institution. Each department is expected to expand the frontiers of the discipline it represents. Active pursuit of peer-reviewed funding is encouraged. Research is conducted ethically according to established guidelines for the welfare of human volunteers and experimental animals. The school encourages active collaboration across university boundaries and fosters the development of young scientists. Investigators are encouraged to report their work in journals with high editorial standards or to respected scientific societies.

Clinical Service : The University of Utah School of Medicine is committed to providing state-of-the-art clinical care to the patients it serves. The institution provides advanced and innovative medical procedures and practices to patients in this region. Faculty physicians are expected to provide effective role models for clinicians in training. This responsibility implies efficiency, humanity, cost-effectiveness, and scientific excellence. The school also provides model practice settings for training in primary care. Innovation and leadership are expected in the development of alternative systems of health care delivery, with a volume of clinical activity sufficient to sustain University Hospital teaching and research missions.

The School of Medicine is part of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, along with the colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health. We are committed to excellence in education, research, and patient care and service. The School of Medicine houses 16 clinical departments and 6 basic science departments. The faculty and staff in each of these departments are dedicated to fulfilling all of the school's missions. Outstanding clinicians, scientists, and educators work together to provide the highest quality medical education in a stimulating, enriching, and enjoyable environment.

The School of Medicine considers our students to be our greatest resource. They enrich the faculty as they learn and practice the art and science of medicine. Their dedication and insightful inquiry are the foundation for the future of our profession. The Dean's Office is committed to the success of each of our students. The support services provided by the office are detailed on this website and can be reached by selecting the appropriate link. You can also link to information about individual departments and resources.

The four years of formal medical education constitute but a brief introduction to a broad, deep, and rapidly changing discipline. The mastery of medical knowledge and technical skills requires lifelong self-education.

The curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to practice medicine. Students spend the first two years in the sciences basic to medicine, including anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, genetics, pharmacology, pathology, and behavioral science. Concepts and skills necessary to manage clinical illness, to understand the social issues in medicine, and to be well grounded in the ethics of medical practice are introduced early and explored in depth as the curriculum progresses. Emphasis is placed on prevention, diagnosis, and management of disease states and in the systematic application of these concepts to organ specific diseases.

Curriculum revision is an ongoing process. Courses and their content may change periodically throughout the year.

Basic science departments may consider requests from students to be excused/exempted from formal class work in medical school courses based upon prior completion of a comparable course at a suitable institution. In such instances, the student usually is required to pass a qualifying examination given by the department after he/she documents enrollment in such a graduate level course. In rare instances, the department may only require documentation that an acceptable substitute was completed. However, because the School of Medicine graduation requirements stipulate that students must enroll in and pass all required courses of the school, students who are excused from formal course work nevertheless must be registered, pay tuition for all courses, and be carried on class rosters and grade sheets. The course master will be required to submit grades for such students.

School name:University of UtahSchool of Medicine
Address:50 North Medical Drive 1900 East
Zip & city:UT 84132 Utah

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School of Medicine Medical School Location

School of Medicine Courses


* Gross Anatomy: Anatomy of the thorax, abdomen, pelvis, perineum, lower limbs, upper limbs, head, and neck. Includes lectures, dissections, and clinical correlations.

* Embryology: Origin and development of the fertilized egg, development of early tissues and organs, and transformation of the embryo into a fetus. Includes clinical correlations.

* Histology: Detailed microanatomy of cells, tissues, and organs. Lectures emphasize structure/function relationships. Laboratory sessions center on using the compound light microscope to identify normal tissues. Computerized instruction supports both aspects of the course.

* Biochemistry: Introduction to protein structure, enzymes, nucleic acids, cell biology, genetics, and metabolism of carbohydrates, nitrogen, and lipids.

* Human Genetics : Basic principles of human genetics, including modes of inheritance of monogenic and polygenic diseases, recurrence risks for use in genetic counseling, gene mapping, genetic diagnosis, and immunogenetics with an emphasis on practical clinical genetics.

* Medical Immunology : Basic concepts of immunology, host resistance to infection, and tumor cell development, transplantation, and autoimmunity. Clinical cases and lectures demonstrate the relevance of the material to clinical medicine.

* Medical Microbiology : Bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology. Laboratory sessions include bacteriology and parasitology.

* Pathology : Conceptual introduction to the basic mechanisms of disease and to an understanding of the components of disease processes. Studies include cell injury and necrosis, tissue injury, acute and chronic inflammation, specific responses to infectious agents, some immunologic aspects of disease processes, neoplasia, growth disorders, and circulatory disturbances.

* Pharmacology : General principles of pharmacology, including drug absorption, distribution, and elimination, as well as the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. During medical microbiology, the pharmacology of antimicrobial agents is presented.

* Physical Diagnosis I : An interdisciplinary course emphasizing basic skills of history taking and physical examination using a variety of learning modalities and formats.

* Physiology : General physiologic principles, including homeostasis, cell membranes, action potentials, neuromuscular junctions, and the pathophysiology of disease.

* Psychiatry : Basic principles of human behavior including psychological and biological theories of personality, human development, consciousness, human information processing, intelligence, cognitive science, and response to stress.

* Science of Medicine : Interdisciplinary course that introduces evidence based medicine and information management using the tools of medical investigation and data analysis, including the principles of study design, statistical inference, data interpretation, and computer-assisted information gathering.

* Social Medicine : Introduction of social aspects of medicine, medical care delivery and unique patient populations with discussion groups designed to foster personal and professional growth.

* Doctor/Patient Relationship : One on one assignments of students with practicing physicians to observe, discuss, and begin to develop the skills necessary in effective doctor-patient relationships.


During the second year, the aim is to integrate basic scientific facts with specific diseases and clinical problems. This is accomplished through a multidisciplinary course, organized by specific organ systems, which emphasizes pathophysiologic processes, clinical manifestations, and treatment.


* Geriatrics : Basic scientific background for approaching common clinical problems attendant to the aging process.

* Neuroanatomy : Gross and microscopic structure of the nervous system.

* Organ Systems :Elements of pharmacology, pathology, and physiology, integrated with clinical aspects of the musculoskeletal system, nervous system, dermatology, endocrinology, nephrology, reproduction, cardiovascular system, pulmonary system, gastroenterology/nutrition, and hematology/oncology. Principles of development and aging of these systems are included.

* Pathology : Systemic pathology taught in conjunction with the neuroscience and the organ system courses covering the pathologic basis of disease, along with applications of laboratory medicine, by organ system.

* Pediatrics : Introduction to the physiology of and diseases seen in newborns, infants, children, and adolescents.

* Pharmacology : General principles of pharmacology, autonomic pharmacology, central nervous system pharmacology, and chemotherapy of infections and cancer. Pharmacology instruction includes an introduction to toxicology and clinical pharmacology and material related to and coordinated with the neuroscience and the organ systems courses.

* Physical Diagnosis II: An interdisciplinary course enhancing the students' skills in patient history taking and physical examination skills.

* Physiology : General physiologic principles and physiology of neurological and other organ systems.

* Psychiatry : Introduction of major topics of adult psychiatry and fundamental issues dealing within child and geriatric psychiatry.

* Science of Medicine : Continuation of first year course with focus on evidence based medicine and information management.

* Social Medicine : Continuation of first year course with focus on social aspects of medicine, medical care delivery and unique patient populations with discussion groups designed to foster personal and professional growth.

* Doctor/Patient Relationship : Continuation of first year course with one on one assignments of students with practicing physicians to observe, discuss, and develop the skills necessary in an effective doctor-patient relationships.


In the third year, emphasis is on the integration of basic science knowledge with clinical, ethical, diagnostic, and problem solving skills. Clinical clerkships, during which students learn patient management as members of the health care team, include family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. Students also take a Topics of Medicine course which reviews a series of simulated patients with common medical problems seen in ambulatory medicine. The student is also required to complete a four-week clinical neurology clerkship between the end of the sophomore year and the end of the senior year.


* Family Practice Clinical Clerkship : Four weeks with a community based or faculty family practice preceptor. The majority of the time is spent with the preceptor in the hospital, office, nursing homes, and on house calls. Time is also spent learning about and experiencing other elements of the health care system in the community served by the preceptor.

* Internal Medicine Clinical Clerkship : Twelve weeks divided into one six-week inpatient clerkship and two three-week selectives; one inpatient and one outpatient. Inpatient clerkships consist of case work and rounds on wards of the University of Utah Medical Center, LDS Hospital, or the VA Medical Center. Selectives include ambulatory care, cardiology, hematology/oncology, geriatrics, or additional general medicine inpatient rotations.

* Neurology Clinical Clerkship : Four weeks divided into two weeks inpatient and two weeks outpatient experiences. The inpatient rotation at the University of Utah Medical Center, Primary Children's Medical Center, or VA Medical Center consists of direct patient care, daily ward rounds, brain cutting sessions, procedures such as lumbar puncture, participation in clinical conferences, and attendance at specialty clinics. The outpatient experience occurs in the multiple sclerosis, muscle, and neurology outpatient clinics.

* Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinical Clerkship: Six weeks of inpatient and outpatient experience at the University of Utah Medical Center and LDS Hospital. Time is also spent in lectures, seminars, and review of gynecological pathology.

* Pediatrics Clinical Clerkship : Six weeks divided into two three-week blocks. Three weeks are spent on the inpatient wards at Primary Children's Medical Center (PCMC). The other three week block includes one week on a pediatric subspecialty service and the other two weeks at the General Pediatric Clinic at the University of Utah Medical Center, the newborn nursery at the University of Utah Medical Center, the office of a private pediatrician, or the emergency room at PCMC. The six week clerkship as a whole includes a weekly outpatient experience, a core lecture series, and numerous teaching conferences.

* Psychiatry Clinical Clerkship : Six weeks emphasizing inpatient care at the University of Utah Medical Center, VA Medical Center, Primary Children's Medical Center, and the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. Students attend civil commitment proceedings, electroconvulsive therapy, outpatient clinics, and consultation/liaison rounds. One day each week is devoted to a core lecture series and case conferences. Each student spends one week on the consultation/ liaison service and one half day per week in the office of an outpatient therapist.

* Surgery Clinical Clerkship : Eight weeks of ward work, operating room experience, lectures, case presentations, and rounds at the University Medical Center and affiliated hospitals. Students spend four weeks on general surgery and four weeks in subspecialty areas, the latter generally in outpatient settings.

* Topics in Medicine : Eight hours per month addressing medical economics, patient continuity management, informatic skills, medical literature analysis, and psychosocial/ethical issues. The course focuses on teaching the skills of evidence based medicine and continuous learning in addition to imparting the content data needed to manage the cases which are pertinent to the student's concurrent clerkship.


Seniors must complete a minimum of 36 weeks of credit. Included in the 36 weeks are a two-week medical ethics course, a two-week Health Care Delivery course taught concurrently with ethics, a required hospital-based subinternship (4 weeks), a required 4 week Public Health Project, and a four week clinical neurology clerkship between the end of the sophomore year and the end of the senior year. A minimum of 24 weeks must be spent at the University of Utah School of Medicine or its approved sites (enrolled in "Utah courses") unless specific prior approval to do otherwise is obtained from the dean of student affairs and education. A minimum of 12 weeks must be spent in clinical electives except when specific approval to do otherwise is obtained from the dean of student affairs and education who has authority to define what qualifies as a clinical elective.

Students interested in exploring or pursuing research experiences, including obtaining graduate degrees, are encouraged to do so through individualized programs designed in consultation with research mentors in the various departments.

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