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West Virginia University (School of Medicine)

At the West Virginia University School of Medicine, we educate health professionals, provide thousands of people with medical care, and conduct lifesaving research. Our students work side-by-side with doctors and scientists in the University's modern hospitals, clinics, and laboratories. They also have a chance to learn from professionals in practice at medical offices, clinics and hospitals across the state.

WVU medical faculty and students are at the leading edge of scientific studies of the biological process of life - and at the forefront of efforts to bring health advances to residents of West Virginia's cities and rural areas. Many graduates choose to stay in West Virginia to help meet our state's healthcare needs. Others join the most competitive residency and postdoctoral programs in the country. A WVU medical education can prepare you for whatever your future will bring.

WVU's Robert C Byrd Health Sciences Campus is a large, modern health sciences complex that includes Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy, three hospitals, a physician office building, and state-of-the-art cancer and eye centers. The School of Medicine serves more than 2,500 students with a variety of educational programs -- including medicine, physical and occupational therapy, medical technology, physical therapy, exercise physiology, continuing medical education, and others. Faculty members provide advanced clinical care to more than 100,000 West Virginians throughout the state. The institution is making major investments in new state-of-the-art facilities and improvements in education, research, and clinical care. Plans are underway for the construction of a $40 million research facility that will house the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute -- named for U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller's mother, who died of Alzheimer's disease. A new library and learning center will be completed in the spring of 2006 to serve our increasing number of students.

The West Virginia University School of Medicine will be nationally recognized as a leader among academic health care organizations by cultivating a tradition of excellence and innovation in education, patient care, research, and service to the state.

Mssion : To improve the health of West Virginians by educating health professionals; providing state of the art patient care; conducting basic science, clinical, translational and rural public health research; and by offering a variety of supportive health services to our residents.

The WVU School of Medicine has outstanding facilities and a reputation for excellence in education. The affiliated facilities which are an important part of the student educational experience include Ruby Memorial Hospital, West Virginia’s only nationally certified level 1 trauma center with designation of national excellence; Chestnut Ridge Hospital, the behavioral health facility; and the Physician’s Office Center, site of outpatient care by WVU physician faculty.

Education programs in the School of Medicine include the traditional MD degree program as well as numerous accredited residency programs for those pursuing Graduate Medical Education.

The Graduate Programs in the School of Medicine prepare students for careers in research through pursuit of the PhD degree.

The Professional Programs housed in the School of Medicine include an array of health related professional fields of study, ranging from undergraduate to graduate degrees. The Exercise Physiology program offers a bachelor’s of science degree (BS) which is excellent preparation for future graduate study in that field, as well as future study in medicine or physical therapy. There is also a master’s degree (MS) which prepares exercise physiologists to work clinically in a variety of health care, fitness and research settings. A PhD degree is also available for those wishing to pursue a career in research. The Medical Technology program offers a bachelor’s of science degree (BS) for students wishing to pursue a degree preparing for work in the hospital clinical laboratory or in the private sector. There is a definite shortage of medical technologists nationally, so this degree provides an excellent career choice as well as preparation for medical school. The Occupational Therapy program [link] offers a master’s of occupational therapy degree (MOT). The traditional on-campus degree is a three year professional master’s program requiring two preparatory years in general education. There is also an off-campus master’s program geared specifically to the occupational therapy assistant who wants to further career development through the professional master’s degree. Careers in Public Health disciplines are available through the master’s degrees offered through the Department of Community Medicine (MS/MPH). A new PhD in Public Health is also available. Finally, the program in Physcial Therapy offers a doctoral degree (DPT) for students wishing to pursue a career in this rewarding rehabilitation discipline.

School name:West Virginia UniversitySchool of Medicine
Address:Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center P.O. Box 9100
Zip & city:WV 26506-9100 West Virginia

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School of Medicine Medical School Location

School of Medicine Courses


The first year of medical school was totally redesigned in 1998. Instead of having discipline based courses competing against each other on a semester basis, such as in college, the basic sciences appropriate to medicine are taught in modular blocks.


* Human Function : For medical students and selected graduate students with instructor consent. Integrated approach combining biochemistry, genetics, and physiology of the human body. Includes molecular, sub cellular, and cellular components of the body, organ systems, and whole body functions. Application of basic sciences to human health and disease.

* Problem Based Learning : Weekly Problem Based Learning sessions are included throughout the year. This is not a separate course but included to be complementary to Human Function, Human Structure, and Neurobiology. The goals of the Problem Based Learning (PBL) sessions are to (1) introduce problem based small group experiences that integrate content from the courses in the Year 1 curriculum, (2) determine the temporal and content relationships between the courses and identify areas for integration, (3) decrease course content so that lecture time can be decreased leaving time for small group sessions, and (4) bringing faculty from different disciplines together to facilitate students learning and integration of the material.

* Behavioral Science and Psychopathology : For medical students only. This course will introduce students to the bio-psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions of health care. Normal and abnormal development, ethical, legal, and spiritual aspects of health care will be explored in the context of health and health care decision making.

* Physical Diagnosis/Clinical Integration 1 : For medical students only. This course will introduce the student to persons with health concerns. Students will begin development of skills of medical communication, data gathering, and physical examination techniques.

* Human Structure : For medical and selected graduate students in the medical basic sciences with instructor consent. Integrated approach combining human gross anatomy, microanatomy and embryology. Includes human cadaver dissection, microscopic anatomy of cells, tissues and organs with application to human health and disease.

* Neurobiology : Introduction to basic structure and function of the human nervous system with a focus on clinical application of basic information. The course emphasizes the normal neurobiology (at the cell and systems level) essential to understanding human behavior and to recognizing abnormality seen in clinical practice.


Beginning in the 1999-2000 academic year students began the new second year curriculum which was an extension of the curricular changes made in the new first year. A highlight of the current second year curriculum is that students begin learning the skills of a physician in the Physical Diagnosis and Clinical Integration (PDCI) course by working with preceptors through practicing these skills on each other and volunteer patients. During the second semester there is an 8-week course in Medical Ethics as well.


* Immunity, Infection, and Disease : An integrated approach to the study of infectious disease in humans, with focus on innate and acquired immunity, mechanism of pathogenesis of infectious microorganisms, transmission, and treatment.

* Physical Diagnosis and Clinical Integration : Medical students only. This course will introduce clinical medicine topics, organized by organ system as well as emphasize history and physical exam skills. Students will begin to use clinical reasoning techniques, integrating basic science and clinical knowledge.

* Epidemiology and Biostatistics : For medical students or with permission of instructor. An introduction to epidemiology and biostatistics including causal inference, study design, use of common statistical tests, and interpretation of epidemiological studies with attention to chance, bias, and confounding.

* Mechanisms of Human Disease : For medical and selected graduate students in the medical sciences, with instructor consent). 12 credit hours. Integrated study of disease using structure-function relationships. Includes participation in pathology departmental activities (postmortem exams and other diagnostic procedures), student presentations of clinical materials, case study discussions, and lectures.

* Health Care Ethics : For medical students or with permission of instructor. Clinical cases highlighting the main issues for each session will be provided so that students will learn how to identify, analyze, and resolve the diverse ethical dilemmas in patient care.

* Medical Pharmacology : For medical and selected graduate students in the medical sciences, with instructor consent.) 7 credit hours. Basic principles of drug action, mechanisms of therapeutic effects and undesirable effects. Emphasis on the classes of drugs currently used in medical practice.

* Health of the Public : For medical students or with permission of instructor. An introduction to public health including occupational health, the US health care system, administrative aspects of health care, preventive medicine, social influences on health and international health.


Students must spend a designated period of time in each of the major clinical disciplines. The order in which the students take the clerkships is determined for each individual student. A number of third year students are selected to spend the third and fourth years at the Charleston Division of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center of West Virginia University, or at the Eastern Panhandle Division headquartered in Martinsburg, WV.


* Internal Medicine
* Surgery
* Pediatrics
* Psychiatry / Neurology
* Family Medicine


The fourth year is 10.5 months/rotations long and is partially structured and partially elective. Each student works with a faculty adviser to select the program best suited to the individual's abilities and goals. The courses selected are subject to the approval of the Curriculum Committee and an Associate Dean in the Office of Student Services. Five months of the fourth year are committed to required rotations. The remainder of the fourth year is elective. Five months of the fourth year must be spent at clinical sites on the campuses at Charleston, Martinsburg, or Morgantown, or at approved teaching sites in West Virginia.


* Subinternship
* Critical Care
* Surgical Subspecialties
* RHEP / Rural Health
* Electives

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