Georgetown University School of Medicine

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Georgetown University School of Medicine
Georgetown seal.png
Established 1851
Type Private
Affiliation Catholic, Jesuit
Academic staff
Students 756
Location Washington, D.C., USA
Campus Urban

Georgetown University School of Medicine, a medical school opened in 1851, is one of Georgetown University's five graduate schools. It is located on Reservoir Road in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, adjacent to the University's main campus. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive approach to medical education, "guided by the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, care of the whole person."[1] The School of Medicine works in association with the 609-bed Georgetown University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, and nine other affiliated federal and community hospitals in the Washington metropolitan area. Georgetown is the oldest Catholic medical school in the United States.

The School is part of the Georgetown University Medical Center, which comprises roughly 80% of the research initiatives occurring at Georgetown University as a whole. It is the closest academic medical center in proximity to the National Institutes of Health. Georgetown and the NIH offer a combined GU-NIH PhD program in biomedical research to foster direct collaboration between the neighboring institutions.[2]

Technology leading to the introduction of the HPV vaccine, was developed at Georgetown Medical Center by Dr. Richard Schlegel.[3]


Medical & Dental School Building (south side)

The founding of Georgetown's School of Medicine was the result of the progressive spirit of the University directors and professional rivalries of District of Columbia physicians. Some of the local physicians from Columbian, now George Washington University had monopolized the clinical facilities of the Washington Infirmary. Four of the excluded practitioners decided to improve their position by setting up a medical school and dispensary of their own. They asked Father James Ryder, the president of Georgetown College, to regard the new enterprise as the medical department of the Jesuit institution. The request was granted, and in May, 1851, the fledgling School opened its first classes.

In 1898 the Georgetown University Hospital was established. It is currently a 609-licensed bed hospital. In 1930, classes moved to the main campus. In July 2000, Georgetown University and MedStar Health, a not-for-profit organization of seven Baltimore and Washington hospitals, entered into a clinical partnership to provide management of clinical care and clinical education at Georgetown University Hospital.[4] In 2004, the School of Medicine opened the Integrated Learning Center (ILC), which supports the School of Medicine's emphasis on a patient-centered, competence-based curriculum and provides the latest methods of clinical teaching and evaluation.

Admission and ranking[edit]

Admission to the School of Medicine is the most competitive of Georgetown University's programs. It is home to the fifth most selective medical school student body in the United States. For the MD class entering in 2008, 1,107 of the 11,228 applicants were invited to interview, and 376 were accepted to fill 194 spots, an acceptance rate of 3.1%.[5] For the MD class entering in 2014, 1,332 of the 13,016 applicants were invited to interview.[6] Students had an average science GPA of 3.66, and a mean MCAT score of 32.[7] The School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences cooperate to offer a combined-degree program that leads to an MD and a PhD in a chosen concentration. A spot is reserved in this program each year for one student interested in pursuing a Philosophy & Bioethics PhD;[8] all other spots are undifferentiated but must be directed toward a scientific specialty. Research at Georgetown is especially strong in the areas of cancer and the neurosciences. Students in the MD/PhD program have average admissions statistics of: GPA 3.75, MCAT score 34, GRE subscore 716.[9] Other combined degree programs include BA/MD (early selection route for Georgetown University undergraduates), MD/MBA, and MD/MS.

Tuition and fees are $55,163 for the 2014-2015 first year class, while the total cost of attendance is roughly $84,370 per year.[10] In 2006–07, 85% of Georgetown medical students received financial aid.[11] The MD/PhD program is one of the few in the United States that does not offer full tuition remission for the MD-portion of the program, although tuition and a competitive stipend are provided for the PhD-portion.

The relatively tight budget of the GU Medical Center, influenced by severe financial setbacks during the 1990s related to the advent of managed care, has resulted in impeded growth and a lack of facilities upgrades, hurting its national ranking (currently at #45 in Research according to U.S. News & World Report's Top Medical Schools Ranking[12]). Past issues, including falling hospital revenues and a financial partnership for a newly built research building having been made with a pharmaceutical company that ended up going bankrupt, threatened the school at one point.[13] Georgetown's former Dental School was forced to shut down in the late 1980s. The situation is since improved dramatically[citation needed], and ratings have been on a rebound trend since the Medical Center covered its financial losses by partnering its teaching hospital with MedStar Health, a move orchestrated by John DeGioia, now the University's President.[citation needed]

The quality of the research and training at Georgetown Medical School has earned a strong reputation and the school continues to be in very high demand amongst prospective medical students. Georgetown received the fourth-largest number of medical school applications in the country during the 2013 application cycle,[14] and had one of the lowest admission rates of 3.1%.

The residency placements of Georgetown medical students are very competitive against national standards. Some of the higher represented placements consistently include Johns Hopkins Hospital, Northwestern McGaw, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and UCLA. Generally, around 20% of students continue at Georgetown for residency training.[15] From the MD/PhD program, the best represented residency placements are Georgetown (10), Harvard-affiliated Hospitals (8), Duke (6), and Johns Hopkins (4).[16]


Georgetown University Hospital

The Georgetown University School of Medicine Faculty includes 1,638 faculty members from 8 basic science and 16 clinical departments, a Cancer Center, and two Interdisciplinary Training Program Grants funded by the NIH – one in Neuroscience, and one in Tumor Biology.

The School of Medicine offers an MD with a Research Track where MD students spend time in the laboratory and develop a research thesis in their specialty. This is different from the MD/PhD program, which is longer and requires a PhD thesis.

Georgetown's four-year curriculum combines departmentally based basic science courses and laboratory work, prescribed clinical clerkships, multidisciplinary courses and conferences, and electives that provide the student a well-rounded, comprehensive curriculum. The intent is to prepare students for not only the clinical and biomedical aspects of patient care, but also the social, ethical, and community-based challenges for effectively providing that care.

Courses in the first two years focus on the development of fundamental knowledge concerning the body's normal and altered structure and functions. Small-group teaching and problem-based presentations have replaced a portion of the large class lectures. These small groups and lectures are shared with students admitted to the GEMS program and Special Masters in Physiology students, bringing the effective class size during the first year to well over 300 students.[17] Starting with the Class of 2012 there have been significant changes to both the first and second year curricula, including a shift toward systems-based learning. Exposure to patient assessment and care along with community service and advocacy opportunities begin in the first year, and continue throughout all four years.

In the third year, clinical clerkships stress the skills required to acquire and interpret patient-based data, while the fourth year further develops skills in patient management, including rotations in ambulatory care settings. Twenty-four weeks of electives are available during this final year.

Faculty/student review of the curriculum is an important continuing endeavor of the School of Medicine. Curriculum revisions occur each year in response to student and faculty evaluations. Additional task forces are looking at how best to develop longitudinal themes throughout the curriculum that will better prepare students for the challenges facing health care, and effective and equitable health care delivery in the 21st century.



Sunset over the Medical & Dental School Building

Georgetown University Medical Center comprises the School of Medicine, School of Nursing & Health Studies (founded in 1903), Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and its Biomedical Graduate Research Organization. In 2008, GUMC brought in $132 million in sponsored research funds, most of which was federally funded. Clinical care is provided at Georgetown University Hospital and satellite locations through a partnership with MedStar Health.

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Degree and year received Accomplishments
Mark R. Dybul C 1985, M 1992 United States Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. Department of State, 2006–2008
Susan Hockfield Med Ph.D – 1979 Neuroscientist; President, MIT, 2004–2012; Provost, Yale University, 2003–04; Dean, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1998–2000;
Kevin C. Kiley M 1976 Lt. Gen. Kiley is the 41st Surgeon General of the Army and Commander, U.S. Army Medical Command, 2004–2007
Antonia Novello Hospital Fellow 1975 Surgeon General of the United States, 1990–93
Esam Omeish C 1989, M 1993 former President of the Muslim American Society
Thomas Parran, Jr. M 1915 Surgeon General of the United States, 1936–48
John J. Ring C 1949, M 1953 former President, American Medical Association
Solomon Snyder C 1959, M 1962 Neuroscientist
Andrew von Eschenbach M 1967 Director, Food and Drug Administration, 2006–2009; Director, National Cancer Institute, 2002–05; Director, BioTime (NYSE MKTBTX), a biotechnology company, 2011-present


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′42″N 77°04′30″W / 38.9118°N 77.0751°W / 38.9118; -77.0751