Rush Medical College

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Rush University
Rush Medical College
Rush University seal.gif
Established 1837
Type Private
Endowment US$389 Million
Dean Thomas A. Deutsch, MD
Academic staff 2,600
Students 525
Location Chicago, Illinois, USA
Campus Urban
Website www. rushu.rush. edu/medcol/

Rush Medical College (often referred to simply as "Rush") is the medical school of Rush University, a private university in Chicago, Illinois.


Rush Medical College was one of the first medical colleges in the state of Illinois and was chartered in 1837, two days before the city of Chicago was chartered, and opened with 22 students on December 4, 1843. Its founder, Dr. Daniel Brainard, named the school in honor of Dr. Benjamin Rush, the only physician with medical school training to be a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. He later taught Meriwether Lewis the basic medical skills for his expedition with William Clark to the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Rush was also known as the "Father of American Psychiatry."[1]

During the early 1860s Rush Medical College staff members started discussions on establishing a dental department. On March 12, 1869 a charter was issued to found the Chicago Dental College,which was intended to be Chicago's first dental school. All attempts to put this charter in to operation, however, failed and an appeal was made to the Chicago Dental Society to become involved. As a result on February 20, 1883 a charter was issued for the Chicago Dental Infirmary, which opened on March 12, 1883.

During the college's first century, more than 10,000 physicians received their training there. A "Rush Doctor" was a highly prized commodity in the American West of the 19th century. Rush Medical College was affiliated with the University of Chicago from 1898 until 1942. With the onset of World War II, the medical college temporarily suspended its educational program, although it continued as an institution. Its faculty continued undergraduate and graduate teaching of medicine and the biological sciences as members of the faculty of the University of Illinois.

The charter of the medical college was reactivated in 1969 when it became part of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center. In 1971, Rush Medical College reopened with a class of 66 first-year students and 33 third-year students.

Since 1972, Rush Medical College has been part of Rush University. Rush Medical College affiliates include its teaching hospital Rush University Medical Center, nearby John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, and NorthShore University HealthSystem – Skokie Hospital (formerly known as Rush North Shore Medical Center)

In 2003 it changed its name to Rush University Medical Center to reflect the important role education and research play in its patient care mission.

In 2012 US News & World Report ranked Rush Medical College among the 10 medical schools in the United States with the lowest acceptance rates.[2] Overall, it ranked Rush 62nd among U.S. M.D. medical schools.[2] Of 6,488 applicants, only 246 were accepted for the class of 2014, with an acceptance rate of 3.8% of the applicant pool.[citation needed]


Preclinical years are graded as Honors, Pass, Fail. Clinical years are graded as Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail. Effective fall 2012, Rush University will start its academic calendar earlier (for the College of Nursing and Rush Medical College) in the fall and will end its academic calendar earlier in Spring 2013. Some of these changes still affect the entire University and those planning around University events and schedules.[3]

Year One (Preclinical)[edit]

In 2010, the Rush Medical College curriculum underwent an extensive transformation as it implemented a system-based curriculum. Each organ system is organized into an individual block that integrates the pertinent material from each basic science discipline. A block will span from 3 to 6 weeks and end with an exam that constitutes 55-60% of the final grade (Honors/Pass/Fail).

Fall Semester consists of:

  • Clinical Skills Intensive Block
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Block
  • Musculoskeletal Block
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Block

Spring Semester consists of:

  • Immunology and Hematology Block
  • Gastrointestinal System and Metabolism Block
  • Genitourinary Block
  • Central Nervous System and Head and Neck Block

Throughout each block students take the year-long Physicianship Program. This program introduces students to various aspects of medicine and provides hands-on physical examination training. Students obtain clinical experience starting in the first weeks of school as they are required to work alongside a mentoring physician in pediatrics, internal medicine, or family medicine.

Year Two (Preclinical)[edit]

As of the 2012-2013 academic year, the M2 curriculum also became a block schedule.

Fall Semester consists of:

  • Mechanisms of Disease & Infectious Disease Block
  • Diseases of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems Block
  • Diseases of the Central Nervous System Block

Spring Semester consists of:

  • Diseases of the Genitourinary System Block
  • Diseases of Gastrointestinal, Liver, and Metabolism Block
  • Diseases of Hematology, Musculoskeletal, and Dermatology Block

M2 curriculum also includes a yearlong physicianship course (similar to M1 year) and an evidence-based medicine (EBM) course.

USMLE Step 1 passing score required for promotion into third year

Year Three (Clinical)[edit]

As of 2013-2014, the M3 curriculum includes:

  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (6 weeks), completed at Rush
  • Optional Elective (2 weeks)
  • Surgery (8 weeks), completed at either Rush (8 weeks), Rush & Stroger Hospital (4 weeks each), or Rush & Skokie Hospital (4 weeks each)
  • Pediatrics (8 weeks), completed at either Rush or Stroger Hospital
  • Internal Medicine (8 weeks), completed at Rush & Stroger Hospital (4 weeks each)
  • Optional Elective (4 weeks)
  • Primary Care (4 weeks), completed at a primary care clinic
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks), completed at either Rush, Stroger, or Insight Behavioral Health Center
  • Neurology (4 weeks), completed at either Rush or Stroger Hospital

Year Four (Clinical)[edit]

  • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Subinternship (4 weeks) – in either Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, or Surgery
  • Electives (28 weeks) – 8 weeks of medical electives, 4 weeks of surgical electives, 16 weeks open electives

USMLE Step 2 CK and CS must be taken by November 1 of fourth year, passing of both is required for graduation

By the end of M4 year, a total of 78 weeks of M3 and M4 courses including 50 weeks of core clerkships, sub internship, and emergency medicine and 28 weeks of electives must be completed to meet graduation requirements.

Notable Alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ edu/CampusWWW/Companion/rush_benjamin.html Benjamin Rush
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ "Changes to Academic Calendar". Rush University Registrar. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "JEWEL HENRY ARTHUR CALLIS". Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc – Omicron Delta Lambda Chapter. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Evarts Ambrose Graham". National Academy of Science. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 53, Part 2. American Medical Association. 1909. p. 2120. 
  7. ^ "Clem Neacy: All-Pro Guard, Boxer and Surgeon". The Coffin Corner. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Ernest E. Irons, The Story of Rush Medical College Chicago: Board of Trustees of Rush Medical College, 1953

External links[edit]