George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences

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George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Washington DC George Washington University Denkmal Brunswyk (2012).JPG
Motto Seek Truth and Pursue It Steadily
Type Private
Established 1824
Parent institution
George Washington University
Endowment US $1.57 billion[1]
Provost Steven Lerman
Dean Jeffrey S. Akman
Academic staff
677 (Full-Time)
Students 712
Address 2300 I Street NW Washington DC 20037, Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Campus Urban

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GW SMHS for short) was established in 1824, due to the need for doctors in the District of Columbia (DC). The school formally opened its doors a year later in 1825. It is the eleventh oldest medical school in the United States and the first medical school established in the nation's capital. The school has more than 700 medical students currently enrolled in its Doctor of Medicine (MD) program.[1]

GW saw rise in the number of applications, to 14,649 applications in 2012. It receives more applications each year than any other allopathic medical school in the country. [2]

GW's innovations include the six-million volt linear accelerator, a radioisotope laboratory, and the first operating theaters with overhead observation decks, among others. Political figures, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney and former First Lady Laura Bush, also come to GW for routine and emergency procedures.[3] The school was in the national spotlight in 1981 when US President Ronald Reagan, shot at close range, was rushed to its ER for surgery.

The Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library is the academic library for GW SMHS.[4]


Admission to the School of Medicine and Health Sciences is the most competitive of the George Washington University's graduate programs. The School of Medicine has the lowest admissions rate in the United States (1.1% during 2016 admission cycle) according to US News and World Report.[5] For the MD class entering in 2012, a little more than 1,000 applicants were interviewed out of a total number of 14,700 applicants. Approximately 300 individuals were accepted to fill 177 spots. Students had an average GPA of 3.71, and a mean MCAT score of 30.8.[6]

Four out of every ten students holds an undergraduate degrees in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. A unique aspect of the school is the Practice of Medicine (POM) course that spans the entire length of a medical student's education. GW was one of the first in the country to place students in clinical settings from the start of their medical school experience.[7]

Tuition is $52,000 for the first year class while the total cost of attendance is roughly $70,000 a year.


H. B. Burns Memorial Building - corner

The School of Medicine and Health Sciences contains a variety of programs such as the M.D. Program, the Physician Assistant program, and the Physical Therapy program. Multiple nobel laureates have been affiliated with SMHS, including Ferid Murad, Vincent du Vigneaud, and Julius Axelrod. The school maintains numerous research centers and institutes. Among the most notable are the Dr. Cyrus & Myrtle Katzen Cancer Research Center, the GW Heart & Vascular Institute, the McCormick Genomic & Proteomic Center, the W.M. Keck Institute for Proteomics Technology & Applications, the Rodham Institute, Washington Institute of Surgical Endoscropy, the Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine, the GW Institute for Neuroscience, and the GW HIV/AIDS Institute.[8]

International Medicine Program[edit]

GW is famous for providing leading US medical school education to international students. The International MD Program was developed by the Office of International Medicine Programs at GW in response to the great demand for US-educated physicians abroad. Differences in educational/teaching styles, language, and culture may present further obstacles to international students who apply to American programs. The International MD Program is designed to facilitate international students who wish to practice medicine, and to further GW's mission to improve the health and well-being of communities beyond its locale by promoting the exchange of knowledge across cultures.[9]

Residency training for graduates of non-US medical schools and colleges is also provided by GW SMHS.

George Washington University Hospital - 2012


GW SMHS is home to many research centers and institutes. Among them are the Dr. Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen Cancer Research Center, the GW Cancer Center, the Rodham Institute, the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, and the GW Institute for Neuroscience.[10]

The Health Sciences Research Commons[edit]

Health Sciences Research Commons (HSRC) is an online repository for GWU School of Medicine and Health Sciences staff and faculty research articles and other publications.


Children's National Medical Center[edit]

The Department of Pediatrics within SMHS is housed at Children's National Medical Center.[11] In addition, the SMHS and Children's National partner on a variety of projects and initiatives.[12]

Medical Faculty Associates[edit]

The school has a partnership with the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates who have over 800 physicians on staff that provide teaching and professional services to the community. The staff of GW MFA are also academic clinical faculty of the SMHS.[13]

Medical training programs[edit]


The original location of the Medical School, established as a department of Columbian College in 1824, was at Judiciary Square. It then moved to the northeast corner of 10th & E streets NW and later in the 19th century, to the 1300 block of H Street NW. The Medical School moved in 1973 to its current location at Washington Circle in Foggy Bottom.


Note: The years listed above refer to the years the individuals became the deans of the medical school, not their length of total service at the School

Other programs[edit]

Other programs include clinical laboratory sciences and administration training. The school also offers a nurse practitioner program and a physician assistant program. The school offers many Early Selection options through participating universities, as well as a 7-year accelerated program.

George Washington University Medical School USNWR


In 2008, the LCME or Liaison Committee on Medical Education put the George Washington University Medical School on accreditation probation, citing a number of issues. While declining to publish the entire list, among the problems acknowledged by GW were its outdated system of managing its curriculum, the curriculum itself, high levels of student debt, student mistreatment, and inadequate study and lounge space for its students. Significantly, in 2008, GWU was the only medical school (among 129 LCME accredited institutions) to be placed on probation and the first such in fifteen years.[14]

GW implemented a plan to rectify these problems. Its probationary status was lifted in February 2010.[15] Subsequently, the two top GWU medical school administrators were forced to resign over the alleged conflicts of interest.[16]

Notable individuals[edit]




  1. ^ a b "U.S. News & World Report". US News & World Report. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Delece Smith-Barrow. "10 Med Schools That Receive the Most Applications". US News & World Report. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Cheney at GWU Hospital for Spinal Surgery". DCist. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ U.S. News & World Report 10 Medical Schools With Lowest Acceptance Rates 2012. [1]
  6. ^ "The School of Medicine & Health Sciences - The George Washington University". Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)". Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "The School of Medicine & Health Sciences - The George Washington University". Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  9. ^ International MD Program Archived 2010-01-05 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Medical School's Problems Were Worse Than Described". Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "GWU medical school sheds probationary status". Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "GWU medical school leaders told to resign". Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  17. ^ McMullian, Bo (January 14, 2016). "Jackson County Times - "Conservative for Congress" Neal Dunn visits Marianna". Jackson County Times. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D". Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′03″N 77°03′03″W / 38.9007°N 77.0508°W / 38.9007; -77.0508