University of Colorado School of Medicine

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University of Colorado School of Medicine
Established 1883
Type Medical school
Parent institution University of Colorado, Denver
Location Aurora, Colorado, United States
Coordinates: 39°44′42″N 104°50′15″W / 39.74503692°N 104.83753502°W / 39.74503692; -104.83753502
Dean John J. Reilly, Jr.
Academic staff 4,879

The University of Colorado School of Medicine is located at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado and is part of the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, one of the four University of Colorado institutions. It occupies the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center located on a square mile of land eight miles east of downtown Denver at the junction of Interstate 225 and Colfax Avenue.


The school offers a four-year program leading to an MD degree.[1] Other programs include a child health associate/physician assistant (CHAPA) degree, a doctor of physical therapy degree and a medical scientist training program (MSTP). The graduate school offers various PhD programs.[2]



The school was founded in 1883, in Boulder, with two students and two professors.[3]

Move to Denver[edit]

In 1911, the school was moved from Boulder, Colorado to Denver, the Colorado state capital, to give students increased clinical learning opportunities. This move put the school ahead of three other contemporary Colorado medical schools (University of Denver medical college, Gross medical college and the Denver homeopathic medical college). The private medical schools objected and took the matter to court. The court ruled that according to the university's state charter, all teaching had to be done in Boulder. In 1912, however, an amendment to the state constitution allowed students to study in Denver in their third and fourth years.

Colorado Boulevard campus[edit]

In 1924, the school moved from Boulder to a new campus near Colorado Boulevard and Ninth Avenue in Denver. A quadrangle of red brick buildings housed a medical school, a nursing school and a public teaching hospital that cared for the poor.

Anschutz Medical Campus[edit]

In the 1990s, the school was outgrowing its facilities. In 1999, the Fitzsimons army medical center in Aurora closed. Between 1999 and 2008, the school moved to this site, which was later renamed the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Student population[edit]

Approximately 2,000 students attend the school (600 MD students; 352 in the physician assistant and physical therapy programs; and 975 in the graduate school).[4] About 3,147 doctoral and professionals' course students are enrolled in the graduate school.[5] The school received about 5,400 applications for the MD program for the 2012-13 academic year. Beginning in 2014, 184 students are accepted each year, including 24 assigned to the new Colorado Springs branch.[6]


Some departments within the school are ranked highly (family medicine, third; pediatrics, fifth; primary care, fifth; and rural medicine, seventh.) [7]


The curriculum is divided into four parts or phases[8]


  • Phases 1 and 2. Core essentials.[9]
  • Phase 3. Clinical core.[10]
  • Phase 4. Advanced studies.[11]

Universal medical subjects[edit]

Woven through all phases are four threads of universal medical subjects:[12] culturally effective medicine; evidence-based medicine and medical informatics (clinical decision-making resources); humanities, ethics, and professionalism; and medicine and society.

Other curricula[edit]

The school offers several educational tracks including:

  • International medical teaching [13]
  • Leadership, education, and advocacy development scholarship (LEADS) which focuses on the social, cultural and economic antecedents of illness and health.[14]
  • Research.[15]
  • Rural medicine.[16]
  • Gender based health needs.[17]


The school is affiliated with the Children’s Hospital Colorado[18] and the University of Colorado Hospital.[19] Both hospitals are on the Anschutz campus. Other affiliates include Denver Health Medical Center, National Jewish Health, and the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, which is building an $1.7 billion facility adjacent to the campus. The new center is expected to open in 2018.[20]


In the 2010-11 fiscal year, the school received more than $400 million in research grants. Research centers at the school include,

  • The Altitude Research Centre.[21]
  • Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes.[22]
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center.[23]
  • Charles C. Gates Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology Center.[24]
  • Linda Crnic Institute for Down's Syndrome.[25]
  • The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Anschutz.[26]
  • Health and Wellness Center, opened in April 2012.[27]



Since its inception in 1887, the School of Medicine bylaws have required that women be accepted for admission on an equal basis with men. The school's first female graduate was Nelly Mayo who received her degree in 1891. From the 1970s to 2012, the percentage of women graduates increased.

Other groups[edit]

The school offers facilitated entry ("pipeline") programs for middle and high school students with diversity of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, residence and military service. The programs include:

  • guidance for high school students showing academic prowess.[28]
  • mentoring for students with an interest in medicine.[29]
  • summer schools.[30]
  • student groups for rural health scholars.[31]
  • pre collegiate studies.[32]
  • the "Create Health" pre-professional program for undergraduate students.[33]
  • an undergraduate preparative course.[34]


  1. ^ [1] University of Colorado website, programs.
  2. ^ [2] University of Colorado website, doctoral programs. Accessed 10 April 2012.
  3. ^ [3] University of Colorado, messages.
  4. ^ [4] University of Colorado website, graduate medical education.
  5. ^ [5] University of Colorado website, quick facts. Accessed 10 April 2012.
  6. ^ [6] University of Colorado website, admissions department.
  7. ^ [7] University of Colorado website, "U.S. News & World Report". Accessed 16 April 2012.
  8. ^ [8] University of Colorado website, MD program.
  9. ^ [9] University of Colorado website, core essentials.
  10. ^ [10] University of Colorado website, clinical core.
  11. ^ [11] University of Colorado website, advanced studies.
  12. ^ [12] University of Colorado website, threads.
  13. ^ [13] University of Colorado website, global health track.
  14. ^ [14] University of Colorado website, LEADS.
  15. ^ [15] University of Colorado website, research track.
  16. ^ [16] University of Colorado website, rural track.
  17. ^ [17] University of Colorado website, women's care track.
  18. ^ [18] Children's hospital website, ranking. Accessed 16 April 2012.
  19. ^ [19] University of Colorado hospital website, UCH ranking. Accessed 16 April 2012.
  20. ^
  21. ^ [20] Altitude research center website.
  22. ^ [21] University of Colorado website, Barbara Davis center for diabetes.
  23. ^ [22] University of Colorado website, cancer center.
  24. ^ [23] University of Colorado website, Charles C. Gates regenerative medicine and stem cell biology center
  25. ^ [24] University of Colorado, Linda Crnic institute for Down Syndrome.
  26. ^ [25] University of Colorado website, CCTSI.
  27. ^ [26] University of Colorado, human nutrition. Health and Wellness Center.
  28. ^ [27] University of Colorado, academic talent.
  29. ^ [28] University of Colorado, "Aurora Lights".
  30. ^ [29] University of Colorado website, summer health careers institute.
  31. ^ [30] University of Colorado website, rural health scholars.
  32. ^ [31] University of Colorado website, pre-collegiate health careers program.
  33. ^ [32] University of Colorado website, create health.
  34. ^ [33] University of Colorado website, undergraduate pre-health program.

External links[edit]