Boston University School of Medicine has a proud history of placing medical education in the context of each patient’s life, his or her neighborhood, and the larger community. The BUSM curriculum offers students the opportunity to study medicine in a flexible, supportive environment that stimulates a spirit of critical inquiry and provides a sound base of knowledge in the biological, social, and behavioral sciences. This focus begins the first week of medical school, when students begin patient care (in Introduction to Clinical Medicine), their own professional identity and development (professionalism lectures and Exercise in Human Behavior in Medicine). At the same time they begin their study of Essentials of Public Health.
In addition to patient care and lectures, students also begin focused learning in small groups in their integrated problem solving course, which is also incorporated into the early curriculum. In the curriculum reform initiative we began in 2005, there is vertical and horizontal integration of the curriculum across all years: bringing clinical cases and challenges into the early, traditionally preclerkship years, and by revisiting anatomy, pharmacology and genetics in the later clerkship years of formal clinical training.
Boston Medical Center is the primary teaching hospital for the school of medicine and was created by the formal merger of Boston City Hospital and Boston University Medical Center Hospital (BUMCH) in 1996. BCH was founded in 1855, and BUMCH in 1864. It has the largest trauma center in New England, and the Emergency Department had more than 129,000 visits in 2008. The BMC Mission is “Exceptional Care without Exception” and we live that mission in the care of our underserved patients, 30% of whom do not have English as their primary language.
Medical students see the comprehensive care of our patients aided by our unique ancillary services: the only hospital-based food pantry in the country, legal partnerships to aid in the medical care of our patients, and the center for refugee health and human rights to name a few. Our clinical skills center is also an integral part of each student’s evolution into a clinician. In this center, students get feedback on their history and physical’s on “standardized patients” in videotaped encounters, and formal assessment in end of 1st year and end of second year exams. These structured encounters allow students autonomy in an educational setting. The students continue in the center in their second and third years, culminating in an end of third year exam, structured to provide feedback in preparation for the USMLE clinical exam.
The mission of the Doctor of Medicine program is to educate physicians to have the knowledge, skills, and dedication necessary to provide the best care to patients from all communities in our diverse society.
An integrated, hybrid curriculum incorporates elements of a traditional lecture style with small group discussions, laboratory exercises and problem-based learning seminars. To focus on the learner and to ensure ample time for small group discussion, no student spends more then three (3) hours per day in lecture. Clinical experience starts in the first week of the first year and expands steadily so that by the time clinical clerkships begin in the third year, students are ready to apply the tools of evidence-based medicine in hands-on clinical practice.
- A grounding in basic science that will allow students to keep pace with the rapid advances in science relevant to medicine.
- The motivation, skills, and intellectual resources to be lifelong learners.
- The concepts, principles, and practices associated with the ethical and honorable practice of medicine.
- A dedication to advocacy on behalf of patients at both the clinical and societal levels.
The Combined MD/PhD Program is offered in collaboration with the School of Medicine and the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS). This program is designed for, and open to, highly qualified individuals who are strongly motivated toward an education and career in both medicine and research. The purpose of the program is to provide students with the opportunity to obtain advanced education and research training in one of the medical sciences, while providing exposure to and training in clinical medicine. The goal of the program is to provide exposure to both throughout the entire training period of the student. Students may join one of 14 degree-granting departments or programs that are listed on the website. The program expects to produce graduates who are superbly trained to cope with the increasingly multi- and interdisciplinary nature of teaching and research in the medical sciences, as well as those who will enter residency programs with a sufficient background in basic science to allow them to pursue productive careers in translational research.
The program requires a minimum of seven years and an average of eight years of study to complete both the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).