We're glad you're interested in KU. The University of Kansas is a major public research and teaching institution that operates through a diverse, multicampus system. KU's many parts are bound together by a mission to serve as a "center for learning, research, scholarship and creative endeavor" in the state of Kansas, the nation and the world.
Let's start from the beginning. A band of contrarians - opposed to slavery, promoters of freedom for all - settled a western outpost between the Kaw and Wakarusa rivers in the 1850s. A town was platted and then a great university was begun on Hogback Ridge, high above the river valley and below a boundless, expansive blue sky.
The inventor of basketball started a tradition here. The man who discovered vitamins A and D graduated. Helium was extracted from gas for the first time. The first African-American woman to entertain at the White House was a student. Future astronauts were launched into their careers, along with artists, business leaders, presidential candidates, governors, Pulitzer winners and a Nobel Prize winner. National championships have been won. And many pharmacists, teachers, nurses, doctors, musicians, artisans, journalists, architects, engineers and lawyers have begun careers.
An ideal campus, historic and wireless at the same time. Close to a metropolis, bordering the prairie. High-tech labs, interactive classrooms, performance venues and athletic arenas. Tranquil mornings, a diverse exciting nightlife. Truly a "castle on a hill."
History of the School of Medicine
Layers of success
When the University of Kansas began offering a "Preparatory Medical Course" in 1880, the move was mostly symbolic - no clinical training was available and students had to complete their degrees elsewhere. Even when the School of Medicine officially opened on Sept. 6, 1905, and began providing instruction at the Bell Memorial Hospital in Rosedale, Kan., it lacked clinical facilities, an adequate budget and political support. But the new school did have an impressive corps of talented physician-educators, and their early presence proved to be a springboard toward long-term success.
After decades of disagreements about the school's location were resolved in 1922, the new School of Medicine opened in 1924 at its current location, 39th Street and Rainbow Boulevard in Kansas City, Kan.
By 1940, an infusion of New Deal programs helped the campus boom, adding nine large medical buildings. In 1948, Dean Franklin D. Murphy, MD, pitched a plan to state legislators. Under its terms, the Medical Center facilities would be vastly expanded and in return, the school would graduate 25 percent more doctors and encourage them to choose rural practice. The "Murphy Plan" launched a metamorphosis in the 1950s and 1960s, with even more campus growth, record enrollments, the highest operating budgets in the school's history and changes in curriculum. By 1962, all four years of medical school were taught in Kansas City.
As dean of the School of Medicine (1952-60) and KU chancellor (1960-69), Dr. W. Clarke Wescoe's tireless vision and loyalty laid the groundwork for the school's consistent national reputation for top quality education and research. Under his leadership, postgraduate medical education was expanded tremendously; mental health and treatment became a major priority; millions of dollars in grants funded research on cancer, heart disease, polio and other illnesses; and new teaching technology, such as endoscopic television cameras, was introduced.
In 1971, KU extended its reach in Kansas, establishing a community-based clinical campus in Wichita.
In the new millennium, the school has continued layering successes, most notably with the 2007 opening of the $52 million Robert E. Hemenway Life Sciences Innovation Center, attracting millions in grant funding and some of the nation's top researchers. In 2008, the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation was established to hasten discovery and development of new drugs and medical devices. In 2011, a new campus opened in Salina, advancing the mission to produce primary-care doctors for underserved areas.
Today, along with great strides come high expectations. Boasting a patient-centered curriculum and high-caliber physicians and researchers, the School of Medicine is committed to furthering its tradition of reaching the pinnacle of medical education in the United States -- always delivering quality instruction, innovative research and superb patient care.
Setting the stage for world-changing discoveries
At the KU School of Medicine, success is measured not as a destination, but as an quest for greater discovery and continual learning. Our dedicated researchers, students, physicians and faculty strive every day to advance the science of saving lives.
Groundbreaking research projects from the school's departments, centers and institutes have attracted national recognition and funding. Ten departments - five clinical and five basic science - made the top 25 in National Institutes of Health funding in 2011.
With a commitment to developing state-of-the-art research facilities, the school provides its researchers with easy access to core resources and an environment that encourages discovery and collaboration.
Our curriculum at the School of Medicine prepares students for the rigors of 21st century medicine. During the past several years, we have invested in technology as never before and have revamped our education program using an interdisciplinary, patient-centered model. With this approach, our students are trained as exceptional critical thinkers who can analyze challenging problems, formulate effective plans of action, and provide optimal clinical care.
Calendars, curriculum and educational objectives
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree. The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association.
The University of Kansas School of Medicine received a full accreditation in 2005. In the summer of 2010, we had a targeted LCME site visit prior to expanding Wichita to a four-year campus and opening the Salina campus. We had a very positive visit, and the survey team found that we had made the necessary preparations and had the resources in place to proceed.
Our next regularly scheduled accreditation visit will take place October 20-24, 2013. At that visit, the survey team will determine whether we are in compliance with each of the standards for accreditation. The standards are available at www.lcme.org.
Institutions seeking accreditation conduct a comprehensive self-study prior to the visit from the survey team. As part of the process, schools compile a Medical Education Database, a collection of information related to the accreditation standards. We expect this database to be completed by the end of the calendar year. There is also a student survey that students manage independently.
Once the information is collected, it is analyzed by institutional stakeholders. Five self-study committees have been formed and will begin to develop responses to questions that cover all aspects of the M.D. program.
We submit the database, the self-assessment and the results of the student survey in July 2013. The stack of materials, once completed, will be about 18 inches high. Dr. Anne Walling agreed to be our primary writer. I am grateful for her efforts and for the work of all the administrators, faculty members and students who are helping us measure and improve our medical education program.
KU School of Medicine-Wichita Student-Guided Tour
Four KU School of Medicine-Wichita students offer their insights into life on the Wichita Campus of the KU School of Medicine as well as into living in the city of Wichita.
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